A early taste of fall made the Havana Room perfect for Blowin' Smoke #209!
The little chill in the air had the coffee pot make an appearance along with our new Cigar of the Day from Miami Cigar & Company giving the Cigar Match a new contender. Plus, we welcomed @cigar_maverick to the Havana Room and officially christened him a Cretin.
Chris Kelly delivered the latest Smoke Buzz, Clint Aaron of 262 Cigars called in from the road and let us know what he's working on for 2015 and how he's doing awaiting the birth of his first child, and we chose a winner in our "Orgasm Killer" contest with @RobynCigar and Villiger Cigars.
Plus, a new installment of what the chicks are reading, a new 5 Things from our guest Cretin, and more.
So, grab a smoke and a drink, and join the herf. It's Blowin' Smoke #209!
Back after a summer vacation hiatus, it's Blowin' Smoke #208!
Summer finally arrived in Blowin' Smoke country with heat and humidity reaching sticky heights in the Havana Room, but with a supply of Yoo-hoo in the fridge and cigars in hand, the Cretins got back in the groove with special guest @RobynCigar from Villiger Cigars in the house to talk about the variety of tasty Villiger smokes you might not know about and change any preconceptions you may have about this storied old name in tobacco worldwide.
We sparked up a new Cigar of the Day, updated the current Cigar Match, talked with Chris Kelly of Leaf Lovers Tobacconist about the latest Smoke Buzz, answered some listener email questions, and more.
@RobynCigar handled What The Chicks Are Reading with her own style of grace and enthusiasm (the Cretins were taking notes), and Cretin Ken looked back on our recent road trip to the annual Chattanooga Tweet-up & Cigar Festival with a new 5 Things.
So, give a toot of the Gold Bond, pour a tall cold one, and fire up a favorite cigar for almost three hours of Blowin' Smoke #208!
Another sticky day in the Havana Room means El Freako has to replace his ice packs, and it's Blowin' Smoke 207!
Well, maybe not replace them, but definitely clean, sterilize, and disinfect them. You'll find out why throughout the show...a show where Cretin Kevin took over the host mic again so El Freako could get comfy (read: sticky) in the man chair. As always, we offered up a new Cigar of the Day to do battle with the Cigar Match champion, talked about the up coming trade show, government regulation, and making sure you do your part...even when it feels futile.
We grabbed the latest Cosmo for a new look into what the chicks are reading, and offered up some odd news stories from the interwebs too. Most importantly, we suffered through heat, humidity, cold beer, ice packs, premium cigars, delicious locally made all beef hot dogs and a crock full of baked beans just for you. We love you.
So, send some lovin' back this way. Grab an ice pack, a fine cigar, and an adult beverage (chilled, preferably), and join the herf on Blowin' Smoke 207!
Two words, when used together, conjure images not easily unseen, and can cause reactions not easily controlled...such as tremors, watery eyes, and throwing up in your mouth. The two words? Sticky...and Cretin.
Lucky for you, Blowin' Smoke 206 took full exposure to the contagion and has quarantined the nasty to the Havana Room. Yeah...lucky for you...it's Blowin' Smoke 206!
On this episode, we played out a little friendly Q&A competition with some listeners to award a post-Cigar Crawl snack pack of goodies. Did YOU know all the answers? Check it out.
Also, Chris Kelly delivered the Smoke Buzz live from the Havana Room, and it had a little good news for a change. Plus, a new Cigar of the Day, a new Cigar Match, a new report on what the chicks are reading, a new 5 Things direct from a national home brewers conference attended by Cretin Ken, and lots more.
So, pop a penicillin, spray that Gold Bond, and light up a fine cigar with the Cretins for Blowin' Smoke 206!
It's the annual Cretin conundrum. Do we celebrate the long awaited end of cold and wet weather, or bitch about the heat and humidity of summer afternoon herfs in the Havana Room? It's enough to drive a Cretin psycho...or Psyko 7, as the case may be, for Blowin' Smoke #205!
Herfin' on the heels of the recent 16th annual Western Pennsylvania Cigar Crawl, the Cretins have completed their recovery and rehabilitation regimen and are ready for the summer herfin' season. While we may be a little low on Gold Bond for the Havana Room stickies, we've made up for it with cold brews. Our special guest Dan even brought a growler of some delicious West Salem Wit from Just Another F*@#ing Brewery (JAFB) in Wooster, Ohio. Damn nice on a hot day!
We all sparked up a new Cigar of the Day, and didn't know how to feel about the recent epic Cigar Match battle. Chris Kelly brought the Smoke Buzz with a scoop announcement on a new cigar being released soon. Plus, we talked about the recent Cigar Crawl and announced a contest where you could win a big bunch of stuff from the Cigar Crawl. Entries are date sensitive so be sure to enter early!
So, grab a cold one and light a fat one and join the herf with Blowin' Smoke #205!
The Cretins need help. That's obvious, but who is up to the task? Who can cut through the clouded minds of the Cretins and the typical Blowin' Smoke listener when it comes to relationships?
The Date Doctor! That's who. And he's back for the Date Doctor On Tour part 2, and he made an appointment with Blowin' Smoke #204. So, we're talking cigars, dating psychology, and whatever else is rattling around in the Cretin craniums and listener's love lives.
There's a new cigar in the Leccia Tobacco stable and that means a head to head family feud Cigar Match...AGAIN! Chris Kelly has our latest Smoke Buzz. There is an unusual festival in Japan that's hard to miss, and apparently bushy eyebrows and dark eyes mean more than bushy eyebrows and dark eyes.
Plus, don't look now, but a Cretin chick got ahold of the Cosmo and has the latest installment of what the chicks are reading. It's a mouthful!
All this and a lot more! So, grab your favorite stick and chew on some ice for Blowin' Smoke #204
Ready for summer. Ready for the Date Doctor on Tour 2. Ready for the 2014 Cigar Crawl. It's Blowin' Smoke #203!
Armed with a new Cigar of the Day and some delicious home brew from our brew meister Cretins, we are anxiously counting down the days to some of the most fun cigar events around...the 16th annual Western Pennsylvania Cigar Crawl, and the return of Doctor K for the Date Doctor On Tour 2...both in late May 2014.
The latest Smoke Buzz with Chris Kelly, however, reminds us that our adult enjoyment of cigars is constantly under attack...currently by the FDA, and WE MUST SPEAK UP! Please leave your intelligent, specific, informed, educated, and mature comments as to why the FDA should not be in the business of regulating premium handmade cigars. Our friends at CigarCraig.com and at Halfwheel have easy links to take you right to the comments section of this intrusive and destructive proposal. Do it! Do it now! Or all this...your access to...your ability to afford...your ability to make your own decisions goes away by the hand of an ever encroaching government.
We also talked about what entices you to attend special cigar events at cigar shops, raising pigs to taste like whiskey, tag team tasing by some baby mommas, how not to break your nose, and more odd stories from the net. Plus stuff the chicks are reading right out of the latest Cosmo, and 5 Things about baby making, and more.
It's a great day for a herf, they say. It's an even better day for Blowin' Smoke #202!
Armed with a new Cigar of the Day, the Cretins took full advantage of the sunshine and warm temps by cracking an extra window in the Havana Room and enjoying an extra beer or two while they tackled the important issues of the day such as performance art, nudist beer festivals, getting lucky with curvy chicks, and a threat to our beloved bacon supply among others.
Plus, a new Smoke Buzz with Chris Kelly...time to call your elected hacks again...a new report on what the chicks are reading, and a special deal from Commonwealth Cedar Spills for you Cretins all over the world.
So, join the herf! Spark up a fine cigar and pour an adult beverage. It's Blowin' Smoke #202!
What's this? Sunshine? A whiff of corn dogs in the air? Aerosol cheese? It must be Blowin' Smoke #201!
With an entire weekend of warm sunny weather, the Cretins didn't know what to do with themselves. So, they ended up doing what they usually do...herfin'. With a new Cigar of the Day, some Goat Boy from Southern Tier Brewing, and stash of tasty corn dogs, we dropped anchor in the Havana Room.
Why corn dogs, you ask? Well, for that, we talked to our good friend Clint Aaron of 262 Cigars. It seems he partakes in an annual corn dog tradition and we decided to try it for ourselves. For a little history of the corn dog, check this out.
We also talked about the latest medical breakthrough to hit the media and asked our creative listeners for some assistance in marketing this new medical miracle. Plus, a new round of what the chicks are reading, 5 Things, a new Date Doctor tour, the winner in the Lumberjack Kevin 5K contest, and more!
So, grab a corn dog, a tall drink, and a fine cigar. It's time for Blowin' Smoke #201!
Two hundred! Doscientos. Two Benjamins. Regardless of how you say it, it's a whole lot of cigars, good friends and BS. It's Blowin' Smoke episode 200!
Wow! Over 8 years of the Blowin' Smoke Podcast and we have reached number 200. In a lot of ways, it's just another show...more doing what we do, and having fun doing it, but there is something to be said about hitting the 200 mark.
You, the listener...the Cretins...the sponsors...the many many friends we have made in the cigar industry...and my very supportive, patient and tolerant family who welcomes a house full of cigar smoke drenched crazies a couple times a month. Thank you, all, very much for your part in reaching this little milestone of 200 episodes.
Adding to the fun, the new Cigar of the Day is a mystery smoke unveiled after the Cretins' final review and the new challenger in the Cigar Match. Be sure to cast your vote.
The phones were busy with friends and listeners checking in to tell us what they have learned from 199 previous episodes of Blowin' Smoke. Some of the answers were predictable...some not so much. Plus, we had a new report on what the chicks are reading, along with the latest Smoke Buzz with Chris Kelly, and more.
So, light up a special cigar and join us as we celebrate Blowin' Smoke Podcast #200!
Losing an hour of sleep, but smoking an extra cigar...or three, it's Blowin' Smoke #199!
With hopes that daylight savings time will begin to bring us more tolerable herfing weather, the Cretins gathered to celebrate the coming spring and a little St. Patrick's Day green with a new Cigar of the Day, and kickoff a little spring fling cigar three-way. Along with a new Smoke Buzz, a new Cosmo, and some new home brew, we also talked to Clint Aaron of 262 Cigars about their new cigar being released next month, and the results of the little name contest we recently held for it.
Plus, some of our listeners checked in with thoughts on how the time change effects their cigar smoking, and we announced a new contest centered around one of our Cretins competing in a 5K race. Yes...we had our doubts too.
So, check your clocks, grab a fine cigar, and join the herf! It's Blowin' Smoke #199!
What's this? A bump in the polar vortex? A wrinkle in the space-time continuum? Or just a case of laziness? Whatever you call it, it's still Blowin' Smoke #198!
For the first time ever, your El Freako has voluntarily stepped away from the host microphone and demoted himself to lowly Cretin status for an episode of Blowin' Smoke leaving master control in the hands of Cretin Kevin. So, what happened? How'd he do? Were there any injuries? Can you really dunk Samoa Girl Scout Cookie in Flor de Cana 12 yr rum? You be the judge.
We talked about surviving this harsh cold winter as a cigar smoker, and diverted into some fun craft beer talk with our resident home brewers, Cretin Dan and Cretin Ken. We also talked about coffee preferences and personalities, and even about tea. Hey, it's all about the pairings, right?
From the comfy confines of the Man Chair, your El Freako took on some Cretin duties like actually smoking and reviewing the latest Cigar of the Day, and handling the latest installment of what the chicks are reading. Plus, we checked in with Chris Kelly of Leaf Lovers for the latest Smoke Buzz, and reminded you about your last chance to enter a great contest with 262 Cigars and Commonwealth Cedar Spills.
And we said goodbye to a good friend.
So, sit back, and brace yourself...preferably with a fine cigar and some rum & cookies...for Blowin' Smoke #198!
Riding the Polar Vortex with a stuffed groundhog, it's Blowin' Smoke #197!
We're back after a weather-related delay and ready for some herfage. Armed with a new Cigar of the Day, some Buck Snort Stout from our local North Country Brewing, and a brand new Cosmo, the Cretins are rested and ready.
It's contest time! DING! 262 Cigars is about to release a new cigar and you could win a FULL BOX of them, PLUS a year's supply of Commonwealth Cedar Spills, PLUS some snacks from your El Freako! How? You've got to listen to find out, and do it fast because there is a deadline for entry.
We also checked in with Chris Kelly for the latest Smoke Buzz, talked about Olympic winter games that should be, and managed to tie that into our latest investigative report on what the chicks are reading.
All that and more is just a click away right here on Blowin' Smoke #197!
New year...same Cretins. Well, you work with what you've got, right? So, it's off and running with Blowin' Smoke #196!
With a list of failed resolutions already on the trash heap, the Cretins wanted to hear from listeners who might be holding on to theirs, or who just had some things they wanted to talk to the Cretins about. We sacrificed the first Cigar of the Day of the new year, continued a sweet winning streak in the Cigar Match, checked in with Chris Kelly for the latest Smoke Buzz, and enjoyed a break from the recent sub-zero temperatures.
Plus, an ancient question about dogs may have finally been answered, and our investigative series into what the chicks are reading continued with the arrival of a new Cosmo. Coincidentally, that tied into some of the other weird stuff we found to talk about. Brace yourself.
So, jump right in, the water is fine. The Cretins, on the other hand, are anybody's guess. Grab a fine cigar and join the herf. Blowin' Smoke #196
Check out some of the selfies below that were tweeted in during the show, plus a few from inside the Havana Room.
The Blowin' Smoke Podcast Cretins' Prime Nine 2013 - Our favorite new cigars from the past year. With all the end of the year lists out there, we like to think of the Cretin Prime Nine as a combination of the best, sexiest, favorite, and most memorable handmade lovelies we were lucky enough to get our hands on. There is no way for the lowly Cretins to have smoked, let alone even seen, every single new release last year. So, your results may vary, and you'll probably cheer and bitch as you immerse yourself our most sacred selections. Knock yourself out! More importantly, grab these highly regarded cigars, if you haven't already, and take them for a spin. Support their makers and the retailers that are fighting every day to continue providing us with this amazing indulgence that brings so many of us together every day.
The Cretins were asked to submit their top five favorite new cigars from the past year, in order, as well as some brief commentary on their selections. Positions were scored. Points were tallied and we came up with our 2013 Prime Nine...which included a couple ties too.
The Blowin' Smoke Cretins Prime Nine for 2013
#9 - TIE -- EPC Short Run 2013 & Padilla Vintage Reserve
EPC Short Run - Popping up every spring is a new E.P. Carrillo Short Run, each a limited release. This year, it caught the attention of the Cretins enough to break into the 2013 Prime Nine. Three sizes hit shelves...Corona Gorda, Double Robusto, and Robusto, with just 1,500 boxes each. For 2013, the EPC Short Run featured an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Cretins said: "Balanced, complex, amazing." "An excellent example of an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Sweet and nutty with a light spice." "A very well balanced cigar."
Padilla Vintage Reserve - After some restructuring and rebranding, Ernesto Padilla hit 2013 running with some exciting changes and offerings. His manufacturing and distribution relationship with Oliva Cigar Company had grown, new cigars were making waves, and his attitude and colorful character appeared to be in high gear. Announced in June, the Vintage Reserve features a rich Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper around aged Cuban seed Corojo and Nicaraguan Habano. Cretins said: "The levels of flavor build upon each other." "A wonderful profile of cedar and toast...a nice spice through the retrohale as notes of vanilla and a honey-like sweetness build." "Long finish, creamy with notes of bitter coffee toward the end."
#8 - TIE -- H. Upmann Legacy & Nomad Fugitive II
H. Upmann Legacy - When the H. Upmann Legacy Corona was featured as the Cigar of the Day on an episode of the Blowin' Smoke Podcast, the Cretins were very impressed with the flavor profile and even more impressed that it came from Altadis. The Legacy blend of an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler pushed through like it was a small batch boutique cigar with such a unique flavor profile that was a real departure from what many had come to expect from the great big boys...that being the perception of new bands on the same cigars. We hope to see and smoke more cigars like the H. Upmann Legacy from the big guys. Cretins said: "I made this little gem last almost 100 minutes!" "The price point just pushes it over the top." "I never thought I would put an Altadis product on my list, but it surprised me, and it will surprise you." "Mild to medium smoke...great flavor!"
Nomad Fugitive II - Born in 2012, Nomad Cigar Company, headed by Fred "@GodFadr" Rewey, is one of the fastest growing, most talked about boutique brands out there. Following the initial Nomad lineup of a mild Dominican blend, Fred started 2013 with the new Fugitive II...a kicked up reblending of his limited edition Fugitive LE. While the overall blend remains a secret, we do know the wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano and that little kick is a hit. Don't look now, but this isn't the only Nomad appearance in this Prime Nine. Cretins said: "Fred has found a slice of gold from the Dominican Republic." "The perfecto shape is a nice change-up. The flavor is slightly sweet and creamy...great with coffee." "Quality, flavorful cigar in a fantastic shape."
#7 - Nomad Rambler
Making its second brand appearance in the 2013 Prime Nine, it's the Nomad Rambler. Born by request, according to Fred Rewey. While traveling around the country promoting Nomad, folks kept asking for a traditional robusto in the line-up. He listened, and the Nomad blend in the 5 X 50 format really shines. Cretins said: "Very earthy taste with a nice spice and fresh leather on the retrohale." "The flavor is excellent and well balanced." "Smooth, consistent, and very creamy."
#6 - 262 Revere Lonsdale
Clint Aaron and the crew at 262 Cigars continue to impress with flavorful blends and consistency. While the 262 Revere scored the top spot last year on the Cretins Prime Nine, Clint released two line extensions of the Revere in 2013 and the Cretins were eager for their arrival. The Lonsdale was actually blended and released in May strictly for J. Shepherd Cigars in Kentucky in ten count boxes. Limited to only 100 boxes, the 262 Revere Lonsdale is a, perhaps, hard to find Nicaraguan puro treat with a cute little twisty cap in the Revere stable. Cretins said: "Each Revere size delivers a tasty, but unique flavor tweak from the next." "Good natural tobacco flavor." "Some coffee notes with slightly less pepper than the original Revere." "A delicious stop along the way to Lancero'ville."
#5 - Leaf & Bean by Oscar Maduro
There are stories about how the Leaf & Bean by Oscar was born, both the cigar and its unique packaging. We refer you to "Island" Jim Robinson of Leaf & Bean in the famous strip district of Pittsburgh to give you fine details. In short, Island Jim met Oscar while on cigar trips to Honduras over a number of years. A friendship grew. Oscar decided to start his own cigar factory, Island Jim was immediately on board asking Oscar to make a private blend for his Leaf & Bean. The first release of 1,500 were sold in less than a week! Soon, Island Jim had sold nearly 40,000 in just three months! Available initially in Connecticut, Corojo, and Maduro, and now in Sumatra, many folks have their favorite. The Leaf & Bean by Oscar Maduro scored enough Cretin points to land in this year's number five spot. Impressive! Cretins said: "One of the best maduros I've ever smoked." "A wonderful oily wrapper and an earthy flavor that paired great with a Mexican Coke." "Rich, bold flavors. Great construction. A real treat." "Best enjoyed on a barber chair."
#4 - Nomad S-307
Making its third brand appearance on this Prime Nine is the latest release from Nomad Cigar Company...the S-307. This is the first full production Nicaraguan cigar following the limited edition Esteli Lot 1386. Cut loose in November, the S-307 made waves and found fans very quickly. Manufactured at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez, it's box pressed, kicked up and magically delicious. Fred "@GodFadr" Rewey has certainly demonstrated the ability of Nomad Cigar Company to diversify its portfolio. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Sumatra around an Ecuadorian Habano binder, and Nicaraguan filler. You may be tempted to eat the S-307 as they look that good, but we suggest you smoke them instead. Cretins said: "THIS is a flavor bomb." "Easily my favorite of the Nomads...good tasty smoke." "A fantastic stick!" "A spicy retrohale with notes of black pepper, wood, and nuts with some cocoa thrown in...very enjoyable." "Try this for breakfast. Boom!"
#3 - 262 Revere Lancero
The second line extension release under the Revere badge, and the only one as a full production cigar, the 262 Revere Lancero sent both the lancero sluts and 262 fans into a frenzy to get their hands on them. Clint Aaron, perhaps, first mentioned plans for the Revere Lancero on the Blowin' Smoke Podcast episode 164 (48:00 mark) on September 8, 2012, at the time the Revere line was being rolled out in its initial three sizes. He also hinted at what likely became the Revere Lonsdale which is in our number 6 spot. The Revere Lancero hit some delays in its release and by the time the first shipment landed, they were already in short supply. Again, each size in the Nicaraguan puro Revere blend gives you a different flavor experience. Clint is a lancero fan and it shows. Cretins said: "This is how a cigar was meant to taste." "The most pepper of the line, but well balanced with notes of earth and coffee." "I love the wrapper flavor of this lancero, and the construction is great." Lancero sluts rejoice!" "It's like AeroPress(ing) your favorite coffee beans."
#2 - Leccia White
The return of Sam Leccia to the industry in 2013 was one of the most talked about and anticipated cigar happenings of the year. Sam came back with a renewed vigor and the results of a lot of time and hard work while away from the spotlight. To say his fans AND his competition were happy to see him back is a colossal understatement. His booth at IPCPR was jammed with retailers wanting the new Leccia Tobacco releases on their shelves yesterday. Yes, releases...as in plural. Maybe not satisfied to jump back in with a more simple single release, or maybe just too damned excited to have two delicious yet distinctly different blends in the pipeline, Sam reentered the cigar scene with the Leccia White and the Leccia Black. The Leccia White received very high marks from the Cretins with many specific mentions of the 4 X 46 Petit Rothschild, nicknamed "Little Buddy" by Leccia himself as one of his favorites in the lineup. The Leccia White is made in Nicaragua and has a sun grown African Cameroon wrapper around an Ecuador binder, and filler comprised of Nicaraguan Ligero, Dominican and Pennsylvania Seco. The result is fantastic and a solid #2 in our Cretin Prime Nine! Cretins said: "This cigar absolutely blows me away!" "The 'Little Buddy' is packed with flavor in a great size." "Complex and nuanced." "Something special with the 'Little Buddy'...a very unique flavor I'd never experienced before." "Tremendous flavor, complexity and just enough of a kick to keep you focused to the nub...oops, did I say that?""
#1 - Leccia Black
The Leccia Black is the hands down, runaway, numero uno, points winner in the 2013 Cretin Prime Nine! This line quickly jumped out in front and never looked back in the minds of the Cretins. The differences between the Leccia White and the Leccia Black couldn't be more...well.... It's all in the blend, baby, and according to Sam, he was turned on to some unique tobacco during his blending that's description was sort of lost in translation at the time. He knew he wanted to use it, but its distinct characteristics needed just the right blend of other tobaccos to bring out its flavor without it being too much. Leccia calls that tobacco "Dark Fire" and the result is a sweet and smoky profile that is reminiscent of barbecue, whiskey, or a campfire. The Leccia Black is made in the Dominican Republic and is wrapped in a dark Habano leaf with Nicaraguan binder and a flavor orgy of Nicaraguan and Dominican ligeros, Brazilian viso, and just the right amount of that dark fired tobacco rounding out the filler. There have been debates over White or Black...even rumors of fisticuffs outside the Blowin' Smoke Podcast world studios, but in the end, the Leccia Black is the indisputable winner of the Cretins' number one cigar of 2013! Cretins said: "An awesome blend of earthy flavors reminds me of summertime." "Pepper and natural tobacco nuances are prevalent, but that delicious fire cured leaf make this cigar special." "Om Nom!" "That smoky aroma takes it over the edge for me." "Only you can prevent forest fires!" "That BBQ uniqueness compliments the slight spice very well." "A perfect balance to the flavor profile." "The Leccia Black is easy to get lost in your thoughts with any time of day...very enjoyable." Congratulations, Sam Leccia & Leccia Tobacco!
So, there it is. The Cretins Prime Nine for 2013 in all its glory. Congratulations to all those who made the list! Let's do it again next year.
But wait! We would be remiss if we did not mention some of the great cigars that landed near the bubble. Check out these fantastic cigars too (Just pay additional shipping and processing): RoMa Craft Tobac Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. IV -- Fratello -- Cubanacan Habano -- Herrera Esteli -- Cabal -- Leaf & Bean by Oscar Connecticut