0026 - FSG by Drew Estate, hazards of tobacco farming, and Cuba's new president

Cuba has a new president. What does that mean? Also, we smoke FSG by Drew Estate and talk about brand owner Jeff's revealing tobacco farm video.

0025 - Hamlet 25th Year, NBA Playoffs, men's garter belts, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Master's recap

The team celebrates our 25th episode with Hamlet 25th Year cigars. We also dive into the world of sports, touching on the NBA Playoffs, the Masters, and Tristan Thompson's motorboating.

In addition, we recap Erik's trip to Pittsburgh, Nick's time in New Orleans, and Ivan's adventures in male garter belts.

0024 - Chef Michael Beltran on cigar pairings, the restaurant biz, lessons from football

Spend enough time around professional chefs, and you’ll find that they are — disproportionately — lovers of premium cigars. Maybe it’s the need to relax after all the long hours in the kitchen or the fact that they have the refied palates to appreciate complex flavors. Whatever it is, it’s been our experience that you’re more likely to find fellow cigar smokers among the chef ranks than most other professions.

Recently, our own Erik Calviño got a chance to chat with Michael Beltran, the chef and partner at Ariete, a great new Miami restaurant. They talked about his perspective on food, how it was informed by his leaving Miami for a time, and how dominoes played a role in his developing a passion for cigars.

0023 - Camacho Blackout, Kombucha, our favorite lighters, cigar trades on Reddit

The team reaches into the Cigar Snob Vault to smoke Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013. We also talk about lighters, Reddit cigar trades, and a beer recall.

Mentioned in this episode:

0022 - Nicholas Melillo on Foundation Cigars, Aganorsa tobacco, the state of cigar shops

The most recent issue of Cigar Snob includes a story about Aganorsa, the Nicaragua-based agriculture company that has become one of that country’s most prolific growers or premium cigar tobacco and well respected manufacturers of premium cigars.

While in Nicaragua for that story, Nick Jiménez interviewed Nicholas Melillo, the founder of Foundation Cigar Co.; you can find some of his quotes in that story in the magazine.

In this episode of the podcast, you’ll hear the full interview with Nick. We get into the company’s beginnings, what’s on the horizon on the product front, and what it been like for him to transition to life on the road in the U.S. after many years living in Estelí, Nicaragua.

0021 - Smoking La Gloria Cubana and talking FDA, NCAA basketball, Captain Andrew Luck

The team (Erik Calviño, Ivan Ocampo, Nicolás Jiménez) smokes La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Obelisco cigars while talking March Madness basketball, FDA regulation, Rocky Patel's new lounge in Pittsburgh, and fake meat!

0020 - Eduardo Fernández of Aganorsa, Casa Fernandez on his unusual path to success in tobacco

 Aganorsa founder Eduadro Fernández (left) and Illusione founder Dion Giolito inspect Aganorsa tobacco together in Estelí.

Aganorsa founder Eduadro Fernández (left) and Illusione founder Dion Giolito inspect Aganorsa tobacco together in Estelí.

If you shop at brick-and-mortar tobacconists, you’re almost certain in contact with loads of Eduardo Fernández’s tobacco whether you like it or not. One of the most prolific growers of premium cigar tobacco in Nicaragua, Eduardo came into the cigar business by an unconventional path.

His agricultural conglomerate, AGANORSA, includes his tobacco growing operation and his cigar manufacturing business. The AGANORSA factory, which has been known until now as Tabacos Valle de Jalapa, or TABSA, makes cigars for Eduardo’s own Casa Fernandez brand, as well as JFR, Foundation, Illusione, Warped, Viaje, and HVC.

Eduardo sat down with me for an interview not too long ago at his factory. We talked about his past ventures, how he built his tobacco empire, and what he sees in the factory’s future.

0019 - MUWAT KFC Swamp Rat cigars, St. Patty's Day, and March Madness

Apologies for the late upload, people! We had been busy wrapping up an issue of the magazine. This episode was recorded just a few days before St. Patrick's Day 2018. We get into that, March Madness basketball, and a whole bunch more while enjoying Drew Estate's candela-wrapped MUWAT KFC Swamp Rat. Have you tried those? Let us know what you thought by emailing us at feedback@cigarsnobmag.com and we might read your note on an upcoming episode.