Jose Blanco Tasting Seminar at TJ’s Cigar Lounge

Tut seriously considered getting a giant chest tattoo of a centaur featuring Señor Blanco's torso atop a horse body. If my memory serves me correct, he was to be drawn holding a sword in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other...

Last weekend myself and several other members of the TNCC hit the road for a short drive out to TJ’s Cigar Lounge in McGregor Texas. We’d been talking about getting out to TJ’s for a long ass time but seeing as how our pub, O’Briens Irish Pub, is as much a member of the club as any of us it always seemed slightly adulterous to leave her warm embrace. But when we received word from our local tobacconist that Jose “The Tobacco Whisperer” Blanco was going to be conducting one of his world famous seminars at TJ’s – WE BOOKED OUR TICKETS IMMEDIATELY. You see, we had met Professor Blanco at CATSFest several years prior and considering we were big fans of his career prior to shaking his hand, we became HUGE fans of the man after talking with him. So much, in fact, that Tut seriously considered getting a giant chest tattoo of a centaur featuring Señor Blanco’s torso atop a horse body. If my memory serves me correct, he was to be drawn holding a sword in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other. Yeah, he was that cool.

Tut's pointing at The Professor, not the handsome big guy in the middle.

Tut’s pointing at The Professor, not the handsome big guy in the middle.

At the time, Señor Blanco was working for Joya De Nicaragua (hands down one of my absolute favorite brands) as their Senior Vice President and he had just unleashed the fantastic CyB cigar on the world. Now he has gone into business for himself by creating Las Cumbres Tabaco and launching their inaugural release Señorial.
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The lounge atmosphere was great leading up to the event. I almost immediately ran into a fellow C.A.T. Mr. David Harris and his wife Liz who had just made the long drive up from Corpus to soak in the professor’s wisdom. Then I turned around and ran into Ben Holt, an Instagram friend of the podcast, who works at TJ’s. Ben was incredibly friendly, as was the entire staff, and he took the time to introduce us to several other key folks in the room. It’s a somewhat odd feeling finally meeting folks you’ve only conversed with only through Facebook and Instagram for sure, but when the people turn out to be good people it can be a very cool thing. Just as we were pouring our first glass of Woodford Reserve, the lounge’s owner David Livingston took the microphone to introduce the man of the hour.
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I’m not going to go into many specifics of the event here for two primary reasons: (1) we discuss it thoroughly on Episode 4 of the podcast and I want you to listen to it and (2) you need to get your ass to one of Señor Blanco’s seminars and experience it for yourself. You may walk in the door feeling like you know quite a bit about cigars but you will quickly learn once the professor begins to speak that you only really know two things – JACK and SHIT. And Jack just left town.
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Cigars smokers of all genders and ages sat and digested as much information as possible about our beloved leaf as Señor Blanco led us on a crash course in Tobacco 101. Everyone was handed a toro sized cigar comprised of five different wrappers of mysterious origins. Over the duration of the smoke we learned the characteristics of the different wrappers, the factors that go in to developing these traits and variations, and just how much our individual palates come into play when judging a cigar. There are no wrong opinions, he stressed, but the more you know…
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At the beginning of the lesson Señor Blanco warned us that in the event we were ever fortunate enough to sit down next to a guy who “knows everything there is to know about cigars” don’t listen to a word he says because he’s full of shit and misinformation can be dangerous. I think that’s brilliant advice unless the man sitting next to you is Jose Blanco. A big thanks to everyone at TJ’s and Las Cumbres Tabaco for putting on this fantastic event. If there’s a seminar within 500 miles of you I highly encourage you to go. You won’t regret it. Seriously. NOW GET YOUR ASS TO THE SEMINAR!!!
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UPDATE: Below is video from our YouTube page of the podcast segment where we discuss the event –

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Brother of the Leaf, Filmmaker, Prophet, former Mr. South Dakota 1996. I was a bouncer on the child beauty pageant circuit until one too many juice boxes went missing and somebody had to take the fall. I was set up. Ok, I was thirsty. All that hairspray in the air dries out your throat like a motherfu... I apologize to no man. Now I host the Tuesday Night Cigar Club podcast.
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