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MARCH/APRIL 2020

LINCOLN SALAZAR RANDY MASTRONICOLA AUDREY PAVIA

CEO & Publisher Editor-in-Chief Consulting Editor

JOE BOSSO

Sr. Contributing Writer

KEVIN KENNY

Sr. Contributing Writer

JOE REDMOND BREAHNA WHEELER MIYURI NORRIS CODY CHO LILLY DUDREY LISA TURNBULL SHAHID GHANI CARLY SCHEUER NATALIE NICOL

Art Director Director of Events/Administration Digital Media Director Cigar & Spirits Magazine Web Account Executive Administrative Coordinator Chief Financial Officer Accounting Legal

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Joe Bosso, Sean Chaffin, Dave Johnson, Elisa Jordan, Kevin Kenney, Greg Mays, Audrey Pavia, Kim Campbell Thornton

A L I N CO L N B L A K E S A L A Z A R P U B L I C AT I O N Editorial, Production and Sales Office

Headquartered at: 11 Orchard Road, Suite 106, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 599-2760 Cigar & Spirits is published bi-monthly by Top Hat Media Group, Please send address changes to Cigar & Spirits, P.O. Box 37185 Boone, IA 50037-0185. ©2020 by Top Hat Media Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. For subscription inquiries or change of address: Cigar & Spirits, P.O. Box 37185, Boone, IA 50037-0185; (800) 542-1600, Fax: (515) 433-1013. Subscription rate is $19.99 for 6 issues; $32.99 for 12 issues. Canadian and foreign surface, add $6 extra per year payable in U.S. funds. Single copy price is $5.99. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for new subscriptions to begin. When changing address, give six weeks’ notice and address label from latest copy as well as new address with zip code. Occasionally, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies that offer products and services that we believe would interest our readers. Please view our Privacy Policy at tophatmediagroup.com/privacypolicy.html. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40612608, Registration No. R126851765. Return undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: IMEX Global Solutions, P. O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, CANADA. Printed in the U.S.A. February 2020 Volume 10/Issue 2 For Advertising: Advertising@CigarandSpirits.com To Contact Us for Questions & Comments email: CustomerService@CigarandSpirits.com Letters to the Editor: Feedback@CigarandSpirits.com

Cigar & Spirits Magazine

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@CigarSpiritsMag


The premium whiskey from Tennessee as remarkable as the story behind it. Double distilled and charcoal mellowed for astonishing smoothness, then aged a minimum of seven years.

DRINK HONORABLY™. UNCLE NEAREST PREMIUM WHISKEY, 46.5% ALC/VOL, UNCLE NEAREST, SHELBYVILLE, TN. © 2020 UNCLE NEAREST, INC. WWW.UNCLENEAREST.COM

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contents ON THE COVER

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40

INTERVIEW WITH BRYAN CRANSTON AND AARON PAUL

ON THE COVER

BRYAN CRANSTON AND AARON PAUL

Dos Hombres Breaking Brand

LIFESTYLE

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THE LOWDOWN

WHAT’S OUT THERE NOW Boozy Ice Cream West African Cuisine Snazzy Cocktailian Tools Big City Scooters

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ICONIC BRAND SPOTLIGHT

Johnnie Walker At 200 (Give or Take)

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THE 1ST ANNUAL CIGAR & SPIRITS MAGAZINE GOLF CLASSIC

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CIGAR & SPIRITS MAGAZINE HOSTS THE 9TH ANNUAL TOAST FOR TOYS

FEATURES

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PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR

ABOUT OUR COVER

Hang Out Within the Same Walls as Rock ‘n Roll’s Biggest Legends

Cigar & Spirits Magazine met with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in Los Angeles on a sunny day this past January. The inspired Southwest home and grounds, styled for the photo session by Barbara Lameza, helped create a zen and collaborative vibe.

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Renowned celebrity photographer Charlie Gray’s work appearing in this issue perfectly captures Bryan and Aaron’s kinship for each other, and their celebrated cool comes across as well. We thank Wardrobe Stylist Ilaria Urbinati, Style Groomers Jamie Taylor and Daniele Piersons for fashioning the perfect look for our magazine.

BUY NOW OR HURRY UP AND WAIT

The Future Cars of Today and Tomorrow

>> Top left to right: Editor-in-Chief Randy Mastronicola and Publisher Lincoln Salazar. Bottom left to right: Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

We thank Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Writer Audrey Pavia and Photographer Charlie Gray for their creative efforts. A special thank you to Publicists Jennifer Allen at Viewpoint LA and Melissa Bank at Independent Public Relations who helped put us all together.

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CIGARS IN THE OLD WEST

Western Tobacco Trailblazers

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TROPICAL PARADISE SEYCHELLES

Rain, Rum and Reefs


march/april 2020 REWARDS

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PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR

FEATURED PAIRINGS

Perfecto Pairings to Expand Your Palate

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FOR YOUR HUMIDOR

Cigar Buyer’s Guide

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FOR YOUR HOME BAR

Spirits Buyer’s Guide

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104

FUTURISTIC CARS

FIVE SWEET LIFE COCKTAILS FOR THE SPRING

INTERVIEWS

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104

SPRING COCKTAILS

THE VAN WINKLE AND DREW ESTATE KENTUCKY EXPERIENCE

Good People Are Meant to Find Each Other

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BEHIND THE LEAF

Luis J. Falto on a Quarter Century of Success

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TROPICAL PARADISE: THE SEYCHELLES

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THE LOWDOWN

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CIGARS OF THE OLD WEST WWW.CIGARANDSPIRITS.COM

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publisher’s note Partnerships We are very excited to have two of the most iconic actors from one of the most iconic television shows in history featured in this issue. Mr. Bryan Cranston and Mr. Aaron Paul. They famously portrayed infamous drug dealers in the landmark show Breaking Bad. Somehow, you wanted to see these superhero–bad guys win. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with them on a sunny afternoon in Los Angeles. We shared Don Lino Africa Kifaru cigars made by the Miami Cigar & Company from Nestor Miranda and we sipped some of the finest Mezcal I’ve have had in my years in the spirit industry–their new brand is Dos Hombres. As we sat and sipped on our mezcal and smoked our cigars, we talked about how they were co-stars together for years on a show, and now have become business partners in this new venture. This really got me to thinking about what my Publisher’s Note would be for this issue. I reflected back to them, how they worked on one project and now another as partners, and how their relationship somehow brought them back together. As we know, cigars and spirits are much more than just the cigars we smoke and the drinks we drink. As connoisseurs, we all know that it’s mostly about the relationships, the bonding, the lifelong relationships, and how it establishes the story of our lives. It prompted me to ask myself a question: What is it that makes a relationship? More importantly, a lifelong relationship, a real friendship or even a partnership…I think as ladies and gentlemen of Cigar & Spirits Magazine, our relationships are the most important aspects of our lives. What does it take to make it work? Whether it be within a marriage, or a business partnership–our relationships with colleagues, teammates, family members, sons and daughters, or moms and dads–it takes some simple and not so simple things to make a lifelong relationship with someone you care for and love.

Time Much like perfecting any skill or art form, whether it be learning how to roll a cigar, distill a spirit, body build, or build a company– you must first of all put in the time. Time is the most valuable thing you can give someone. We all have a limited amount of time in our lives and it’s so precious. It has the highest currency we may ever trade or give. In order to build a strong relationship, like building a strong body, you must put in the time.

Communication You must communicate in your relationships whether it be with a friend, partner, husband or wife. You must both be good communicators. Expressing your feelings, your dreams, your expectations and goals is important. You are sharing a portion of your life within this relationship, and it’s important to be transparent and let the other person know what it is you want from the relationship.

Honesty You must be honest with the people you love–even if the truth hurts. At least they will always know who you are and where you stand.

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Loyalty If you’ve read my past Publisher’s Notes, you’ll know I speak a lot about loyalty and could probably write a book on it. But loyalty and feeling safe in a relationship is imperative, and knowing that you’re willing to fight and compromise for the relationship is equally important.

Compromise Every person has their own opinions and ways of doing things, and that’s ok. We should all embrace each other’s opinions and ways because this is what makes the world go round. There will always be disagreements in every relationship, and it’s ok to agree to disagree. You may know you’re right, but it’s ok to let the other person win. It’s not because you know who’s right or wrong, but mostly because you value the relationship more than any disagreement.

Unconditional Love No matter what–always show others unconditional love in any relationship. At the end of the day–we’re all human–we may do things at times that hurt, we may say things we don’t always mean to say, and we for sure all make mistakes. We only get this one beautiful life together to share in our story. Life is short–so fall in love with every relationship you may have, and give to them while expecting nothing back. Each of us should show unconditional love, no matter what happens in life. We need to work through and fight for relationships because no relationship is easy. By deciding to show unconditional love, you will always hold the most important relationships to you in your heart. So raise your glass, take a puff off your cigar, and let us give cheer for the relationships we have in our lives. And with God’s blessing, may we have lifelong friendships and love with all the partners in our lives.

Cheers!

Lincoln B. Salazar Publisher & CEO

Follow on Instagram

@cigarandspiritsmagpublisher


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LIFESTYLE

THE LOWDOWN What’s Out There Now BOOZY ICE CR E A M WEST A FR IC A N CUISINE SN A ZZY COCKTA ILI A N TOOLS BIG CITY SCOOTERS

EVERY YEAR, the zeitgeist of the world changes, and new trends emerge in a myriad of fields like cuisine, tech, home design and fashion accessories. While there are many burgeoning trends, here’s a few we’re absolutely on board with.

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>> An artisanal flight of boozy ice cream.

ADULT BEVERAGE ICE CREAM Yes. As if you needed another reason to enjoy ice cream, a growing trend aimed at the adult palate has taken hold. We all know and love the traditional flavors widely available, but more and more places are serving boozy varieties as well. The best part–you won’t have to chase down your neighborhood Good Humor Ice Cream Truck on a hot summer’s day. The Hop Ice Cream Cafe in Asheville, N.C. has more than 50 variations of ice creams infused with ales, porters and stouts. This is a testament to the 30 or so breweries in the area, and beer-enthusiastic residents. The creamery houses a tasting room offering flights of boozy desserts. Prohibition Creamery in Austin, Texas, serves an ice cream they call Black Magic—made with activated charcoal and mezcal—as well as a slew of other prohibition-themed ice creams.

Photos courtesy of The Hop Ice Cream Shop Café, Loda Biergarten, Lela Blanco/Shutterstock.com

Luigi’s Ice Cream inside Ani Ramen (a ramen restaurant) in Jersey City, N.J. has a selection of boozy ice cream, including Godiva Dark Chocoholic, infused with Godiva liqueur; and Tequila Rose Strawberry Shortcake, infused with rose tequila.

>> There are many versions of crafted Oreo ice cream cocktails out there.

Browndog Barlour & Restaurant in Farmington and Northville, Mich., serves beer ice cream floats, chocolate martinis and boozy eggnog, among others. >> There’s no resisting boozy and frothy tastes for spirited sweet-tooth types.

Loda Biergarten in Mobile, Ala., has a plethora of adult milkshakes such as Oreo Speedwagon (Irish cream liquor, whipped cream vodka, Oreos, vanilla ice cream) and Gimme Some Moa (coconut rum, caramel sauce, chocolate, Girl Scout Somoas, ice cream). If any of these choices entice you, note that we are just scratching the surface of all that’s out there. Chances are you can find a place in your area that offers a delicious adult ice cream.

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YOU MAY START SEEING MORE FOODS MADE WITH ANCIENT GRAINS THAT ARE FAVORED IN WEST AFRICA, SUCH AS FONIO, MILLET AND TEFF.

WEST AFRICAN FOOD If you are a self-professed foodie, you may be familiar with East African food, such as Ethiopian cuisine. According to Whole Foods, a new trend has been developing, inspired by another part of the African continent: West Africa. West African food varies a bit, since the region is made up of sixteen countries, but a few commonalities exist. Some common dishes are fufu (a cassava dough eaten with soup), groundnut stew (a peanut-based stew with beef or chicken) and jollof rice (a rice dish with tomato, meat and vegetables). Whole Foods predicts you may start seeing more foods made with ancient grains that are favored in West Africa, such as fonio, millet and teff. Superfoods like moringa and tamarind may also start turning up. If Whole Foods is right, your food future is primed tantalize your taste buds.

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>> A joyful dish of beef and fufu.

Foodpictures/Shutterstock.com, keeshaskitchen/Shutterstock.com

>> A West African food fan favorite is beef and peanuts.


WE DON’T NEED A REASON TO CELEBRATE. BUT HERE ARE THREE GOOD ONES.

Straight Bourbon Whiskey Four Roses Bourbon

Small Batch Bourbon (Up to 10 Years) Four Roses Small Batch

Single Barrel Bourbon (Up to 10 Years) Four Roses Single Barrel

Handcraft Your Moment at cocktails.fourrosesbourbon.com FourRosesBourbon.com • Four Roses Distillery LLC • Lawrenceburg, KY • Be mellow. Be responsible.

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SNAZZY COCKTAILIAN TOOLS Few domestic achievements are more satisfying than creating a home bar. But as with many projects, the choices on how to create your bar can be overwhelming. Here are a few noteworthy options that will raise the ante on your personal libation station. >> Phantom Ice Maker ($140) by Wintersmiths

>> Oklahoma Whiskey Set ($310) by Terrane Glass Co.

Quality ice is an essential part of every bar. It’s a key component to many mixed drinks, cocktails and drinks on the rocks. But the problem with ice made in most freezers is that impurities and oxygen get into the water during the freezing process, leaving you with unattractive, cloudy ice. Ice shape is also a factor for spirits because the surface areas ultimately affect the melting rate of the ice. The Phantom Ice Maker ($140) by Wintersmiths solves these problems. The Phantom makes dense, perfectly clear and perfectly shaped ice by removing impurities and controlling the way the ice freezes. It doesn’t require any special water source or freezer. Just place your desired water in the Phantam cooler and put it in the freezer; the Phantom does the rest. This icemaker also allows you to choose the shape of the ice you serve: sphere, large cube, standard cube, prism and Collins Spears. The Phantom Ice Maker is an invaluable asset in any home bar, and will add enjoyment to any drink you make.

>> Incanter ($65) by Sempli

>> Barrel Aged in a Bottle Oak Infusion Spirals ($25)

Our next suggestion is something that can really spruce up your cocktails and spirits, and give you many more flavor profiles at your disposal: an infuser. Instead of buying flavored spirits, you can use an infuser to create your own. Pour a spirit into the infuser, and allow it to steep and absorb all the natural flavors of whatever you add: fruit, herbs, wood—the possibilities are endless. Our choice here is the Incanter ($65) by Sempli. It’s simply made, with two parts: a decanter that yields about 13.5 oz of infused spirit, and an infusion tube. While we recommend it for spirits, the Incanter is not limited to this use. You can also utilize it to infuse oils, water, vinegar or anything else you can think of. And speaking of infusion, our last choice also falls into this category: Barrel Aged in a Bottle Oak Infusion Spirals ($25). Some of the best flavors of aged spirits come from the barrels and wood they are aged in, but we sometimes don’t have that ripened stuff on hand. Oak Infusion Spirals allow you to easily infuse a little of the smoky, woody flavor we know and love.

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Photos courtesy of Wintersmiths, Terrane Glass Co., Sempli.

Another important component of your bar is glassware. Pouring a drink into a high quality glass completely enhances the drinking experience. Decanters are also important because having a good place to store your whiskey can slow the oxidation process and keep it at its best for much longer. If you’re serious about your home bar, we recommend investing in a high-quality decanter and set of glasses. One suggestion is the Oklahoma Whiskey Set ($310) by Terrane Glass Co. Terrane’s handblown glassware is truly exceptional, and the Oklahoma set is simple, beautiful and made with thicker glass than many bar sets. The Oklahoma set comes with a 750 ml decanter as well four whiskey glasses that are large enough to hold some of those large ice spheres you just made.


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JUST ONE LOOK, THAT’S ALL IT TOOK…WE’D RIDE THIS BEAUTY EVERYWHERE AROUND TOWN, AND WE THINK SOME OF YOU WOULD TOO.

D-FLY DRAGONFLY HYPERSCOOTER If you’ve been downtown recently in any city, you’ve no doubt seen someone getting around town on a scooter. They’re becoming more popular, partly due to scooter-sharing companies. But if the juvenile appearance of riding a scooter turned you off or the slower speed of these little guys kept you from buying one, look no further than the D-Fly Dragonfly Hyperscooter. D-fly seemingly wanted to know how to turn a scooter into a Ferrari, so they made the world’s first highperformance “hyperscooter.” It looks like something from an alien spaceship, and we love it. It’s built with no expense spared, and keeps supercars in mind with its design. It’s made from carbon fiber, aerospace-grade aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced Paulownia wood, and has many premium features. This baby is loaded with a dual wishbone suspension system for a tight turn radius, 38 mph top speed, range of 28.5 miles per battery charge, vehicle alarm, RFID fob, GPS tracking, 4.5-inch 4k display, lockable 3-gallon storage unit and foam-filled tires that are puncture resistant.

The D-Fly is currently available for pre-order, with delivery slated for summer 2020. The price starts at $5,000.

Dave Johnson is a fragrance review critic and entertainer on the popular YouTube Channel Fragrance Bros. To see more, visit FragranceBros.com.

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Photo courtesy of D-Fly Dragonfly

Just one look , that’s all it took…we’d ride this beauty everywhere around town, and we think some of you would too.


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FEATURE

PARTY LIKE A

ROCK STAR

HANG OUT WITHIN THE SAME WALLS AS ROCK ‘N ROLL’S BIGGEST LEGENDS by Elisa Jordan

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Dunca Daniel Mihai/Alamy.com

MUSIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN A STAPLE OF LOS ANGELES CULTURE. When the Hollywood Bowl opened in 1922, a giant statue of the Muse of Music, Dance and Drama was erected at the entrance. It sent a powerful message— Los Angeles is a city by artists, for artists. By the 1960s, Old Hollywood’s grip on the city gave way to rock music, which literally filled the streets with the sounds of a younger generation. The Sunset Strip was an epicenter, but clubs also sprung up all over town. That tradition has continued over the decades, with Los Angeles serving as both an inspiration and a gathering spot for musicians on and off the road. When not on stage, rock stars needed places where they could hang out. Fortunately, many of those spots that attracted legends still exist and attract crowds today.


>> Guns ‘n Roses took one of their earliest publicity photos in 1985 at Canter’s, where they were regulars. This photo now hangs in the Canter’s dining room.

Photo credit © Jack Lue/AtlasIcons.com Alex Millauer/Shutterstock.com

Canter’s Deli

419 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles Famous for its pastrami, pickles and baked goods, Canter’s has been a cornerstone of the Fairfax district for decades. It has attracted a clientele ranging from neighborhood locals to celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Mel Brooks, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Lewis and Rodney Dangerfield—just to name a few. No one could have predicted that the family deli would become a hotspot for the rock contingent, but the open 24-hour, seven-daysa-week restaurant found itself flooded after clubs and bars closed at 2am. This reputation grew in the 1960s because Canter’s was one of only two restaurants that served “long hairs.” (The other was Ben Frank’s.) In the 1970s, singer Tom Waits and his friends engaged in a not-so-friendly food fight with the punk band The Bags. In the 1980s, Canter’s heir Marc Canter helped childhood buddy Slash’s band, Guns ‘N Roses, by providing the starving musicians with free food during lean times. And in the 1990s, the Kibitz Room, a small bar off Canter’s dining room offering live music, served as ground zero for Jakob Dylan’s band, the Wallflowers.

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Sunset Grill

7439 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Barney’s Beanery

8447 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood When Barney’s Beanery opened on this spot in 1927, it was a little roadhouse on Route 66 known to extend credit or offer a free bowl of chili to those down on their luck. The location is also centrally located among studios, nightclubs and residences of Hollywood’s elite. As a result, Barney’s has always attracted a wide cross section of people in Los Angeles. Janis Joplin once carved her name into one of the table tops, which is now preserved and secured to the ceiling. After a day of recording on October 3, 1970, she stopped here for what turned out to be her last meal. She was found dead in her hotel room the following morning. Another regular was Jim Morrison of The Doors, who lived within walking distance of the famed pub and stopped in frequently for a drink or a meal. Always one to push boundaries, he took things too far one night when he urinated on the bar after some heavy drinking. He was thrown out, but today there’s a plaque dedicated to his memory embedded in the same bar.

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Photo credit Elisa Jordan.

>> Jim Morrison was a regular and Janis Joplin ate her last dinner at Barney’s Beanery.

Photo credit © Neil Zlozower/AtlasIcons.com

>> The Sunset Grill has catered to neighborhood locals since the 1950s, making it an ideal place to grab a bite without getting hassled. Here Bret Michaels of Poison enjoys a hamburger in 1988.

The Sunset Grill was always popular as a neighborhood hangout but it achieved international fame when former Eagles member Don Henley released his solo album Building the Perfect Beast (1984), which featured the single “Sunset Grill.” The nondescript burger joint gives no outward indication that it’s a part of rock ‘n roll history. Originally opened in 1957 by a guy named Joe Froehlich, the Vienna-born Joe is the “old man from the Old World” in the song’s first verse. Henley was a frequent diner here and because it catered to locals, he could eat in peace. He loved that the business was family-run and that Joe was a guy who “calls all his customers by name,” as the song says. Don Henley isn’t the only rock star associated with the Sunset Grill. It was also a hub for the rockers who hung out in Hollywood during the 1980s. Guns ‘n Roses were so broke that the members lived in a storage unit in the alley out back. These days, Joe is long gone but the burger stand remains. It’s been extensively remodeled, but a gold record for “Sunset Grill” still proudly hangs on the wall.


Photo credit travelpix/Alamy.com

>> The Rainbow Bar and Grill has been a rock ‘n roll epicenter since it opened in 1972. Guns ‘n Roses featured it in the videos for “November Rain” and “Estranged.”

>> The Rainbow’s dining room is filled with history dating back to the Old Hollywood days when the building was still the Villa Nova. Since the 1970s, the establishment has been a prime hangout for musicians and a rowdy rock ‘n roll crowd. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, this particular booth was popular with those who were up to no good because it’s located in a back corner that’s difficult to see.

Benjamin Clapp/Shutterstock.com

The Rainbow Bar and Grill 9015 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

Another private room, nicknamed the Vampire Lair, for the town’s most exclusive drinking club, the Hollywood Vampires. Members included John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon and Micky Dolenz, all of whom could relax without the prying eyes of autograph seekers.

Before it was the Rainbow, this historic Sunset Strip restaurant was an upscale Italian restaurant called Villa Nova. Vincent Minelli proposed to Judy Garland here, and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio met on a blind date within these fabled walls. In 1972, new management renamed the restaurant The Rainbow as a nod to Judy and her most famous song. The Rainbow continues to serve Italian comfort food, but the clientele changed when the rock crowd overtook the Sunset Strip. Rock royalty, including Led Zeppelin and David Bowie, were soon regulars. The Rainbow was so accommodating to its ultra-famous clientele that a private club opened upstairs called Over the Rainbow (get it?) for guests seeking refuge from paparazzi and fans. What’s more, within Over the Rainbow there was another private room, nicknamed the Vampire Lair, for the town’s most exclusive drinking club, the Hollywood Vampires. Members included John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon and Micky Dolenz, all of whom could relax without the prying eyes of autograph seekers. The Rainbow’s most frequent celebrity guest was Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, who took the step of getting an apartment within walking distance. He visited his home away from home every day when he was in town. After the rock legend passed away in 2015, The Rainbow renamed the outdoor patio “Lemmy’s Lounge” in his honor.

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1200 Alta Loma Road, West Hollywood

The Sunset Marquis has attracted artists and musicians since it opened in the 1960s. What started as a humble place to stay has evolved into a first-rate hotel, complete with a restaurant, bar and art gallery. The hotel is just steps off the Sunset Strip, making it close enough to stumble home from clubs and private enough to stay out of the paparazzi’s glaring camera flashes and away from fans. This juxtaposition helped create a unique community of artists. Some were breezing through town while on tour or calling the hotel home while recording, but even locals took to hanging out.

>> The Cavatina restaurant is located in the legendary Sunset Marquis Hotel.

It’s so popular with musicians that it opened a recording studio on the grounds in case inspiration strikes. The guest list is a who’s who of music history. Everyone from the Black Crowes, Sting and Ritchie Blackmore to The Clash and Blondie to Aerosmith, Metallica, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns ‘n Roses have all called Sunset Marquis home.

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Mel’s Drive-in (formerly Ben Frank’s) 8585 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

Mel’s Drive-in is a survivor of the Sunset Strip’s glory days when the coffee shop was still known as Ben Frank’s. It was open 24 hours, making it the perfect spot to go after clubs and bars closed at 2am. It was also one of only two places in the 1960s that welcomed “long hairs.” (The other was Canter’s.) On any given night a visitor might see the likes of Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds or even Bob Dylan. This place was so popular that when producers were looking to cast a TV show about a rock band called The Monkees, the producers specified they wanted “Ben Frank’s types.” Ben Frank’s was such an epicenter that two bands formed while hanging out in the parking lot: Love, which became one of the most popular bands in town, and Buffalo Springfield, which included members Neil Young and Stephen Stills. Mel’s took over the space in 1997 and honored the building’s illustrious past by keeping the distinctively futuristic Googie-style architecture intact. The name has changed but guests will still be within the same historic walls.

Photo courtesy of Mel’s Drive-in.

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>> Joe Strummer stands in front of the swimming pool of the Sunset Marquis during The Clash’s U.S. tour in 1979.

A depressed Ozzy Osbourne holed up at the Sunset Marquis after Black Sabbath fired him in the late 1970s. When former manager Don Arden sent his daughter Sharon on an errand to Ozzy’s hotel, she found him drowning his sorrows in alcohol and pizza. She soon took over managing his career.

>> Now a Mel’s Drive-in, the Googiestyle building on Sunset Blvd. was once home to Ben Frank’s.

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Photo credit © Bob Gruen/BobGruen.com

Photo courtesy of Sunset Marquis.

Sunset Marquis Hotel


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>>The Continental Hyatt House was one of the most popular hotels with the rock ‘n roll crowd during the late 1960s through the early 1980s.

Photo credit Elisa Jordan.

During this fabled establishment’s history, one might have seen Tom Waits smoking outside, Metallica Drummer Lars Ulrich picking a fight with Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx or comedian Steve Martin-wearing a balloon hat-standing out front and telling Troubadour audiences that he would jump on the train that chugged down the center of Santa Monica Blvd. at the time.

>> Dan Tana’s is a popular spot to grab a bite or a drink before or after shows at the Troubadour a couple doors down.

Dan Tana’s

9071 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood Dan Tana’s opened in 1964 during an awkward time in Los Angeles. Old Hollywood was fizzling out and a younger, Baby Boomer rock ‘n roll generation was taking over. It wasn’t always a comfortable coexistence but somehow the small Italian eatery has always managed to make everyone feel at home. It still caters to Hollywood actors, agents, executives and directors today. Thanks to its close proximity to the Troubadour just two doors down, it has a number of stories attached to the location. During this restaurant’s history, one might have seen Tom Waits smoking outside, Metallica Drummer Lars Ulrich picking a fight with Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx or comedian Steve Martin—wearing a balloon hat—standing out front and telling Troubadour audiences that he would jump on the train that chugged down the center of Santa Monica Blvd. at the time. (He never went through with it.) Perhaps the most famous story to come out of Dan Tana’s is the night when Eagles regulars Glenn Frey and Don Henley were unwinding in the bar and spotted an older man out with a much younger woman. To pass the time, Frey and Henley began writing a story that eventually turned into the song “Lyin’ Eyes.”

(formerly the Continental Hyatt House) 8401 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood

Keith Richards and Keith Moon both dropped TV sets off the balconies, and Jim Morrison famously dangled by his fingers from the tenth floor.

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From the mid-1960s through the early 1980s, The Continental Hyatt House served as a home away from home for rock music’s biggest names. The hotel was conveniently located on the Sunset Strip, so it was right in the center of the Strip’s most popular clubs. Keith Richards and Keith Moon both dropped TV sets off the balconies, and Jim Morrison famously dangled by his fingers from the tenth floor. Led Zeppelin was known to stay in the hotel for long stretches, which meant they had enough time to get comfortable. In addition to the mandatory partying, drummer John Bonham reportedly rode his motorcycle down one of the hallways. The antics led scenesters to dub the place “Riot House.” These days, the Hyatt corporation has remodeled and rebranded the hotel as The Andaz. There are still nods to the notorious Riot House days, though. The hotel’s bar area that has long hosted music’s elite is still there and now named the Riot House Bar.

Elisa Jordan is a Southern California native, Los Angeles historian, architecture nerd, literary geek and lifelong music fan. She gives tours of rock ‘n roll sites in Los Angeles during the summer months. elisajordanLA.com

Robert Landau/Alamy Stock Photo

Andaz West Hollywood


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REWARDS OPOLJA/Shutterstock.com

FEATURED PAIRINGS

PERFECTO PAIRINGS TO EXPAND YOUR PALATE by Greg Mays

TOSCANO STILNOVO THE BALVENIE DOUBLEWOOD 17 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT SCOTCH There’s a lot of history and legend associated with Toscano cigars, the rustic cheroots from Italy. Besides being gnawed on by cool Clint Eastwood in the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s, Toscanos are uniquely designed to actually be cut in half in the middle or smoked all the way though. They’re famously constructed in a unique perfecto shape, tapered on both ends and not requiring a cutter. New from Toscano, though is the Stilnovo premium cigar. The most interesting feature of the Stilnovo is that it’s the first Toscano to incorporate a binder between wrapper and filler. It’s a hybrid between old-school Italian cigar making, and the handmade techniques utilized throughout the cigar world. The creation was Inspired by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, and Toscano Stilnovo is hand-rolled with the Caribbean technique by the Sigaraia of Lucca. The Stilnovo is a fire-cured cigar, and doesn’t require humidity. It has notes of earth and spice, with a little dark chocolate underlying the earthiness. The draw is easy–Stilnovo smokes quickly, even if you choose the whole stick as opposed to half. The Balvenie Doublewood 17 serves as a great tongue-pleaser with the Toscano Stilnovo. Balvenie always delivers. Their Doublewood 17 has an intensely fruity and charredwood nose, with flavors of spice and peppery vanilla, offering the chocolate of the Stilnovo a nice companion and balancing out the two nicely. There’s an underlying woodsy-smokey profile in both that creates a balanced and flavorful cigar pairing that’s a great post-dinner experience. Size: 6.5 x 40 (slim panatela/cheroot | Wrapper: USA Kentucky Maduro Binder: Kentucky-grown Italian | Filler: USA, Italian MSRP (cigar): $20 (box of three) | MSRP (whiskey): $140

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C & S Staff Pairing Spotlight

BALMORAL ANEJO XO NICARAGUA ROTHSCHILD MASIVO GLENFIDDICH SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY 21 YEAR OLD IN CARIBBEAN RUM CASKS The Balmoral portfolio has gained notoriety in the last few years. In general, their cigars are some of the finest of the premium boutique brands. They’ve even enhanced their standing by collaborating on a couple of blends with esteemed cigar makers E.P. Carrillo and Litto Gomez’s La Flor Dominicana factory in the Dominican Republic. The Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Rothschild Masivo is a complex and tasty blend. It has a formidable but elegant feel in the hand. It’s a refined cigar, and more than worthy of being paired with the Glenfiddich 21 Year Old in Caribbean Rum Casks selection. We noticed the notes of rich espresso right off the bat of the Masivo, and that oozed into hazelnut and pepper hints. Glenfiddich expressions are regarded as par none within our tasting group so there were strong expectations bringing the Caribbean into the equation. The tastes and scents of the cigar paired magnificently with the Glenfiddich 21 Year Old’s intense aromas of sweet vanilla, bananas and toffee. The Glenfiddich worked its way through sweetly with notable smoothness. The spirit has brisk and vibrant oak, ginger, lime, and peppery spices on the palate. The dry and spicy Glenfiddich finish synced extraordinarily well with the back-end rich oak and hazelnut sweetness of the Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua. Size: 5 x 55 | Wrapper: Sun-Grown Nicaraguan Habano | Binder: Brazilian Cubra Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican and Exclusive Stalk-Cut Brazilian Mata Norte MSRP (cigar): $10 | MSRP (scotch): $200

DREW ESTATE FAMILY RESERVE PAPPY VAN WINKLE BARREL FERMENTED ALPINE DISTILLING LAFAYETTE SPICED WHISKEY Drew Estate recently released a cigar that’s been around for a handful of years on a larger scale. Initially, it was only available through the pappyco.com website, the Drew team has now delivered their Barrel Fermented Pappys to cigar shops everywhere. The process goes like this: the tobacco leaves are selected, packed and placed into bourbon barrels. Thereafter, they’re humidified with water and pressurized to release the barrel flavors into the leaves, and removed and repacked two or three times a year. The tobacco is monitored until ready, then fire-cured and rolled. After nearly two years, we get to smoke the Pappy/Drew cigars. This is a rich smoke, and if you’ve ever enjoyed a Kentucky Fire Cured, you’ll catch similar campfire notes here. On top of that comes the bourbon tastes. However, the Kentucky sweetness and grain flavors are unmistakable. You should think of the vanilla and spice profile of a good bourbon, and then imagine you’re sitting around a campfire on a clear spring evening. Got it? Lafayette Spiced Whiskey from Alpine Distilling in Utah is a welcomed friend to this campfire cigar. This is a bourbon that’s flavored and infused with apricot, primrose and cinnamon–you’ll catch something between scents from the Middle East and Christmas mince pies. This is all sweet and spicy on the lips, and the jamminess of Lafayette makes for an easy-drinking whiskey with cigars. It provides great taste when splashed into a cup of coffee (Turkish style, anyone?). The sweetness from Lafayette marries with those sweet notes of our Drew Pappy stick, and the spices provide support with the fiery elements of the cigar, too. It’s easily a favorite pairing for a night around the campfire. Size: 6 x 52 Toro | Wrapper: Double: Kentucky and Mexican San Andres | Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan | MSRP (cigar): $16 | MSRP (whiskey): $32

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FEATURED PAIRINGS

EL ARTISTA BUFFALO TEN KETEL ONE BOTANICAL CUCUMBER MINT VODKA El Artista is a respected Dominican boutique brand with a few home runs to their name (the David Ortiz Big Papi cigar line to name one). This time targeting a value cigar connoisseur, El Artista has released Buffalo Ten, a soft-boxed-pressed toro that is offered in a 5 pack. I always take a long look at the flavor profile when searching out premium brands offering value cigars. Thankfully, the Buffalo Ten smoked like a dream–the construction and flavors were excellent. There’s sweetness from the San Andres wrapper. The mild Dominican, Colombian, and USA filler has a great flavor profile, like chocolate covered peanuts with a lingering salty nuttiness throughout. Not only is this a wonderful value cigar–it’s a wonderful cigar, period. Ketel One kicked into gear the botanical-infused vodka trend a couple of years ago, and there seems to be no stopping this juggernaut. The are several tasty options to choose from in their infused line, and I paired the Cucumber Mint with my Buffalo Ten. There’s a bold cucumber on the nose, with a clean and flavorful finish of subtle mint leaves. I was happy to discover that not only is this a naturally-infused product, but it’s unsweetened. This is a rarity in the flavored vodka space, and this made the pairing all the better. I greatly enjoyed the clean finish. This is an excellent pairing with the mild and flavorful Buffalo Ten. Size: 6 x 50 Toro (soft box press) | Wrapper: Mexican San Andres | Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican, Colombian, USA | MSRP (cigar): $20 (pack of five) | MSRP (vodka): $22

AVANTI VANILLA IRON FISH MAPLE SYRUP BOURBON Avanti is a very old tobacco brand that has been a regular staple at brick and mortar cigar shops for decades. Stored up front, as the dry-cured tobacco doesn’t require humidification, Avanti offers a great value for a cigar to smoke on the go. Using mostly Kentucky-grown and some Tennessee-grown tobacco, the Avanti line hearkens back to the old-school smoker with smaller ring gages in affordable 5 packs. The vanilla used in their line has clear vanilla notes in the wrapper, and on lighting, offers a pleasant American-tobacco sweetness. It continues with subtle vanilla and some hickory smoke flavor notes as you go along. For an enjoyable, 20-minute smoke, Avanti’s Vanilla is a flavorful winner at this price point. An obvious pairing with Avanti Vanilla is Iron Fish’s Bourbon, which is finished in maple syrup barrels. Maple can be an intense flavor profile, but Iron Fish has done an excellent job with this blend. It features touches of bourbon sweetness on the nose, and the bold and spicy whiskey lingers on the tongue that finishes tasting like cinnamon sticks. The spice of the whiskey meets the sweetness of the cigar here on a level playing field and it’s a great pair. Size: 4.5 x 34 (cigarillo) | Wrapper: Kentucky and Tennessee Binder: Kentucky and Tennessee | Filler: Kentucky and Tennessee MSRP (cigar): $48 (5 pack, 10 boxes–50 cigars total) | MSRP (whiskey): $40

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DREW ESTATE NICA RUSTICA ALPINE GIN Drew Estate has clearly taking their “Rebirth of Cigars” motto seriously over the past ten years. From special edition releases to their core lines, they’ve established themselves as an absolute powerhouse in the cigar industry. One of the pillars of the Drew Estate line is the Nica Rustica, the rustic Nicaraguan stick that’s readily accessible at the retail level. The dark wrapper is highlighted by evident leafy veins, and topped off with a subtle pigtail. The flavors of the Nica Rustica are collectively rustic and sweet, with strong notes of earth and dry coffee, underscored by the familiar Drew Estate pepper. The cigar burns great with a solid, long-lasting ash. It’s a strong, full-bodied stick that deserves a constant position in your humidor. Alpine Gin pairs together with the earthiness of the Nica, too, as it offers these great clean notes of mint, lemon and orange. This is a light and mild gin that’s not as pine-forward as the typical London Dry. Because of the corn-based distillate in Alpine Gin, there’s a continuing sweetness that underscores the botanicals. There are elements of floral flavors, too. Frankly, it’s an excellent “garden” gin, and it’s great for mixing and sipping during spring weather. With a bolder and spicier cigar like the Nica Rustica, this is a great afternoon pairing as the weather warms up this year. Size: 6 x 52 Toro | Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro | Binder: Mexican San Andres Filler: Nicaraguan | MSRP (cigar): $9 | MSRP (gin): $32 Greg Mays is the Executive Editor of Simple Cocktails (simplecocktails.net). Follow him on Instagram and Snapchat at @simplecocktails.

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LIFESTYLE

It’s a nice, round number on a legendarily famous square

>> John Walker & Sons Store (circa 1820)

bottle: “Established 1820.” The bottle, of course, is that of Johnnie Walker, and it matters not which of the brand’s iconic rainbow of options

>> A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire NYCC Tasting Experience

is your favorite. Red, Black, Double Black, Green, Gold, Platinum, Blue–2020 is a year to celebrate them all.

he year 1820 actually marks somewhat of a loose birthday for one of the world’s most famous Scotch whiskies. The original John Walker opened a grocery store in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, that year and soon began specializing in whisky. But the “Walker” name didn’t land on labels for some years to come. Still, that “1820’’ designation allows for a bicentennial gala, of sorts. It’s a chance to look back, as well as ahead, on a brand that so comfortably wears another label–“icon.” “It’s an honor to be recognized as an iconic brand,’’ Sophie Kelly, senior vice president of whiskies for Diageo North America, tells Cigar and Spirits Magazine. “For nearly 200 years, Johnnie Walker has been pushing boundaries in the category, and it’s really important for us to continue doing so to remain an icon for the next 200 years.’’ In fact, over those first 200 years, the name “Johnnie Walker” has become more than just a brand name, but also a cultural touchstone… one inspiring fierce loyalty. Which is to say, the definition of an icon. Rock musician George Thorogood honored the brand in his song “I Drink Alone,” writing, “The other day I got invited to a party/But I stayed home instead/Just me and my pal Johnnie Walker/And his brothers Black and Red.” “I like my girls blonde and my Johnnie Walker Red,” Hall of Fame New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath famously quipped back in the 1960s.

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>> John Walker & Sons Portland Street Store (circa 1900)


>> A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire NYCC Tasting Experience

ZZ Top also referenced Johnnie Walker–and the heavy metal band Black Label Society took its entire identity from the brand. Sir Winston Churchill also reportedly favored Johnnie Walker Red (with water) when he was in a Scotch mood. Johnnie Walker Blue (with ginger ale and lime) reportedly was the preferred potable of Richard Nixon. Photos courtesy of Johnnie Walker/Diageo.

Perhaps most famously, the late journalist Christopher Hitchens– notorious for his scathing social commentary–could only rhapsodize about what he called “Mr. Walker’s amber restorative.” In a 2009 interview, Hitchens called his preferred Johnnie Walker Black Label, “The best blended Scotch in the history of the world”– also extolling it as, “Breakfast of champions, accept no substitute.’’ If the past is preface, it’s a good bet there are more such love songs in the Johnnie Walker brand’s future. “Looking ahead, we want to let Johnnie Walker off the leash and upend traditional perceptions of Scotch,’’ Kelly says of what’s in store for these early days of the next 200 years. “There are a lot of legacy rituals around the icons of Scotch, and we are striving to encourage our consumers to continue to explore, experiment and taste more out of life with the brand.’’ Recent additions to the Johnnie Walker realm have included Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire–a collaboration with HBO that celebrates the hit show “Game of Thrones”–as well as Jane Walker, a special edition of the Black Label blend that replaced the iconic top-hatted man with a top-hatted woman. The future promises more such boundary-pushing and exploration, Kelly says. “We are taking these steps with the introduction of our most recent “Keep Walking” creative campaign, and focusing on cultural innovations like Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire and Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker from Master Blender Emma Walker,’’ she says.

>> Johnnie Walker Blue Label

>> Johnnie Walker Black Label

“With such an iconic reputation comes excitement to reshape what it means to be a Scotch whisky brand in today’s world.’’ What should we be on the lookout for in 2020 and beyond? “In fall 2019, we launched an evolution to our ‘Keep Walking’ campaign encouraging drinkers to break away from the traditional norms expected within the Scotch category,’’ says Kelly. “We have created a dynamic visual world, and we believe this work invites people into a more vibrant, edgy, evocative world of Scotch. In 2020 and beyond, we will continue to deformalize Scotch and inspire drinkers to imagine more ways to enjoy our whisky–whether that is through new audiences, new partners and new drinking occasions that help us redefine Scotch whisky.’’ With the Walker brands already the world’s most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whisky, Kelly says, “We are quite excited by the positive momentum for blended Scotch in the U.S.’’ “We have an incredible opportunity to continue welcoming more people into the category since now, more than ever, consumers are looking for new experiences,’’ she says. “We also know consumers are seeking brands that represent their values, so we continue to drive relevance for our target audiences through cultural programming that brings our shared values to life.’’ Two hundred years, give or take. It’s just the beginning.

Kevin Kenney, Senior Contributing Writer to Cigar and Spirits Magazine, is a veteran journalist. He’s also written for United Press International and Fox Sports, among other ports of call.

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FEATURE >> The center console of the Mercedes Benz Vision ATVR rises up to meet the driver’s hand, and is supposed to vibrate and mimic the user’s heartbeat and breathing as a way to operate the car.

H U R RY U P A N D WA IT… T H E F UT U R E C A R S O F

TO D AY A N D TO M O R R OW by Elisa Jordan

T

HE AUTO INDUSTRY HAS ALWAYS ENJOYED REVOLUTIONIZING the way people live and ride. In the last few years, that’s meant paying close attention to

features that will not only enhance user experience but also address issues important to many consumers. Environment, quality of life and smart technology are now taken into serious consideration when designers and engineers look toward the future. If 2020’s models and concept cars are any indication of what’s to come, electric engines, autonomous driving, and user interface technology will continue to emerge from manufacturers. In addition to pushing the limits of current technology, concept cars usually have a futuristic aesthetic when it comes to looks. The next few years will determine if carmakers are right in what users actually want and what has staying power.

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MERCEDES-BENZ VISION AVTR

Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Inspired by the 2009 movie Avatar, which is scheduled to become a full-fledged franchise, Mercedes-Benz took both the movie’s look and message into consideration when creating an ambitious concept car. The car’s look is fluid and dreamlike; tires take inspiration from the seeds of the trees in the movie. The center console rises up to meet the driver’s hand, and is supposed to vibrate and mimic the user’s heartbeat and breathing as a way to operate the car. Currently, this is the only way to apply control as it is a true concept car and there is no steering wheel or control center. The car will also include taking the movie’s theme of protecting the environment into account by using vegan leather, recycled plastics and a sustainable wood called Karuun (rattan) for the floors. There’s a lot of possibility with the AVTR’s experimental technology, such 33 scales on the car’s rear end, and illuminated tires and wheels that don’t just turn but also move diagonally.

THERE’S A LOT OF POSSIBILITY WITH THE AVTR’S EXPERIMENTAL TECHNOLOGY, SUCH 33 SCALES ON THE CAR’S REAR END, AND ILLUMINATED TIRES AND WHEELS THAT DON’T JUST TURN BUT ALSO MOVE DIAGONALLY.

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TESLA CYBERTRUCK

W H E N T E S L A H E A D E L O N M US K S A I D H I S C O M PA NY WA S WO R K I N G O N A N E L E C T R IC P IC K U P T R UC K , H E P R O M I S E D IT WO U L D H AV E A C Y B E R P U N K A E ST H E T IC ST R A I G HT O UT O F T H E F UT U R IST IC M OV I E B L A D E R U N N E R .

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Photos courtesy of Tesla

When Tesla head Elon Musk said his company was working on an electric pickup truck, he promised it would have a cyberpunk aesthetic straight out of the futuristic movie Blade Runner. The Tesla Cybertruck stays true to his vision. Starting with the 30X cold-rolled steel “exoskeleton,” Tesla is counting on the body being nearly indestructible. That includes an exterior resistant to such cosmetic issues as scratches and dents, and to serve as a protective barrier for the passengers. This is the same technology and material Musk’s company Space-X currently uses for its Mars rocket prototypes. The interior is exceptionally spacious and features a 17-inch tablet that runs the Tesla software. Autopilot technology is standard. The price will start at $39,900. The base model gets about 250 miles per charge but Musk promises an upcoming top-level Cybertruck, which will start at $70,000, and is expected to get a currently unheard of 500mile range.


NAT CICCO

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T H E C A R ’ S E XT E R I O R F O C US E S O N E F F IC I E NC Y A N D A E R O DY N A M IC S B UT T H E R E A L N OT E WO RT HY E L E M E NT S A P P E A R I NS I D E .

Photo courtesy of Byton

BYTON M-BYTE

Electronic startup Byton first debuted a concept version of the M-Byte in 2018. Since then, the Chinese company has been refining the concept into reality by tweaking the design and technology. Newly emerged is a model the company hopes will hit the market in 2020. The car’s exterior focuses on efficiency and aerodynamics but the real noteworthy elements appear inside. Byton looks to enhance the user experience, most noticeably with a 48-inch display screen embedded along the dashboard, a driver tablet in the steering wheel and another tablet in the center console. The M-Byte is scheduled to hit the market later this year with an estimated starting price of $45,000.

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B E C A US E IT ’ S A C O NC E PT C A R , IT ’ S N OT I N P R O D UC T I O N FOR PURCHASE, Photo courtesy of Audi

B UT T H E A I : M E IS A S H OWC AS E O F TRAILBLAZING T E C H N O L O GY. T H E S E L F - D R IV I N G A I : M E IS D E S I G N E D TO TA K E T H E ST R E SS O F O UT C O M M UT I N G I N D E N S E LY P O P U L AT E D T R A F F IC R E G I O NS , S O IT ’ S O N T H E SMALL SIDE AND IS N I M B L E I N IT S HANDLING.

AUDI AI: ME

German automaker Audi has a series of four concept cars in the AI line. Because it’s a concept car, it’s not in production for purchase, but the AI: ME is a showcase of trailblazing technology. The self-driving AI:ME is designed to take the stress of out commuting in densely populated traffic regions, so it’s on the small side and is nimble in its handling. An extensive light system on the car’s exterior signals its intensions to other vehicles and pedestrians. The interior is designed to look and feel like a lounge, another indication of the relaxed environment Audi is trying to provide. This includes a retractable steering wheel and a desk that extends from the dash for the passenger to get work done, an infotainment system, and a VR headset if the passenger really wants to tune out.


Photos courtesy of Lexus

LEXUS LF-30 ELECTRIFIED CONCEPT When Lexus unveiled the LF-30 Electrified Concept car in Tokyo at the end of 2019, the company made it known it was looking ahead to the year 2030 with this futuristic design. Lexus has sold hybrid cars since 2005 but plans to embrace a more complete electric business model within the next 10 years. Also, this car utilizes autonomous driving capabilities, including self-parking and front door pickup. Each wheel will have its own engine, which in theory enhances the driving experience. Like a lot of concept cars, the exterior looks like something that could roar through a science fiction movie. The windshield extends across the roof to the back window. The LF-30 is not currently manufactured, but is anticipated to inform Lexus’s design plans for the next decade.

One of the most enduring and endearing movie franchises of the 1980s is the Back to the Future trilogy. In the first movie, eccentric inventor and scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) is working on turning a DeLorean car into a time machine. Teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) accidently activates the DeLorean’s time machine mechanism, which transports him from 1985 back to 1955. There he meets his parents when they’re still in their teens, and becomes the subject of his mother’s crush. Marty has to find the younger version of Doc in 1955 to help him get back to the future. The original movie was a blockbuster and spawned two sequels. It also turned a little-known car into an iconic piece of movie history. As it turns out, the “car of the future” was a bit of a dud in real life. The first prototypes were created in the mid-1970s, and promised a cutting-edge sports car was in the works. When the original fleet finally rolled off the assembly line and hit the American market in 1981, drivers were disappointed in the car’s lackluster power. The actual capabilities didn’t match the looks. The gull-wing doors and brushed stainless-steel exterior, coupled with an expensive base price of $25,000 (in 1981 dollars), created a level of expectation the DeLorean was ultimately unable to meet. Poor sales followed. It got worse for the DeLorean Motor Company when its leader, John DeLorean, was busted in an FBI sting for drug trafficking in 1982. He beat the charges by arguing entrapment, but it was too late to save his sinking car company. The last DeLoreans were sold in 1983 and the company went bankrupt. DeLorean probably would have been little more than a footnote in American car manufacturing if it weren’t for getting cast as the time machine in Back to the Future. It was those futuristic good looks and dramatic gull-wing doors that caught the attention of the first movie’s producers. The DeLorean plays a vital part in Back to the Future (1985), with the entire plot depending on the time machine. So vital, in fact, that the DeLorean appears with Michael J. Fox on the now-iconic movie poster. Since then, the DeLorean has experienced a revival and reached a cult classic status for movie fans and car enthusiasts. Of the remaining DeLoreans used in the films, Universal Studios still has two, one of which is on permanent loan at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Another is in a private collection. Over the years, a number of fans have purchased DeLoreans and modified the originals to look like the “time machine” version appearing in Back to the Future. The car that showed so much promise and then failed in the car marketplace was saved from obscurity and granted a new life as one of the most famous cars in movie history.

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Sportsphoto/Alamy Stock Photo

THE MOST FAMOUS CAR OF THE FUTURE


Photos courtesy of Ford

FORD MUSTANG MACH E

With its beautiful proportions, sporty good looks and excellent performance packages, Ford Mustangs have long been a favorite of the car world. Enthusiasts might be surprised that these twodoor sports cars have been reimagined as electric SUVs for the near future. There are some recognizable elements inspired by the traditional Mustang look, such as the three-bar taillights, the angle of the rear haunches and the headlight shape. New to the design is the lack of door handles—buttons open this car and give it a futuristic feel. Inside is a 15.5-inch tablet screen, 10.2-inch screen for the driver and an expansive glass ceiling. Also of note: There are no animal products used in the Mustang Mach E, so options such as leather seats are not offered. Five models will eventually be available, the first of which hits the market in the fall of 2020. The GT models will become available in 2021.

Elisa Jordan is a freelance writer in Los Angeles who frequently writes about cultural history, architecture and pets.

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ON THE COVER

INTERVIEW

BRYAN CRANSTON

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AND

AARON PAUL

MARCH/APRIL 2020


DOS HOMBRES

BREAKING BRAND by Audrey Pavia portraits by Charlie Gray

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Wardrobe Styling for Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston by Ilaria Urbinati/The Wall Group. Grooming for Bryan Cranston by Jamie Taylor/The Wall Group. Grooming for Aaron Paul by Daniele Piersons for Art Department using Malin&Goetz & Paul Mitchell.

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Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have chemistry. You don’t have to look hard to see it. As Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, their on-screen chemistry not only resulted in the infamous blue meth, but it also made Breaking Bad one of the most groundbreaking television series ever produced. In real life, the depth of their friendship is readily obvious after spending just a short time around them. And as business partners, their artistic simpatico combined with their disparate taste in spirits somehow led to the creation of a very special product. In August 2019, Bryan and Aaron released their own mezcal called Dos Hombres. An artisanal spirit made in the traditional Oaxacan way, Dos Hombres has a great story behind it.

THE INTERVIEW C&S: So how did Dos Hombres come about? Aaron: Bryan and I obviously got to know each other from Breaking Bad, and we had such an incredible experience on that show. We were having dinner in New York. He brought it up. He said, “Is there another project we could do together? Is it too soon post-Breaking Bad?” I said, “Maybe. I think a lot of people are going to just see us as Walt and Jesse for a minute. What if we just go into business together?” He said, “What sort of business?” I said, “What do you think about the booze business?” He kind of laughed. I go, “I’m serious,” and then we started talking about mezcal. Bryan: When he mentioned mezcal, I hearkened back to my high school days when you could afford a bottle of mezcal. We got the cheapest bottle we could buy because we were poor kids. The smell of the mezcal just was like, “Oh my God.” The taste was like rubbing alcohol. We used it almost like a punishment. When he first mentioned mezcal, I went, “Oh man. I don’t know.” And then he introduced me to the world of good mezcal. “I WAS INTRODUCED Aaron: The seed was planted, and we just couldn’t stop talking about it. We’re like, “This could be really fun.” It was so foreign to us. We don’t know how to start a company like this. First step was go down to Oaxaca to see if we could find just the perfect juice, explore the lands out there. We were willing to walk away from this sort of idea, this dream, if we didn’t find the right juice.

TO

MEZCAL ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO, AND I JUST STARTED REPLACING MY BOURBON WITH IT. I STARTED MAKING OLD-FASHIONS WITH

C&S: Why mezcal? Aaron: I was introduced to mezcal about five years ago, and I just started replacing my bourbon with it. I started making old-fashions with mezcal instead of rye whiskey or bourbon. For me, it’s just a much cleaner spirit. I end up waking up the next day not feeling trashed.

MEZCAL INSTEAD OF RYE WHISKEY OR BOURBON.” - AARON PAUL

C&S: Bryan has said he likes to be seduced by a spirit, and you liked to be punched in the face by one. Given this, how did you guys settle on one you both liked? Aaron: I like to get punched but not necessarily too hard. I also love smooth spirits, and this has a combination of both of those beautiful things.

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“HIS WORK ETHIC IS WHAT STRUCK ME—THAT HE DID HIS HOMEWORK, BACKSTORY, WRITING. HE WAS ON TIME, HE KNEW HIS LINES, HE WAS CONTRIBUTING TO THE COLLABORATION AND THE PROCESS OF THAT. AND IT’S THE CHARACTER OF A PERSON THAT REALLY SUSTAINS A FRIENDSHIP.” - BRYAN CRANSTON Bryan: When we first started, we tasted maybe 60 or so mezcals from different palenques [mezcal production houses]. The first thing I would do is bring it to my nose, and if it didn’t attract me in the nose, I wouldn’t even taste it because it has to have everything. We eliminated those that weren’t pleasing to the nose, and then we started tasting. It took a while to find the right one. I think what really impressed me about finding our mezcal—and our maestro, Gregorio—was the fact that this beautiful man was not going to do business with us until we sat down with him and his family, and broke bread, and got to know them. It is against what most American companies do and want. They just want efficiency, a good price point, make the juice go. But he wasn’t having that. We didn’t come in with that attitude, but he insisted that we meet his family. We all just relaxed, and we laughed and smiled, and they put on a great meal for us. It struck me that that’s the way business can work in the optimum sense; you have a relationship. Now we adore this man, we know his family, and we bring presents down to him because we really love him. I thought, “Why can’t all businesses be this way?” Aaron: They can track it back, I think, at least five generations that this family has been making mezcal. That’s just how far they can track it, so it’s probably even much further than that. Bryan: Gregorio caravans down to the bottling center, and he watches everything. He makes sure that it’s consistent. He’ll take a little taste of it to make sure that it’s right. He is so knowledgeable.

C&S: Do you have any good stories about your sojourns through Oaxaca trying to find the right mezcal? Aaron: I remember the first plant we went to. They would uncover these big vats of mezcal fermenting, and there’s just thousands of flies flying all over, and then they would stick a cup down in there, pour out some mezcal, and then hand it to me.

C&S: With flies in it? Aaron: Yes. I guess this is how it’s done, and I would try it. It was actually pretty decent but definitely not the one. I realize there are just many, many, many different ways of making mezcal, and once we stumbled upon ours, we quickly realized, “Oh, this is the proper way. They really know what they’re doing here.” The proof is in the product.

C&S: And there were no flies. Aaron: There were no flies.

CIGAR OF THE DAY

Cigar & Spirits Magazine selected the Don Lino Africa Kifaru Belicoso made by Miami Cigar & Company for the photo session with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. The aromas of leather, spice, cedar and roasted nuts paired up perfectly with Dos Hombres Mezcal, and the combination was enjoyed throughout the day.

C&S: Tell me about San Luis Del Rio in Oaxaca where Dos Hombres is made. What makes the town such a premium location for mezcal? Bryan: It’s a very small town of less than 350 people, about three hours outside of Oaxaca City. What struck me was the typography of the area. It’s up in the foothills. All of the agave plants are on a hillside, which is perfect for the amount of rainfall. You don’t want to have flatlands for the agave with too much water soaking in. It affects the roots. The water has to seep in but then cascade off as well. The other thing about San Luis Del Rio is that all around it are flowers and fruits and mango trees, so when the bees cross-pollinate, it gets into the [agave] plants, and so you can taste the fruit. You can taste the earth. Aaron: The town has no electricity, and one landline. We got a satellite phone down there so we can communicate with them. It’s just such a beautiful place with such an incredible, overwhelming sense of community.

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“WE DIDN’T WANT TO SLAP OUR NAMES ON SOMETHING IF WE DON’T BELIEVE IN THE PRODUCT. IT’S THE SAME THING WITH OUR ACTING. WE READ OVER SCRIPTS AND OFFERS DILIGENTLY, AND REALLY THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE WE COMMIT TO DOING SOMETHING BECAUSE IF THAT SCRIPT IS NOT IN GREAT SHAPE AND THE PEOPLE INVOLVED ARE NOT AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME, THEN THE CHANCES OF THAT PRODUCT, WHETHER IT’S A TV SHOW OR A MOVIE, IS LESS LIKELY TO BE WHAT YOU HOPED IT WOULD BE.”- BRYAN CRANSTON

C&S: I love the Dos Hombres logo. How did you come up with it? Aaron: Thank you. It represents all things mezcal, and just the traditional way of making mezcal, by a donkey moving around a giant stone wheel, smashing up agave. Bryan: We wanted something to represent where it came from. We wanted a simple label with the parchment. The texture of the label had to be right. The text, the size of the text, the color scheme. We wanted it to be earthy. The color is earthy with a teal-color agave plant, and the donkeys, which are used in production there at the palenque. We wanted it to feel and have a sense of authenticity from Mexico. We wanted it simple and clean. We didn’t want it too busy. We didn’t want to be fancy. It’s just dos hombres, two guys putting this together, and making the best mezcal that we can possibly find.

C&S: Donkeys actually grind the agave for your mezcal? Bryan: They’re an important part of the process to grind the quarters of the already smoked piñas—the “pineapples,” they call them. They grind that down before the fermentation process, and a donkey does the circle with the big stone wheel tied to the yoke, and crushes it down. From there it goes into the oak barrels, and it stays there for four days. Aaron: That’s not how everyone makes it, but it’s the true, traditional way of making mezcal.

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Photo credit Sony Pictures Television.

>> Breaking Bad Season 5 featuring skies and bags of blue.


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Photo credit Sony Pictures Television.

>> Dos Hombres in a previous incarnation as Walter “I am the danger.” White and Jesse “Yo bitch!” Pinkman.

C&S: You think this method affects the flavor? Aaron: I think so. Absolutely. Bryan: In fact, on the label—and they’re very cautious about this—they will not allow any company to put on “artisanal mezcal” if there is any modern technology used in the process. There’s no electricity at our palenque. It goes from a fire-pit to the mesh, where it’s grinded down to the fermentation process, into the copper stills. From that, out comes the juice. It’s really Old World. That’s why we have “artisanal” [on the label]. If you see “artisanal,” it means that’s the process. There’s nothing modern.

C&S: Is being in the mezcal business very different from doing film and television? Are there similarities? Bryan: I think the similarities are in how we approach it. We didn’t want to slap our names on something if we don’t believe in the product. It’s the same thing with our acting. We read over scripts and offers diligently, and really think about it before we commit to doing something because if that script is not in great shape and the people involved are not at the top of their game, then the chances of that product, whether it’s a TV show or a movie, is less likely to be what you hoped it would be. I don’t think this is any different. We want to make sure that every single aspect of this is operating at peak performance. Aaron: It’s all about just being proud of what you’re doing or what you’re a part of. This interview would be just terrible if I knew deep down we all thought that this mezcal was awful, but I believe that this mezcal is incredibly special. It’s unique. It’s something that really came from both of our hearts and minds. It’s good to be proud of what you’re doing, no matter what it is.

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“I INSTANTLY KNEW THE TYPE OF PERSON BRYAN WAS THE DAY I MET HIM. HE INVITED THE CAST OF BREAKING BAD TO LUNCH BEFORE WE STARTED SHOOTING, JUST FOR US TO BREAK BREAD, TO SIT DOWN AND GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER. HE PICKED UP THE TAB. HE’S JUST SUCH AN INCREDIBLE LEADER.” - AARON PAUL


JOYA


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“I KNEW FROM THE BEGINNING THAT AARON WAS LIKE A DRY SPONGE TO THE WORLD. HE WAS QUITE YOUNG WHEN WE STARTED. THIS WAS A BIG MOVE FOR HIM TO HIT BREAKING BAD. HIS WORK ETHIC IS WHAT STRUCK ME—THAT HE DID HIS HOMEWORK, BACKSTORY, WRITING.” - BRYAN CRANSTON

C&S: You guys seem to have a truly genuine bond that we don’t always see in people that just work together. Can you comment on that, and how it’s affected the mezcal and the project? Aaron: I instantly knew the type of person Bryan was the day I met him. He invited the cast of Breaking Bad to lunch before we started shooting, just for us to break bread, to sit down and get to know each other. He picked up the tab. He’s just such an incredible leader. He’s always said, “Look, when you are number one on the call sheet, you don’t have to do this, but there’s a responsibility there. You are the one that sets the tone on the set.” He’s the most professional person-slash-immature person I’ve ever met in my entire life. It’s the greatest combination I think a person can have. Someone who really brings his A-game but also loves to crack a joke and doesn’t take himself too seriously even though he’s such a brilliant man. On set, off set, I learned so much from him. Instantly, he became my mentor. Bryan: Boy, I wish I could say nice things about Aaron in response to that. [laughter]. I knew from the beginning that Aaron was like a dry sponge to the world. He was quite young when we started. This was a big move for him to hit Breaking Bad. His work ethic is what struck me—that he did his homework, backstory, writing. He was on time, he knew his lines, he was contributing to the collaboration and the process of that. And it’s the character of a person that really sustains a friendship. I knew and hoped that he would eventually find someone that was very special to him, and he has, and now he’s starting a family. It pleases me to see that. I’ve been married for a long, long time. It’s great. It’s great when you have your personal life well-heeled and treated, and you nurture that, just like you would nurture a film or television project. Dos Hombres is important to us. We’re very proud of it. And we’re competitive, which gets our business juices going. We want to be able to be successful at anything we do.

Audrey Pavia is an award-winning writer living in Southern California, and a frequent contributor to Cigar & Spirits Magazine.

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REWARDS

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FOR YOUR HUMIDOR

CIGAR BUYER’S GUIDE

RATINGS ARE BASED ON THE AVERAGE BLIND TASTING SCORES OF EACH CIGAR BY A PANEL OF TEN CIGAR EXPERTS. THESE CONNOISSEURS POSSESS MORE THAN 100 YEARS OF COMBINED CIGARSMOKING EXPERIENCE.

To provide feedback on any of the ratings, or to offer your own opinions on any of the cigars featured, write us at: feedback@cigarandspirits.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and leave your comments:

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93

CIGAR RATING

ALEC BRADLEY CIGARS GATEKEEPER

6 x 60 Gordo Wrapper: Ecuadorian Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: The Gatekeeper is informed with a natural sweetness offset by black pepper, cedar and nuts throughout most of the smoke. There’s a surprisingly creamy leather finish that takes it to another level.

92

CIGAR RATING

ALEC BRADLEY CIGARS MAGIC TOAST

5 x 52 Robusto Wrapper: Honduran Binder: Nicaraguan, Honduran Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran

Tasting Notes: There are abundant notes of cocoa, coffee bean, vanilla, oak and spice throughout this AB creation. The draw is magnificent in this robusto.

90

CIGAR RATING

ALEC BRADLEY CIGARS PROJECT 40

6 x 52 Toro Wrapper: Nicaraguan Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Brazilian

Tasting Notes: The cigar is skillfully balanced with cinnamon, nuts, tropical fruit and cedar. The billowy smoke emanating from Project 40 enhances the experience.

94

CIGAR RATING

ARTURO FUENTE CASA CUBA DOBLE CINCO

5 x 50 Wrapper: Ecuadorian Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican

Tasting Notes: Casa Cuba Doble Cinco is a throwback to the old-world ways of cigar-making, and is a reference to the game of dominos. It’s a fairly mild cigar. However, the blend has richness and depth with a sweet earthiness informed by the Fuente family culture. This smoke conjures a bygone era, and is a worthy homage to the timeless art of cigar blending.

94

CIGAR RATING

ARTURO FUENTE MAGNUM R VITOLA 44

4.9 x 47 Wrapper: Ecuadorian Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican

Tasting Notes: The Magnum R Vitola 44 is chock full of flavor. The aged Ecuadorian wrapper is superb. There are evident woody notes enhanced by a citrus profile throughout. The flavors remain consistent, but the finish surprises you because of its light, leathery mesquite touch.

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95

CIGAR RATING

ARTURO FUENTE DON ARTURO GRAN ANIVERXARIO SIGLO DE AMISTED

5 x 50 Robusto Wrapper: Dominican Chateau De La Fuente Rosado Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican

Tasting Notes: This medium to full cigar has hints of spice with a strong peppery and coffee profile. It’s certainly a creamy and smooth smoke–dark chocolate, leathery and finishes with a slight cocoa and earth flavor on the palate.

90

CIGAR RATING

BESPOKE CIGARS CLUB MAREVA GRAN MAREVA GOLD

5 x 42 Corona Wrapper: Ecuadorian Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian

Tasting Notes: This cigar is rich and full-bodied. It delivers a smooth, creamy honey taste with sweet aromas throughout the length of the cigar.

92

CIGAR RATING

CAO AMAZON BASIN

6 x 52 Toro Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Dominican, Colombian, Brazilian Braganca Tasting Notes: A medium to strong cigar with a rich oak and dark chocolate flavor. It has mild notes of bitter coffee and a sweetness of raisins that mixes well with pepper on the finish.

91

CIGAR RATING

CASA CUEVAS CIGARS LA MANDARRIA EDICION LIMITADA

6 x 52 Toro Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: This medium to full cigar features a pig tail and shaggy foot. It has an earthy dampness with notes of fruit, spice and black pepper. It finishes with a slight sweetness of cream and coffee bean.

90

CIGAR RATING

CASA CUEVAS CIGARS RESERVA MADURO

6 x 50 Toro Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan (Ometepe) Tasting Notes: The cigar has distinct notes of toast, earth and rich chocolate. It has hints of black pepper and hickory that are surprisingly pleasant. It’s a tasty medium to full cigar that will have you reaching for your favorite java blend to pair up in no time.

95

CIGAR RATING

COHIBA HABANA CUBA

5 7/8 x 52 Cañonazo Wrapper: Cuba Binder: Cuba Filler: Cuba Tasting Notes: This “cannon shot” of a cigar is full and spicy. It has notes of earth and botanicals. The finish is superbly earthy and smooth.

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Aged with Aloha KOLOA

Artfully crafted and carefully aged, Kōloa Kaua‘i Reserve Aged Hawaiian Rum is distilled from the finest Hawaiian sugarcane

and pure, abundant rainwater from Kaua‘i's Mount Waiʻaleʻale, A remarkably smooth rum with a bouquet of mellow oak, orange peel and toasted vanilla. Visit koloarum.com |

Please enjoy Kōloa Rum responsibly. ©2019 Kōloa Rum Company Kālaheo, Hawaii 10-46% Alc/Vol WWW.CIGARANDSPIRITS.COM

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93

CIGAR RATING

DANIEL MARSHALL RED LABEL CORONA

5.5 x 44 Wrapper: Nicaraguan Puro Binder: Nicaraguan Puro Filler: Nicaraguan Puro

Tasting Notes: Daniel Marshall’s Red Label portfolio has been recognized for its smooth and creamy profile. The inviting Red label Corona here has hints of chocolate, espresso and vanilla cream. The excellent draw enhances this luxury cigar.

94

CIGAR RATING

DREW ESTATE BOTL-2019 LIMITED EDITION

6 x 46 Corona Gorda Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut Filler: Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: BOTL has appeared in many formats and incarnations throughout the cigar industry. It has an acrossthe-board profile, and Drew Estate invigorates the offering with this gorda. It’s a harmony of red pepper and citrus with a leather and earthy finish.

91

CIGAR RATING

DREW ESTATE PAPPY VAN WINKLE FAMILY RESERVA-BARREL FERMENTED

6 x 52 Toro Wrapper: Kentucky Fire-Cured, Barrel Fermented Tapa Negra, Mexican San Andres Base Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: A medium to strong cigar for most palates. The barrel fermenting triggers a lively smoke. It has sweetness, charred wood, sugar cane and caramel notes. There are some mocha notes, coffee and a cedar spiciness on the finish.

93

CIGAR RATING

EL SEPTIMO CIGARS PARIS

5 x 54 Wrapper: 100% Costa Rican Cigar Binder: 100% Costa Rican Cigar Filler: 100% Costa Rican Cigar Tasting Notes: The Paris is an elegantly constructed cigar of high-quality Costa Rican tobaccos. The draw is magnificent. The smoke is formidable, and ash billows and holds as a fine cigar should. There are earthy flavors that have hints of cherry and wood throughout.

92

CIGAR RATING

ESTEBAN CARRERAS CIGARS MR. BROWNSTONE NATURAL SESENTA

6 x 60 Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa) Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli)

Tasting Notes: This Esteban creation is a stellar cigar in the company’s portfolio. It offers a rich chocolate profile, with a bit of spice and earth.

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El Artista: Artfully Crafted in the Dominican Republic since 1956 We teamed up with David “Big Papi” Ortiz to bring to life a Dominican Dream Team of exceptional tobaccos from Ecuador, Dominica, and Nicaragua. Blended by our master artists for a smoking experience as unique and impressive as Ortiz.

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93

CIGAR RATING

FALTO CIGARS INGENIO #10

6 x 60 Figurado Perfecto Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Brazilian Cameroon Tasting Notes: The Falto Figurado Perfecto is elegant and substantial at the same time. It features an interesting complexity and nuanced balancing. It’s a full cigar with evident undertones of sweet spice, cinnamon and nutmeg throughout.

92

CIGAR RATING

FALTO CIGARS LOS PROCESOS

7 x 50 Eminente Wrapper: Habana 2000 Binder: Carbonell and Habana Vuelta Arriba Filler: Dominican Tasting Notes: This formidable cigar has an oily and attractive wrapper. It features notes of sweetly dried fruits and molasses that develop into a toasty, vanilla bean finish.

89

CIGAR RATING

GRAN HABANO CIGARS CONNECTICUT #1

6 x 54 Gran Robusto Wrapper: Connecticut Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: A mild to medium smoke that’s smooth and creamy. It’s toasty, and loaded with flavor. It kicks up a lot of aromatic smoke as well.

90

CIGAR RATING

GRAN HABANO CIGARS COROJO #5

6 x 54 Gran Robusto Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Binder: Nicaraguan Habano Filler: Nicaraguan, Costa Rican

Tasting Notes: The #5 is a powerful full-bodied smoke with a snug roll. It produces bold, complex, and rich flavors of coffee, roasted nuts, toasty caramel and sweet spice.

90

CIGAR RATING

GURKHA CIGARS TREINTA

5 x 52 Robusto Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Rosado Binder: Corojo 99 Aganorsa Filler: Corojo 99, Criollo 98 Tasting Notes: The Treinta celebrates Gurkha’s 30th anniversary. It has a superb Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper and a multitude of flavors comprising the binder and filler. It features sweetness and complex citrus flavors in this exemplary medium cigar.

91

CIGAR RATING

GURKHA CIGARS GURKHA REAL

5 x 52 Robusto Wrapper: Ecuadorian, Connecticut Shade Binder: Olor Dominicano Filler: Honduran Criollo 98 Ligero, Honduran Criollo 98 Seco Tasting Notes: The Gurkha Real features mild, creamy, and smooth flavors with hints of vanilla. It’s wrapped in a Connecticut Shade/Ecuadorian wrapper with Honduran fillers. It’s a delicious and mild cigar. It pairs nicely with a late morning cup of coffee.

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96

CIGAR RATING

HOYO DE MONTERREY EPICURE NO. 2

5.5 x 52 Robusto Wrapper: Cuba Binder: Cuba Filler: Cuba

Tasting Notes: The cigar is consistently medium, rarely comes off as strong. It features a most impressive draw, and loads of billowy smoke. It offers sweetness and cocoa throughout. A delightful and classic Cuban cigar.

93

CIGAR RATING

J.C. NEWMAN CIGAR CO. DIAMOND CROWN NO. 4 MADURO

5.5 x 54 Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Binder: Dominican Filler: Caribbean, Central American

Tasting Notes: This expertly-crafted cigar has a dark and oily wrap. It’s sweet and toasty. There are licorice notes that come through prior to a wheaty finish.

91

CIGAR RATING

J.C. NEWMAN CIGAR CO. BRICK HOUSE DOUBLE CONNECTICUT CHURCHILL 7.25 x 50 Wrapper: Genuine Connecticut Shade Binder: Genuine Connecticut Broadleaf Filler: Nicaraguan Tasting Notes: This Churchill is impressive. There are initial notes of vanilla, toast and cinnamon throughout most of the smoking experience. The finish is superb–sweet straw and hay with elegant earthy notes.

92

CIGAR RATING

KRISTOFF CIGARS KRISTANIA

5.5 x 60 Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo Habano Binder: Dominican Habano Filler: Dominican Habano Tasting Notes: The Kristania is a well-balanced cigar. It’s crafted perfectly with spice, vanilla bean, rich expresso and a sweet citrus finish.

90

CIGAR RATING

KRISTOFF CIGARS KRISTANIA MADURO

5.5 x 60 Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro Binder: Dominican Habano Filler: Dominican Habano Tasting Notes: This medium Kristania features the signature complex flavors associated with the brand. There are easily identifiable notes of rich black coffee and hazelnut, with hints of spice leading to a semi-sweet cocoa bean finish.

93

CIGAR RATING

LA AURORA CIGARS 1903 EDITION PAREJO BROADLEAF 5 x 50 Robusto Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Binder: Dominican Cibao Valley Filler: Dominican Cibao Valley, Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: This 1903 is a bold and tasty smoke. Chock full of woodsy, creamy and spicy flavors. It shines at the finish with hints of nuts and citrus notes.

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92

CIGAR RATING

LA AURORA CIGARS 107 SERIE ANIVERSARIO

4 x 58 Zeppelin Wrapper: Ecuadorian Binder: Dominican Cibao Valley Filler: Dominican Cibao Valley, Nicaraguan, Peruvian Tasting notes: The lead is mild and spicy. Thereafter, very rich tobacco flavors kick in offering distinct aromas of cocoa, spice and is capped off with a sweet tip. It’s stellar– a well-cured and nicely constructed stick.

91

CIGAR RATING

LA AURORA CIGARS 1903 EDITION PAREJO MADURO

5 x 50 Robusto Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca Binder: Dominican Cibao Valley Filler: Dominican Cibao Valley, Brazilian, African Cameroon Tasting Notes: This robusto is a stronger medium cigar featuring flavors of cedar, coffee, butter and cream. This Maduro is not to be missed.

94

CIGAR RATING

LA FLOR DOMINICANA GOLDEN “ORO” 50TH ANNIVERSARY

6.5 x 54 Toro Extra Wrapper: Mexican–San Andrean Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican Criollo 99

Tasting Notes: A medium to full cigar. There are hints of creamy jasmine rice leading into earthy country barn flavors– fresh hay and bark. The finish is somewhat sweet with flavors of plum, cocoa, nuts and a touch of saltiness on the palate.

90

CIGAR RATING

LA MIRADA CIGARS

5 x 50 Robusto Deseo Wrapper: True Connecticut Shade Binder: Capote Cubano (Criollo 98) Filler: Seco CC–Criollo 98, Viso Piloto Cubano, Piloto Cubano Canela Criollo 98 Tasting Notes: The lighter characteristics of Connecticut Shade at the start lead into the Piloto Cubano and Canela fillers nicely. The cigar grows into more complex notes of cinnamon and coffee at the finish.

93

CIGAR RATING

LA SIRENA CIGARS OCEANO

7 x 52 Atlantic Super Belicoso Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo Binder: Brazilian Filler: Ecuadorian Corojo Tasting Notes: A medium to full smoke with a classic Cuban triple cap, featuring an appealing oily sheen to the wrapper. Woodsy, with a touch of manure and earth, combine with tastes of muted earth and cedar notes. There’s evident toast and hints of pepper on the finish.

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MIAMI CIGAR & COMPANY DON LINO AFRICA KIFARU

6.25 x 52 Belicoso Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000 Binder: African Cameroon Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: This cigar is a medium to full, box-pressed cigar inspired by the African Savana and all its beauty. It has a silky-smooth draw, and features notes of exotic spice, cedar, roasted nuts and leather.

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MICALLEF CIGARS LEYENDA NO. 2

5.5 x 52 Tapered head Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran Tasting Notes: The expertly balanced Leyenda No. 2 offers robust woody notes throughout. It’s a delicious and creamy smoke. There are some hints of vanilla, cherry and smoky-almond notes as well.

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PLASENCIA CIGARS ALMA DEL FUEGO FLAMA

6.5 x 38 Panatela Wrapper: Nicaraguan Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: The volcanic soils stemming from the iconic Ometepe Island in Nicaragua inform this cigar. There are hints of spice, tangerine, roasted cashews and guava wood. The sun-grown wrappers from fields in the Jalapa Valley enhance this elegant cigar’s strength and sweetness.

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ROMA CRAFT TOBAC CIGARS AQUITAINE EPOCH

7 x 49 Churchill Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero Binder: Cameroon, Nicaraguan Filler: Cameroon, Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: This Epoch is a full cigar with touches of black pepper and spice. Earthy flavors are enhanced with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, nuts and leather. It circles back and finishes with more black pepper and spice notes.

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SOUTHERN DRAW CIGARS 300 HANDS CONNECTICUT 6.125 x 52 Piramides Wrapper: Connecticut Shade Binder: Peruvian Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

Tasting Notes: The 300 is a mild to medium cigar. It has a super-smooth profile, creamy notes of nuts, cedar, and toast leaving a memorable finish on the palate.

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Hear The Man’s story at: www.arturofuente.com/theman

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SOUTHERN DRAW CIGARS JACOBS LADDER BRIMSTONE

6 x 56 Perfecto Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican

Tasting Notes: The Brimstone is a full cigar with aromas of dark chocolate, black pepper and hints of floral and cream. The toffee, coffee and rum flavors throughout have a true artisanal flair. It finishes with an earthy, caramel and spicy strong finish.

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VEGAFINA CIGARS YEAR OF THE RAT

6 x 52 Toro “Rat Tail” Cap Wrapper: Habana 2000 Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan Tasting Notes: The tobacco notes are intense, roasted and spicy. There are nuanced hints of milk chocolate and coffee throughout the cigar. The finish is pleasant with mineral notes, and a sweet aftertaste.

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VILLIGER CIGARS DO BRASIL CLARO

5 x 50 Robusto Wrapper: Connecticut Binder: Brazilian Filler: Brazilian

Tasting Notes: The Claro version offers fine aromas and notes of cedar, pepper and coffee with a sweet subtleness to it.

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CIGAR RATING

VILLIGER CIGARS DO BRASIL MADURO

5 x 50 Robusto Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca Binder: Brazilian Filler: Brazilian Tasting Notes: A medium cigar with elite Brazilian Arapiraca tobacco. The cigar has a silky smooth flavor–hints of fruit and notes of dark coffee and leather.

89

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ZR CIGARS GRAN CHAVON

6 x 60 Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican Tasting Notes: A medium and sweet cigar on the palate. It offers aromas and tastes of wood, black coffee, cream and citrus.

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REWARDS

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CIGAR & SPIRITS MAGAZINE PRESENTS THE

SPIRITS BUYERS GUIDE To provide feedback on any of the ratings, or to offer your own opinions on any of the spirits featured, write us at: feedback@cigarandspirits.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and leave your comments: facebook.com/cigarandspiritsmagazine

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WOLVES WINTER RUN

JOSE CUERVO RESERVA DE LA FAMILA

MSRP: $185 | ABV: 52% Wolves Winter Run is a blend of California whiskies distilled in an alembic still imported from Cognac, France. The blend consists of whiskey distilled from craft stout beer, aged in French oak for 8 years, whiskey distilled from craft pilsner beer, aged in New American oak for 5 years, a rye selected for its spice, and (4) a single malt whiskey distilled from two-row malted barley, aged in used French oak for 9 years.

MSRP: $150 | ABV: 40% The dark amber hue of this fine reserva is an eye-catcher. The tastes and aromas feature warm hints of oak, almonds, apples, vanilla and cinnamon. The toasted almond finish is long and silky.

THE GLENDRONACH MASTER VINTAGE 1993 MSRP: $350 | ABV: 48.2% The GlenDronach Master 1993 is a highly revered vintage and a fine example of sherry cask aging. Master Blender Rachel Barrie hand-selected Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks in the Highland distillery in 1993. A superb blend with distinct sherry notes, raisins, plums, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark forest honey, slightly sweet pipe tobacco, burnt crumb crème brûlée, and dark chocolate.

PRAIRIE ORGANIC SPIRITS ORGANIC NAVY STRENGTH GIN MSRP: $35 | ABV: 57% A bold gin with citrus notes of lemon zest, floral notes of angelica root and proprietary spices with a peppery finish. The Navy Strength Gin process prevents dilution from other ingredients over time, and retains the true flavor of the gin when mixed into cocktails.

THE GLENDRONACH CASK STRENGTH BATCH 8 MSRP: $95 | ABV: 61% The Batch 8 is rich and full-bodied creation by Master Blender Rachel Barrie. The visual appeal is exceptional–a deep, tawny gold. There are tastes of sandalwood, oak balsam and aromatic Colombian coffee, with dark manuka honey, cocoa and Brazil nut. The flavors finish with mocha, caramel macchiato and cherry chocolate cake, layered with dates, plum skin and sultana.

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STARWARD AUSTRALIAN WHISKY STARWOOD TWO-FOLD DOUBLE GRAIN MSRP: $32 | ABV: 40% A whisky with an appealing burnt amber color. It pleases the palate with aromatics of red fruit, spice, toffee and warm vanilla. It features wineinfluenced fruit flavors, and a mouthfeel of lightly toasted oak.

GLENFIDDICH SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY 21 YEAR OLD IN CARIBBEAN RUM CASKS MSRP: $200 | ABV: 40% This 21 year old has aromas that are intense and vanilla sweet. Notes of banana, figs, rich toffee, new leather and oak are sublime. Initially soft, then brisk and vibrant–peppery, a touch of smoke oak, lime, ginger and spices with a very long, warming, dry and spicy finish.

PAPA’S PILAR DARK RUM MSRP: $39 | ABV: 43% This Papa’s expression is an ultra-premium sipping rum. It’s bold and complex (much like Papa Hemingway himself) with rich, caramelized oranges, maple, vanilla and toasted almonds that culminate in a velvety finish.

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THE GLENROTHES SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY 10 YEAR OLD MSRP: $45 | ABV: 40% This Single Malt Scotch is a delicate and subtle style single malt, with notes of vanilla, shortbread and lemon. It’s extraordinarily smooth throughout, and the nutty notes at the tail are distinctly elegant.

THE GLENROTHES SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY 12 YEAR OLD MSRP: $55 | ABV: 40% If you like your spirits creamy–with vanilla, melon and cinnamon notes– this Glenrothes has your name on it. The 12 year old here is a wonderful testament to expert blending at an affordable price point.


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BENJAMIN CHAPMAN 7 YEAR SMALL-BATCH WHISKEY MSRP: $39 | ABV: 45% This Chapman is a smooth sipper. It has aromas of cinnamon, vanilla spice, subtle layers of caramel apple, dark chocolate and maple syrup. It offers notes of vanilla, ginger and a hint of spice from the rye. The initial smoothness leads into a burst of spice that culminates with a pleasing finish of toasted oak.

SUGARLANDS DISTILLING CO. SUGARLANDS SHINE MARK ROGERS’ AMERICAN PEACH MOONSHINE MSRP: $26 | ABV: 35% This moonshine is a sweet and velvety spirit that has the natural taste of sun-ripened summer peaches. It delivers a traditional warmth of moonshine when sipped.

SUGARLANDS DISTILLING CO. SUGARLANDS SHINE ROOT BEER MOONSHINE MSRP: $26 | ABV: 35% Sugarlands Shine Root Beer Moonshine is surprisingly elegant. It features an nicely-crafted mellow mix of sassafras root, vanilla and wintergreen.

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WHISTLEPIG 12 YEAR OLD WORLD CASK FINISH MSRP: $127 | ABV: 40% There are vibrant aromas of caramel, vanilla and winter fruit throughout this stellar blend. The flavors of spice, apricots, plums, raisins, dates and honey are all in harmony. The dark chocolate, winter fruit, caramel and vanilla finish is first-rate.

FISH HAWK SPIRITS–SUI GENERIS WHISKEY SIREN SONG MSRP: $74 | ABV: 40% This blend starts off with matured corn spirit, and is conditioned using barrels and heavily-smoked oak chips in drums. It achieves a dep resset appearance with substantially dense smokey tones, and a soft sweet finish.


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REVEL AVILA AÑEJO AGAVE

44 NORTH MOUNTAIN HUCKLEBERRY VODKA

MSRP: $175 | ABV: 40% This Revel Avila is a sharp and forceful tequila. It has notes of barrel char, almond, light coffee and black tea. Along the way you’ll encounter additional hints of coconut, pepper, and mild notes of Madeira wine. On the finish–black tea, toasted coconut, and mild hemp notes appear with a spicy punch as it fades out to a nice earthy end.

MSRP: $30 | ABV: 35% Sweet, naturally fruity and rich berry aromas take the lead with Mountain Huckleberry Vodka. It finishes with a smooth and warm sensation.

JUNIPER GROVE AMERICAN DRY GIN MSRP: $45 | ABV: 46% This gin is a rich, oat-based spirit. It features a nice combination of citrus and juniper. The finishing notes offer softer lemon, lime, coriander spice and hints of mint for the palate.

3 KILOS VODKA GOLD 999.9 MSRP: $36 | ABV: 40% The Gold 999.9 features distinct notes of grapefruit, vanilla and almond. It’s exceptional when sipped with a bit of ice. The crisp mineral finish is unique, and caps off this tasty and interesting blend.

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44 NORTH RAINIER CHERRY VODKA MSRP:$32 | ABV: 35% The aromas are sweet cherry cough drop, vanilla frosting and chocolate to the nose. The prominent cherry and chocolate flavors are nicely offset with a bit of pepper.


#2

BOUTIQUE CIGAR OF 2016

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SMOKY QUARTZ DISTILLERY V5 ‘SMALL BATCH’ BOURBON

CAMUS VSOP COGNAC ELEGANCE

MSRP: $30 | ABV: 45% The V5 is a sweet and flavorful bourbon. It has creamy and mild notes of oak and vanilla that leads into spice. The bourbon finishes rich, warm and long with very little burn.

MSRP: $53 | ABV: 40% This Camus blend is distinctively aromatic–floral aromas combined with soft fruity notes of grapefruit and almond. The spicy finish is sublime with light oak tones.

OREGON SPIRIT WHEAT WHISKEY

BLANTON’S WHISKEY ORIGINAL SINGLE BARREL BOURBON WHISKEY

MSRP: $40 | ABV: 45% A rich and smooth whiskey with notes of cinnamon, sweet kettle corn and strong vanilla flavor on the palate.

MSRP: $82 | ABV: 46% The Original features a creamy vanilla nose with a hints of caramel and butterscotch. The undertones of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon are delightful. The blended profile is sweet, and has notes of citrus and oak.

FUGITIVES TENNESSEE WALTZ WHISKEY MSRP: $60 | ABV: 45.5% The Waltz is a bold blend. The aromas of spice, oak and pear are delicate. It has a full flavor with hints of fig and chocolate along with a pronounced note of sweet caramel on the finish.

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WOODFORD RESERVE CHOCOLATE MALTED RYE MSRP: $129 | ABV: 45.2% The Chocolate Malted Rye in Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection is a limited selection expression. The blend utilizes innovative bourbon-making techniques by toasting the rye grain long enough to achieve a chocolatey finish. It delivers as a unique and elegant sipping experience.


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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2019 WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION AWARDS

Fugitive Grandgousier Tennessee Whiskey

Nolet’s Silver Gin

Tequila Comisario Añejo

Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Casa Mexico Silver

Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch

Southern Tier Distilling Company 2X Hopped Whiskey

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Ketel One Vodka

Suntory Whisky Toki

MARCH/APRIL 2020

Ron Zacapa Edición Negra

Grey Goose Vodka

E&J VSOP Grand Blue

Western Reserve 8 yr Single Barrel Bourbon

44 North Vodka Sunnyslope Nectarine

Second Glance American Whiskey

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Volans Ultra Premium Extra Añejo

*World Spirits Competition submissions included paid entrants.


EL SEPTIMO

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FEATURE Pictures Now/Alamy.com

CIGARS IN THE OLD WEST

WESTERN TOBACCO TRAILBLAZERS by Sean Chaffin

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IT

’s the late 1800s, and several men are gathered around a weathered poker table in a smoky saloon. A few puff on cigars as they toss chips into the pot with a clink. Players chitchat between draws on their stogies, six-shooters strapped to their sides just in case things get a little unruly—or a cheater is discovered. The hours drift away, and more cigars are smoked until the game finally breaks up. Players finish off their shots of whiskey and head to the door. That Colt .45 may come in handy if someone tries to take some liberties with a player’s winnings as he makes his way home. When it comes to Old West heroes and lawmen, cigars were a part of life on the wild, untamed frontier. By the early 1800s, American smokers had grown accustomed to lighting up Spanish cigars. But a relaxation of Spanish laws monopolizing the industry in the 19th century soon led to a growth in Cuban production.

Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com

“American demand for Cuban cigars created a boom in the Spanish colony,” Iain Gately noted in his history book, Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization. “More and more land was planted out to tobacco, and cigar factories dominated Havana’s skyline. Already a mystique had attached itself to Cuban cigars. Americans considered them superior in manufacture and flavor to their own creations.” Whether they were robbing a train, gambling to earn a living, or jailing another outlaw, lighting up a cigar was routine. Here’s a look at some real-life Wild West characters who were known to light up.

>> Wild Bill Hickock

WILD BILL HICKOK

HICKOK MAY HAVE ALSO BEEN THE JAMES BOND OF HIS TIME—AN ADVENTUROUS MAN WHOM WOMEN ADMIRED FOR HIS GOOD LOOKS, LONG FLOWING HAIR, AND GENERAL BAD-ASSERY.

Born in Illinois in 1837, Hickok was a lawman, gambler, gunslinger, folk hero and actor. Much of his life was spent shooting it out with criminals and arresting outlaws, but he also spent a large amount of his time subsidizing his income with poker winnings. Hickok may have also been the James Bond of his time—an adventurous man whom women admired for his good looks, long flowing hair, and general bad-assery. What sets Hickok apart is that he was usually the good guy, putting outlaws in jail or six feet under. A crack shot, Hickok is believed to have killed several men, and was part of one of the only known real-life gunfights like the ones depicted in western movies. The duel took place on the morning of July 21, 1865, after a disagreement with fellow gambler David Tutt about a debt. The two men met on opposite ends of the public square and fired simultaneously. Tutt’s shot missed, but Wild Bill’s met its mark, with deadly consequences. Hollywood filmmakers have been inspired by the event ever since. Puffing a cigar was part of the action for Hickok, who spent so much time at saloon poker tables. An 1863 photo shows Hickok with a steely-eyed stare, a bag of tobacco in one hand and a lit cigar in the other. Gunfights, gambling, collaring outlaws, and even cigars—Wild Bill epitomizes what many think of the Old West.

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>> Billy the Kid

BILLY THE KID This infamous outlaw wasn’t a Robin Hood of the West as many outlaws have been portrayed throughout history. The Kid killed numerous people in his short life—he was dead >> Billy the Kid (second by age 21—as a rowdy from left) and Pat Garrett (far right) loo king sinister gunfighter and outlaw. with Old West gang me mbers. Known as a sharp dresser and jovial bad guy, Billy the Kid was born Henry McCarthy in 1859, but by 1877 was referring to himself as William H. Bonney, thus earning his more famous moniker. Like many of his colleagues, Billy is believed to have been at least an occasional cigar smoker. However, only two authenticated photos actually exist of him. But in 2015, a North Carolina man believed he found a third after purchasing a tintype at a flea market a few years earlier. After examining the photo more closely, he believed it featured Billy. In the photo, in which Billy is pictured behind Pat Garrett, the five men are smoking cigars.

THIS INFAMOUS OUTLAW WASN’T A ROBIN HOOD OF THE WEST AS MANY OUTLAWS HAVE BEEN PORTRAYED THROUGHOUT HISTORY. THE KID KILLED NUMEROUS PEOPLE IN HIS SHORT LIFE— HE WAS DEAD BY AGE 21— AS A ROWDY GUNFIGHTER AND OUTLAW.

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The photo is believed to have been taken in 1879 or 1880 and what makes it unique is the fact that the Kid is pictured with Garrett at all. As sheriff of Lincoln County, N.M., Garrett would capture the Kid, and later shoot and kill him after an escape. According to the Associated Press, facial recognition software experts were able to determine it’s more than likely Garrett and Billy the Kid. The photo may now be worth millions of dollars, and the owner may need a celebratory smoke himself if it fetches that at auction.

PAT GARRETT The sharpshooter who brought Billy the Kid to justice was a sharp-dressed man, and a photo of him from his lawman days has him staring at the camera in a pinstripe suit. His trademark thick moustache stands out, as does the cigar in his right hand. It’s a great Old West cigar-smoking visual. Throughout his career, Garrett worked as a sheriff, a lieutenant in the Texas Rangers, and a federal customs collector. Garrett was shot and killed in 1908 at age 57. His murder remains shrouded in mystery, and seems to have come as a result of a business disagreement related to a cattle lease. One man was charged in the murder, but was later acquitted, and the case was never officially solved. James Coburn played the lawman in 1973’s Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, complete with sharp suits and lit cigars. Kris Kristofferson played Billy, and both the famous lawman and infamous outlaw have been played by numerous actors through the years.

>> Pat Garrett


THE BIG SCREEN, CIGARS AND SIX-SHOOTERS STETSON HATS, BOOTS, A SIX-SHOOTER AND A NICE CIGAR. The Old West was full of good guys and bad guys looking to light up. Whether it complemented a celebratory night of whiskey at the saloon, a ride on the cattle trail, or organizing a posse to nab a train robber, a good smoke was part of westward expansion. Photo 12/Alamy Stock Photo

That history has been celebrated in film, complete with the smoking, the occasional lawlessness and the taming of the West. Here’s a look at some Western-themed films featuring characters known to take a Hollywood-cool draw on a nice cigar. BRIGHT LEAF (1950)

The name of the film itself is a tobacco reference, referring to the type grown in North Carolina following the Civil War. The leaf plays a major role in the film, which focuses on the battle between tobacco tycoons. Gary Cooper plays Brant Royle, who invests in a machine to mass-produce cigarettes and is forced to face off with rival tobacco plantation owners, whose crop is hand-rolled into cigarettes and cigars. The film was one of many Westerns produced at the time and mostly remembered for its tobacco-themed action.

A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964)

This was just one of three “spaghetti westerns” featuring Clint Eastwood and directed by Sergio Leone. Eastwood epitomizes the meaning of cool as the lead gunslinger, whose name is never revealed. He plays the same role in For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and is known as “The Man With No Name.” The films were produced in Italy and other European countries on a shoestring budget, this one for $200,000 with a $15,000 salary for Eastwood.

>> Clint Eastwood as “The Man With No Name” in 1964’s A Fistful of Dollars.

k Photo

The unnamed stranger helps the small Mexican town of Rojos, shooting it out with a gang of outlaws. Events culminate in a classic scene where Eastwood’s character conceals a steel plate beneath his pancho. He survives a shot to the heart and ends his opponents’ time in Mexico and in life. The Man With No Name is seen throughout the films with an Italian-made Toscano cigar. It became a mainstay for this iconic Old West character.

Film Production Album/Alamy Stoc

>> Gary Cooper in the 1950 classic Bright Leaf.

TRUE GRIT (1969, 2010)

This Old West classic features John Wayne in the first version of this film as aging U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn, a lawman known for capturing some of the worst of the worst. He joins forces with a Texas Ranger played by Glen Campbell to bring in a murderer. The film was well received by critics, and included an amazing cast that also featured Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper. Wayne won his only Oscar for the film as well as a Golden Globe. Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin starred in the 2010 remake, with Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role. This version was also a box office and critical success, with 10 Oscar nominations. Cogburn is no stranger to spirit or smoke, and smokes cigars in both films. With plenty of action and adventure, the movies are must-sees for Western fans. Wayne revived his character in 1975’s Rooster Cogburn with Katherine Hepburn—and revived the cigars and booze too.

CHISUM (1970)

This film is loosely based on the Lincoln County Cattle Wars of 1878 in the New Mexico Territory, and features wellknown characters like Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett. John Wayne plays John Chisum, who is at odds with fellow landowner Lawrence Murphy. Garrett and the Kid work to defend Chisum’s ranch and bringing law and order to Lincoln County. The sight of Wayne’s character atop a horse smoking a long cigar adds to the Duke’s persona of true masculinity and machismo.

TOMBSTONE (1993)

Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) lands in the town of Tombstone, Arizona, along with brothers Virgil (Sam Elliot) and Morgan (Bill Paxton) as well as Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer). Originally planning to leave his career in law enforcement behind, Earp is forced back into the role to help eliminate the Cowboys, a band of outlaws that has been terrorizing the town. Throughout the film, Earp can be seen with a cigar. It adds some realism to the film, which was received well by critics, and has been a favorite of Western fans—smokers and non-smokers alike. Russell is also a cigar smoker in real life, and this is a great more recent Western.

THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (1995)

Sharon Stone plays the Lady, a quick-draw sharpshooter who rolls into the fictional town of Redemption. She’s quick with a gun and also with a smoke, favoring thin cigars between shootouts. The movie not only includes plenty of action, but also a stellar cast featuring Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio and Gary Sinise.

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>> Poker Alice

POKER ALICE Born Alice Ivers in 1851 to Irish immigrant parents in Devonshire, England, Alice moved to the U.S. with her family when she was only 12. She spent much of her early life in Virginia, but later moved to Leadville, Colorado. This was where she earned her nickname after her first husband, Frank Duffield, taught her how to play poker. He died a few years later, but she continued playing cards in Colorado and New Mexico to earn a living.

A WHIZ AT MATH AND CALCULATING ODDS, HER SKILLS AT THE TABLE BECAME LEGENDARY AT THE TIME. BEYOND POKER, ALICE WAS ARRESTED SEVERAL TIMES FOR BOOTLEGGING AND OPERATING A BROTHEL.

Alice also spent time as a dealer in Deadwood and claimed to have won $250,000 during her poker career–quite a sum in those days. A whiz at math and calculating odds, her skills at the table became legendary at the time. Beyond poker, Alice was arrested several times for bootlegging and operating a brothel. A cigar was a regular part of life at the tables for Poker Alice, and she even lit up in jail. According to Deadwood.com, her favorite saying was believed to be: “Praise the Lord and place your bets. I’ll take your money with no regrets.”

>> Doc Holliday

DOC HOLLIDAY Born John Henry Holliday in 1851, this gambler and gunfighter became one of the more colorful characters in the Old West. Holliday was part of the Earp crew that shot it out at the O.K. Corral, and earned his nickname “Doc” after a career as a dentist. Contracting tuberculosis cut that career short, however, and he spent much of his life moving from town to town in the Southwest, gambling to earn a living. Gunplay occasionally entered the picture when a cheater was discovered or someone made a play for his winnings away from the table. Fans of the Old West will recall Val Kilmer’s brilliant portrayal of the gunman in Tombstone, which included lighting up a few cigars. There’s no doubt Holliday smoked at least some cigars with so many hours at the poker table, but as a sufferer of tuberculosis, it may not have been as many as his contemporaries. “I rather doubt that a serious consumptive like Doc smoked too many cigars,” said R.W. Boyle, a Holliday educator and re-enactor. One additional cigar-related note: In 1884, Holliday once hid behind a cigar case during a shootout with a man over a $5 debt. It was his last gunfight, and he died of complications of tuberculosis in 1887 at age 36. His friend Wyatt Earp remembered Holliday as “the most skillful gambler, and the nerviest, fastest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever saw.”

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>> Calamity Jane

CALAMITY JANE

Fact or fiction isn’t easy to nail down when it comes to Calamity Jane’s life. She was known to embellish. One fact was her love of alcohol. One tale is that in 1867, she rented a horse and buggy for a one-mile trip from Cheyenne to Fort Russell. Apparently drunk, she overshot her destination by 90 miles. It was a rough life for Jane, and she gave off no airs or made any attempts to be “ladylike.” She often wore men’s clothing, and cigars were a complement to her whiskey swilling. One interesting photo from 1885 shows her sitting on a kitchen counter. A wooden stove is just behind her, and Jane is dressed in a bonnet and long dress. There’s no sign of a whiskey bottle, but a cigar is held tightly in her left hand.

JESSE JAMES Along with his brother Frank, Jesse James worked as a guerilla fighter for the Confederacy during the Civil War, attacking soldiers and civilians to counter what they saw as the Union’s unlawful aggression. When the war >> Jesse James was over, the James gang turned to armed robbery. Newspapers across the South found the James gang’s exploits of robbing banks and trains to be popular with readers. James enjoyed his life in the spotlight as well as a good smoke. Many viewed James and his gang as folk heroes, but that changed in 1881 during a train robbery. A ticket taker was shot in the back and a passenger was also killed.

mes & >> Jesse Ja Robert Ford That Coward

Brad Pitt lit up playing the outlaw in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Crowned Heads even offers a J.D. Howard Reserve cigar—an homage to the outlaw, making use of one of his aliases. After the state of Missouri put a $5,000 price on James’ head, a member of his own gang did him in with a bullet to the back. James’ life as an outlaw— and cigar smoker—was over at age 34. His tombstone read: “In Loving Memory of my Beloved Son, Murdered by a Traitor and Coward Whose Name is Not Worthy to Appear Here.”

WYATT EARP >> Wyatt Earp

Like Hickok, this lawman has been depicted in films, books, comics and other media through the years. One of the most famous is Tombstone, with Kurt Russell playing the famed good guy doing plenty of cigar smoking. Also like Wild Bill, Earp was no stranger to a gambling table, where he also smoked many cigars. During his career in law enforcement, Earp served as a U.S. Marshall, deputy marshal, and police officer. Along with his brothers, Virgil and Morgan, and Doc Holliday, Earp helped in the famed shootout at the O.K. Corral. The group killed many members of the Cochise County Cowboys, an outlaw gang that terrorized the Arizona Territory town. Earp was also a businessman, and owned several saloons and mining interests throughout his life. He ran racehorses as well. While managing a store in Alaska in 1899, he even sold beer and cigars for the Alaska Commercial Company. He died in 1929 at the age of 80. Many remembered his fearlessness and expertise with a gun. The Tombstone Epitaph once noted of the lawman: “Bravery and determination were requisites, and in every instance proved himself the right man in the right place.”

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and senior writer for Casino Player and Strictly Slots magazines. His work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.

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Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com

Fans of HBO’s Deadwood series and film no doubt remember Calamity Jane, not only for her frequent drunkenness, but also for her propensity for cursing. Both of those were true in real life. A frontierswoman and scout, Martha Jane Canary was born in Missouri in 1852, and was forced to care for her five younger siblings after her parents died by the time she was 14.


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INTERVIEW

Photo credi t Jesse James Ayers.

>> Pappy & Company co-founders left to right: Carrie Greener, Louise Breen and Chenault James.

THE VAN WINKLE AND DREW ESTATE KENTUCKY EXPERIENCE GOOD PEOPLE ARE MEANT TO FIND EACH OTHER

by Randy Mastronicola

MY POSITION AS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF at Cigar & Spirits Magazine has some perks as you can imagine. One was a recent trip to Kentucky, where I had one of those experiences where you meet new people with who you instantly click, and are left with a memorable experience etched in your brain. My adventure included experiencing the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Louisville Slugger Museum and the historic Brown Hotel (treat yourself to the decadent Hot Brown Sandwich if you go there). I was also able to enjoy cigars at a local Louisville lounge with new friends. The only missing element was experiencing a bit of the Kentucky horse culture. Next visit. But the highlight of trip was a personalized tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, where the historic Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon is produced, and getting to know members of the Van Winkle family.

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>> The Buffalo Trace Distillery Water Tower built by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company is a treasured landmark in Frankfort, KY.

>> Louise, Carrie and Chenault re-discovering their roots at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Photo credit Jesse James Ayers.

My reason for visiting Louisville was to meet with some team members from Drew Estate, along with the women—the great granddaughters of Pappy Van Winkle—who are the proprietors of Pappy & Company. They started their company (inspired by all things Pappy Van Winkle and more) as an ecommerce venture, and it comprises 80% of their business. Their brick and mortar store opened one and a half years ago. Louise, Carrie and Chenault were engaging partners as we walked through the beautifully aged grounds of the distillery that produces Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace and Blanton’s, among other highly coveted bourbons. Pappy Van Winkle, sold in small quantities, qualifies as their linchpin product because of its history, exclusivity and high price point. Making quality bourbon has been a family business for four generations. The Pappy & Company store offers an array of Pappy Van Winkle—inspired merchandise, along with some unrelated items. They’ve meticulously appointed the shop so it’s warm, funky and elegant all at once. The store offers a broad range of items that are expertly crafted and procured: accessories, clothing, food and more. What is the Van Winkle connection to Drew Estate? The Van Winkle granddaughters collaborated with Jonathan Drew to make the Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigar. The cigar recalls a wonderful time in history, but it’s quite new as well. This Pappy cigar features Kentucky seed, along with Kentucky grown tobacco that is fire cured and barrel fermented. In meeting with Louise, Carrie and Chenault, it was evident their intent was to honor their heritage but also create their own legacy in a 21st Century way.

C&S: Let’s start with legacy because Pappy Van Winkle is such an iconic brand. Tell us how your founding fathers might inform Pappy & Company today. Louise: When we thought about starting Pappy & Company, that was really our main focus, to take a look back and think we would want our great grandfather to be proud of what we’re doing–and even our father now. Our family really does thrive on its values, which are about tradition, family, honesty and… Chenault: And quality. That’s something that we try to stand behind. Carrie: I think looking back, it’s just something that we’ve inherited. Our dad would let us know what doesn’t work for us in our family. It’s that whole quality over quantity thing. That foundation represents everything we do at Pappy & Company. C&S: It’s a great jumping off point. Carrie: We don’t have that perspective of just trying to build a business to sell it. I think it’s a lot easier to really have that foundation of caring more about what you’re doing versus how much money you’re making. When you stay true to what you believe in and you’re making quality products, you naturally progress and grow and evolve that way.

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Photo credits Jesse James Ayers.

>> Left to right: Drew Estate Brand Manager Josh Roque, Chenault James, Louise Breen, Carrie Greener and Sr. Drew Estate Brand Manager An Phan posing in front of the “horse hair wall” at Buffalo Trace Distillery.

>> The Buffalo Trace Distillery offers the historic Pappy Van Winkle blends, and a variety of praised bourbons like Buffalo Trace and Blanton’s.

C&S: How do you puzzle it all together? Chenault: Our brick and mortar storefront here on Market Sreet [in Louisville] has evolved naturally. Acquiring this space was an intentional move. We’ve always had a long-term plan to do this. It’s just naturally an opportunity for what I do in my own [interior] design business–to lay a framework to really show the lifestyle brand in its true authentic self, which I think is a unique opportunity for us. Louise: We always knew Chenault would continue to build her design career. Carrie and I would go full force with Pappy & Company. She’s located in Sun Valley, Idaho. It’s only natural that I would become lead in an operational sense. I head up this team here and manage things here. When we started, I’m like, “Okay, I’ll get the tax ID and do all the books.” I did all of that, and just started shipping things out of my

>> The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented is a historic cigar featuring Kentucky seed, and Kentucky grown tobacco that was fire cured and then barrel fermented.

has a member of our team in Idaho with her. They do marketing and product development. C&S: Let’s talk a little bit about where you are today and where you’re going to take this. Chenault: We kind of know, but at the same time, we kind of don’t. Our current goals are to continue creating really neat, authentic partnerships with cool people that we’re aligned with. We don’t ever want to become a massive company with a big, huge pile of employees. We can expand in a way that fulfills us creatively, really expresses our own identity and our own style. We do think about how can we move away from such bourbon-related products. The sky’s the limit. Carrie: I feel like we’re a blend of the old and new, and that’s where we want to go in the future–create a brand that encompasses all of those things. It’s why we’ve done everything from barrel-aged food products to menswear products our husbands love.

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>> The legendary bourbon barrels at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Randall Vermillion/Shutterstock.com

basement by myself with support from Carrie in Idaho. She now


KRISTOFF

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>> The Van Winkle legacy of quality and commitment continues at Pappy & Company.

>> Pappy & Company opened its doors a little over a year and a half ago, and has become an attraction in the historic NuLu district of Louisville, KY.

THERE’S A PICTURE OF OUR DAD IN A LIMOUSINE AT THREE IN THE MORNING WITH J.D–HE HAD HIS GOLD A GREAT CONTRAST, AND THEY WERE HAVING A BLAST. C&S: You mentioned developing partnerships, working with cool people. How did your connection to Drew Estate come about?

Louise: We had to send them some Liga Privadas, which is one of

Carrie: When we started this business, it was just really important

Carrie: We had to send them to every customer that had pre-

to us that we’d have Pappy on the label smoking a cigar.

ordered that other cigar. JD–he will do the right thing. He sent each

It was part of his lifestyle. He was always smoking cigars in his

of our customers a 10-count box of Liga Privada. I trusted him.

office, and it was just something that was the perfect fit for our

Louise: We were freaking out like, “Is this going to blow up, and are

brand. That’s how it naturally came about. Locally, a cigar shop

we crazy?”

owner named Jeff Mouttet put us in touch with Jonathan Drew. He threw our name out there. At this point, we had only been in business like a year or two at the most. We knew that he was talking to Drew Estate, which is one of the largest premium cigar companies in the country. We were this nobody at that point. Jonathan got immediately excited about it because of Jeff. He was like, “Yes, hook me up with those girls. I want to talk to them. I’d love to.”

Drew’s top brands.

Carrie: We just corresponded with the customers and it all worked out. From that day forward, it’s just been an amazing product. It’s a very special blend because there’s nothing else like it on the market and it’s so different, but yet it’s liked by 99% of people. That’s what I find so interesting and amazing. Honestly, a lot of times people will say, our dad included, you open up the box and it kind of smells barnyardy because of that Kentucky fire cure but, it’s just such a smokable cigar. It’s an exceptional cigar.

Living in Idaho, I just remember being on the phone with JD, probably like once a week. We became fast friends. It was a long launch because we were depending on him to provide the perfect blend of cigar. He’d come up with a blend, and we were waiting for it to age. It came to age, he’d try it, and he just wasn’t happy with it.

C&S: Is there anything that’s really surprised you about the cigar industry? Carrie: I guess one thing that I’ve noticed is just how different the cigar crowd is, and specifically the cult following of Drew Estate fans. I also love that here we are with this more traditional brand

C&S: Jonathan has high standards, and doesn’t just push something out the door, so he was in line with your principals.

in regards to this fourth-generation bourbon business thing and

Carrie: Yes! He’d been sitting on this idea for a long time–this

can come together.

Kentucky fire-cured barrel-fermented tobacco. He was like, “I’ve taken this Kentucky fire-cured tobacco and I’ve shipped down to St. James Parish in Louisiana.” Perique tobacco is traditionally grown there. It’s fermented in bourbon barrels–the Perique process. I was like, “JD, okay, I trust you, but at this point, we’d already pre-sold our customers on this other cigar blend.”

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we work with this innovative funky cigar brand. I love that the two Chenault: Which is fun. Carrie: I love that the Drew Estate fans realize that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re all about everybody in the world getting along, and to see that we get to go to these cigar events and hang out with these cigar guys that are so different from us but are so wonderful.

Photo credit Thom Shelby

TEETH, AND DAD WORE HIS BLACK TUXEDO. IT WAS SUCH


HOUSE AD

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>> You’ll find no shortage of artsy, elegant and chic designer items along with bourboninspired products at Pappy & Company.

>> Louise, Chenault and Carrie have created good vibes with their artisanal touch and unique product lines at their store.

Photo credit Thom Shelby

Chenault: There’s a picture of our dad in a limousine at three in the morning with JD–he had his gold teeth, and dad wore his black tuxedo. It was such a great contrast, and they were having a blast. C&S I’d like to see that photo. Carrie: I think it just goes back to JD, and it’s all about the innovation of the craziness that he’s building with his cigar brands. He’s an outward example of that, but I think it exemplifies what these blends are, and how unique and innovative they are. Chenault: They are truly unique and innovative. C&S: Are there any future collaborations planned with Drew Estate? Another cigar line or accessories? Louise: We have accessories, but not with Drew Estate. We have our own, and we’re getting them off the ground–Brizard cigar accessories and leather items–and they’re pretty. The barrel-fermented Flying Pig cigar is next, and we have some fun new things in the works. We’re just expanding the line, the barrel-fermented line. We’ve just taken on The Tradition cigar. Drew Estate had been distributing it, but it’s exclusively an online seller for Pappy & Company now. C&S: Knowing your family’s history, seeing your work at Pappy & Company, your partnership with Drew Estate–offer us a few words about what goes into a great collaboration. Carrie: Innovation. Chenault: It’s fun. Louise: And inspiring. Carrie: And that keeps us motivated to keep this thing going.

Randy Mastronicola is the Editor-in-Chief of Cigar & Spirits Magazine.

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>> A slice of life at Pappy & Company.


EPIC

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FEATURE

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>>The beaches are breathtaking on Island Mahe.

T

he stingray winged through the water, then concealed himself in the sand. Colorful sweetlips wearing stripes fringed with polka dots sashayed over sea urchins, and striped sergeant majors surrounded a gaping green moray. A hawksbill turtle flapped through the blue. This scene I witnessed 40 feet below the waves hasn’t changed much since author and former spy Ian Fleming described a similar marinescape in one of his James Bond short stories.

Tropical Paradise Seychelles RAIN, RUM AND REEFS

by Kim Campbell Thornton

“[The stingray] would settle onto a patch of flat sand, change its camouflage down to the palest, almost translucent grey, and with soft undulations of its wingtips, bury itself in the sand…Everywhere the jeweled reef fish twinkled and glowed and the giant anemones of the Indian Ocean burned like flames in the shadows. Colonies of spined sea-eggs made sepia splashes as if someone had thrown ink against the rock, and the brilliant blue and yellow feelers of langoustes quested and waved from their crevices like small dragons.” James Bond and glamorous locales go together like gin and Dolin Dry. Jamaica, Venice, Istanbul and London have all been settings for Bond films. But a lesserknown and more distant archipelago on the far side of the world is featured in one of Fleming’s early Bond stories, although the location hasn’t yet been a Bond movie setting. A 1958 vacation in Seychelles, a nation consisting of some 115 sparkling Indian Ocean islands off East Africa, inspired Fleming to write his short story “The Hildebrand Rarity,” a fish tale of sorts.

Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock.com

It’s not the only fantasy set in Seychelles. If you are of a certain age, you may recall a series of movies from the 1970s featuring French actress Sylvia Kristel as Emmanuelle, a free-spirited beauty whose main interest in life is love. The third movie in the series, Goodbye Emmanuelle, is set in the Seychelles, lush with wild vanilla orchids, coco de mer palms (whose fruit is nicknamed the “love nut” for its suggestive appearance), powdery sand beaches and granite boulders. You can see why my husband and I had Seychelles on our bucket list for decades. When friends on a ’round-the-world trip planned a stop there, dreams of an exotic tropical vacation motivated us to join them for a week. We packed swimsuits and scuba masks, and jetted off to our island in the sun.

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22 Images Studio/Shutterstock.com

>> A view of the elegant villas on stilts at the Beau Vallon Bay Resort.

Photo courtesy of Jerry Thornton.

DAMPENED EXPECTATIONS Reader, it rained. And rained. And rained. All week. Although we managed four dives over a two-day period, back rolling into turbulent waves and then dropping down to the more mellow sand bottom populated as described above, our plans to explore Mahe, the main island, and its sisters Praslin and La Digue, were defeated by the weather. Instead, we sought out craft cocktails at luxe resorts, sampled Takamaka Rum (named for an endemic tree), and experimented with gin and tonic and rum creations at our Eden Island Airbnb.

THE BOND CONNECTION We didn’t know it when we arrived to sample the cocktails, but the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa was formerly The Northolme, an early-20th-century grande dame of a hotel where Fleming was based as he wrestled with the Bond adventures that would make up the short story collection For Your Eyes Only. “‘Admiralty are having trouble with their new fleet base in the Maldives,’ M had said. ‘Communists creeping in from Ceylon. Strikes, sabotage—the usual picture. May have to cut their losses and fall back on the Seychelles ... Just go and have a look.’ M glanced out of the window at the driving March sleet. ‘Don’t get sunstroke.’” No worry of that when we were there. >> Seychelles was the inspiration for “The Hildebrand Rarity” short story in Ian Fleming’s 1960 collection of short stories For Your Eyes Only.

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>> Raining? Th ere’s no reason to leave the bar when you have Takamaka cocktails read y to go.


>> The interior of the funky and cool 007 Bar.

Photo courtesy of Jerry Thornton.

GETTING AROUND Seychelles is famous for beaches, but it’s also mountainous. Access to the best beaches—and the best cocktails—is usually through hotels, but getting to them is easier said than done. That is unless you’re comfortable driving on the left, using roundabouts, and have no fear of narrow mountain roads with ditches on one side and steep drop-offs on the other. My husband Jerry, who had the most experience with driving on the left, was elected driver. Another option is to hire a local driver for a day or half-day. Local drivers are familiar with the roads, can save you from the frustrations of the limited parking throughout the island, and can recommend restaurants and other sites that are local favorites.

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>> An enticing aerial view above St. Piere Island, Seychelles.

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED Most of us associate Bond with martinis. He’s famous for them, after all. Shaken, not stirred. “‘A dry Martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’ ‘Oui, Monsieur.’ ‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large slice of lemon-peel. Got it?’” That’s the famous Vesper martini, first described in Fleming’s Casino Royale in 1953.

Rum? Odd enough that a Negroni was made with rum instead of gin, Campari, and vermouth. But that rum was local to Seychelles. When you think rum, you probably think the Caribbean, but rum making is a burgeoning industry on Mahe, where fast-growing sugarcane is a popular crop. The Takamaka rhumerie offers tours, and has a bar and restaurant on the premises. >> You’ll have plenty of rum drink options no matter where you roam on Seychelles.

“The story of rum in the Seychelles is very, very young,” said Christelle Verheyden, chef at Takamaka’s restaurant, La Grande Maison. “The first proper rum that was bottled in Seychelles is the Takamaka, in 2002.” For a while, she said, it was forbidden to grow sugarcane because residents were making their own alcoholic blends. Thanks to the rhumerie, many sugarcane micro-plantations and two large plantations now exist, as long as owners have a license proving they sell their cane to the distillery. Takamaka takes its name from an endemic tree as well as a bay on Mahe. The family who owns it got into the rum business about 20 years ago. They attribute their rum’s fine flavor to water from UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallee de Mai, on neighboring island Praslin, locally grown spices such as vanilla and cinnamon, and of course pineapple and coconut. We and our friends, Craig and Nancy, skipped the tour. Instead, we went straight to the bar—housed in a classic bungalow with lots of dark wood and rattan chairs—for a rum tasting.

>> Gorgeous fields of grass and coconut palms are everywhere on Praslin Island, Seychelles.

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We appreciated the white rum for its soft character and aromatic undertones. I’d like to try it sometime in my from-scratch rum and Coke.

Top photo Fokke Baarrssen/Shutterstock.com. Middle photo courtesy of Jerry Thornton. Bottom photo Lakov Kalinin/Shutterstock.com

Now a collection of elegant villas on stilts overlooking Beau Vallon Bay, the resort is home to the 007 Bar. In “The Hildebrand Rarity,” the only drink Bond is offered is a glass of champagne on a yacht, but our cocktails in the 007 Bar took us further afield. As we sat surrounded by photos of Fleming at a typewriter and scenes from the film version of For Your Eyes Only (even though it wasn’t filmed in Seychelles), I sipped a Sailors Cask, a barrel-aged chocolate Negroni made with Takamaka Dark Rum, Dolin Vermouth Rouge, Luxardo Bitters and By The Dutch Rum. Before being served, the concoction was aged in oak for a minimum of 30 days.


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>> An aerial view of the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa at sunset.

I usually don’t care for coconut rum, which bears bad memories of too many piña coladas at a college party, but we all agreed that this was something special. It could easily be enjoyed on the rocks on a hot day or poured over ice cream for a tropical treat. The dark rum, with notes of vanilla and caramel, was something else. “I would put that on the rocks and smoke a cigar with it,” Craig said. “Or dip the tip of a cigar in this rum and enjoy it that way. Or I would have it up, in a snifter.” The 8-year-old extra dark rum? That’s a straight-up sipping rum, aged in a combination of bourbon barrels (former Southerners all, we appreciated that) and French oak casks. Craig revised his opinion. He still liked the dark rum, but said, “This is the one to drink. It’s smooth, with a nose like a good brandy. This is another one that would sit well with a good cigar.” Afterward, we ordered cocktails, sampling a St. Andre Sour, a Dark and Smoky, and a Spiced Daiquiri. The Dark and Smoky, made with the extra-dark rum, Campari, Martini red vermouth, a slice of orange and a touch of cinnamon-infused syrup, is a bit like an Old Fashioned served up. “The smokiness on the nose complements the sweetness of the rum,” Craig said.

Nancy’s spiced daiquiri blended two rums, limes, and an unusual spice blend of cinnamon, ginger and curry leaves (not related to curry powder). “It’s unlike any daiquiri I’ve ever tried,” she said. Takamaka isn’t the only rum made on Mahe. Levasseur, another local rum, featured in a number of the cocktails we saw on menus. Named after debonair 18th-century French pirate Olivier Levasseur, who had a fondness for fine food and drink, it’s inspired by the hidden treasure that Levasseur is said to have stashed somewhere on one of the numerous Seychelles islands. He went to the gallows never divulging its location. The closest we came to it was in cocktails that contained his namesake rum. The real treasure on Seychelles is the Creole culture, including the locally inspired cocktails. Those, combined with its beauty, can make it the vacation of your dreams. Just be sure you check the weather first.

Kim Thornton is an award-winning writer in Lake Forest, California. She writes about wildlife, pets, cocktails and travel.

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Photo courtesy of Jerry Thornton.

I loved my frothy St. Andre Sour, sweetened with vanilla-infused syrup and blow-torched to give the surface a crisp layer of cinnamon spice.


THE PRODUCT OF 115 YEARS OF DOMINICAN PASSION. Introducing a taste of the Dominican Republic 115 years in the making. La Aurora 115th Anniversary marks the culmination of over a century of La Aurora's mission to produce the finest Dominican cigars in the world. Built on a legacy of quality, La Aurora doesn't just make Dominican cigars. They have defined them since 1903.

&I. LAAUllOllA -DOMINICAN DEFINED-

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LIFESTYLE

>> Warbringer Southwest Bourbon

>> Ketel One Vodka players made the scene.

CIGAR & SPIRITS MAGAZINE PRESENTS

>> Krystal Pearlman (left) and Lilly Dudrey (right) enjoyed the day with attendees and sharing Nolet’s Gin.

>> Players posing on the pristine greens of the Talega Golf Club.

THE 1ST ANNUAL CIGAR & SPIRITS MAGAZINE GOLF CLASSIC by Cigar & Spirits Staff | photos by Aaron Hall

Cigar & Spirits Magazine held its first golf tournament this past November at the Talega Golf Club in San Clemente, Calif.

C

igar and spirits brand fans, vendors and staff mixed it up on the greens and enjoyed the sunshine throughout the day. Each hole was sponsored by an elite cigar or spirits brand, and enjoyed by all participants. Raffles, awards and a gourmet dinner prepared by the culinary artisans at Talega Golf Club capped the day. Everyone left feeling like the event was a memorable start to a new Southern California golfing tradition.

talegagolfclub.com

A special thank you to the following 2019 Cigar & Spirits Golf Tournament Sponsors

Title Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

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>> Stogies & Bogey’s golf ball cigar holders were the cool product of the day. >> Attendees couldn’t pass up the step and repeat photo op to kick off the day.

>> Four Roses Bourbon was available for one and all.


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REWARDS

FIVE SWEET LIFE COCKTAILS FOR THE SPRING by Lisa Turnbull

RUBY RED GIN & TEA COCKTAIL Serves 1 Ingredients:

Directions: In a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes–shake gin, grapefruit juice, cold tea and sugar syrup or honey. Squeeze orange zest over the shaken cocktail, and pour into chilled coupe glass and serve.

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Maksym Fesenko/Shutterstock.com

• 2 oz. orange infused gin or blood orange gin • 1 ½ oz. ruby red grapefruit juice • 1 ½ oz. cold breakfast tea • ½ tsp. sugar syrup • 1 orange peel/zest


New Michae Peccatiello Jr/Shutterstock.com

SMOKEY OLD FASHIONED Serves 1 Ingredients: • 2 oz. premium rye whiskey • ½ art demerara sugar syrup (or dissolved dark brown sugar) • 2 dashes of aromatic bitters • 1 lemon peel/zest • 1 orange peel/zest • 1 piece angelica root

Directions: Ignite the dried angelica root on a heat-resistant surface. Extinguish the flame with a rocks glass by placing the glass over the root. Stir all the other ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a smoked rocks glass with fresh ice. Squeeze lemon and orange zest over the cocktail and garnish.

iuliia_n/Shutterstock.com

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

HOT TROPICAL SPLASH Serves 1 Ingredients: • 4 oz. pineapple Juice • 1 ½ oz. hot cinnamon vodka • 1 oz. ginger ale • splash of grenadine • splash of maraschino cherry juice

Directions: In a whiskey glass with ice–add ingredients in the order of the recipe. Garnish with a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry.

POMEGRANATE MOJITO Serves 4-6 Ingredients: Sundraw Photography/Shutterstock.com

JÄGER COLADA MATCHA MINT GIMLET JÄGER COLADA (BOTTOM) Ingredients: • 1 oz. Jägermeister • ¾ oz. fresh pineapple juice • ½ oz. fresh lime juice • ¾ oz. coconut cream • ½ cup ice

Directions: Combine all ingredients of Matcha Mint Gimlet in a blender with a half cup of ice. Blend, pour on top of Jäger Colada. Garnish with a grated orange peel and matcha powder.

• 1 lime (cut into quarters) • 1 bunch mint leaves • 34 oz. pomegranate juice • 16 oz. lemonade • 5 tbsp. pomegranate seeds • 4-6 lemon wedges • 4-6 sprigs mint leaves

Directions: Place a handful of mint leaves and cut lime quarters in a mixing bowl or pitcher. Use a wooden spoon or muddler to crush the mint leaves and lime pieces together to release their flavors. Pour pomegranate juice and lemonade in the mixing bowl. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well and the mint and lime flavors are fully released. Add ice cubes to tall cocktail glasses. Strain the cocktail into glasses. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, mint leaves and a lemon wedge.

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INTERVIEW

>> Luis J. Falto admiring one of his own creations.

BEHIND THE LEAF WITH

FALTO CIGARS by Joe Bosso

And what would that be? “Three things,” he answers without a pause “You need passion–passion for the industry itself. You have to really love this business. After that, you need dedication to the art and history of making cigars. And third, you need the right kind of support. I would be nowhere without the incredible support of brick-and-mortar stores and cigar lounges.”

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Photos courtesy of Falto Cigars.

LUIS J. FALTO ON A QUARTER CENTURY OF SUCCESS

DURING HIS 25 YEARS IN THE CIGAR BUSINESS, Luis J. Falto, founder of La Garita Cigar Co. & Falto Cigars, has seen a lot of would-be competitors come and go. “A lot of people get into the cigar business for the wrong reasons,” he says. “I saw this right away when I started my company. It was during the cigar boom; people wanted to make cigars because they just wanted to try to make money, or they thought it was a flashy way to live. But they didn’t know what it takes to succeed.”


>> “Luis of the Leaf.” Mr. Luis Juan Falto in his element.

>> “The Falto Zoraida Salomon is a fan favorite in the Falto portfolio.

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o commemorate his silver anniversary, the boutique premium cigar maker, famous for his “one blend for one size” offerings, is rolling out two limited edition smokes: “The first is the Falto La Pureza Lancero,” he says. “La Pureza is Spanish for ‘the Pureness.’ That cigar comes out in March. The other is the Falto Edición Especial ELH Hato Viejo 2018 Robusto Extra. Hato Viejo is the farm where I am getting most of the tobacco for this cigar. I’m putting it out in July. Both are very special blends, and I think Falto smokers will really enjoy them.” The engaging young entrepreneur sat down with Cigar & Spirits Magazine to reflect on a quarter century of success.

Who is the Falto smoker? That’s something every cigar maker probably wonders from time to time: “Who’s buying our product?” From what we know, our customers cover the entire demographic of cigar smokers. But one thing I’ve found is that a majority of our cigars are purchased in cigar lounges. I think that’s got something to do with the way I make cigars–I don’t make a bunch of sizes from each blend; I make a specific blend for a specific size of cigar. So I think when people go to a cigar lounge and they sit down with a drink, they’ll try one cigar and like it, and then they’ll decide to try another. They appreciate the variety that I offer. They’ll have a conversation with somebody else in the lounge: “What are you smoking? I like that–I’ll have to try it.” It becomes a very social thing with our cigars. For this reason, I market my cigars to lounges.

Photos courtesy of Falto Cigars.

How have you seen the market change in the time you’ve been making cigars? In the beginning, when I started out in 1995, it was in the middle of the cigar boom. Things were crazy then and it seemed as if everything was selling. Thick, thick cigars seemed to be in. Then, in the late ‘90s, things began to normalize, and people moved away from the thick cigars. I always enjoyed making thinner cigars, so this worked out for me. When you smoke a really thick cigar, you get less flavor; a thinner cigar allows you to savor the flavor of the tobacco more.

Several of the cigars you’ve crafted over the last few have become favorites within the artisanal boutique landscape. Let me ask you about two in particular, the Falto Los Processos Churchill and the Ingenio No. 10. The Processos was actually my 20th anniversary cigar. “Processos” refers to the process of creating the actual tobacco that you put into a cigar–the planting of the seed, the growing, the aging and fermentation…so much goes into growing and forming the tobacco before it’s ready to become a cigar. The Ingenio No. 10 is a really nice perfecto, and it’s the thickest cigar I make–6 x 60. It comes in boxes of five, and the boxes are in these wooden coffins. It’s the most expensive cigar that I have. I think the size might be a bit intimidating at first, but it’s really a beautiful, flavorful cigar.

Let me go back to your tradition of making a specific blend for a specific size. That’s not very common. How did that start? I don’t know. I think it’s because I started making very small batches of cigars when I started. I think each blend would yield something like 600 cigars. So I would really just make blends that I liked in sizes that I liked–a little bit thinner than most. People thought I was crazy: “How can you just have one blend in one size?” Nobody did such a thing. People thought I would hurt the cigar industry, but now I see them doing the same thing. There wasn’t a plan to what I was doing; it just happened naturally. I’ve been asked sometimes to make different sizes from a certain blend, but the thing people have to realize is,

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YOU HAVE TO LEARN–IF YOU’RE UNWILLING TO LEARN, YOU’LL NEVER BE SUCCESSFUL. EVERY YEAR I LEARN SOMETHING NEW, WHETHER IT’S ABOUT DIFFERENT BLENDS, NEW WAYS OF MAKING CIGARS. THE BUSINESS IS ALWAYS CHANGING, SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE TIME TO STOP, LISTEN AND LEARN. What are some of the most important lessons you learned in building the company? Oh, my God. [Laughs] I think the most important thing is to listen. Listen to the customers and the people who sell your cigars. You have to learn–if you’re unwilling to learn, you’ll never be successful. Every year I learn something new, whether it’s about different blends, new ways of making cigars. The business is always changing, so you have to take the time to stop, listen and learn. I’ve made a few mistakes. Sometimes I’ll get stuck on something; I’ll make a new blend and I’m really excited about it, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t work. So I have to go back to the drawing board and start all over. It doesn’t happen that often, but you have to realize when you’re doing something wrong. Making a cigar can be trial and error, but it’s better that you realize a mistake early than have other people tell you, “Hey, that doesn’t work.”

How important is social media for your marketing? For the first few years I wasn’t doing it, but now I have a company that does that for me–Facebook and Instagram. It’s going very well. I’m not too tech-savvy myself, so I have other people on that.

>> Luis J. Falto taking a long look at a stout ash.

when you change the size of the cigar, it’ll smoke differently, and that changes the flavor. So that’s why I stick with this approach. I want each blend to be unique.

How does your Puerto Rican heritage inform your blends and company? I’ve made cigars in honor of people who have been important in my life. For instance, I have a cigar called Mentor, and that’s to honor the man who taught me everything about making cigars–Manuel J. Inoa. And, of course, I have the Mi Viejo–“my old man”–that I made in honor of my father. But it’s funny–the Puerto Rican heritage and the Dominican heritage are very similar. Most of the customs are the same.

And what about your relationship with master blender Manuel Inoa at La Aurora? I consult with him all the time. He’s my most important and main critic, both positively and negatively. Every time I make a blend, I have him try it. Sometimes we disagree, but most of the time we agree. He’s my teacher, my mentor. I take his criticism and advice seriously.

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Your first box-pressed cigar was the Falto LJF del Fundador. What do you like about constructing a cigar in that manner? You know, it was a bit of a learning curve. I enjoy box-pressed cigars. It’s a different aesthetic, but it doesn’t change the smoking dynamic for me. It’s a nice cigar to hold in your hand, but it’s all about the blend.

What about creating perfectos–the Ingenio No. 10 and Gran Reserva Especial Prominente? I like perfectos because the smoking dynamic is a little different. Each cigar has to change throughout the smoking process. The perfecto is a curious thing to me–it’s got its own thing. It really depends on your mood.

Moving forward, what do you envision for your next 25 years? Just keep on working! [Laughs] I started when I was 20 years old, so now I’m 45. I’m still young and still learning. I just want to keep making the best cigars that I can. I want to use different tobaccos from other places and do some new things.

New Jersey native Joe Bosso is obsessed with movies of the ‘70s, music of the ‘60s and cigars of any vintage. A graduate of NYU film school, Joe has written for TV shows you definitely know (like The Sopranos) and a few you might have missed. He spent 10 years in the record business.and actually got to see a rock star trash a hotel room (identity withheld because, well, you know...).

Photos courtesy of Falto Cigars.

How has your affiliation with La Aurora Cigar Company impacted your career? Oh, my, they’re my rock. They’ve been everything to me. I’ve been working with them for 25 years. I made my cigars there, and it’s home away from home. I can’t express how important La Aurora is to me.

How many people do you employ? I’m a one-man show. I’m my own employee. I make my cigars at the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic, but I do all the packaging, management and marketing myself in Puerto Rico.


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LIFESTYLE

>> Event sponsor Ketel One Vodka is always a crowd pleaser.

CIGAR & SPIRITS MAGAZINE HOSTS

THE 9TH ANNUAL TOAST FOR TOYS

>> Santa Claus and his helpers (Orange County, CA version) generously brought toys for local children.

by Cigar & Spirits Staff | photos by Aaron Hall

Thursday, December 12, was a night of good cheer and charity at the 9th Annual Toast for Toys event hosted by Cigar & Spirits Magazine. The ultraluxe Bistango Restaurant in Irvine, Calif. housed the exclusive sold out affair. Connoisseurs of fine spirits and premium cigars gathered for tastings, reveled in conversation and gave generously to the local community. Guests were asked to bring new, unwrapped toys and expectations were surpassed– more than 500 toys were collected. “The generosity of our guests never ceases to amaze me,” says Breahna Wheeler, Director of Events for Cigar & Spirits Magazine. “The holiday spirit of good cheer and giving was definitely in the air, and that’s a testament to the cigar and spirits community we hold dear to our hearts.” Ketel One Vodka, Nolet’s Gin and the Ventura Cigar Company were the Gold Sponsors for the sold-out holiday celebration, and their participation helped make it the most successful Toast for Toys event in the magazine’s history.

A special thank you to the following 2019 Toast for Toys Sponsors

>> Event sponsor Whistle Pig Rye pitched in and offered spirits to sample .

>> Event gents enjoying a smoke and some Christmas cheer.

>> Raffle items were abundant and donated by Alec Bradley Cigars, Nolet’s Gin and many others.

>> The Toast Event surely made a difference for local girls and boys.

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BENJAMIN CHAPMAN

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equila dinner–we know the wonderful experience of enjoying the perfect matching of a worldclass tequila with an equally world-class meal. When you add the allure and history of a fabulous setting in Cuba—with its cigars, food and a few friends—the atmosphere becomes, well, indescribable. Such was the occasion a few weeks ago as Don Wetherell, a shareholder and more importantly great friend of Tequila Comisario® (owned by Elite Beverage International) hosted a few mutual friends for a sojourn in Cuba. Don (a Canadian-American with dual citizenship) has been travelling to Cuba for more than 30 years and is well-versed in all things Cuban. Accompanying Wetherell was Rob Beckham of Nashville. (Rob and his partner Bill Simmons formed the AMG Management Firm.) Beckham, former partner and co-head of WME Nashville, and Simmons will continue to manage long-time clients such as Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Justin Timberlake and others.

Smooth, in every sense.

This whiskey might possibly be the most tangible connection to Benjamin Joining them was their friend Terry Tribelcock, owner Chapman that exists today. From what of King of The Cage–a mixed martial arts company we’vetobeen able million to gather, this eponymous available weekly 50-plus homes in the United States on cable and satellite television and more whiskey exemplifies the refined preferences than 50 countries worldwide—along with a few other of one of the mostincluded intriguinga meal and friends. Some of the tripworld’s highlights at the beautiful La California Restaurant in Havana enigmatic men. (one picture does not do it justice), with its many great rooms, fresh seafood and superb service. Next, a visit to the renowned Hector Luis Prieto Tobacco Plantation. Truly a cigar smoker’s dream, Prieto is the source for some of the world’s greatest Cuban cigar brands. @ B C H A P M A N W H I S K E Y ★ B E N J A M I N C H A P M A N W H I S K E Y. C O M

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JC NEWMAN

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JC NEWMAN

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BACK COVER KETEL ONE

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. KETEL ONE Vodka. Distilled from Grain. 40% Alc/Vol. © Double Eagle Brands, B.V. Imported by Ketel One USA, Aliso Viejo, CA.

Profile for Cigar & Spirits Magazine

Cigar & Spirits Magazine: Mar/Apr 2020 Issue  

Cigar & Spirits Magazine's Mar/Apr 2020 issue featuring Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul on the front cover.

Cigar & Spirits Magazine: Mar/Apr 2020 Issue  

Cigar & Spirits Magazine's Mar/Apr 2020 issue featuring Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul on the front cover.

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