0042 - Robert Holt of Southern Draw Cigars on running a family business, working with AJ Fernandez

Robert Holt came into the cigar business after careers in the military and telecommunications. Now, he’s at the helm of Southern Draw, whose cigars are made exclusively by AJ Fernandez in Nicaragua. In a recent interview he did with Cigar Snob's Nick Jiménez not long before the annual IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, he talked about his life before cigars, what it’s been like to work with his wife Sharon (the namesake of Southern Draw Rose of Sharon, which he and Nick were smoking during this conversation) and how he and Sharon have made their faith and values the cornerstone of their business approach.

0041 - Davidoff Viaje al Origen cigar blends, Brett Kavanaugh to SCOTUS, fun with leaf blowers

We got cigars in the mail from Davidoff ... ad we blended them ourselves! Join us as we smoke through some of the cigars we blended while in the Dominican Republic for Davidoff's Viaje al Origen.

We also recap the World Cup, talk about leaf blowers, celebrate the survival of the Thai cave kids, and review the latest issue of Cigar Snob Magazine.

0040 - Rick Rodriguez of CAO Cigars on blending, talking tobacco, and learning from Benji Menéndez

Rick Rodriguez dropped by Cigar Snob HQ for an interview. Rick is the blender and ambassador at CAO Cigars, the General Cigar brand known for products like Flathead and Pilón, among others. Unlike so many other blenders, Rick came into his role from the sales side of the business. We talked about how he got his start, what it was like learning to blend with a cigar legend, and what’s on the horizon for the CAO brand.

Rick Rodriguez is the blender and ambassador for CAO Cigars.

Rick Rodriguez is the blender and ambassador for CAO Cigars.

0038 - Larry Sharpe, Libertarian candidate for governor of New York, on cigars, vape products, and government intervention

Larry Sharpe is running for New York governor as a Libertarian.

Larry Sharpe is running for New York governor as a Libertarian.

These days, it seems like there’s no aspect of our lives that is outside the reach of divisive politics. Cigars are no exception, with government seemingly on a perpetual assault of the rights of cigar smokers, tobacconists and manufacturers at the federal, state and municipal levels.

Few states are more notorious for their restrictive anti-tobacco policies than New York. With a gubernatorial election coming later this year, incumbent Andrew Cuomo (who is a safe bet in the Democrat primary) faces not only a Republican challenger, but also an unusually competent third-party challenge from Libertarian Larry Sharpe.

Cigar Snob senior editor Nicolás A. Jiménez had a chance to speak with Larry about FDA regulation, state and local prohibitions, and what his own libertarian approach to these issues might be if he ended up taking the helm in Albany.

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:

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!