@pedrogomezdrewestate for more questions via twitter
Interview with special guest Pedro Gomez joining the show via Skype from Esteli, Nicaragua today. Pedro Gomez is the factory spokesperson for Drew Estate Cigar Co. and leads their Cigar Safari tours.
Lane: Welcome everybody to Cigar Cafe Radio today. We are excited to have special guest Pedro Gomez with us today on the show. What are we smoking today guys?
Harris: I’m smoking the Kentucky Fire Cured Chunky 4×46 by Drew Estate. It smells like a campfire before lighting it. These have really grown on me. They are very smooth with only a hint of the fire cured tobacco. The 6×50 size is my favorite so far.
Lane: Pedro tell us a little about your background at Drew Estate.
Pedro Gomez: I am the factory spokesperson for Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua. I lead our Cigar Safari factory tours six months out of the year and travel the United States the other six months doing big cigar events.
I have been with Drew Estate for nine years. I started out working in the factory doing anything they needed. I have moved up the ranks with Drew Estate and held quite a few different positions. I feel very blessed for this opportunity. It is rare for someone from Esteli to get an incredible opportunity like this.
Sean: How did you get in to the cigar industry?
Pedro Gomez: In Esteli it is tough to break into the cigar industry since most people who work in the cigar industry have family connections to it. I was a saddle maker from a very poor family in Esteli. I decided I didn’t want to be a saddle maker forever so I applied for a scholarship to go to school in the US. I moved to Iowa for school and didn’t speak any English. I was one of 18 students selected for this program from around the world. I learned English and had a great experience.
I moved back to Esteli in 2006. Drew Estate was the only cigar company who would give me a chance. The first year I worked very hard in the factory and then moved up.
Sean: That is an incredible story!
Pedro Gomez Favorite Cigar
Sean: I smoked a Herrrera Esteli Norteno cigar last week
Pedro Gomez: You went to the top bro! The Herrera Esteli Norteno has a great taste. It is very limited and hard to find. Willy Herrera our master blender made this cigar.
The Habano wrapper Herrera Esteli was the first release then this one the Norton. Norteno means north. The Nicaraguan national bird is on the band. The Norteno is a medium to full body box press shape.
Lane: I’m smoking the Herrera Esteli Norteno Coronita today 4×46
Sean: I love this one. The last 1/3 had a really deep cocoa taste with dark chocolate to me. Pedro what is your favorite Drew Estate cigar?
Pedro Gomez: We have cigars for everyone and all palates from mild to full. My favorite right now is the el Brujito Nica Rustica. Its the bomb! It gets overlooked a bit.
Sean: My favorite is definitely the Liga Privada T52 for a special occasion cigar and the Drew Estate Undercrown for an every day smoke.
Pedro Gomez: Have you heard the story about how the Undercrown cigars came about? The rollers in our factory were smoking up all of the Liga Privada cigars so we gave them the chance to come up with their own blend to smoke. This was Undercrown. It was so good we decided to make it a regular line.
Sean: I tell everyone about the Undercrown cigars. It is similar to the Liga but less complex and a little more consistent with the taste.
Pedro Gomez: The Liga Privada 9 and the Liga Prvada T52 are very different. The Liga Privada 9 has a broadleaf maduro wrapper.
Harris: Pedro what do you like to smoke from companies other than Drew Estate?
Pedro Gomez: Joya de Nicaragua, My Father, Jericho Hill, Aging Room (shout out to Rafael Nodal!). There are lots of great boutique brands also. Great memories and special occasions.
Facebook and Twitter funny story. Social media has closed the gap between consumer and manufacturer. Much easier now to ask questions.
Lane: The Liga Privada T52 is always my favorite
Harris: Kentucky Fire Cured by Drew Estate is my favorite every day cigar you guys make
Lane: How are the Undercrown shade cigars doing?
Pedro Gomez: The Undercrown shade is our first mild to medium connecticut shade cigar. Willy Herrera blended this cigar. Very smooth and creamy with a kick from the Nicaraguan filler tobacco. This cigar is doing very well for us and is constantly on backorder. If you like medium to full this is not the cigar for you.
Sean: I was disappointed at first by the Undercrown shade. After I let my other two sit in my humidor for two months it was great. Made a huge difference.
Sean: Lane takes 18-19 vacations per year. What’s the story on your foot injury? Is it a good one?
Lane: Unfortunately its boring. Involves texting and walking
Lane: Pedro, What is your schedule like?
Pedro Gomez: I’m back and forth between the factory and the US. I’m on the road 20-22 days a month.
Lane: Tell us a little bit about what Cigar Safari is?
Pedro Gomez: It is the ultimate unforgettable cigar experience. Its all about tobacco, cigars, great food and camraderie. Its all inclusive. You tour the factories, farms and joya de nicaragua also. We doing a blending session. We cover from seed to smoke, the entire process you will learn about and have a new appreciation for Drew Estate cigars and Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is becoming a popular tourist destination. I am happy people are excited about coming here. It wasn’t always this way. Before 1990 there was civil war.
There are now 35 cigar factories in Esteli, Nicaragua. There used to be only 2-3. Every factory operates a little differently. You will smoke tons of great cigars on the trip!
You guys are a True interesting catch!
Lane: Pedro Thank you so much for joining us today on Cigar Cafe Radio!
contact Pedro Gomez on twitter @pedrogomezdrewestate or on Facebook
drewestate.com for more info on their cigars