Something new from Room 101 is the Johnny Tobacconaut Chingonova. Room 101 is under the Camacho brand owned by Davidoff. Brand runner Matt Booth is the creative force behind the brand and is responsible for the attractive and funky release. Another cigar from Davidoff is the AVO Heritage which has a charred oak taste. It has a musty flavor at the start with a sweet undertone of raisin or plumb. The Undercrown Shade from Drew Estate is a smooth creamy medium.
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Cigar Cafe Radio Lane Vacation | Johnny Tobacconaut | SEC | AVO Heritage
My name is Sean Kavanaugh, and I will be your guest host as our pal and host is on yet another vacation. I want to preface this question. I’ll be honest, I’m a bit jealous, but does Lane take a ridiculous amount of vacation time?
Yes. The answer to that is he’s always on vacation about every couple of months.
My motto is work hard and play hard, but he’s abusing the phrase a little bit.
It’s unfair for him to already be on vacation again.
I’m kidding by the way. Lane, I hope you’re enjoying yourself. Drink ten or fifteen for me. He just tweeted me that he’s already had three by 10:15. He’s having a good time and I hope you enjoyed that Nat Timeless, because I know he’s smoking it right now.
Check out our Cigar Cafe Twitter feed. Lane has been posting several pictures from his vacation on there. He’s got some good ones up there.
I have quite a few pictures myself. Before we dive into all things cigars, did you have a chance to see any college football last night? It was on in full effect.
I did. The main one I watched was North Carolina and South Carolina.
It was a close game.
If it weren’t for that interception in the end zone that South Carolina had near the end, it looked like North Carolina was going to pull it out.
I know, being where you are that’s what you saw. The big game on here was Michigan, Utah. You know I’m a self-professed Big Ten fan. I couldn’t help but to giggle maniacally when I saw the Wolverines taking on the chin. Harbaugh’s debut, Utah, I loved it. I was ecstatic that Michigan got beaten in their first game.
I was a little surprised by that. I thought they might come out.
I’ve got to tell you that I saw the game last year and I thought it was a trap game. I knew that Utah would be fairly good. I don’t think anyone understands how down Michigan is. I don’t want to say that the cupboard is bare, but their talent level is down quite a bit over the last couple of years. Jim Harbaugh is inheriting a program that was bottomed out but pretty rough around the edges. None of his kids are there. He did get a transfer quarterback who wet himself last night. I didn’t expect it to be a good game for them. I didn’t think Harbaugh, as good as he is, could create enough magic in the short time that he’s been here, to be able to pull out a win against arguably a top 25 team. Utah is going to be in the top 25 before the season is over.
That’s a good point. I guess being in the SEC, I haven’t kept up with Michigan too much in the last few years. It’s hard to recover when you’re that far down. You look at when Nick Saban came to Alabama, their first season was rough. You’ve got to rebuild.
Harbaugh is a good recruiter. He had little time to recruit. I’m not a big Michigan fan. I am a Big Ten fan, but it would take a lot for me to root for Michigan. When I say a lot, playing Alabama in a national championship might propel me to root for Michigan. That would even be a toss-up. I may say I don’t give a shit who wins at that point. You don’t like Alabama at all, correct?
I generally pull for Alabama as long as they’re not playing Auburn. I’m not one of those fans that is 100% always against Alabama.
It’s not like you root for Auburn and then anyone else who plays Alabama.
Which I know lots of people like that, unfortunately.
The Cubs, Sox thing in Chicago is very much like that. I have Sox fan friends if the Cubs lost 162 games, they’d literally laugh their ass off the entire season.
That’s what makes it fun too. If everybody was laid back about then it wouldn’t be as fun of a rivalry.
I did catch a little bit of the TCU, Minnesota game. You’re an SEC guy, I’m a Big Ten guy. I know it was a Big Ten game, TCU barely squeaked by in that game.
I missed most of that game. What happened? Tell me a little bit about it.
Each team had two turnovers. TCU’s high-powered offense was just Minnesota. They were able to slow them down. Minnesota has some talent and Jerry Kill is a good coach. They’re well-coached, they have some decent talent and he’s gotten some talent in there over the years. I was shocked to see the number two team in the country get pushed 23 to 17. It was a good game. I don’t know if it’s an omen of things to come. I have a feeling that TCU’s going to get their shit together and get it done. It’s fun to see one of the first real days of college football.
It’s exciting that it’s finally here and I’m looking forward to watching a lot of games and be great to see Auburn and Alabama on the field finally.
Unfortunately, we play football so I will not be able to catch the Notre Dame game live, but it will be on record. I’m pretty sure they’ll announce the score of the game at the game. They usually do that, but my son and I will watch it when we get home. You’re at home now. You’re not smoking at home. Why don’t you have an air scrubber at home so you can light up in your closet?
That’s what I need. I have a little porch that that’s normally where I’ll go smoke. I don’t have the space unfortunately to set up the full blown, indoor cigar smoking lounge.
My office is under my bedroom. I don’t think any amount of air filtration is going to stop a full, 10×12 room of some smoke seeping out of it. The wife is not going to be able to handle that. That’s not going to work out.
The only way you could make that work is if you had a completely separate air conditioner for that room.
Probably, you’re right. You’re not smoking on the show today. What did you smoke yesterday? What was the name of it and give us some rundown on it.
I got together with some friends last night and watching a little bit of college football. Afterwards we were all smoking a few different cigars. One I tried that’s a new release from Davidoff and Room 101. Room 101 is owned by Davidoff, for those of you who don’t know that out there. It’s technically under the Camacho brand name. They have a new release. The branding is funky on it. It’s called Johnny Tobacconaut.
That is weird.
It’s got a picture of an astronaut on the box. It’s out there. They’ve got some funny branding with it, talking about the tobacco being from outer space. It’s a Nicaraguan puro, which means the wrapper, binder and filler are all from Nicaragua, from the same country. It was interesting. I’m trying to think of how to describe it. The first half was really good. Your typical, medium body, complex Nicaraguan Cigar, and then it got a good bit stronger after that to me. It went from medium to full body. I liked the taste. I don’t have any complaints on it, but I wasn’t in the mood to smoke something that strong. I put it down in about the last third. I enjoyed what I smoked, but it got a little strong for me towards the end.
What were the characteristics? Was it a spicy? Was it woodsy? Give me some background. What was the profile?
The profile to me was started out medium body, rich, earthy Nicaraguan. It has no spice to me, no pepper. It wasn’t one of those spicy, hot sauce types of cigars, which is pretty characteristic of Camacho and Davidoff. They generally don’t have those spicy characteristics that maybe the My Father cigars have based on where they’re getting the tobacco. Generally, they’re aging it a little bit longer so it smooths out a little bit. It has a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper that I would say it’s very similar to the red label Camacho Corojo. There was a few different characteristics.
That’s a good thing to bring up is that there are different types of spice. There’s the almost hot sauce type spice that you light up the cigar and it almost tastes like you have a little bit of Tabasco in your mouth.
Your mouth is hot and not from heat, it’s hot from the tobacco.
You have your clove type spice that’s a little bit different.
A retrohale is when you don’t breathe in the smoke, but you let the smoke sit in your mouth and as you’re blowing the smoke out, you let some go through your nose. You’ll pick up a lot of cigar spices that way.
Most true cigar aficionados, that’s a big step that separates the men from the boys is once you learn that retrohale. There are quite a few people out there that never figure that out or how that works.
Since I’ve been smoking for the last six months, I didn’t know what it was. I looked it up and started to play around with it. None of the cigar smokers that I know, know what a retrohale is, and I’ve taught every one of them.
Yes, it’s a big deal. It allows you to taste more of the notes and flavors within the cigar.
I’m not a cigarette smoker, but it’s not like letting out cigarette smoke through your nose. You don’t take in the draw and let the smoke out through your nose. It can be quite uncomfortable. As you’re exhaling that or as you’re letting the smoke go, you let some of it go through your nasal passages and you’ll pick up a lot of the spice in the cigar. I’ve retrohaled quite a bit, and I used to think all retrohales are inherently spicy, but I’ve learned pretty recently that that’s not true. You will pick up spice in the cigar on the retrohale. I’ve smoked quite a few cigars lately that the retrohale is different. I pick up different notes on the retrohale.
That’s a big reason why cigar smokers do it and it’s a big deal. I’m saying this correctly, but it’s because the smoke hits the olfactory nerve that controls a lot of that sense of smell, sense of taste. You’re able to pick up more.
You’re infusing the two of them together. You’re blending your taste with smell. That takes me into what I smoked last night. We’ve talked on the show and amongst ourselves about the AVO line of cigars which is a Davidoff brand, much like Camacho. You guys love it. I want to say it’s a poor man’s Davidoff, but it is definitely priced. It’s a premium line that’s priced at a lower price point than Davidoff is.
It’s like the difference between Macallan 12 and Macallan 20 year Scotch. They have similar characteristics, but the Davidoff is smoother. They’ve aged the tobacco longer. It’s a different blend, but that’s a good way to think about it.
It’s still a premium cigar. I decided to take my wife out to lunch yesterday. I work out of my house and I’ve been putting in long hours, so I’m like, “Let’s go out to lunch.” It happens that where we went out to lunch is three doors down from the tobacco shop that I frequent. I said, “Let’s take a walk over to the humidor.” Lane had talked to me about the AVO Heritage and I decided to see if they have one. I looked throughout the humidor. They had a couple of AVOs in there, and they have the display boxes. In the back they have boxes that are stood up with singles, there was only one AVO Heritage Toro.
I got home from football last night. It’s become tradition. I get my cigar smoking chair out. I turned the lights off in the garage, turned the front lights on, cut it, toast it, and smoke for an hour and a half or so. Lane recommended the cigar to me and it was different from what I’ve smoked before. I got some charred oak-ish, maybe some nuttiness, but that was the initial light. It was weird, the first 1 inch, 1.5 inches had a musty flavor to it.
It wasn’t unpleasant, but that’s the only word I could come up with that would describe it. There’s a little bit of a sweet undertone to it. When I got into the cigar after the first third, the cigar mellowed out. It turned into an earthy, oak, cedar-ish, a very woodsy type of cigar. I’m not a huge fan of woodsy cigars. I would say before this cigar I’ve not been, because they’ve always been overpowering for me. This cigar mellowed out nice. Picked up some spices in the first half, when I say spices, I’m talking mild. Even on the retrohale, it was very mild.
You had a lot of woodsy, some creaminess in it but not overwhelmingly. I picked up some wood. I did taste a little raisin underneath or a little plum, some fruit underneath in one of the undertones. It was a very short finish. It wasn’t one of those cigars where you taste it for a half hour. It was a very short finish. It turned out to be a really pleasant cigar. You know how when we talk about, “Would you smoke it again? Would it be an everyday smoke for you?” I’m learning that I like a full-flavored cigar. I don’t think it was full flavored, it was a solid medium cigar, it was not very powerful.
That’s definitely a solid medium. You seem to be gravitating more to the spicy, full body profile.
When I was smoking, I do like it. It was super mellowed out, I was chilled. I was sitting there. It was 95 degrees and got down to about 70. I was looking at the trees blowing, I’m like, “This is a great cigar.” Would I smoke it again? Of course I would. Would it be an everyday smoke? I suppose if you liked that profile, it would be a perfect everyday smoke. Would it be mine? Probably not, but if you’re asking me to grade it, I probably would give it an 88, 89-ish on a 100-point scale. I thought it was good.
That’s a good point to bring up. Everyone’s palate is different. Certain profiles are going to appeal more to certain people. It doesn’t necessarily make it a bad cigar or a bad profile.
No, not at all, I loved it. I’d love to try another AVO. I’d love to try out one of their other cigars. A Toro is a big cigar for me. I probably got down to the last third before I put it out. It was a solid hour and a half. If I were to smoke the whole thing, it would have taken me two hours. That is a long time to smoke a cigar for me with the time that I have.
I know Lane has talked about that AVO Heritage series, one of his favorites is the Short Robusto, which is probably a 45-minute smoke. That’s a 4.5×50 shorter smoke.
That’s a perfect size. I like between five, five and a half. It was a bit of a rustic cigar. It wasn’t perfect. You know how Ligas are perfectly done. I’m going to say there’s a little bit of bumpiness to it. The wrapper was super oily. I’m glad Lane gave me the recommendation.
What was the price point on that one in Chicago? What are those running up there?
It was $11.75. How do you feel about that one? Is that way too expensive?
The Toro, I want to say in Alabama those are generally in the $9 range. Which makes sense, you guys have a higher cigar tax. That’s about right.
I did want to tell you and give this little bit of advice to all of our readers out there because we found out that we have quite a few. I did get a new lighter, and that makes things a lot better. I bought an Eagle Torch. Are you familiar with them?
No, I don’t think I know about those.
You know the one that you sent me when I first started? Take that and quadruple the size of the lighter fuel barrel. It’s got different compartments in it and they’re all filled up. It’s got a lot more fuel in it. The trigger on it is really smooth and the flame is wider. For instance, I smoked a Toro and it’s a bigger ring gauge, a 52. You’ve got a 52-ring gauge, I toast it up and then I start to draw. I didn’t have to go around the cigar to make it an even burn. I could put it in the front and it would it fill up the whole entire front of the cigar. It’s a nice little lighter, not one of the best, but a $20 lighter.
Is it a single torch, double, or triple?
It’s a single. It’s a little bit wider up in front, made a huge difference. I bought a new accessory and a cigar. Don’t forget to go on the Cigar Cafe. I have a full review of the AVO Heritage. For anyone who wants to get a full review of it, take a look at it. What else is new? I’ve been asking you and I must ask you two or three times a week, when is the effing Shade coming in?
I’ll say I do have a little bit of new news. I talked with our rep from Drew Estate cigars and he said that he has a shipment coming our way with Undercrown Shade in it.
Harris and I compel you, that when those come in, log them in and send me five of them. I’m excited to smoke them. You’ve had one, right?
I have. You’ll like it a lot. It’s not your full body, spicy flavor profile, but it is a very smooth, creamy, medium body cigar. Most everything from Drew Estate is a little spicier, more full body. It is a lot different from their other things, one of the smoothest, creamiest cigars that I’ve smoked in a long time.
The funny thing is that I really like a creamy cigar. The problem is that it’s hard to find them. For anyone who’s been smoking for a while, unless you’re really an aficionado, it is really hard to find a creamy cigar. Believe me, I’ve tried a ton of cigars over the last six months. When I say creamy or smooth, creamy cigar, give them some examples of what those are.
You’re right. There are not a ton of people doing it well and that’s probably one reason why Drew Estate was going after that. The ones that come to mind, Davidoff Special R, Ashton Classic, probably those two would be to the top two for me. Maybe a little step down from that, Oliva Connecticut and Perdomo Champagne. You’re not going to pick up as much of that creaminess. To me that Undercrown Shade, they did a good job with making that creaminess very much out there and obvious.
It’s the front of the profile. It’s not like, “There it is,” there’s some new giddy, nutty creaminess. It’s a major part of the flavor profile, correct?
Yes, that’s what they were trying to do, is make something a little different from what’s out there.
What else is new? What else is going on in the shop?
We have a big Davidoff event coming up. Traditionally, we’ve had a Cigar Dinner every year with Davidoff. It’s a nice seated dinner and they’ve changed it up; they’re calling it Davidoff Escurio Nights. It’s more of a high-end cocktail, heavy hors d’oeuvre type of event. They have specialty cocktails. They have a bartender. They have a chef that creates these gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Each guest will smoke one of the Davidoff Nicaraguas. Later on in the evening, they’ll smoke the new Davidoff Escurio. It should be a fun night. We have that coming up.
Garrett’s going to be heading up that little charge?
Garrett will be there in full force.
Make sure you bend his ear for me. I want my samples. They’re smoking away; I’m like the redheaded step child in Chicago.
I saw you posted that on Twitter. We’ll be able to get you a nice sampler together.
I’m playing, but I’m not playing. I’m serious but I really don’t care. I’ve only smoked Camacho and AVO of the Davidoff line. I’ve got a package coming. I don’t know if I’m going to go with Escurio or if I’m going to save it for the next podcast. I might, I don’t know.
It’s a tough call.
It is, I might break down.
That makes me think. We sent you a bunch of the Camacho Barrel Aged and we have the Camacho Barrel Aged tour coming to the store. They’re doing 25 events across the country with this. They’re bringing in this big trailer that’s wrapped with Camacho Barrel Aged, all their branding. They bring tents, they set up and do bourbon tastings, and they have all these activities you do. It’s a unique event. We’re going to have several bourbon companies come in and do samples too. It should be a lot of fun.
You were talking about the Barrel Aged again, but I don’t know if you saw the Twitter interaction I had with another cigar reviewer about the Barrel Aged. It’s one of my favorite cigars. If I were to go to my go-tos, it would be Barrel Aged, it would be the Undercrown, it would be My Father, Crema No. 3, I love the Oliva V’s and O’s. I don’t think he was as high on the Barrel Aged as we were. He started drinking bourbon in the middle of the cigar and then said he thought it was better that way. I don’t drink. I thought it was a powerhouse and packed with flavor, regardless of what you were drinking.
That’s a little unfair for him to say that because if you’re smoking the cigar and you start drinking something, that influences your palate and it doesn’t give you an accurate picture of the cigar.
The funny thing is that he didn’t pick up and I thought it was a very prominent flavor. I picked up vanilla almost through the entire cigar. I thought that there was a slight vanilla undertone. He never even mentioned it. I also picked up sweetness throughout the entire cigar. I thought there was always a slight sweetness through the cigar, and never mentioned it. Listen, guys that smoke every day, sometimes their palate is shot. They don’t pick up certain things. Maybe that’s a gift of not having smoking two cigars a day. He didn’t say it was a bad cigar. I don’t think he was as high on it as we were.
I liked the Robusto and the Toro sizes a little bit more than the bigger 60 ring gauge or close to 60. The biggest is the Gigante. The smaller ring gauges in that are a little better. It maybe gets slightly watered down in the bigger ring gauge, just a little bit.
Still in my humidor, I have a Rocky Patel Royale. I believe it’s a Toro or maybe it’s bigger.
It might be bigger. It’s a big one.
It’s gigantic and that is probably one of the ones I’m going to try this weekend. It’s Rocky Patel’s highest rated cigar ever. I wanted to try it. I want to give it a shot.
You’ll like that one. That was a good blend from them. Around the same time, they came out with the Prohibition series. That also is a good one.
Do you have anything else to add before we wrap this up?
This is off the topic of cigars, but I downloaded this app this week that’s called the, 7 Minute Workout. It has a green icon, it has the most reviews, there are a lot of seven-minute things on the App Store for Apple. My brother-in-law told me about it. I downloaded it and it has been fantastic. I’ve done it every day and it’s this workout that it takes seven minutes, it’s twelve exercises. You’re doing each one for 30 seconds and then resting for about ten seconds in between. It’s a high intensity thing and I’ve been bouncing off the walls having so much more energy. Tell everybody to check that out. It’s a great, manageable workout.
Do you know if they have it on Android?
Yes, it’s on everything.
It’s called The Seven Minute Workout.
It’s one of those things that once you get into it, if you want to dial it up and make it a little more intense, you can. The way it comes right out of the box is perfect for me.
Harris is trying to tell everybody, get off your dead asses.
You’ll have more energy.
It was awesome having you. We can’t wait to have Lane back on the show. Enjoy some college football. I will sign off with that. Take care.