It’s a new year and that means we’ve got a lot more to get through in the realm of smoking and drinking! Yes, the FDA’s bullshit ruling on new cigars will make it very difficult for innovation in flavor but there are plenty of cigars on the market that we will be trying, many of whom slipped in just before the FDA deadline.
As to drinking? What would you like to see in the new year? Seeing as how I’m in bourbon country, that may be the way I take this for a little while.
Also, there’s a class I’m in the process of developing that’s aimed at writers on drinking, sex, and booze. I’ll probably throw in my two cents about cigars too LOL!
The folks at Highland Cigar Company are still doing tastings on Tuesdays so you’ll get more updates from me on those. Those blog posts will probably be shorter though, due to the amount of notes I can take on a one-ounce pour of any given spirit.
I know I want more wine in my life, and I want more wine education, seeing as how I’ve forgotten much of what I used to know on viticulture and being an oenophile. Maybe I’ll pick random regions from France of Spain and find wines to suit and taste. We will see. All I know is that 2017 promises to be even better for the White Wolf Indulgence lifestyle.
Join us Thanksgiving week for a special edition of our weekly Stogies and Spirits Flight Night featuring Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare and Blanton’s with AVO Classic cigar pairing specials! We’ll also be serving from a special limited Thanksgiving dinner menu made complete with our festive holiday mule cocktail. All this and more, this Tuesday, November 22nd from 6 PM until 10 PM. We hope to see you there!
Since 2011, MATASA has been consistent with putting out the new seasonal edition of Quesada’s Oktoberfest cigar – and this year’s release was quite special.
The 6X60 sized Dominican puro I purchased at Highland Cigar Company here in Atlanta, the cigar paired with several of the local dark beers on tap or in bottle format. The cigar itself had been repackaged and new sizes had been introduced from previous years.
The cigar has considerable heft in the fingers and a chocolate wrapper with a few veins. The pre-light draw has dark fruit flavors like plums and stone fruit.
A glorious amount of smoke comes from the foot upon lighting and the flavors are complex. The first third starts off with mulled wine flavors that pick up white pepper along the way. It has a soft muted flavor to it that is definitely reminiscent of good craft beer. Dark beer.
The cigar turns woodsy then with solid pepper but finishes with a modest subtleness I really enjoyed.
I understand that MATASA made a limited release humidor to commemorate this release also.
If you missed the first half, shame on you! But, you can find it here.
We’re continuing with our humble guest, Patrick LeFils of Common Roots Cigars.
6. I see you’re now selling cigars through one of the larger distributors. How did that deal work out and has it impacted production? How many cigars do you produce annually?
We have always sold through Cigar International from the start. It is with them, that Common Roots star
ted. We are forever grateful. It allowed us to develop our new lines directed to brick and mortar stores. As for the amount of cigars we make I prefer not to answer that. However, I will say we have doubled production from when we started a little over a year ago.
7. What got you into smoking cigars?
A gentleman and a good friend, John Peters. He is the owner of the Tinderbox in Daytona Beach, FL. He came to a Chef’s Association meeting 13 years ago and introduced me to my first premium cigar. My first premium cigar was a Fuente 8-5-8. I am still a customer of John Peters and our friendship still grows every year.
8. Do you do anything different in the production of your cigars that sets you apart from other makers? (this is not designed to denigrate anyone, but to show how you are excellent)
The most important thing we do is purchase the best tobacco. The tobacco to me is the most important part. We use some of the best tobacco grown. With that the blending process is easy. I relate the blending process to the 5 mother sauces in the culinary world. There are some standards, but once you know the standards you can make variations using those standards.
9. Who are Common Roots smokers?
Our Common Roots family is a diverse group. It is in this diversity that we celebrate the ideas and concepts that our family members bring forward. With this we find our strength and common interests. We get this by enjoying cigars and fellowship.
10. Outside of the Common Roots blend, would you care to give a shout out to cigar makers and blends that you enjoy?
There are many cigars I enjoy outside of my own. Guille Pena, Carlos Sanchez, Karen Berger and Arby Sosa all make fine cigars that I smoke on a regular basis.
Back in 2015 I had the chance to connect with Patrick LeFils on Facebook to talk about his new blend, Common Roots. The original release was a mild to medium, all day vitola that could be enjoyed on a regular basis. The construction was superb as was the taste profile. I’ll have to get some more (need pictures) and put up a review, but for now, fast forward a year later.
We sat down and talked briefly about Common Roots, the future of the cigar industry and a few things. Mr. LeFils is a humble, open man, like many of the cigar makers I’ve met over the years, and is a credit to the industry.
1. First I’d like to know about the Common Roots brand, what was your purpose in creating this cigar?
The Common Roots brand was created from the roots up. As a chef and rancher i wanted to develop a cigar line that could meet a diverse audience, focusing on the working class. We wanted to meet the quality, price and craftsmanship
that is ask of us from our diverse family.
2. When I first smoked the original release of Common Roots, I found them to be a wonderful, all day cigar. Do you make a stronger cigar?
We have several new cigars that meet those who prefer the full-bodied experience. Our much anticipated Gold Label is a oscuro wrapped cigar is a prime example of a full-bodied cigar. Here at Common Roots however, we don’t associate the full-bodied experience with bitterness. Our Gold Label, although full-bodied will be smooth and rich.
3. What inspired you to become a cigar maker?
I have been involved in the industry for some time at different capacities. As a chef and rancher I always have enjoyed working with my hands. Also as a chef i enjoy creating different flavors and textures. With these two passions combined the cigar industry was a natural fit. I myself have built boxes, blended and am now learning to roll. It is very important to me to be able to participate directly with every part of our Common Roots process.
4. What have you thought of all the changes in the cigar industry? How has that impacted your business?
Well as any cigar manufacturer, I am not pleased with what o
ur government is doing to our way of life. It is something that will affect all who are involved with the cigar industry. It saddens my heart as someone who had limited means to start in this industry, that those who follow will find it almost impossible. As someone who pushed together every red cent to create a cigar and continually producing that cigar, it will now be extremely difficult to move ahead as the government takes more money out of my pocket. I am very hard headed however, so we will continue to push forward.
5. You’ve gotten a lot of well deserved good press quickly, how has that made you feel?
I always try to be myself in this industry. It is hard as a company to admit failures and shortcomings. Our company is an open book. It reflected in the family members who we meet in smoke shops, around town and on social media. Without our family members, such as yourself, it would be difficult to meet our failures and enjoy our small victories. There is a song by Tim McGraw entitled “Humble and Kind”. A good portion of that song is an anthem here at Common Roots Cigars.
Stay tuned for part two of the Common Roots Interview coming in a few days!
That’s how George Rodrigo, head Amigo at Rodrigo cigars greets his customers. And I’ve gotta say, I’m glad to be an amigo here.
The prelight draw coated my mouth with chocolate raisin flavored air. I suspected this new blend was going to be interesting. So far, only a few cigars have I had, gave raisin notes – more likely were dark fruits.
The initial draw is good. Cigar is a little harder than I expected but presentation has no major veins or flaws. Sweet but pronounced wood flavors start the palate off along with almost milk chocolate?
The construction is solid with a mostly even burn. The line had to be corrected once but after that, it burned well. The first third showed strong white pepper but that dissipated as the cigar burned down to the second third.
The final third, that’s where that red chili pepper taste emerged, a smokiness that was not boring.