Lane: We have another very special guest today on the show in studio! GTO cigars owner Oscar Rodriguez from Montgomery, Alabama.
Harris: Welcome Oscar! Oscar is the owner of our only Alabama based cigar company. When not selling cigars Oscar is a doctor on a military base in Montgomery. He is from the Dominican Republic where his cigars are made in his family’s factory.
We are smoking the new GTO Don Emilio on the show today.
Oscar Rodriguez: My family has been in the cigar business for over 86 years. In the past we made cigars for many of the big cigar brands you know. Now we focus on our brand GTO cigars. We are 80% growers and 20% rollers. My family was in the wine business then cigars. We are based in the Cibao Valley in Santiago.
Oscar Rodriguez: I grew up on my family’s tobacco farm. Currently we grow 6 varieties of tobacco on 400 acres. We keep the special tobacco for our cigars.
Lane: Tell us a little about the GTO Don Emilio we are smoking today.
Oscar Rodriguez: It is rolled by our best rollers and is built vertically. It is named in honor of my grandfather who died in January. I’ve been blending cigars for 36 years and am very particular. This cigar has a very clean finish.
Lane: I really like the finish on this cigar.
Oscar Rodriguez: It will never be harsh since it is aged a minimum of two years.
Lane: Tell us about how the GTO brand got started.
Oscar Rodriguez: I am a doctor by day. I inherited the company when my grandfather died. I decided to only make GTO cigars from then on. They are all Dominican puros. The GTO Gold was an attempt to recreate my favorite Cuban cigar the Pre-embargo Partagas Lusitania.
Oscar Rodriguez: Cigars & More was the first store I had my cigars in. I’m grateful they gave me a shot early on. We released the first blends of GTO in 2010
Harris: I miss the early days when you were here all the time. The GTO Don Emilio has a nice sweetness at the beginning.
Lane: The Wrappers on the GTO Don Emilio blend well together.
Harris: Where did the GTO name come from?
Oscar Rodriguez: My wife wanted it to be named after her (Rose). Great Tasting Obviously, my favorite car is the GTO. Lots of meanings
Where does the name GTO Cigars come from?
Lane: What bourbons do you like?
Oscar Rodriguez: I really like trying any new single barrels. Weller, Knob Creek are some of my favorites. I also like scotch Monkey Shoulder and Balvenie Double Wood are two of my favorites.
Lane: I love Four Roses bourbon
Harris: Oscar, are you working on any new releases?
Oscar Rodriguez: I am bringing back the Corona called Kimonbo
Lane: What is your FDA strategy?
Oscar Rodriguez: I’m not worried at all. I think its just hype. I have cigars from 1994 I can go back to if needed.
Lane: We love having guests on the show!
Oscar Rodriguez: I’m working on a first of its kind box press dos kapas torpedo. There is nothing out there like this.
Harris: Your new GTO Hypnotic blend has been a huge hit
Harris : What other cigars do you smoke Oscar?
Oscar Rodriguez: Mostly my own. Not a fried baloney sandwich. Its hard to go back after you have had prime rib. I love Padron, Perdomo is amazing I have great respect for Nick Perdomo. Some Oliva , CLE Azabache
Overall I stick with family owned cigar companies. They use quality tobacco.
Lane: The passion really comes out from the family owned cigar companies.
Oscar Rodriguez: I love invicta watches and have a big collection.
From Oscar’s website
“Welcome to GTO Cigars. Our boutique cigar company artfully blends and creates some of the finest hand made puros from the Valle del Cibao in the Dominican Republic. We cater to the preferences of a diverse range of cigar enthusiasts, offering a variety of styles, blends and strengths. Our tasty cigars range from mild to medium body and continue in strength to the full bodied blends that will satisfy the taste of even the most discriminating cigar connoisseur’s palate. We would truly consider it an honor for you to experience our cigars.”
CEO, GTO Cigars and Tabacalera GTO Dominicana
for more info on GTO Cigars visit their website: