CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Cigar smoking is off to a full-bodied start with Steve Saka’s new blend, Sobremesa, AVO Syncro, the first Nicaraguan cigar in the AVO line, and Cork and Carry’s amazing Beer Garden. Thinking of going on vacation to Orange Beach, Alabama for the first time? Make plans to wake up early and get ready to smoke one with your coffee, and then another after dinner. Just don’t forget to buy a few extra Powerball tickets. It could be your lucky day.

Listen to the podcast here:

Steve Saka’s Sobremesa, AVO Synchro, FDA, And The Powerball

We’re back after a couple of weeks break. I wanted to take a quick second to say congrats to Harris on the new daughter.

Thank you.

We’re hanging out here. We got Sean conferenced in and we’ve got a couple cigars lit up here Cigars & More. We’re ready to get started. What’s up?

Congrats. You’re third?

Yeah, number three.

Did you go and get the bone cracked.

Not yet. Need to.

He’s like, “I do need to do that.” That’s top of the list.

I did not sleep much last night.

That is one thing I will tell everybody. I was not one of those born fathers that like, “It was wonderful not sleeping last night.” No, it sucked. It gets to be fun when they’re with my son. He was ten months old when he started interacting with us. He had 24 words by his first birthday. My daughter was shortly thereafter, but for me, it didn’t get fun until I can start to chat with them

It’s almost survival mode until that first birthday to me. It gets more fun after.

What have you been up to, Sean? I feel like we’ve hardly talked.

You don’t write, you don’t call. I feel like a jilted lover.

We had a shooting here in our little rural town like an hour northwest of here. There was a guy that shot a woman at one office and a man at another office. When I came home talking to my wife, she works for a criminal defense attorney, I said, “One person go into two different offices and killing a woman at one and a man of the other.” I’m going to go out on the limb here and say I know what the motive is.

Yeah, I’m sure. I’ve seen the show, The Affair. I know how that works.

No one shot him with a concealed and carry? It’s Alabama.

That did happen. It was one of those incidents where a good guy with a gun and the local police were unable to stop the guy. He’s in custody.

I mean stop him permanently.

I don’t think there was a shootout or anything like that. They were able to get catch him alive. They released the names. I glanced at the news story. I don’t know the names.

There was a guy with a gun in Alabama who’s stopped another guy with a gun in Alabama.

It sounds like a pretty typical day.

We’re all tied.

What are you guys having now?

I ran into Steve Saka. He was passing through Birmingham, the owner of Sobremesa. He has a new Sobremesa blend. He gave me a few to try. I’m smoking one. I’ve fired it up. It’s an Ecuador Habano Rosado Sungrown wrapper according to his website. It’s off to a great start. It has a nice white ash, nice dark oily wrapper with a gold band. It has a crown on the band. A really nice looking cigar.

Lane, are you smoking the same one?

I am not. I have one. Harris passed me one of those.

I have one for you too, Sean.

A Nica Puro Rosado, but I grabbed a cigar before the Sobremesa’s got passed out and that’s a tip of my hat in your direction. I know that you’ve mentioned that your dad smokes Fuente 58s. I have now a new Fuente cigar. It’s a pretty old Fuente Cigar but I have the 858 Sungrown. It comes in a little cedar sleeve. It’s got the black ribbon on the tip of it. It’s cedar and leather. Not especially complex, medium-bodied, but now it’s gotten started well and it’s definitely a little bit different flavor profile than some of the other 858s.

The 858 is a pretty good price point, too. That’s a $5 cigar.

It was more like $7 or $8. It wasn’t bad. The sungrown is slightly more because it’s a limited. The Maduro are a regular production and then the sungrown is an allocated occasional release. They charge a little more for that.

CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Sobremesa: The Maduro are a regular production and then the sungrown is an allocated occasional release. They charge a little more for that.

From what Gary was saying beforehand the sun grown is not one of those cigars you go out and find often. If you run into a shop that’s got them and you haven’t tried one before, go ahead and get them because you’re probably not going to see them again.

We get maybe five or six boxes a year.

The rep will call up and say, “Do you want two boxes?” Every time, we always say, “Yes, we’ll take as many as we can.”

Harrison and I are both smoking Ecuadorian sungrown wrappers now.

I took you up on one and I smoked an Avo Syncro. That was one of the finer cigars I’ve smoked in a while. I’ve been going through stuff that I don’t necessarily want to smoke and I’m like, “It’s there, so I’ll try it.” I fired that one up and that was a good one.

They did a great job with that. People have been excited to see the Nicaraguan.

The last two that I’ve smoked had been in the hillbilly hot tub.

How is that thing working out for you?

It’s working great. We switched off the water. It was warm enough for Super Bowl Sunday. We watched the third quarter out in the hillbilly hot tub. It was a good day.

You got to take a picture of yourself in the blowup hot tub.

There is a picture of me on Instagram and it has the hashtag #Actual Cigar Porn I am in hillbilly hot tub with a cigar.

It’s been difficult to smoke here. It is too cold. I’ve got a small space heater in the garage and I’ll crack the door up a little bit. I love smoking cigars, but I’m not going to subject myself to that.

It’s too rough for me.

It’s a shame you don’t have a good local cigar shop there that you could go and sit in their lounge in the weather and smoke.

Thank you for reminding me, Harris. That’s great. I think of that often and I’m glad you reminded me of that.

I wish that there was a bar around here. My buddy has a beer garden. He sections off maybe a quarter of it, puts up walls, heats it, and people go outside and smoke. It’s great. It’s about maybe 55 out there. Get your jacket on and go. It’s pretty awesome.

We have a patio here at the store that we’re about to revamp and Lane and I were talking about it. When you say beer garden, what does that look like? I’m curious because we’re trying to decide what to do out there and we may get a beer and wine license or something. It might be cool to make it a beer garden here.

Cork & Kerry Beer Garden is in the Top Ten Beer Gardens in Chicago. If you go to CorkAndKerry.com, you can see his beer garden. It has won awards and a friend of ours designed it. He’s an architect and engineer and if you take a look at theirs, it’s top shelf.

I’ll check it out. I had the Syncro and I haven’t been able to smoke, but I am going on vacation. It’s not only you, Lane, that can go on vacations.

You’re coming here for a vacation.

I’m going to Alabama. I’m going to Orange Beach.

You’ll pass drive us?

We’re staying at Phoenix V in Orange Beach.

I’ve stayed there before. I know exactly where you’re talking about.

I’ve stayed at Phoenix X right next to the Flora-Bama and the state line liquor store right there.

You mentioned the State Liquor Store before, what is that? Is that a state-sponsored liquor store? Do they have cigars there, too?

CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Sobremesa: Alabama, being what we are, still has a pretty significant syntax on liquor.

Alabama, being what we are, still has a pretty significant syntax on liquor. It is a big deal to be able to literally step across the state line and directly into a drive through liquor store.

They’re much cheaper in Florida. I’m going to Panama City with my wife. I bought cigars. I bought some for me, I bought some for her. We’re heading down with cigars because they’re cheaper here, but we’re going to buy our booze when we get to Florida.

Orange Beach is down the beach from Florida, Isn’t it? It’s not far at all.

Orange beach was at Perdido Key. It basically swamps at the State line.

There’s a bridge that connects the two. It’s right there.

This is one of those trips where we are going to sit on the sand. Even if it’s 70, it’s going to be okay. We’re not going there to do much of anything. I’m going to try to stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, either there or back. If we don’t stay there, I’m going to stay at one of the Opryland Hotels right outside of that so the kids can see it because it’s a spectacle. If you’ve never been there, it’s pretty awesome inside.

We go to see the Christmas lights from their Country Christmas. Sometimes we go to their ice exhibit and stuff like that. I proposed there. This year it will be seven years ago and so I’m one you might call pot committed to going back to the Opryland Hotel every year.

It’s still a marvel of engineering for me. I walk in and I’m like, “How do they do this?” There’s a plantation house inside a steakhouse inside of the place. There’s a little downtown inside of the building.

You can go to a restaurant and wander around. We took pictures every year. They revamped a lot of the decorations and stuff this year. They had s a music theme. They had big Christmas light displays with a Dobro with a Fender telecaster with Gibson 335. There was a lot of change this past year with their decorations. The restaurants are great. When was the last you were there?

It’s been eleven years.

You haven’t been there since they rebuilt after the flood. The Solario, that’s the Mexican joint there, they tend to have an early dinner buffet type thing, but the Old Hickory Steakhouse is really good. I know I talk about grilling out and I can keep up with a lot of steakhouses at home, but the Old Hickory Steakhouse is up there with Sheila’s.

I made a list. I’m going to smoke the shit out of cigars while I’m on the five days that were gone. I’ve made a vacation list that I’m wondering if you can tell me if you think it’s a good one. Should I fire away?

Definitely.

I’m looking at the Camacho Corojo. I never had one. A Jericho Hill, which you know I love. The T52 Padron Family Reserve, the Alec Bradley Sanctum, the Nat Sherman 652T, the Davidoff Year of the Monkey. Do you have those?

Yes.

I haven’t had that one.

We do have a few of those left.

Will you have no more?

They are sold out. It’s their once a year release that they do based on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. They do a different size each year and a different name. We have a few boxes left but I’ve heard they are sold out from Davidoff.

Can you do me a favor and just tap one off the side? I’m going to put it an order in the next week or so. I want a Gurkha 12 Year, one of Cellar Reserves, and I’m going to have a Perdomo Champagne Noir because I liked it. What do you think of that list for the vacation?

That Perdomo is a fairly inexpensive cigar, Sean. It’s now $5. It used to be about $6.

I think I’ve seen it for around $7.50.

It’s getting pretty close to my $5 threshold.

It was a wonderful smoke. It was everything that you said it was going to be, almost an everyday smoker for me. We don’t have video going on right now, do we?

No.

I just bought one for my wife for the beach trip this weekend.

What size is that?

It’s the Figurado.

I smoked one and it’s fun once it gets to the thick part. It really opens up. It’s a cool size.

Have you had that it off yet Davidoff yet, the Monkey?

I have not smoked that one yet. I smoke every other ones. They’ve done three or four in a row now in the last three or four years. I have not gotten around to that one yet. Every year, they have been great. They’ve done a fantastic medium to medium plus cigar.

I’m hearing it’s good. I’ve got try one of Matt Booth’s Room 101. I don’t know which one. The Johnny Tobacconaut is one that I’ve been looking at. I love the band on it. I know you’ve smoked, I think one.

I did smoke that one day on the show I think, the Tobacconaut. I liked it. It was strong. It’s definitely a full body. A really good complex flavor though. I liked it.

That’s Davidoff?

Yeah, and Room 101.

What are you hearing on the legislation front? Any word yet on what’s going to happen with cigars?

I had an interesting conversation with Steve Saka about that. He plugged in to all that. He had gotten back from Washington DC, having a lot of what he called back channel meetings trying to talk to different legislators about looking at the economic impact that some the FDA regulations could have and all that stuff. According to him, he said that there were two options. Option one is what was sent over to the OMB, Office of Management and Budget. Option one is the heavy-handed regulation. Basically, it’d be regulating cigars the same as any other tobacco products, which is what everybody has been scared of. Now OMB has the option to decide. If it is to have too big of an economic impact, they can kick it back to FDA and tell them to revise it.

That’s what he said everyone is pushing hard for now. He said that the Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran Governments have gotten involved now and have said that if that does go through, they will bring lawsuits against it because of the harm. It’s saying that it basically violates a lot of free trade like CAFTA and some other treaties that are in place that they planned to argue it’s violating those. He said also the IPCPR has been building its war chest for years, and that if option one is what they decide on, their plan is to tie it up in legal courts for as long as possible. That could go on for five to seven years. Basically, I think whatever happens, they feel like they’ll get a court to issue an injunction so it won’t take effect.

If that’s the case, would that effectively grandfather in the younger companies, because by the time it would take effect, they would conceivably be older than the six or seven year mark?

CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Sobremesa: Anything before 2009 would automatically go away and have to reapply through the FDA, which would be terrible.

If they adopted the option one in the complete format that they said initially, anything before 2009 would automatically go away and have to reapply through the FDA, which would be terrible. None of them would do it. It’d be too expensive. They’ll go out of business. That’s the one thing that they had been lobbying for, is to change that date, the grandfather date to whenever this is enacted or even get rid of that altogether. Nobody knows if that they’re going to leave that in or take that out, but that definitely would be bad because Steve Saka’s new company like he said, would be out of business overnight.

Even though he has been in the cigar industry for much longer.

Just purely because he started his new company a year and a half ago.

I’m glad that other governments are getting involved.

That could make a difference.

It supplements our own lobby.

They’re not held back by money or anything like that. They’ll fight it to the end. They could take that to the Supreme Court.

Did you see that Rahm Emanuel’s cigar tax? His balls got clipped pretty good.

I did see it.

No, I didn’t know that.

It was awesome. He was going to put a big tax on premium cigars and the City Council, it’s negative, which I’m thrilled.

I don’t know exactly who was involved in getting that taken out, but IPCPR and other groups have done a good job of showing the economic impact that you raise the tax, all you’re doing is driving business to other states or onto the internet. You’re not going to collect any more money.

It’s not like you’re talking about shops that are employing the same staff that are going to work at RadioShack. You’re talking about people who have developed a skill set as part of their career.

The over-arching theme of the Democratic State of Illinois, they don’t understand that we have the largest population defection in the 50 States. There are more people leaving in Illinois than in any other state and yet they continue to think that taxing the shit out of us is going to increase revenue. It’s not. It just won’t. If they put a tax on premium cigars, no one’s going to buy premium cigars there.

It would be different if you could buy them on the internet, then maybe they would, but except they can’t.

Even a guy that lives in Lake Point Towers or 900 North Michigan will travel fifteen minutes to Evanston to go buy a cigar. It’s right on Lake Shore Drive. Why not? Who cares?

That’s like many Alabama, their lottery, their opposition to the lottery. The House just passed a bill here that’s going to basically put a lottery to a vote in Alabama again. They’re going to make it through the Senate first, but it should be on the ballot come November.

I don’t think it’ll pass. It’ll be closed.

Give me some back story of that.

Every time they put this up for a vote in Alabama, what ends up happening is that all of the fundamentalist denominations, go tell all their parishioners that they can’t vote for something simple like a lottery, and you’ve got politicians talking about how it’s taxed. poor people, meanwhile, what happens every time the Powerball shoots up to $800 million is everybody goes and drops lottery money in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida. It’s like, “It would be fantastic if Alabama, like Georgia, had state-sponsored college through their lottery program,” but we don’t because people go to Georgia to buy their lottery tickets.

I know that there are people that spend their $150 on welfare, for lottery. Can you tell them where to spend it?

The evils of gambling.

That’s the heavy-handed government that I don’t get. I don’t care. You can’t do that and like you said, they’re just going to go somewhere else. It’s like states that have state-sponsored liquor stores.

When the Powerball went up over a billion dollars, I can probably count on my fingers and toes the number of Facebook friends that I have who did not go to another state to purchase a lottery ticket.

That’s a big thing. I heard a lot of people at the cigar shops were going.

Do you sell them at your shop?

No, we can’t.

You can’t in Alabama. They were driving over to Georgia to the state line. There are these gas stations right at the Stateline that when the Powerball is up that high, they have lines a hundred people out the door in Georgia.

I spent $10 on a dream. That’s okay. I’m not a glutton. I’m not going to spend $100. Most of the people that win on Quick Picks and they spend $10, $20.

I loved hearing all the regulars sitting around the cigar shop. Everybody had a plan. They’re like, “If I win, this is what I’m going to do.” It was like a week solid that’s all anybody talks about.

CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Sobremesa: As an engineer, I can both admit that it is practically zero and none zero at the same time.

I posted something on Facebook about that when the jackpot got up real high. There was some new story locally where somebody, “Nobody really has a chance of winning anyway,” and one of the other anchors said something along the lines of, “You don’t have a chance if you don’t play.” I posted a link to the story and said, “This is just in. An English major now believes that .000000032 is not zero.” I had a lawyer friend who did English as her undergrad, that said, “Lane, half the fun is the imagination.” I said, “I’m an engineer. I don’t have an imagination.” As an engineer, I can both admit that it is practically zero and none zero at the same time.

I had my own plan. I’d love to charter a plane to The Forum Shops in Vegas and blow about $250,000 on everything that I wanted. I go right to Turn-O and say, “Get me a stainless-steel case because I’m walking out of here with a lot of shit.” $250,000 is not near enough for me. I would go absolutely ape shit crazy there. That’s one of those stores where I have a hard time even going in it. It’s difficult for me to go in the store because it’s so much for me and I know I can’t buy almost nothing in there. It’s like everyone that’s looking at six watches, I want to punch him right in the face.

I don’t have four.

I have a couple nice ones, but I see some 35-year-old guy that won a progressive lottery. He’s got four Panerai’s out a paddock and I’m like, “You suck. Get out of here.” Anyway, do they have a Davidoff store in Vegas? Do they have a flagship store there?

I don’t think they have a flagship store, but they do have some smaller stores that are full line Davidoff stores. There’s one or two in the Venetian.

They should have got Tinderbox there. They’re a full line Davidoff shop, aren’t they?

There’s quite a few of the Davidoff mini stores inside the casinos. There’ll be all over the place around the bigger casinos.

I am trying very desperately to join you when you go to IPCCPR. What do you have to do get into that event?

Part of the trick you would have to be an employee of a cigar retailer.

Pay me $5. I’m an employee.

The way it works is when our IPCCPR membership, they’d give us three badges. They expanded to three. It used to be two. Then I could buy additional ones. They were $150 or something for the week. That’s it really. The other option would be we could probably go in as The Cigar Café Press badges. It’s probably more expensive that way and probably better to do it as a store.

It’s a self-policing thing. The retailers are there to check for the other retailers to make sure nobody’s abusing the privilege.

They’ve cracked down. When we first started going, they will give you four badges and most people would use one or two of them and then they would take one or two of their best customers. It’s like a big deal. People wanted to go. Then a few years ago, they decided to crack down on that big time and now they really frown on consumers being there. They’re trying to make it retail only. You’ll see a lot of other blog or radio shows like this. The Cigar Authority, these guys are there. There’s a bunch of guys going around and interviewing people and doing things and you got at least five or six groups like that.

What is the date of the show?

July 24th through 28th.

That is the week before football starts.

It’s Sunday through Thursday. I went ahead and put in my PTO request of work for it. I’ve gotten off the whole work week.

I always love a good deal, a bargain. You can always stay at the Venetian or the Palazzo and those are fantastic and those are great. Also, a lot of people end up staying at Treasure Island across the street, which is okay. It’s not as fancy or nice but still nice. They have incredible room rates. It’s like $75 a night and I always like, “I can’t turn this down. It’s such a good deal and it’s a nice room.”

My wife was looking at the Venetian and she said, “These are less expensive than the Opryland Hotel.”

They are. It’s so nice. The Palazzo, I’ve stayed there. It was fantastic, too, but I want a deal.

Especially because it’s close.

My wife won’t go because of little kids and stuff, but if it’s just me going or me and my father going, we don’t care as much where we stay. We’ll say Treasure Island and my wife would want to stay at The Venetian or something. I’ve stayed at Caesar’s the last couple times I’ve been there.

Even if you could only come for a day or two, it would be worth it.

I was going to say that Sunday or Monday would be cool because we usually take the kids down south. My wife’s mom has a place in South Central Illinois on a lake called Lake Shelbyville and there’s a parade and it’s a small town. The kids love going and that’s usually the weekend right before football starts. If it’s through the 28th, we’ll start football that Monday after. It’s a big year. Quinn is starting to train right now. He’s 5’4” or five three and three-quarters and our goal is to get him up to a 120 pounds. He’s going to be going into seventh grade. That’s a good size. Our weight limits 126. He’ll be right there.

Harris, can you tell us a little bit? I’ve never been and Sean hasn’t either. Once we’re there, what I have read and what I understand is the cigar makers really take care of the retailers and stuff as far as making sure that people get fed and that their activities and things to do cigars, stuff like that.

They do a good job of pretty much every night. There are different events going on with different companies. Normally though there’ll be some bigger events. It’s really different every year. They don’t do quite as many really big events, but they have different parties or receptions or sometimes the cigar companies might take a group of people to eat at different places or steak houses. There’s definitely a lot going on.

I had the most expensive dinner I’ve ever bought in my life at Smith & Wollensky in Vegas. This was back in the business days. I took everybody out. My wife’s 30th birthday, we went to Vegas, and I took the people that went with us out and it was $1,100 for dinner.

For how many people?

There were six of us.

That’s pretty stellar. That’s right on pace with probably the most expensive dinner that Jen and I have ever had. We went to Fleming’s one night. We were up Hilton, Paris’ shop really. We went into the restaurant, her boss had given her a $300 gift card and we thought we could probably get close to that. After tip and everything, it was $390 for the two of us.

I was big balling. We brought bottles of wine out. My brother-in-law and I polished off a bottle of Grey Goose by ourselves there. You know what a bottle of Grey Goose is at Smith & Wollensky’s?

It’s not what you’re giving at the ABC store.

No, we did have a good time though.

CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Sobremesa: Most of the events are in the conference center that’s attached to the Venetian or in the Venetian or whatever. You could walk to everything. Everything is walking distance.

I’d say it’s a lot of fun when the IPCPR is in Vegas, too. What I love about it is everything is contained. Most of the events are in the conference center that’s attached to the Venetian or in the Venetian or whatever. You could walk to everything. Everything is walking distance. When they have it in New Orleans, you’re having to take a cab over here, they’re spread out and it’s not the same because everybody goes and does their things, goes to dinners or events. Then they all come and hang out at this place called the Circle Bar that’s in the Venetian. It’s this huge circular bar. It’s great because everybody does their thing and then they of all meet up there. You’re going to run into everybody there and it makes it a lot of fun.

I hope I can do it. I’m going to try to do it. We’re taking the family vacation at the end of March. It’s something I may be able to pull off.

It’s neat to see basically the entire cigar industry in one spot.

I would imagine that seeing little guys, too, there is cool. They’re probably they’re jacked up to try to get their brand out. Do they hand out cigar samples while you’re there? Is that how they work?

Basically, you have all your booths and you’re going around talking to your big guys and little guys and a lot of new guys. That’s the time when some new companies always pop up. That’s part of it. They want people trying as many of their cigars as possible. You definitely end up with tons of cigars and smoke and you could smoke on the show floor so you’re lighting them up there and they really want you to.

It’s a second window that I’ve had to bring it up as far as the boutique guys going and everything, Clint Aaron at 262 Cigars is doing a search for their 2017 blend. I talked to him on Facebook. I’ve met Kyle in here and I talked to them about being on the show to talk about their search for their 2017 blend. The first round of samples is about to go out. I saw him boxing them up in postal boxes and stuff on the internet. That’d be something fun for us to do, but he’d be a cool guest to get on. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody flat out go to the internet for blending advice.

He’d be a great guest. He loves talking blends.

I know you know him and Kyle.

I’m sure they would come on the show. They said to email him and let him know what we had in mind. I figured since you drive the calendar, I’d let you talk to him.

I’ll reach out to those guys.

Have you heard about any blends in the works? Is there ever a buzz before the IPCCPR on things that are going to be released? Have you heard anything like that?

The last couple of years, a lot of companies have tried to release some of their blends before the IPCCPR because you can get lost if you release it there. There are so many new things. The month before we will start seeing some new things, at least be announced if not even start shipping.

It will be available at the show after they generate some buzz about it.

They might start taking orders and then shipped later on.

The one like the shade sungrown. There was a big difference between the Shade Sungrowns that you got from the show last year and the Shades Sungrowns that Sean got on the box, the first round out.

CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Sobremesa: It’s amazing how for a lot of cars out there that if you put them in your humidor for a couple of months at least, it does make a difference.

That’s always something you worry about a little bit is sometimes samples that they get ready for the IPCCPR are almost like prototypes. They may not have actually produced the cigars yet because they want to see how much interest they’re going to get and figure out how much to make. It’s always a risk that something can be great there and then not as good or better. You never know.

The Shade is one of my go-to’s. I always have one sitting in the humidor. Definitely that was one of those, you say you have to smoke them three times and that’s one of those ones that the second one was much better than the first. Then the third one, I was like, “Now, I know what I’m getting and I really like it.” That’s a great cigar and that’s one that if they didn’t get it right on their first batch, they definitely got it right on their second batch.

Speaking of cigars that age well and improve over time, I bought that box of Edgar Hoill One Shot One Kill, and I smoked another one of those last week, so it had been a couple months or something like that in the humidor. It had this nice earthy sweetness that came out. There were flavor notes in there that I don’t think I’ve noticed smoking them at the event. It was a really pleasant medium-bodied, easy to smoke cigar after a couple months sitting in the humidor. It gets better.

It’s amazing how for a lot of cars out there that if you put them in your humidor for a couple of months at least, it does make a difference.

Buying a box was almost the only way that that’s going to happen for me because I’m one of those guys that’s like, “I’ve got a cigar. I’m going to having to set it on fire and smoke it.

That was a cigar that I tried that and I told you guys this, “It had a really long finish. It stayed with me for a day or so and I don’t really dig that. It was hot.”

You don’t want to taste it the next day.

I don’t. It was okay, but that was one that I would have probably benefited from because I smoked it right when I got. You sent it to me and I smoked it two days later. That probably needed to get a little age on it.

I have a cleansing process after cigar smoking.

Then bring it on.

After I smoked a cigar, I’m going to go back to work. If I were home and smoking one and my wife had to be near me afterwards, I’d go inside. I’ve got some ACT Fluoride Rinse or something like that that I swish and gargle with then I get in the shower. I have two loofahs. I have one that I use after I grill out and smoke cigars. It’s probably rancid, but I get an initial clean on me and then I lather up again full launch. I shampoo twice and I bathed twice basically. Then I get out of the shower and I gargle again and then I’m okay to be around again.

You’ve got quite a process. First of all, you said loofa on the show. You did and then you said you had two. One for one application, one for another, which I’m starting to wonder a little bit. I too am a loofa user.

You wouldn’t publicize it.

I use nothing but shower gel. There is no other way. Putting it on a washcloth is ridiculous.

My wife and her grandmother get me Bath & Body Works Men’s body gel.

If I’m at Costco or something like that, I’ll buy the double size.

It’s like, “My goodness. It’s a semi-annual fill.”

I have to get this. It’s such a good deal.

This may sound weird, but after I smoked a cigar and it’s done, I’ll drink a glass of orange juice. It’s a good palate cleanser for me and then I brush my teeth and that tends to make it not stick with me.

You think that acidic acidity from the orange juice may dislodge the taste.

It seems to help.

You said that you’d brushed your teeth after orange juice.

Before would be worse.

That’s true. Brushing your teeth and then drinking the orange juice would be worse.

That’s like eating tinfoil.

I don’t do it right after.

I’m just playing with you.

LinkedIn has been bugging me and people had been telling me, “Happy anniversary,” and I’m thinking, “What? My anniversary at work is in March. Why are people telling me in February?” They’re not telling you happy anniversary for my day job at the bank, they’re telling me happy anniversary because we’ve been doing the cigar show for a year. That’s been popping up on my LinkedIn feed for the last week. We’ve made it through a year of this.

That’s pretty awesome.

Even with all of my vacation.

I have two questions for you. Number one, what did you think of the Super Bowl?

I thought the Panthers had a disappointing game. A lot of mistakes, a lot of turnovers.

Both defenses played pretty well for the entire 60 minutes and that the Broncos were able to overcome the Carolina defense a little bit better.

I feel like the Panthers still should’ve won even with all their mistakes. They still were close.

Puppy, baby, monkey.

That was probably my favorite commercial. It was so sick.

It’s like, “What am I watching?”

I was disturbed the whole time and I couldn’t figure out why other than the obvious reasons, but it was all sorts of good wrongness.

Then it licked the guy’s face and I was like, “That’s uncomfortable now.”

You really thought the Panthers should have won? The Broncos beat the shit out of them on defense.

I don’t think necessarily should have won by any means. There were hard turnovers on both of them and the Broncos won the game.

I’ve seen them play a couple times, but their deacon move, that is one of those teams that has an identity on defense and they got people in through free agency to execute their defense. I appreciate that because most teams are built through the draft and that Broncos team is one of those teams that they said, “Okay.” This is how we want to run our D and these are the people that we have to get in order to execute.

That was because of John Elway.

He put the pieces in place.

My wife cheer for the Broncos the entire game and I was casually cheering for the Panthers. I’ve gotten into the Cam Newton personality over this season and everything and forgiven him for being an Auburn fan, certainly more than I will ever forgive Peyton Manning for being a Tennessee QB. She went to high school with Evan Mathis who’s on the whole line for the Broncos. Not only did she go to middle school and high school with him, but they were in Alabama at the same time together. She grew up with this guy. She was in school with him for twelve or thirteen years and so someone that my wife knows has now won a Super Bowl Ring.

What did you think about Cam’s press conference?

It didn’t bother me at all.

The press is hustling him and he said, “Not today.”

I loved his response to it, too. He goes, “I’m a sore loser. I want to win in everything that I do. Show me someone who likes to lose and I’ll show you a loser.” He said it. I agree. I didn’t understand what the big hubbub was about it.

CCP 34 | Sobremesa

Sobremesa: Show me someone who likes to lose and I’ll show you a loser.

He was very gracious with Peyton Manning. That’s just the game. He showed all the sportsmanship to all the right people and he was hassled by the press at the wrong moment and he said, “It’s not my job to put up with your horseshit.”

He’s such a passionate guy. He didn’t want to even talk to anybody.

I am not one to throw the racial card out because I love the way he plays. I don’t care about his dabbing and stuff like that. I really don’t. It doesn’t bother me. The backlash from the press conference was real weird to me. It felt a little wrong.

One of my friends made a poignant point that football season must be over because Facebook is surrounded by something a 26-year-old did or didn’t say after the Super Bowl and that’s the biggest thing that social media has to talk about now. Let’s not pretend that I am not happy that social media is not talking about the worst decisions that I made when I was 26-years-old.

Here’s the thing, I stopped making bad decisions at about 26, but I’m going to tell you something. If you back it up two years and make it 24, I’m not running for president. I can tell you that right now. The FBI background checks are going to pull up some really stupid stuff.

I have a friend who has decided he wants to run for political office in the city where he lives and he still lives in the city where he and I both went to college. I gave him my unsolicited advice that perhaps you might want to rethink it. He is not a show listener so I can get a little bit into this, but I said, “What do you think is going to happen when some ex girlfriend sees your political advertisement and says, “I remember that motherfucker.” It’s like, “Does your wife know about your college shenanigans, because if she doesn’t, I’m not saying that you won’t be electable, but you might not be married anymore.”

Luckily, most of my girlfriends that I’ve had through my life still talk to me. They’re local and it’s fine, but I’m not going to say that I was saint. That’s why I never would run because I don’t feel like getting pulled through the mud.

There is some moist dirt out there somewhere and it’s going to happen.

Sure, there is. There have been some questionable drinking escapades and those things, too. The other question I have for you is, is anyone going to go see Batman vs Superman? I am jacked and fucked up for that.

That was a great idea for them to hit these guys. They’re like the two best together.

It looks great. I’m so excited to see it. Is it this weekend?

It’s in March, isn’t it?

It was funny. I said to my wife, because we’re going to go out on Saturday night. I said, “Babe, do you want to go see Batman vs Superman this weekend?” She looked at me and she goes, “No.”

Did you her Ben Affleck’s in it?

She goes, “I don’t like Ben Affleck anymore.” I’m like, “Oh my God.” I tried though. I tried to offer it up real sweet. She was not biting at it at all.

My wife believes that any movie that she doesn’t understand, be it fantasy or comic book heroes or anything she refers to it globally as Sci-fi, “I don’t want to watch the Hobbit, it’s Sci-fi. I don’t want to watch the Game of Thrones, it’s Sci-fi.”

I had to prod Kathy to watch The Martian, which both of us enjoyed.

From what I’ve been told is as good as the movie was, the book is better.

I heard that, too, but I had to sell it by saying, “Kath, it’s not really Sci-fi. This is pretty close to our technology that we have right now. We could probably do this right now.”

Except for growing potatoes on Mars.

It’s believable. He brought his own shit out there.

He was a botanist and Mars grew to fear his botany skills.

That was the thing that pushed her over the edge me convincing her that it wasn’t really sci-fi.

Me growing up in Huntsville, the space program is built into me.

I wanted to ask you those two questions. I hope it was fun for you because I’m looking forward to some more cigars. It’s supposed to be in the 40s late next week, but in the low 20s for the next five days. It’s killing me.

It’s supposed to be 67 degrees at the beach. It’s supposed to be 57 for the rest of the weekend.

Before we go, what weather can I expect? Is there a possibility it could be 75 there at the end of March?

I imagine you’ll see 70’s easily. If the cold front comes through, you may see overcast skies and storms for a minute and you may have one cold day.

It’s a good time to go.

Do I have to worry about sharks?

They have the flags out if the sharks are out.

Practically, no. Get up the sandbar.

It’s pretty rare. It’s the ocean. There are sharks, but I haven’t been eaten by one and you know how often I go to the Gulf Coast.

I do know that and you would be served up as a tasty dish.

I’m well-marbled.

It’s always a pleasure. Thanks for being on.

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