One of my favorite spots, one of my favorite new themes! Well, not new but you know I’m developing an obsession about Havana –
considering I’m pondering a trip out to Cuba for a weekend sometime this year.
In the meantime, Papa’s Pilar Rum – a damn fine sipping rum which we’ve had and will leave for review on a later date will be featured. I can’t speak to the tequila, ya’ll know that isn’t how “I” roll but if Chai’s pouring it, it’s probably solid.
At first glance, this dark cigar looks like it’s going to be a powerhouse. The band has a very old world Cuban feel to it in design and because it matches well with the darkness of the leaf, it makes it harder to see.
But for a cigar with such a hefty price tag ($2,500 per cigar), I have my suspicions. Yet, the website (Yamantaka Global) says the cigar is the same vintage tobacco as the 1950s Cubans. It’s obvious that this cigar is also rolled entubado like everything else ACC does. What that means is that the cigars are rolled in a tube-like fashion, and require a higher skill level of roller, else the attrition rate of production becomes really high since older tobacco is more susceptible to damage.
I’ve smoked enough ACC cigars to know the quality behind them has always been top notch, but this is hands down, the most expensive cigar on the market, and the most expensive cigar I’ve ever smoked to date.
Cutting the cigar and doing a pre-light draw reveal really smooth flavors that are a little hard for me to identify, and I’m drinking water with this cigar. Upon lighting, the cigar has a smooth taste, with mellow notes of sherry and oak, as one would expect, from a cigar with this name. (Reminds me of the style used by Drew Estate to make their barrel aged cigars.)
The cigar has a beautiful draw, sending a plethora of almost sweet, white/gray smoke into the air. That trademark ACC scent isn’t present on this cigar though, but that’s okay. The feel of the cigar in my fingers suggests plenty of tobacco in the blend and at first puff, one would think, would have a tight draw. But no, the draw is excellent as I mentioned earlier.
Medium bodied, but full flavored, the oak becomes soft vanilla notes across the palate. If I searched hard enough, I tasted the lightness of sherry, making me wonder what style of sherry they used for the casks.
Solid cigar all the way through though. And a great start to me getting into higher premium cigars!
I’ve been waxing poetic lately about the local finds here in Atlanta/Decatur and this bourbon is no exception. Still with the age statement on it, indicating they haven’t run out of good juice yet, Eagle Rare’s 10 year DPS offering offers the bourbon connoisseur a lighter bodied, yet fully flavored bourbon in the same bottle.
It doesn’t require a cube like the DPS edition of 1792 did, as the alcohol has a perfect balance between mellow and spice to pair with any cigar you want to throw at it.
Yes, I mean any. Be it something as luxurious as Don Cervantes or a heavy pepper bomb like anything the magnificent Don Pepin Garcia makes, this bourbon will pair nicely with it.
At the start of the year, I’m going to stock up on different liquors so we can play a new game. Cocktail hour!
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!
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!