Cigar Maker Interview: Part Two with Patrick LeFils of Common Roots

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.

feliz-2

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.

feliz-by-common-roots8. 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 ougl-ocscuror 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.

 

Connect with Patrick on Facebook.
Find out more at their website.

Cigar Maker Interview Part One: Patrick LeFils of Common Roots

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.

common-roots-gold-label-oscuro


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?

Cigars by Common Roots - something to unite all who share the same passion!
Cigars by Common Roots – something to unite all who share the same passion!

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

c-r-gold-label
Common Roots Gold Label

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!

Connect with Patrick on Facebook.
Find out more at their website.

 

Wine Review – Bonny Doon 2015 Pinot Meunier

As a gift to myself, I decided to join the D.E.W.N. club from Bonny Doon Vineyards.  As a member of the Distinctive, Esoteric Wine Network, I’m paying for shipments of four bottles quarterly.

img_3909This shipment arrived and last night’s meal was lamb burgers.  The recipe I used was a variation I have to rework a touch, too much spice and not enough savory, but the lamb flavor came through in spades so that’s good.

The newsletter goes on to talk about having planted Pinot Meunier and giving it a go after revisiting the idea and memories of tasting a wine from Domaine Chandon (who know a thing or two about wine) made of 100% Pinot Meunier.

Point is, the wine itself has the following statistics:

Bonny Doon 2015 Pinot Meunier
Bonny Doon 2015 Pinot Meunier

Varietal: 100% Pinot Meunier
Vineyard: Yont Mill
Appellation: Yontville
ABV: 14%

Now the juice.

A quick swirl in the glass gave me bright cherry flavors.  The taste itself was more or less like sour cherry, with some candied fruit on the palate.  Light tobacco and a hint of charred oak made me fairly happy.  The finish was medium, more light-medium than anything.

According to their newsletter, the wine is drinkable now, but could benefit from 6-8 years of ageing.

Maíson Rouge VSOP cognac 

I’ve been on a bourbon/scotch kick since restarting this blog but one of my earliest loves was cognac.  The pure taste of something from a specialized region of France speaks to a part of me that is, essentially snobbish.  maisin-rouge-cognac

Eh, I digress.  It’s cognac.  The trouble that spirit has gotten me into…

I saw a bottle for about $21 and change at the local package store near me  (Hal’s Beer and Wine) and thought I’d give it a try.  It was, after all, a VSOP.  Usually those go for a lot more if you want one of the top houses like Hennessey or Remy Martin

This cognac starts off with lots of oak on the nose. Deep amber color in the glass. A lot more oak than expected. But there was a ton of wood, very faint floral notes and a hint of vanilla on the back end of this medium bodied cognac.

Much like most of what I’m drinking in liquor presently, it could benefit from a whiskey rock or two, opening up more of the flavor but it’s late and I only needed a sip or two before bed.

Olivia cigar event at Highland Cigar Company

Oliva display at Highland Cigar Company
Oliva display at Highland Cigar Company

I arrived a little early to scope things out and see what deals were going on. Loving the V and Melanio as a rule, I couldn’t wait to try the master blend I was gifted.

Starting off with a spicy Nub Habano, the flavors are medium and the spice light on the 460. I was stoked to try these when they came out years ago and they are still good now.

There was a large crowd and, a lot of sportsball going on.  I ended up following the Nub Habano up with the Melanio V churchill, because the flavors melded well together with the beer I had that night.

Cigar Review: PROPIO Léon by ACC Cigars

This is a fun review, because I did it in three parts in a video!  This is another release from ACC Cigars – you remember my interviews with Max Myers.

Part Two:

And Part III:

This honestly is, as much as I hate to betray my beloved Platinum (he already got me to betray it with the Tres Maduro haha) at LEAST up there as a favorite of mine.

For other reviews:
Don Cervantes Masterpiece Platinum

Don Cervantes Tres Maduro

Don Cervantes Masterpiece Gold

More about ACC Cigars

Cigar review – Island Jom from Rodrigo Cigars

Interesting concept from Rodrigo Cigars, the folks who brought us LEAF by Oscar and the Cinco Maduro.

Island Jim cigar – pre light draw – raisins, dark fruit, maybe plums?

Shag floor, Maduro cap already cut. Really intense leather notes mixed with Maduro sweetness start the cigar off. Grassy, almost intense hay. 

Potent leather notes pick up still on the first third. 

Mint? Consistent all the way through.  

Boutique Blends G5 by Rodrigo Cigars

Hola Amigos!

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.

Rodrigo G5Rodrigo 5X56
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.