Hosted by Kevin Shahan, the I’d Tap That Cigar Show is known for knowledgable guests and interesting conversations. Joined by Producer Jessica Brandt and co-host Kerr Viante, Kevin just welcomed Laurel Tilley – Brand Development Manager with A.J. Fernandez Cigars – for Episode 190. Given the seemingly endless number of layers that make up to the cigar industry, discussions about its many aspects can very quickly become very boring – so it’s even more impressive that 2 hours seem to rush by. Everyone keeps it fun and engaging while covering a wide range of topics related to cigars, AJ Fernandez’s expansive tobacco operations and the blends that they produce. Before you go any further, which cigar do you think AJF sells most of?
With a near encyclopedic understanding of not just the core portfolio, but the myriad collaborations the brand is involved in as well, Tilley offers insights into her experiences working in the business of cigars and her current role with A.J. Fernandez. Describing the brand’s signature experience as medium to medium-full bodied and heavy on Nicaraguan spice, Laurel points to two really approachable blends that are great for newer smokers – New World Connecticut and the San Latano Connecticut. Ever wondered how both of these offerings, and the rest of of the AJF portfolio, are able to be sold at affordable prices? The company is fully integrated. From planting the seeds to filling and sealing newly filled boxes – that they built – A.J. Fernandez cigars does everything themselves.
The conversation wraps up with a cool discussion about the Dorado challenge coin that so many of us saw floating around socials recently, a fun little token that AJF sent out to media members and other cigar enthusiasts. Tilley gives the behind the scenes on how the challenge came about and you’ll get to see the FOMO in real time as the production crew talks about who got one and who didn’t – even though it’s been months since the coins were distributed. The episode was a great example of the kind of engaging conversation that the “I’d Tap That Cigar Show” is known for – like any good jazz, it’s not always linear but the unexpected parts are where the gems get found. If you’re a cigar enthusiast or just enjoy good conversation, this is definitely a show worth checking out…just like the New World Oscuro, the brand’s top selling blend. They also do a really nice giveaway to close out every episode, so try to catch the next one live and stay until the very end!