Join us each week for indepth discussion of premium cigars - news, reviews, and legislative updates from around the industry. Frequent guests include cigar media, manufacturers and brand representatives. The Half Ashed Cigar Podcast publishes weekly, and typically records on Friday nights 9:30pm EST at halfashed.com
Episode 199: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure 2
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure 2
A cuban classic. Thought of to be a “beginner” Cuban cigar by some, I always smoked them and wondered how amazing the other cigars were if this was for a beginner.
Only a few news items in this shortened show…..
IPCPR (PCA) has retracted the idea of having CigarCon, an open-to-consumers event for 2020. They’re going to punt and regroup with an eye toward putting it into 2021.
The Tatuaje Unlucky 26 (not 13) has been announced for this year’s Chuck & Tiff release.
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
H.Upmann AJ Fernandez
Tatuaje Petite Tatuaje Reserva
AJF – Diesel Rage
Episode 198: El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme
Note: After no shortage of technological fiascos and forays into new territory, we’re about to get all caught up. The next few episodes to publish are very late, but finally are arriving…and we’re working out the broadcast troubles we’ve experienced the past couple months to hopefully be back to regularly scheduled programming very soon! Here’s the quick and dirty for Episode 197
El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme
Craig: FFS, it’s a cigar….
Quick & Dirty Show Summary
Facebook (and, by extension, Instagram) goes after alcohol and tobacco sales and giveaways on the platforms – between private individuals. There are exceptions, such as genuine brick and mortar shops, etc. But, no more trading between consumers. What’sit mean? What’s it matter?
Son of a Mother. Cigars International will be soon opening a 9500 ft^2 retail operation in Wesley Chapel, FL….very near my old stomping grounds. Large humidor, bar, indoor/outdoor smoking areas….even a conference room. This could have been my office.
Nicaragua’s cigar festival – Puro Sabor – will return in 2020. Registration is open, and comes in at $1600 per ticket plus airfare. Here’s a link to the website.
The allegations against Jose Dominguez have taken a step with his arrest in Santiago by the DNCD by request from the US. If he goes to trial and is found guilty, he faces up to 5 years in federal prison and a hefty monetary penalty. He’s accused of defrauding the US of $1.8million in SCHIP taxes.
A number of the on-again/off-again Dunhill blends will be coming back around under the Peterson brand. This appeared like an internet rumor, but has been confirmed by Lane Ltd. personnel. The blends are claimed to be the same as they have been produced in recent years (as with all longstanding blends, there’s a long and storied past, with many blenders and blend changes; hence the ‘recent years’ comment).
Episode 197: Pipe Night 4
Pipe Night Part 4
After no shortage of technological fiascos and forays into new territory, we’re about to get all caught up. The next few episodes to publish are very late, but finally are arriving…and we’re working out the broadcast troubles we’ve experienced the past couple months to hopefully be back to regularly scheduled programming very soon! Here’s the quick and dirty for Episode 197:
What We’re Smoking
Kip – MacBaren Burley London Blend – comprised of Burley (& some tiny amount of Virginia) tobaccos, with something hinted at anecdotally as a cocoa/chocolate topping (although this is far, far in the background if it’s even real at all). This was a frequent blend that I used to reach for, although I hadn’t in years – and was recently saddened to learn it was discontinued just before I moved out of the country. I pulled a jar upon arrival here in FL yesterday. I haven’t put fire to it yet, but honestly I don’t notice a great deal of difference in the aroma from what I remember. Before even smoking it, I will reminisce about this blend. It was my first love in burley, of which admittedly I’m not the most dedicated fan. It was always a “workhorse” blend for me – nothing fancy; just straightforward, lightly sweetened and nutty. I was happy to focus on it simply sitting in the dark on the patio, or mindlessly enjoying a bowl while tying trout flies. It was always positively plain – which is a compliment in this instance. There’s nothing boldly polarizing about it, yet much to enjoy in it. I’m sad it’s gone, but happy I have a good bit stored up….but I also hear good things about MacB’s Golden Extra as a replacement.
Craig – Dunhill Early Morning Pipe – A sweeter aroma on this tobacco will make anyone remember that quintessential pipe tobacco smell from days gone by. Its classified as an English blend but I smell more of a Virginia core than what I’d typically associate with an oriental laden old school English. Properly dry after only a short while of being rubbed. Truly an “everyday” type of tobacco that seems very far from fussy. We shall see how it smokes.
Episode 196: Hirochi Robaina
Hirochi Robaina mixed bag
Kip – I’m smoking the HR Claro, which features an Ecuadoran Habano Claro wrapper. This particular example was given to me at the 2016 IPCPR, and is the ‘109’ vitola at 7.25” x 50….although I see in looking around the internet it lists in many places today at 7.5”. In any event, I had actually not made a stop at the HR/White Hat(now La Familia Robaina) table during the show and happened to all but accidentally find myself there at the end of the show. The folks were cheerful offered me a seat and a cigar. This one has been waiting ever since for tonight, although I’ve smoked a fair number of HRs in the meantime. The cellophane on this cigar was sinfully dark for only 3 years’ time. It has a smooth, dry-feeling, lightly veined wrapper and a closed foot.
Other info: Also available in Robusto Gordo (5.5” x 56), Rothschild (5”x48), and Toro (6” x 52); pricing runs from about $9 to $12
Craig – HR Toro – 6” x 52 This is the original HR blend and is Nicaraguan innards wrapped in an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper.
The IPCPR is making some changes…and ruffled a few feathers in the process of (not really) announcing it….CA STORY HERE, and HALFWHEEL STORY HERE
It’s coming back! Pete Johnson posted up a couple of pics announcing the return of the Mexican Experiment, and introduction of the Mexican Experiment II….hooowwahhh!
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
Quesada 40th Robusto – Ehh…
Illusione ECCJ 20th – Oh good gravy. Sweet, complex, balanced, black tea to balance it all out and give it a wonderful herbaceousness
Petersen & Sorensen Scottish Blend from 2008. Nope.
Recent GLP Abingdon. Yeshh.
Rodriguez Cigars – a heretofore unknown brand for me….
Episode 195: Unbanded 039
NOTE: Image is a sample image only; not this week’s cigar…my apologies, but the original image was lost in the shuffle. Description: Roughly a 5”x44rg heavily box pressed cigar with a beautiful even colorado wrapper. Possibly even a half shade darker. Smooth veins and an even overall texture make this an absolutely gorgeous cigar with near perfect appearing construction. The prelight aroma is slightly tingly with a touch of a cheesy funk. Normally I’d raise my eyebrows to the smell but something about it works here. It’s more reminiscent of a typical cigar barnyard funk than anything off-putting.
The American from JC Newman launched today. They’ve been talking about this cigar for quite a while. It’s interesting in that they’re marketing it as the first *fully* American cigar – which means not just wrapper, binder & filler; even the boxes, packaging, cellophane, and molds were made in the USA. Manufacturing is at JC Newman’s El Reloj factory in Tampa as well. The wrapper actually comes from the Florida Sun Grown being grown in Clermont, FL at the Jeff Borysiewicz (Corona Cigars) farm, which was also the source of some Drew Estate projects (FSG, for example). The wrapper is a CT broadleaf, from CT. FInally, the filler is a mix that includes more CT tobacco, as well as some Mennonite-grown Pennsylvanian tobacco. It will come in four sizes at launch, and will be available on some limited basis through Corona Cigars.
I’m not sure JC Newman has the marketshare to sustain this type of product in today’s climate. It’s solely a small-batch cigar unless something drastic happens with the FDA. Is there enough of a patriotic clientele to grab ahold of what has become a politicized ideal? I’m not sure there is enough allegiance amongst for that market to pay 2-3 times the “normal” price just for the Americana cache.
No.1 (7 x 47, $19), No.2 (6 x 54, $18.50), No.3 (4 1/2 x 50, $16), No.4 (6 1/8 x 52 Torpedo, $21)
Black Label Trading, who previously ‘merged’ with Emilio and took over production and marketing for the company, has announced a revamp of the AF1 and AF2 marcas. The AF1 will have a Mexican wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler, while the AF2 will have an Ecuadoran wrapper over similar mix. Both lines will comes in Robusto (5”x50), Toro (6”x50), and Grand Toro (6”x58), but the AF2 will additionally be available in a 5.5”x42 Corona. The line will retail from $8.50 to $10 per cigar. Just on a side note, I (Kip) could wax poetic about the original blends from back in Gary Griffith’s days with the company. These two lines were some of the cigars that sent me headlong into my time of fascination with “boutique” cigars. I thought both were great; the AF2 was spectacular for my tastes. They were made by AJ Fernandez – hence the “AF” moniker. I have to wonder in light of the current owners’ production being elsewhere…and having changed up the blend….and packaging, why are they keeping the same name? The press release for these new ones say they’ve received “the Oveja Negra makeover in appearance and flavor”. Why not a new name?
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
Craig: Partagas 165 Big Ass MoFo vitola. It was big, beautiful and expensive. Too bad it wasn’t great
Kip: Cri-Ojo, by Rocky Patel – whut-whut?!? Perfect construction; Crazy smooth wrapper; Bright, at times minty, flavor; Very clean on the palate
Episode 194: Host’s Choice
Craig – 2015 Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema – I had been taking this cigar with me to Colorado for the past three summers and finally decided that I wasn’t going to wait around for the 4th failed attempt to smoke it in the mountains. An old deceased friend always said that he would mortgage his house for more “original” Davidoff Diadema’s. Just this week I got an email that they’re being sold again. In his honor and since I have none of those 14 year old cigars, I’d smoke the closest thing I had, this Nicaragua celebrating the same vitola name. It’s nutty and full of zing and is slightly overmatching my out-of-practice palate. I’m coming off of a spring cold and it has severely diminished my tasting ability. This cigar is one of the best things I’ve consumed in nearly a month; and I’m only an inch in…
Kip – 2008 Oliva Serie V Maduro revisited. I bought an unopened box of 10 of these from last year’s sale via Craig. I was such a *huge* fan of them originally and at every step of the way until I ran out, that I wanted to see how they’re doing 10+ years on. The 2008 was a 6.5”x52 beli that had a CT broadleaf wrapper over NIcaraguan binder/filler. Interestingly enough, CA reported a story on this line just this afternoon….In the way of preliminary notes, here are my thoughts. Tune in to the show to see how it ended!
Cold draw is quite a bit more ‘raisiny’ than I remember; aroma pretty barnyardish. First light does *not* say 10 years of age. It initially feels aggressive and bold through the nose. It doesn’t taste young per se; it is tempered by a leathery flavor that adds a dimension to what I remember in the past. It is just still more bold than I would expect, even having smoked one of this box already a month or so ago.
Federal proposal to ban online cigar sales, raise buying age to 21, etc.
Imperial is getting out…and there’s a lot up for sale if you’re interested
The FDA lost the one case we’d like to see them win….
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
Brebbia ‘Classic English’ #70
GLP Charing Cross….how do you say that again?
Very enjoyable show. A lot of good information and great banter between hosts. Also reviews of many vintage cigars not found anywhere else online.
Fun and Educational
This is a podcast which provides informal rare and everyday favorite cigar reviews. Humor, comradery and rat-holes sum up the rest. Wonderful.
A perfectly blended podcast just like a perfectly blended cigar.
It’s everything you want in a podcast: humor and cigar knowledge wrapped into one. I cannot think of another podcast that I listen to religiously. Keep up the great work, Kip and Craig!