CCP Robbie Streitz | PDR Cigar
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PDR National Sales Manager Robbie Strietz talks about the AFR-75 which is on limited production made in the factory by only four rollers. It has a San Andres wrapper with Connecticut broadleaf filler and costs between $12 to $16. Robbie shares the difference between PDR Cigar and other cigar companies is their amazing attention to detail. He says processing tobacco is the key for them, and they are totally integrated from seed to sales rep to shelf. Robbie also discloses they are working on a small batch project called Connecticut Valley Reserve with only 450 boxes per size which will be a seasonal release once a year.

Listen to the podcast here:

Cigar Cafe Radio PDR | Robbie Streitz | AFR-75 | Abe Florez | Alabama Football

I’m Lane. I’m joined in the shop by Harris. We’ve got Sean Kavanaugh. What’s going on, Sean?

I’m all right.

We’ve got Robbie Streitz from PDR Cigars. How’s it going, Robbie?

Good. Thank you for having me on. I appreciate spending this early morning with you.

We’re going to have a Happy Christmas Eve edition of the Cigar Cafe Radio.

Which, in Birmingham, means tornadoes.

You know this, I quit drinking which is really weird because I just started smoking cigars but I quit drinking years ago. I’m not able to enjoy the pairing of fine beverages and cigars.

You had a four-and-a-half-year window that you had no vice. You weren’t drinking, you haven’t discovered cigars yet. You were in limbo.

A lot of transition, a business around for sixteen years. We ended up closing a family business. I was sitting out in my backyard, I was in a subdivision. We moved into an older part of New Lenox, which is a historical part of it. Nine trees on the property. I went from a stark upper middle-class subdivision to an older part of our town. I was sitting out in the back with a fire. You just sent me a Drew Estate Java and I just started and I was like, “This could be a pretty cool past time for me.” I have no vices at all, no prescription drug addictions, which is good. I’m like, “Cigars may be the way,” and here I am. I’ve gone through quite a few but we’re certainly glad to have you on. I can’t wait to talk about the brand.

Thank you.

Sean is indoors and not permitted to smoke. What’s everybody else smoking this morning?

Unlike Sean, I’m in my house right now. My son has cystic fibrosis, so we refrain from smoking in the house. If I was outdoors, I live here in the Tampa area, Sarasota, I could smoke. I would be smoking and AFR-75 if I had my druthers though.

Is that your favorite PDR cigars that you make?

I think so. There are a couple in my wheelhouse in our line that I truly love, but PDR is something special to us. Only four rollers touched that product in our factory, so we do that almost as a limited production run. We do it quarterly and we do it on demand of sales, so the market dictates where we take that cigar.

What price point is that cigar at? It will be on my list of care package. I’ve got a care package coming from Harris on. It’s always a good day. I unpackage it like I’m a kid at Christmas. What price point is that cigar at?

Without taxation, I always give you a price point before taxation, and it’s anywhere from mid $12 to $16.

At the higher end of mid-range.

It’s a limited production so it demands a little bit of a price to it. It’s Connecticut Broadleaf in the filler and it’s a San Andres wrapper.

A $16 cigar, we’re all right there.

That’s right in the wheelhouse. If the cigar is good, it’s in the wheelhouse.

I smoked a couple of the AFR-75 lately and I loved it. It’s super smooth, lots of flavor, very complex. It wasn’t as strong as it looked like it would be either. It’s a dark cigar, but I enjoyed it.

What I get from the end users most about that cigar is for some crazy relationship, they assume it’s going to be like a Liga Privada No. 9.

It looks like one.

It has the same characteristics, the look to it, but when I explained this cigar, I almost tell them it’s almost like Courvoisier. It has a lot of full rich flavor and aroma, but it’s so well-balanced and smooth on the finish, it’s something that you don’t often come around in the cigar industry with the cigar like this.

You’ve got two guys on the show that the No. 9s are not our favorite. I know that we will be tarred, feathered, and flogged in public if we ever say that the No. 9 isn’t the end all, but Lane and I are not a fan, but I can’t wait to have it. Usually when I do the shows and we have a guest, I’ll write down which cigars you are talking about and then the next time I’ll have them smoked, so I can’t wait to have one of these. I’m excited about it.

We want everybody to smoke it, but we understand the price point and the limited availability of it. Not everybody is going to have a chance to smoke it, but there are going to be some fans of it that will just drive the business of it be because they love it so much.

CCP Robbie Streitz | PDR Cigar
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PDR Cigar: We want everybody to smoke it but we understand the price point and the limited availability of it. Not everybody is going to have a chance to smoke it.

You said that there are four rollers who were involved in the production. How many hands touch it after that? It’s typical for cigar makers to say that 200 people will touch a cigar from the time that the tobacco seed is grown all the way through QA until it reaches a retailer, so four is a lot different.

The hands that touch that product doesn’t change because it’s still the same set of rollers. The piece of just bunching and the rolling is going to be that same set of people. It could be anybody in a factory on any production run, but in a cigar like this, it’s just those same four.

You’re saying basically you have four people that make this cigar and that’s it.

No, we say everybody in the factory has a part of that cigar, but in the actual bunching and the rolling, it’s just those four people that rolled that product.

How were those four chosen? I know that seems like a remedial question, but are they the premier rollers in the factory? Is that why you chose them?

They’re our highest-class rollers in the factory. They’re the ones who’ve been with us the longest time. You have been around this industry long enough to understand that dichotomy of a blender and the relationship is he is an artisan to this craft. He views those four having such a relationship with that tobacco and that cigar that he likes to keep that as a fluid running production.

That’s a part of the business that I’ve never heard about. These master blenders have a particular relationship with their rollers that there’s some synergy there. It’s definitely a symbiotic type of thing, right?

You’re exactly right, Sean. It’s not just the relationship from blender to his personal association to tobacco, to the blender with the production line that rolls that tobacco, but also the relationship that the people that touch that tobacco. Let’s say the bunch that’s rolling and punching that tobacco, their relationship with the tobacco. They know that San Andres wrapper better than anybody else probably in our production line, so we keep that same relationship going. We’re not unique in this, Sean. There are companies that have a certain set of people that just roll certain things. It just so happens in this case, we only have four that touch that tobacco. It’s a very special cigar for us.

You’re probably right, but you’re the first person that we’ve had on the show that’s articulated it that way, so I appreciate that. It’s like your offensive and defensive coordinator and it’s that relationship that you have with them and I never heard it described that way, so thank you for that.

It’s nice to know that it’s not just all about Midichlorian count, that it’s not that you have Jedi rollers and while you do, they have to maintain those relationships.

You made a good analogy or offensive, defensive coordinator. I was watching the Jim Rohn Show and he was talking about the dynamic of a head football coach. He doesn’t have to touch every play. He doesn’t have to be involved on a play, but certain on key plays, he gets on the headset. They had Pete Carroll and there was the end of the game. He was at USC. They were talking about how he’s just an overall administrator. He got on the headset and he said, “Do we have so and so on this play?” The offensive quarter there came back and said, “He’s in on the play.” He said, “Good enough, run it.” That was it.

Same thing with a blender. Abe Flores fits in the factory. He knows the factory so well. He knows our tobacco. He processes all our tobacco. The processing of our tobacco is key for us. Not everybody can process tobacco the way we do it, and we feel we do it better than anybody else in the industry. There’s a certain unique flavor characteristic that we look for. He knows all that. He goes by gut feeling. He goes by who’s having a better day? He goes by what the factories telling him at that particular time. Do we roll this cigar right now? Is it too humid out? Is it too moist? Is it not moist enough? Those are the things that we’re looking for.

When we’re getting ready to go for IPCPR, we’re releasing a new cigar. I’ve never had this happen to me by any other manufacturer or blender. He says to me two weeks before the trade show, “I’m taking the wrapper off of all those cigars. It’s just not right.” I said, “Abe, are you crazy? Two weeks before the show.” He said, “I don’t want to have superior product at the show. When we go to Vegas I want my cigars a little moist so that they sit in that dry climatic weather, they pop at the right time. When we go to New Orleans, I want them a little bit dry so that when they get there, they’re a little bit moist, so they pop at the right time.” That’s the attention to detail that he has. I’m so excited about being involved with a guy like this.

That compounds what you were saying about how limited of a release it is because when you’re producing these cigars on any scale and sending them out to retailers everywhere, climates are different. The customer in Birmingham is not going to get the same cigar delivered here that a customer in New Jersey is going to get. Certainly, the retailer’s going to put it in a consistent humidor, but the product that arrives is not going to be identical because of those climatological concerns.

Sean’s scratching his head like, “I’m not sure if I’m believing this. I don’t know.”

No, this isn’t like a literature class and someone’s asking, “Can’t we just read Hemmingway for what’s on the written page? There’s more depth to the story.” I get it, I understand how blending happens and I’ve talked to enough people about it. I’m just shocked that someone would go through that much effort in order to make sure that the cigars are right. These master blenders, these guys like Flores, they’re like brew masters in a brewery. They take sips of the beer throughout the fermentation process and they’re highly trained.

They worry about shit like that, the humidity in the room and all that stuff. It just makes us, premium cigar smokers, even appreciate that stuff more because I do. I’m one of those guys that I smoke a cigar and look at that sucker the whole entire time and go, “I’m glad I’m smoking this.” It’s a cool thing for me so that makes it even more special. I don’t not believe you. I’m marveling at it.

What happened in this industry in 2008 is that little mini fall, that depression, recession, like everybody wants to call it. We saw a lot of manufacturers chase the $5 footlong because Subway came out with a $5 footlong. You started to see cigars like Brick House, El Baton, everybody wanted to have a $5 cigar as a price point cigar. It cheapened our craft. It cheapened our industry. This is not something that you toast bread together, add a little bit of mustard and deli meats and call it a $5 footlong. There are a lot of craft, there are a lot of artistry associated with this. The processing of this tobacco, there are costs that are associated to it. For us to do that, it was a sad time for me to be a part of the industry because we need you, the retailer, to say to the consumer, “Why am I paying $8, $9, $10 for the cigar over the $2.50, $3 Flor de Oliva?” There’s a difference in the tobacco. There is so much of a difference and we can’t always tell that story, but we need you guys to tell that story with us.

We’ve talked about how the $5 cigar barely exists anymore. That new price point for the budget cigars is probably more $8 for sure. It’s not uncommon for us to find a cigar that’s$17 or $20 or $21 and it’s not going to be a daily driver, but it’s a cigar that you can smoke once a week, once every couple of weeks and enjoy a cigar at that price point.

It’s a testament to like Harris Saunders and the people on cigar shops that they do. You’re telling people every day, “This is a better cigar. This is a better tobacco. This is something that would fit your profile better than the $5 cigar.” If not the online guys, it’s hard to create that distinction or that separation. It’s guys like Harris.

Do you think that there’s a soft ceiling as far as quality and price goes where, “You can get a more limited cigar than this and pay more for it, but you’re probably not going to find a better cigar?”

I don’t know if there’s a true $30 cigar out there and I’m not sure that justification between a $30 and a $16 cigar is that much of a difference. There’s probably a ceiling somewhere there.

I was talking to my wife and the most expensive cigar I’ve ever run through my humidor is probably about $21.

Is that the Opus?

There was something else that I smoked. It was about $21, and I don’t remember offhand what it was. That’s pretty much the most expensive thing that I’ve personally put in my humidor. I’ve smoked some $40 and $50 cigars, Perdomo Edicion de Silvio some of the pricier Fuentes.

Lost City or Padron No. 88.

CCP Robbie Streitz | PDR Cigar
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PDR Cigar: You’ve got to understand what your wheelhouse is too as a smoker.

I’ve smoked more expensive cigars, but I don’t think I can say that I’ve enjoyed cigars more than cigars somewhere around the $20 mark.

You’ve got to understand what your wheelhouse is too as a smoker. If you’re a smoker and you don’t smoke a lot of Fuente product and then you’d go and smoke one of their seasonal releases expecting that it’s going to wow you, it might not be that cigar for you. I’ll give you an example. I was in Chicago and they dropped out the Anejo Shark. I used to love that cigar. I smoked it and I’m not trying to say anything bad about them. It’s more personal for me. For some reason, that cigar changed for me, personally. I didn’t like the cigar anymore. It wasn’t something that was in my wheelhouse per se.

I agree with you. The $20 price point is probably where I sit. I’m going to have an Opus on Christmas Eve. I’ve got one for my brother-in-law and one for myself. I’ve got the stuff coming from you, Harris, and I’m going to have one and I fully expect to probably enjoy it. I don’t want to bring up another brand, but this is a good description of that. You’ve got the Undercrowns and they take the most dominant flavor profile from the Liga and they put it in the Undercrown. The Undercrown is very consistent from the time you light it to the time you finish it. It’s got very little transition through that cigar. It’s the same smoke, a little bit maybe towards the middle, but that’s it. You smoke a Liga T52 and that thing’s got all sorts of stuff going on, lots of transition. That’s what you’re paying for. Here, you’ve got a $9 price point and you’ve got a $17 price point. Harris, that’s what I see in some of the more expensive cigars. They’ve got just more stuff going on.

They’ve got things that are outside of taste as well. They’ve got construction and density and burn that they’re not intangibles, but they’re less tangibles.

I think of the AFR-75 versus one of the regular PDR blends. It’s that same difference to me. The regular PDR blends are great, consistent, very good cigars and the AFR-75 has some different things going on in it.

We do that for a reason for the end consumer and there’s a portion of you, the retailer too, Harris. We have what we call our core line. Core line for us is going to be something they had three to four-year age tobacco in it, so it’s a well handcrafted cigar at a decent price point, so that people can discover the blend. We put it in those color coded associated boxes so that most of the time if the guy’s not a cigar aficionado, instead of saying, “I smoke the sun grown, I smoke the blue,” or “I don’t smoke the Maduro, I smoke the black,” or “I smoke the white,” if you smoke in the natural shade-grown Connecticut. Then we jump up from those core products into what we call our premium line. Not that the core lines are not premium, they are also premium, but this is like ultra-premium seven-year in age better tobacco and that’s the Gran Reserva and the two wrappers, the 2006 Corojo or the new sun-grown and that was released.

Then we have the 10th Anniversary which just got a 91 rate in Cigar Aficionado in the new Figurado size. The AFR-75, our Serie Privada, which we got number ten out of the top 25 in Cigar Aficionado. That’s done very well for us. That’s our only box-pressed currently. Those premiums are what we like to separate from the core because we want you, as a retailer, to have something for anybody who walks in, there’s a price point for them that they can feel comfortable to discover the brand. The guy might be new, but he’s smoking $20 cigars. That’s his wheelhouse. That’s what he’s comfortable with. Then there’s a big section of the country that when they started smoking cigars, they want it to be between that $4 to $7 range.

The Serie Privada is what Harris and I are smoking, the CapaHabano. It’s definitely been enjoyable getting a little bit of vanilla, a little bit of cocoa, a little bit of coffee. It’s nice. You are using an Ecuadorian wrapper and a Nicaraguan binder and filler for this. Is that right?

It has the Ecuadorian wrapper. It has a Nicaraguan and Dominican binder and filler. It’s six-month cedar age on that cigar.

Lane is a Nicaraguan fanboy. Nintendo has like Nintendo fan boys. That’s Lane and Nicaraguan cigars. He’s on a kick.

There was a time when I had a radio show that I got started in the business, a cigar radio show, and I was the guy running around telling everybody, “Nicaragua is the next presence of the cigar industry.” Nobody knew me, nobody knew that. This was back in 2006, 2007 and you could open up the Cigar Aficionados Top 25 and they would break it down. Nicaraguan company, Cuban company, Dominican. It was only like one or two Nicaraguans in there at that time. This is a misconception, Lane. I’m going to tell you this. Companies now, all of us, we use to get those dynamic flavors and cigars. We use a whole host of regional tobacco in so that you get those flavors that you’re looking for.

Nicaraguan companies don’t always use just straight Nicaraguan. Most of them are using Ecuadorian wrapper and they do a little bit of Dominican here in the filler and the binder. We do the same thing and the way we’re processing tobacco, we can have a someone like you, Lane, who’s a nicophiliate would be surprised at some of the tobacco we would show you, let you smoke that Dominican that you would swear is Nicaraguan. Some of the Nicaraguan, which we would bring to you to have you smoke would swear is Dominican. As people are trying to churn the pot to get new flavors, that’s one of the things we’re experimenting with. Trying to always keep asking them what’s in there by taking Nicaraguan product and blending it down so it doesn’t have those same characteristics and then taking the Dominican product and blending them up so it has a different characteristic.

Harris and I did some work on an infographic, a basic to premium cigar smoking. We were trying to do some flavor profiles on different countries. Although we went with the basic flavor profiles of cigar producing countries, it’s very difficult. We’ve talked about Cubans many times, but even Cubans that have left Cuba and gone to roll in Dominican Republic or Nicaragua, they’re like, “There is some great stuff coming out of every place.” That that line has been blurred quite a bit when it comes to having that straight profile out of the Dominican or out of Nicaragua. Lane does know his smoke so I’m sure that you’ve got it down there, Lane. I’m looking forward to having a Davidoff Nicaraguan too. I don’t know if I put that on my list, but I’m looking forward to having that one.

I’ve got one of their little ones in my humidor. I ran across it the other day and said, “How have I not smoked this?”

Robbie, we talked a little bit about production. Why don’t you explain to our audience the PDR as a company? You take tobacco from the seeds to you what you see in a box. Am I correct in that?

That is absolutely correct. We think we’re a vertically integrated company now, but also think that vertical integration also means our salesforce. There are a lot of companies that claim vertical integration, but then they use brokers to get their product to the end user, to the retail. We’re a full spectrum in that. We co-op farms for our production of tobacco. We process our own tobacco. Everybody’s growing tobacco the same way now. It’s really caught up, everybody’s doing it the same way. Everybody pretty much manufacturers a cigar the same way. If you go from one factory then the next, they almost look identical on how they roll the tobacco, how they touch the tobacco. The key is the processing of the tobacco. Then we manufacture it, we distribute it, we use inhouse salespeople that sell it to the retailers from which your customers come in and buy.

CCP Robbie Streitz | PDR Cigar
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PDR Cigar: Everybody’s growing tobacco the same way now. The key is the processing of the tobacco.

Lane, you and I were talking about Cigar Aficionado came out with their Top 25. I usually look at it. I’ve looked at it for a couple of years now. That’s how I sometimes I’d make a choice on what I’m going to buy, especially if I’m going to buy something premium. There were some notable exclusions. I want to know if there’s anything that you thought that they left out and feel free to include your own. I don’t care, but I thought that there were some ones that throw the list into a tailspin. Most notably for me is the Camacho American Barrel-Aged. We have not had one person on this show from any company that has not raved about that cigar and it’s not on the list and I don’t understand it.

Out of the 25 cigars that made it this year, I’ve smoked six of them. Three of the six are misses. The Liga Privada No. 9, I understand why it’s there, but you were talking about how you and I aren’t that big of a fan of it. I definitely think that the T52 is a better Liga, at least from my perspective. I’m not that big of a fan of the Rocky Patel Edge. The Nub Cameroon is not even my favorite Cameroon. I’ve smoked them. It’s a fine cigar, but there’s a better Cameroon out there. I’m trying to take it with a grain of salt. They’ve got to cater to a lot of different smoker profiles, but I don’t have a problem with the Avo Syncro. I don’t have a problem with the Nat Sherman at all. I think the Nat Sherman should be ranked higher than it is. The Trinidad Cuban is pretty good.

Harris, what do you think? I’m trying to think of it, is it because it’s barrel-aged. The barrel aging is prominent in the cigar. Once you get through the first third, you taste it. Do think of it more as an infused? Is that why?

I don’t think so. As far as I know, they do all these blind taste test. I may be wrong, but that’s everything I’ve always read. Maybe the barrel-aged is different enough from the other cigars that it kicked it out because it is different than most everything else. A few that I liked on the list, My Father Le Bijou has always been a great cigar. It’s been around for quite a while. It was a little bit of a surprise to all of a sudden see it as number one because that’s not anything new. La Mission du L’Atelier, that’s their best so far. Padron is on the list. They always have something it seems like on there, but what it is too is sometimes they get stuck. Since it is a blind taste test, they get stuck in a certain flavor profile. I don’t know if they’re looking for certain things. When they smoke the Camacho Barrel-Aged, I’m sure they know that’s the Camacho Barrel-Aged because it’s so unique.

Robbie, I’m interested to hear your perspective from a manufacturer’s point of view. I thought that the Escurio was a great cigar, but that’s not there.

When you look at the top five, they knew the flathead’s the flathead. Even if it’s unbanded, you could tell it’s a flathead. They do a great job of bringing awareness to our industry. Have I always thought the ratings were indicative of some of the best cigars? Maybe it should just be the top 25 bestselling cigars. Maybe that would be a better list than to come out with six guys ratings cigars and telling us what they think their best cigars are. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with any lists they’ve ever come out with ever, but we haven’t had a number one cigar. When that happens, I will say they’re the best magazine. Their list is absolutely correct.

You’re right though. This is just like Oprah Winfrey’s favorite things. They do place great awareness on certain brands. If you make the top 25, chances are you’re going to sell a hell of a lot of cigars. It is going to make me look at the list and go, “There are ten of these I’ve never heard of before. Harris, on my next one, let me get three or four of them and let me smoke them.” For sure it’s bringing awareness. I just thought that there were some cigars on there that had a tremendous amount of buzz at the IPCPR and they’re not there. I’m like, “What? Everybody we talked to loves them and they’re not there.” It was a good talking point and this one was a weird list for me.

CCP Robbie Streitz | PDR Cigar
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PDR Cigar: If you make the top 25, chances are you’re going to sell a hell of a lot of cigars.

Sean, you’ve been smoking cigars for how long?

Ten months.

And you can say IPCPR. There are guys who have been in this industry for years and they have a hard time saying that. My hat’s off to you. What was the IPCPR call before the IPCPR?

RTVA.

There you go. Good job, Harris.

The Padron on the list, is that the $100 50-year Anniversary?

It is the natural version of the 50th. They made it confusing because they did a number of 50 cigar and then they also did the 50th anniversary cigar. It looks like this is the No. 50. It’s confusing the way they did that anyway. $25 price point instead of a $60, $70 price point.

Robbie, we’d love talking about your cigars. Is there anything outside of your cigar line that turns the crank right now? Is there something you love that you’re like, “This is a great cigar. I like to smoke it.” Outside of your own. We ask everyone that question. Some choose to answer it, some don’t.

I was a cigar geek before I got in the industry. I smoked everything. I love cigars. I love the industry as a whole. When you start working on the manufacturing side, you find yourself smoking all your stuff and not enough of the other stuff out there. I smoked a Laranja. That was a very good cigar. I thought it was very unique in its flavor profile. I smoked something else and I can’t remember, and it was phenomenal. It was a little Habano. It was corona-sized, which I love. That’s in my wheelhouse. I told Abe, “We have to make something similar to this.” It was an unbelievable cigar. I don’t know if the smaller guys can keep the consistency year after year, but I smoked Long Live the King, which I thought was a phenomenal cigar. It’s by Rob Caldwell.

I smoked a few of those and that’s a great cigar.

You know what else I don’t think it’s enough love in Señorial. Jose Blanco doesn’t get enough love out there. That’s a pretty cigar. There’s no other way for me to describe it. It smokes a lot more expensive than it is. For me, it’s like a champagne type of thing. It’s got some real pretty flavors. It’s very smooth and not offensive. A new cigar smoker would maybe be a little strong or full flavored but not too bad. That’s another one that was in my wheelhouse that I liked that’s not on the list.

I’ve smoked three Nat Sherman Timeless Nicaraguan and that’s the best $8 cigars that exist.

I’m going to have to try that. I’ve heard you say that a couple times on the show.

You mentioned, Robbie, about the Connecticut Valley Reserve. Tell us a little bit more about that.

We released a limited release for the show at IPCPR. It’s called Connecticut Valley Reserve, Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. We only did 450 boxes of each size, so it was limited, pre-sold at the show. It will be our Anejo Shark every year. That’s going to be the cigar that we do seasonally. We’ll pre-sell it right before the trade show. We will start shipping somewhere around Thanksgiving. We’ll cap it at 650. We did 450 as a test market, JC Blend, and we sold it out. It’s done very well for us. It’s a beautiful cigar. The packaging looks great. Connecticut broadleaf is an amazing flavor profile.

Harris and I were talking about IPCPR a little and you’ve brought it up a couple of times. You started talking about how your aging process is three to four years for some of the younger stuff and seven years and up for some of your more premium lines. When do you start thinking about what you’re going to release for IPCPR? Is that already on the table?

The day after the IPCPR ends, Abe was talking to me about the travel arrangements, the hotels, getting the cigars age properly. I’m like, “Are we talking about the next IPCPR?”

My wife has never been to Vegas and I’ve got some Southwest credit.

During the Trade Show, as it’s happening, we’re also jockeying for position for next year. That’s when you start looking at your next year’s planogram. That’s when you have to have your half your money signed in. There are a lot of dynamics going on at the trade show. Trying to show you the new product, trying to entertain you, and then thinking about where we’re going to be setting for next year’s trade show.

I’m trying to convince these guys to come to the trade show next year and maybe we can do a few shows from there.

I can’t wait for the week off. I need to recharge the batteries, but I want to thank you, Robbie, for your sponsorship of the site and of the show. We’d love to have you. I can’t wait to smoke more of your cigars. I’m looking forward to it. Lane and Harris, we’ve grown pretty steadily and I’ve had a good time. Thank you for introducing me to the lifestyle.

The Brotherhood of the Leaf.

The affordable luxury. It’s been a good year. I appreciate you guys, Lane, Sean, and Robbie too, for being a part of the show. When it started, it was like, “We’ll try this and see what this will be.” Here we are almost a year later, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed it. I didn’t know what to think about it at first, but now it’s something I looked forward to every week.

Are you looking forward to the Alabama game? It’s coming up.

Yes, are you looking forward to the Michigan State game?

Alabama is going to put a foot in their ass. I’m looking forward to the Notre Dame-Ohio State game.

Who do you think is going to win the Clemson-Oklahoma game.

Oklahoma is going to beat their ass.

God, I hope not.

I have a feeling that that’s going to happen. Oklahoma was the best team in the last half of their season.

They’re playing angry. Stoops put a foot in their ass and they are playing pissed off. They just destroyed people. I agree with you, Lane, that you would rather have Clemson win that game.

Here’s a little prediction with Alabama-Michigan State. Michigan State in the past has had a better defense. Their defense is not as strong as they have been in the past. Their offence is a little bit better, but they’re going off the seasoned veteran, Connor Cook. I don’t know if there’s anybody playing better than Bama. Bama wins this game. It’s going to be close, but Alabama is going to win the game.

Alabama is going to play their typical soft coverage in the secondary and they’re going to get burned a couple of times. I hope that Bama wins.

They’re not Ohio State from last year, Lane. Michigan State is not. They don’t have as powerful of an offensive line as Ezekiel Elliott is. They don’t have a running back like that. I don’t think that they’re that team of destiny that you see. I see this being a fourteen-point game. You put Bama against Oklahoma in the National Championship, that’s what I can’t pick. Alabama’s defense is playing real nasty ball right now.

Bama has got great defense and this is a grudge match, whether people know it or not. Nick Saban used to coach at Michigan State. It’s going to be something that’s going to be on the back of his mind. Bama, he’s assembled a prototype defense and then do that ground control offense where they keep the ball away from you, running the ball. They got Heisman Trophy winner. Michigan state, if that Michigan Punter would have caught the ball correctly, there’d be no talk about Michigan right now.

Take care and have a great holiday season and we’ll talk to you soon.

Lane, Harris, Sean, thank you so much for having me on the show. You do great things. Big Fan. Thanks so much. Remember, Serie Privada Maduro. That’s our new focus. Try that cigar. It’s unbelievable.

Thanks for hanging out with us, Robbie.

 

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