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.

0049 - Alan Rubin on Alec Bradley cigars, Glenfiddich Scotch pairings, Alec and Bradley's cigars

Alec Bradley is one a name loads of cigar smokers know well. But fewer know that there isn’t actually a guy named Alec Bradley behind the brand. The name refers to two brothers — Alec and Bradley — who are the sons of the company’s founder Alan Rubin.

While the name might not have referred to anyone in the cigar business at first, that’s starting to change. Our publisher Erik Calviño sat down with Alan Rubin to talk about his company, what’s new in the Alec Bradley portfolio, and the cigar project that the now-adult Alec and Bradley have taken on.

0047 - Oscar Valladares on his cigars, Cicerón Edition and telling Honduran stories

Sometimes it can seem like any mention of “Central American” cigars is necessarily a reference to Nicaragua. Most of the region’s noteworthy factories are in Estelí. There are great cigars coming out of other countries in the region, though, and one of the hottest protagonists of Honduran cigars is Oscar Valladares.

His name recognition in the U.S. got a major bump from Leaf by Oscar, and he's now putting out consistently excellent cigars and some of the most inventive packaging of any boutique brand.

Senior editor Nicolás Jiménez sat with Oscar at last month’s IPCPR trade show to talk about his latest releases, the artist behind the design of some of his new packaging, and what it's like to helm a company that is decidedly Honduran.