interview

NFL legend Ed Reed on being a Hurricane, Super Bowl victory, and his love for cigars

Cigar Snob's Nicolás Jiménez and Ivan Ocampo headed to Miami Beach's Casablanca Cigar Lounge to hang with Ed Reed, who spent his college and NFL careers building a strong case that he’s the best safety who ever played football. Through all the ups and downs along the way, Ed has maintained one critical ritual: cigars.

Photo: Natalia Aguilera

0083 - Danny Ditkowich of La Sirena Cigars on the brand's story and the new Aniversario Especial

Danny Ditkowich dropped by Cigar Snob HQ to share some cigars and step up to the mic for an interview about the history of La Sirena Cigars, his own path into the cigar industry, and a new product that celebrates La Sirena founder (and Danny's daughter) Arielle Ditkowich's 10th year in the business.

0078 - Glynn Loope, excitive director of Cigar Rights of America on the FDA and local smoking bans

Cigar Rights of America executive director Glynn Loope dropped by for a chat about federal regulation of premium cigars, state and municipal smoking bans, and the work that CRA does to engage smokers, tobacconists, cigar makers and government officials in preserving your legal right to enjoy cigars.

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.