Kids don’t really care if the weather is 47 degrees and the wind is blowing 30 miles an hour as long as they get to play outside. It is a different story for parents. The Milwaukee Heated Jackets can warm you up almost instantly for five hours and you can find a good deal for them anywhere online. Another piece of clothing you can find online are khakis that are overpriced at $175. The thing with being a parent is you never forget those days when you just bat an eye for an overpriced pair of pants because you have the money for it. With the wife and the kids, you need to refocus on your affordable luxuries, like smoking. Sit back and enjoy, and just turn off the cigar reviewer because some reviews talk about coco and espresso and pepper spice about a particular cigar but you don’t really get any of that when you smoke it. For the most part, it’s about the subjectivity and taste and coming back to the cigars you love and smoke on a day to day basis.
Listen to the podcast here:
Cigar Cafe Radio Milwaukee Heated Jackets | Banana Republic Fat Pants | Turn Off The Reviewer And Enjoy
I’m Lane. I’m hanging out here at Cigars &More with Harris. What’s up, Sean? How are you doing?
I’m doing wonderful. It’s finally starting to get nice here in Chicago. You know how you say you never trust the weatherman in Chicago because until it’s June 1, you can still have shitty weather, and I’m getting tired of it. I don’t know if I mentioned it on the last podcast, I bought one of those Milwaukee heated jackets with the twelve-volt lithium ion that sticks in the back. Holy Shit, is that thing cool. You’re giving each other the “who farted look,” you don’t even know what it is.
You have a heated jacket?
Let me explain. I am out on the lacrosse field at one of the high schools and it’s freezing like a son of a gun. It’s 47 degrees, the wind is blowing at 30 miles an hour, it’s misting out. It was absolutely miserable. My dad and I are toughing it out. The kids are having fun, they don’t give a shit. They’re running around. They don’t feel it. All the parents are looking at each other like, “This is bullshit.” It’s the beginning of May. This guy, who I know, is a football coach in another town. We play for the same organization in lacrosse, but different organizations in football. He reaches up to his right pocket and he presses a little button and it turns white. I go, “What the fuck is that?” Cool as ice, he goes, “It’s my heated jacket.” I go, “Heated what?” He reaches in the back and the batteries that they put in their tools, you plug it into the jacket. He goes, “It’s got five zones. It’s got two on each side, one along the back, and then two in the pockets.” He presses another button and there is a little hand on the button and that can be heated. He sticks his hands in his pockets and I go, “That’s a fucking hand warmer?” He goes, “Yeah.” I go, “How quickly does it work?” He goes, “My hands are getting warm now.” I go, “It’s on, it’s done.” My father’s with me, I immediately went home, found the best deal I could online, bought one, it got to me and I brought it to practice. I go, “Dad, check this out.” In the backseat of his car is the box with his unopened Camel version of the same jacket. I feel like a pimp. It is so awesome because coaching in the Chicago suburbs in the middle of October can suck big time.
How much does a heated Milwaukee jacket run you?
I got a serious deal on it. It was $139 without the battery. With the battery and charger, it’s closer to about $220.
That is a reasonable cost, especially since you live in Chicago. The only heated jackets we have here in Birmingham are gas heat.
I understand that. I have another story about gas heat. All the reading I’ve done, they are just fantastic. I’m usually bundled up. I’ve got the rain gear on. I’m layered with eight layers. Now all I have to do is hit the button and I’m pretty warm. If I’m out in the field for four hours, five hours, I’m good.
This makes me feel a little better because I know that we have the theme of cigars being an affordable luxury. I’m no longer the person in the room who has purchased the most expensive, not affordable luxury now, so thanks Sean. I tore up another pair of GAP or Old Navy or Banana Republic Khakis. I wear out the hems and the seams ripped.
You just mentioned you in Banana Republic in the same fucking sentence. What did you have to do, sew two fucking pairs of Banana Republic pants together to fit in it?
That is exactly the problem. I have long been too fat to wear Banana Republic. Lately, I am fitting into pants I can wear when I was about 29 again because I’ve lost 30 pounds. I’ve got twenty to go. I picked up an old pair of Van Heusen pants off of the hanger and thought, “I wonder if these fit,” and they did. I said, “I should buy another pair of Khakis just like this because these are like eight, nine years old. If they’ve lasted this long, even though I haven’t been able to wear them in a few years, surely they’re still of okay quality.”
I go ahead and order another pair of Van Heusen pants. Then one of my lawyer buddies sends me a text message and said, “You need Bills Khakis.” I was like, “What the fuck is Bills Khakis?” I go online and start Googling. I go to their website, and it’s $175 for a pair of khakis. I’m sitting there going, “I know you’re an attorney. I’m a little impressed that you can afford these pants and children, but I can’t wrap my brain around spending $175 on one pair of pants.” I get online, I start looking for clearance, I get them down to $82 clearance direct from the manufacturer. I can make sense of that and my wife starts giving me the eye, so I get on eBay. I found a pair of powder Carolina blue Bills Khakis in my size already finished for $19. I’ve got a pair of $175 khakis for $20.
Have you gotten them yet?
I got them. I wore them to the Rocky Patel and Rocco Mediate event here at the store. I felt a little bit like Derek Calhoun wearing my flashy pants. They fit, they’re comfortable, and they’re supposed to last for years. We’ll find out. I’ve already put barbecue sauce on them and it came out. My report so far is good, but unfortunately, I’ve ordered three more pairs already and I haven’t spent retail on any of them. I’m averaging about $60 a pair.
Back in the day, before kids and before marriage, I would spend $100 or $120 bucks on a shirt every once in a while, a couple $100 on shoes. I haven’t forgotten those days. At four pairs of those, I’ve got $700 worth of pants, that’s just stupid.
That’s a lot of pants. We’ve derailed the show completely, but it had to be done. Every once in a while it has to be done that way.
I wouldn’t have mentioned it if you hadn’t brought up the jacket with the heater.
Here’s what I’m excited about. I’m excited about watching my coaching mates freeze their balls off on the sideline and me pressing that little button and they’re going to say the same thing I said to guy, “What the fuck is that? What did you just do?” I’m going to go, “I’m toasty.”
It seems like with the weather you have, that is a necessary thing to have. That will be a great jacket to have.
It looks like a North Face Shell. It is lined, so it’s heavier, but it looks like a North Face Shell. It’s got the mobile phone pocket up here inside. The cool thing is around 50-ish, you don’t need the heater, it’s pretty warm, but you can plug your phone into the USB port jack in there and charge your freaking phone in your pocket which is pretty damn nifty.
We’re totally in the end times now.
The rapture is coming.
Sean, you have smoked more cigars the last weeks than I have. Now, I’m on my third. What have you been smoking? I know you talked about the Las Antillas.
I smoked the Las Antillas and I can’t say enough about it. It’s one of my go-to smokes. I don’t care anymore whether I have four or five of them in the humidor. We did talk about 708 Cigars. It’s going to be a one of our vendors at the UFC 200 party in Chicago. They have a Connecticut, Maduro, and Habano. Then they make a barber pole. I went in there and one of the owners, Farris, came up and he said, “I want you to try these. I put out a couple boxes of two-year-old Maduros. I wanted to see if someone could taste the difference between them. I’m telling you that they’re aged quite a bit.” I had one and it was one of my favorite cigars I’ve ever had. Their Connecticut was good, but I don’t put it up in that rare air. This was a different smoke.
The weird thing about it is I had smoked a Maduro from them and the two-year-aged one was outstanding. I’ve already got ten more on reserve so they don’t get rid of them for me. They’re going to be gracing my humidor soon. It’s a super complex cigar. At about the third point, there was a caramel flavor that came out of the cigar. I don’t talk about desserts very much when I talk about cigars because sometimes I don’t believe in those reviews, but this was right up in front. It hung around for a little while. Then there was a barrel- aged that came out. I want to talk to them about the tobacco that they had in that cigar because there’s no other way to describe it. It was like a barrel-aged in the line of maybe not as stronger version of the Camacho or even a Black Market. There was some Black Market flavor in there, but it was neat. It’s a very cool cigar. I loved it. It’s a very mellow Maduro.
That brings up an interesting point with aging that cigar. Two years change it. Not every cigar is like that, but you hear when you’re on the forums or talking to guys that are into cigars, a lot of people will take certain cigars and store them in the humidor or their locker for a year, two years, or six months because a lot of them do change over time and get better.
I want to have another current Maduro from because the one that I smoked before was outside on a shitty day. It was out on the cross field, I was smoking with some of the parents. You know how it is when you’re smoking to taste and enjoy and you’re smoking to be out with the guys in there, I want to make sure that there was that big of a difference between the two. I want to give it another chance because the two were so distinctly different. I can’t think it’s going to be that different the second time around, but I’m going to give it a shot.
I’ve been learning to do that, too. I’ve been learning to turn off the “cigar reviewer,” and the “I have a show and I’m supposed to know what I’m talking about.” I’ve learned to turn that on and off when I need to. I had a cigar that was not typically something that I’d smoked. I had the Rocky Patel 20th and I like Rocky Patel fine, but it was very medium-bodied. I had read some reviews on it and it had talked about coco and espresso and pepper spice and I didn’t get any of that when I smoked it. It didn’t fall into where I like to be for sitting around, kicking back, and smoking a cigar and having a drink.
I was able to turn on the cigar reviewer and come back and say, “If you’re looking for a medium-bodied cigar, if you want an earthy, medium-bodied smoke with a little bit of woodiness to it, you’re going to like this cigar.” I blame the Liga No.9 on that because it’s definitely not one of the cigars I’m going to gravitate towards, but it’s absolutely a fine cigar. It’s coming back to that subjectivity and taste. Everybody doesn’t like what I like. We talk about how close 80% of the cigars that you and I like tend to be, but there’s that 20% fringe that both of us have. It’s an enjoyable cigar, but maybe it doesn’t line right up with exactly where our palates are.
That is absolutely true. We’ve talked about doing something on the website, Cigar Café. I like to choose people cigars for them. It’s a fun thing for me. They ask me all the time, “What’s a great cigar?” I go, “Where do you want to start?” “Give me a good cigar that you would like.” “I like medium-bodies. I like full. I like light cigars. Where do you want me to begin? Do you want something that’s chocolatey? Do you want it sweet? What do you want?”I’m not like my father who has a lane that he goes in and that lane is pretty on the straight and narrow. There are cigars that you recommended to me that are perfectly fine, but I probably won’t smoke them again. They’re not bad, they’re just not something that I would have on a day-to-day basis. Harris, I don’t know where you fall. You like everything, but you don’t like to say what lane you’re in. What are some of the cigars that you love that you would smoke on a day-to-day basis?
I tend to gravitate towards medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan cigars. It’s my go-to, but I enjoy trying all different things. I’m like that with anything. I don’t want to smoke the same thing every day or the same type of cigar even. I enjoy trying a little bit of everything, but special occasions or my go-tos tend to be that medium Nicaraguan, some of the Padron 1964 or the regular Padron, Tatuaje.
What do you have?
It looks like it wants you to believe it’s got more punch to it than it does.
It is definitely not a strong cigar. It’s a smooth medium body. I’m looking up a little bit of blend information about it. It has a broadleaf Maduro wrapper rolled in the Dominican Republic. It’s a good cigar. I’m going to say it’s off to a good start. Nothing too special but good, solid, smooth medium.
Are you smoking the same thing?
No, I’m smoking a Camacho Ditka Signature.
I’ve heard good things about it.
I’ve got the Toro. I walked in and Gary asked what I was thinking and I said, “I had that medium-bodied Rocky Patel. Let’s hang out with that for a minute.” He led me over to the Camacho section of the humidor and said, “Give this one a shot if you haven’t had it before.” It’s very medium strength. It does have some full flavor characteristics to it. It started out with some pepper spice and then unfolded. I’m getting natural tobacco, a dried fruit sweetness like a raisin or something like that. It’s got a creamy retro hale. It doesn’t taste creamy, but it’s definitely creamy on the nose and outside of what I would normally gravitate towards. I’m enjoying the stick. It’s great.
You’re the second person that told me to grab one, so I probably will end up trying it. Just to stay on Camacho, I did have the Triple Maduro.
It was a punch to the fucking nose. I like full-bodied, full-flavored, full-strength. That one was a little much for me. I don’t know that I would have another one. It’s got a weird shaped too. You’ve seen the shape because you them in your shop. It starts out thin and then widens out a bit and then tapers off a little bit back down again. It’s an odd-shaped cigar.
Yeah. It’s called 11/18. I don’t know how they roll it because it’s a funky shape.
It was so hard to pull on that cigar and I went right to the end of the cap.
That’s odd for those, I’d say.
It was like that Joya Red that I had. I couldn’t draw on it. I had probably a third, maybe a little bit past the third, and I threw it away because it was too difficult. It was too much for me. I won’t smoke another one. That’s one of those ones that you’re not going to get me to smoke another one. The first draw was too rough for me and the draw sucked. I’m done. I’m out.
I smoked a cigar I loved. I had to do a few things I don’t normally get to do. I played golf. Some of my buddies were getting together to hang out, smoke cigars, played corn hole. They always want me to bring cigars over. They all smoke cigars. We got in the new Padron 1926 Maduro No. 48, the TAA release, and it’s a limited release. They only made what was ordered at the TAA. If you order 50, you get 50, and then that’s it. If you order ten, that’s it, you’re done. They came in and it’s a box-pressed 60 ring gauge Padron 1926, which they have never made one that big. I don’t gravitate towards the bigger cigars, but I want to try it. I was impressed. It was the smoothest Padron 1926 smoke. I love Padron 1926s, but it’s a little stronger cigar, it got a little more to it, but the big ring gauge mellowed it out some. It was like it had all the good full body complex flavors of the regular ones but slightly watered down but in a good way. It mellowed it out slightly. It was so enjoyable.
The Padron 1926, for me, I would enjoy that with a little bit of ass taken out of it.
It was perfect, it was great. My only slight complaint with the Maduro wrapper, it was so oily that it tended to go out a little bit, but even re-lighting it didn’t affect it any. It wasn’t a big deal. Overall, it’s a fantastic cigar. A little pricey, they’re $20 retail, but definitely worth it for something special.
I decided to get you included in a couple of little prizes in my last package that I got from you. I had the My Father special series, a little five-inch Robusto.
That was the one they did special for events only.
It was good. A little long in the finish. I don’t know if it’s the age of the wrapper, I could taste the Las Antillas in there. I could taste some of those baking spice in there, but it seemed like the finish was a little bit longer, maybe a little more woodsy, which I don’t love, but great cigar. I don’t know what the retail is on those or if you can buy them. Can you only get them in the promotional pack? Is that the deal?
When they go around and dance around the country, that’s the cigar they use for events. They don’t sell them, but they say it’s like a $10 suggested retail if they were for sale, but you can’t buy.
I would say that would be a little on the high side for me for that cigar because you can get the Le Bijou and those are about $10 cigars, too. That is also a preference there. If some people like a little bit more of a woodsy taste in their cigars, it would’ve been great. I’ve got four more sitting in the humidor, so I’ll smoke the hell out of them at some point.
One thing I’ve noticed lately is that I feel like if I smoke a cigar outside, it almost makes it taste a little milder to me. I don’t know if that’s because I’m not in the room with it and smelling it as much.
You’re hard boxing it when you’re indoors.
Other than here, I smoke all of mine outside. I don’t know if I noticed. The only time I remember a cigar being mellower, it was outside, but I punched a T-52 whereas I normally cut them. It still had all of the flavor, but the draw was a little mellower and the spice wasn’t quite as overpowering. You’ve got all the flavor notes, but some of the undertones and stuff were more present.
That can affect it.
I punched this Ditka, and the burn’s been perfect. I found a couple mushy spots in the first half of it where I was a little worried about the construction, but it has burned as even as can be.
I know we started off the show on a tangent, but who is jacked for college football to come back?
My Alabama and Auburn trash-talk started.
You already started talking shit about college football?
Yeah. One of my friends is an obnoxious Auburn fan. I posted some article where Nick Saban said something that if you made it up, you could deduce something negative he said about guns. What he said was, “My college athletes don’t need guns because it’s a bad idea.” He’s in town for a golf tournament, but I posted a link to the story and said, “The man has opinion. A reporter asked him his opinion. He gives it.” Some small segment of the fringe internet decides it means something it doesn’t, story at ten. One of my Auburn fan friends says, “Alabama players act like assholes.” Story at 10:01. Something else, story at 10:02. I said 10:03, “Does Gus Malzahn get fired after three games or four?”
I’m certainly glad that we’re back in the swing of things. We are months away from football and I’m certainly jacked up about it. I know you think I’m absolutely insane, but they’re pretty competitive around my part of town. We picked up a special kid on our team. We were lacking one of those real game breakers, and I got a call from a father that said, “Sean, we’ve known each other for awhile. Our kids played indoor football together.” He was up for player of the year in 1986 in Chicago, so that comes from good stock. He has three sisters. One of them is going for their fourth state title in the 100and his one sister is ranked number one in the country for Texas A & M. They come from a line of great athletes. He said, “I want him to play for you.” The kid is a ringer and I’m excited to have him because he makes our team an entirely different team. We’ve lost three straight Super Bowls. Our only losses have been in the Super Bowl, so I would like to get back there and win one If I could.
The Champion’s Tour Golf Tournament is here two miles down the road. It’s called Regions Tradition. It’s been the Bruno’s Charity Classic, The Regions Charity Classic, and now they just call it Regions Tradition. I volunteered on it and I got to walk the course with Jay Haas. I got ten miles in and I have blisters on both heels and I’m not limping.
That’s excellent. Do they come into the shop? Are they looking for cigars now?
A little bit. Everybody passes by the shop on the way to the tournament and it’s a big draw. It’s a four-day tournament, so we definitely have people come in. It’s not a huge difference, but we had Rocco Mediate in the store for an event and a lot of people came out for that.
You’ve had some famous guys come into the shop before, golfers and stuff?
Rocco is sponsored by Rocky Patel Cigars. When he goes around each tournament, whatever city he’s in, he’ll go do an event. I’ve heard a rumor that Rocky Patel is about to start making a brand with his name on it. I’m sure that’s part of the motivation to do.
That’s very cool. One of these days, I’m going to be sponsored, too. It’s going to be the Southside Hillbilly. I’m going to make it happen, although I probably won’t make it happen with the FDA rules.
All of that have still been swirling around. A lot of the websites started posting guides. Halfwheel.com has an in-depth guide they’ve put out.
There are the two CRA petitions out. One went to the White House and another to your senators and representatives. We don’t have nearly enough signatures on it. The vape crowd has gotten behind theirs. I don’t know any cigar smokers that aren’t upset about this. Last I checked, we were somewhere in the 7,000 to 8,000 signature range, but I don’t imagine we are past 10,000 right now.
I went on there and did that petition. There’s one extra step in it that probably loses some people. You sign it, but it sends you an email and you have to click the link to confirm that you signed it. Whenever they do that that loses a lot of people.
I’ve got six different email addresses. I’m tempted to keep signing it over and over again, but we could use the help. None of us want this coming down on us. I’ve even seen people suggest, “Hit up your local political activist group and complain to them about government overreach and they’ll probably get on board with us.”
It’s a good idea. I have signed it, but you’re right, it may not be a bad idea to call your local representatives to get them on board. I don’t even think they know what they’re voting for in this situation.
Everybody’s still trying to sort out what a lot of it means and what the rules exactly will be. They’re not good though. They definitely went with the heavy duty regulation version of what they had debated back and forth. The highlights of it are in 90 days, all cigar sampling would end. They’re still trying to clarify that, but in events and things like that, no free cigars. Anything produced after August 8 would have to go through the full FDA review process, which from what everyone has said, is nearly impossible. A lot of people think that means after August 8, you probably won’t see any new cigars released at all unless something changes.
I know there’s a meeting of the minds, Glenn Loop and Rocky Patel and Jose Ortega, I don’t remember who else who else was in there, but there were a bunch of people tagged on Facebook all in a conference room talking strategy and what the industry’s next steps are to combat.
That’s the hard part. So much of it today is hard to interpret.
It would be a great birthday present for all this to go away.
I agree with you. They’re going to tie it up in court. Someone’s going to slap a lawsuit and it’s going to tie it up in court for a while, but we’ll see.
That’s the big hope. Tie it up, get an injunction, and then drag it out.
What I imagined they’re discussing and what needs to happen is some of the big boys need to start backing some of the little boys who are going to be able to show, “This is doing irreparable damage to my business, somebody pay for my launch.”
It has to happen that way. The cigar industry is going to change forever if this goes through. We’re not going to have the same type of ingenuity, the same type of creativity that we’ve had in the last ten years. Harris and I were talking about it and we touched on it a little bit. If you are a local cigar manufacturer and you had your brand and your blend before the cutoff date, before 2007, you’ve become very valuable.
That was a good point. I haven’t thought about those small regional brands like 708 or some of these other guys. They have been around a long time that we get grandfathered in. They’re in a good position.
I would think that those solid regional brand, and I don’t care what state it’s in, they’re everywhere. You’ve got them all along the East Coast, in California, in Washington or all of those areas. If you’re solid and you’ve got a decent following, why wouldn’t Rocky Patel or Drew Estate or Alec Bradley or some of them snap them up and those are their new blends? Why not?
It makes a lot of sense. Maybe the only way that somewhat new releases come out is expanding those.
They would be bought out and they would now be the 708 Blend by Rocky Patel or whatever. This is all speculation, but it sounds like it would be an easy thing, especially if you want to keep your customers happy.
I like to buy one that’s going out of business in 75 days.
I’m sure there’s going to be a few of them too. It’s some easy picking. I’m traveling for a lacrosse tournament with my son. We’re camping with another father and son out of the campgrounds near the tournament. I’m going to have a couple of cigars. I’m excited about that, just sitting around a campfire and having a few.
Speaking of cigars for you, you have a big shipment coming your way. I’ve found extra things to throw in there for you to try. I put the Perdomo in there.
I’m excited about that.
It’s a good stick and it’s a cheap stick.
The Perdomo that you suggested?
Very cool. I’m excited about it. The good thing is that at first, the guys that smoked cigars at practice was myself, another guy, and my dad. All of a sudden another guy goes, “You guys are smoking? Shit, I’ll bring one,” so then there were four. Now, there are seven.
All lacrosse moms hate you.
They do. We’re talking a humongous field, like 40 acres, and our sports organization leased the property. It’s all they are, sports all year round. They have a couple of horse shows on it, but it’s open. She is 40 yards from us and she’s waving her hand in front of her face like, “It smells like cigars.” I’m like, “How much further away could you be?” It’s not like we’re at a bar in a beer garden and we’re smoking next to her. It’s open freaking air. She’s only one, but you’re right, they do hate us. I don’t care.
She says, “I can’t wait until these FDA regulations take effect.”
“He can only smoke in his backyard.”Anyway, I got to cruise. I got to jump. It was always good to talk to you. We’ll talk again soon. Hopefully, we’ll get some good news in the next couple of weeks.
Sounds good. Thanks, Sean.
All right. Take care.
Talk to you later.