0077 - Mombacho Cigars master blender Claudio Sgroi on cigar making and having a factory in Granada

Mombacho Cigars is one of the few Nicaraguan cigar manufacturers with a destination factory that's not located in Estelí. The historic building the company calls home is in Granada, Nicaragua, where tons of tourists happen upon Mombacho's story and subsequently (at least we all hope) fall in love with the craft of cigar making.

The company's not just a tourist destination, though. They're making serious cigars, including the Mombacho Liga Maestro, which Cigar Snob called the No. 12 cigar of 2018. Mombacho master blender Claudio Sgroi dropped by our office with cigars and doughnuts for a chat.

0076 - Smoking Cornelius & Anthony cigars, Dominican ProCigar festival, baseball spring training

Our publisher Erik caught some spring training baseball, Jamilet is back from the Dominican Republic's ProCigar festival, and Nick just returned from a trip to Seattle with our art director Andy. We recap all that travel while smoking Cornelius by Cornelius and Anthony.

In addition, we imagine a cigar-industry spin on the Jussie Smollett assault scheme, review the Oscars, update you on the latest FDA cigar regulation news, and remind you of the differences between apes and monkeys.

0075 - Rafael Nodal of Tabacalera USA on Aging Room, Trinidad, other cigars and Casa de Montecristo

Rafael Nodal came to prominence among smokers with the Aging Room brand he helped create and popularize. Now, he's Tabacalera USA's head of product capacity. It's a role that puts him in the thick of product development as well as some of the retail and hospitality aspects of the company's expanding cigar empire.

Rafael dropped by the office for a chat about his career, the cigar making process, and the myriad responsibilities he has in his current role.

0074 - Rocky Patel on his start in cigars, BURN lounges, and improving lives in Honduras

We left Miami and headed to Florida's opposite coast for this interview with Rocky Patel, the founder of one of the most recognizable brands in premium cigars.

Rocky recalls how he got his start in the business, the challenges of breaking into an insular industry, and the journey from newcomer to cigar superstar. We also get into the charitable work that he does through the Rocky Patel Foundation and his efforts to combat government encroachment on your right to enjoy cigars.

0073 - Mombacho Liga Maestro cigars, Matt Kuchar, Preparation H medicated wipes

The team gathers around the mics to smoke Mombacho Liga Maestro cigars, which were on our list of the Top 25 Cigars of 2018.

We also talk about Matt Kuchar and his caddy, Dwyane Wade's Last Dance, the Dominican Republic's ProCigar Festival, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ivan's favorite new medicated wipes.

0072 - Cigar lifestyle designer Manny Iriarte on his journey from Cuba to OpusX

No matter what you smoke, there’s a damn good chance you’ve been up close to Manny Iriarte’s work. The Cuban-born designer and photographer has created ads, cigar packaging art, and other designs for many of the biggest names in the premium cigar industry — most notably and frequently Arturo Fuente.

Manny’s is a compelling story about grit, hard work, and all that’s possible when you’re willing to adapt to changing circumstances and take risks with new skills.

0071 - Roasting whole hog with La Caja China's Roberto Guerra

Roberto Guerra and his family are pork roasting royalty in Miami and their La Caja China pig roasting box is ubiquitous in any Cuban-American celebration. With some major mainstream exposure from Food Network personalities and the consistently delicious results of using the La Caja China, the product is growing in popularity around the country. We sat and smoked with Roberto to talk about pork, parties, and how La Caja China brand has grown beyond its Cuban Miami beginnings.

0070 - Cigar Snob & Tea Time! join forces for a special two-in-one episode

On this special two-in-one episode, we're joined by the guys from Tea Time! with Mike & Mike, a podcast hosted by two friends of the magazine, Mike Beltran (chef-owner of Ariete, a restaurant in Coconut Grove) and Mike Ortiz (founder of JoJo Tea).

This episode of the podcast is ALSO an episode of Tea Time! and you can find it on their feed. Look 'em up on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Soundcloud and Spotify.

We talk cigars, tea, food, football, and a whole lot more.