Is This a Cuban Cigar? (feat. Lampert Cigars) | Ep. 59

This week’s Box Press: Unicorn chasers, it’s time to pursue Lampert Cigars. This boutique cigar line was started by an Austrian lawyer who loves combining cigars with business. (Talk about attorney-client privilege!) The small-batch cigars have been mistaken for premium Cubans. And if you’re looking for a new breed of quick-smoking dog-walking cigars, Lampert makes some tasty short Robustos.

Blended by current GM of Mombacho Cigars, SOTL Indiana Ortez, the sticks sold out fast at the 2021 PCA in Las Vegas. With the last box of Lamperts in the house, founder Dr. Stefan Lampert joined Box Press host Rob Gagner to talk launching a premium cigar brand while running a Panamanian rum business and practicing law.

“I’ve given customers that are so into Cubans a cigar for free. And most of them, they’re convinced of the quality.”

In this episode of Box Press: If you smoke Cubans or other cigars with oily wrappers, customize the moisture in your humidor with Boveda 2-way humidity packs. Cigars like these do best at a slightly lower relative humidity with Boveda 65% RH. (65% RH is great for aging premium cigars, too.) Shop Boveda 2-way humidifier packs for Cigars.

– Now, this looks like a top hat and a bearded guy smoking a beautiful cigar.
– Yeah, exactly.
– This is a Figurado?
– A Figurado, yes, Salomones.
– Salomones size is amazing.
– Yeah.
– This is gorgeous.
– Thank you.
– Which is not, this size, is not uncharacteristic of Casdagli Cigars.
– Yeah, exactly.
– They have these molds.
– Yeah.
– They smoke beautifully.
– Yeah.
– They’re long cigars.
– Oh yeah.
– Much longer.
– Oh yeah, yeah.
– We’re not gonna sit down and have a meeting at the law office with this sucker, unless we’re going into a lot of litigation.
– Yeah. The time clock is running, right?
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. So when the lawyer comes in and sits down and says, let’s have a cigar during this meeting and he pulls out this one, you save some money. If he pulls out this one, you are getting charged a lot of money for this cigar my friend.
– That’s true.
– The clock is running. There’s a story inside every smoke shop, with every cigar and with every person. Come be a part of the cigar lifestyle of Boveda. This is Box Press. Welcome to another episode of Box Press I am your host, Rob Gagner with Boveda. And I am sitting down with Stefan of Lampert Cigars. Now, Lampert Cigars, you may have heard, it’s kind of a new cigar coming out, Indiana Ortez has blended this, Casdagli Cigars is distributing it, and it’s available through Small Batch and other areas across the entire nation. It’s a global company and Stefan, I cannot thank you for sitting down and sharing this cigar with me.
– Yeah, thank you, too. Was a pleasure.
– [Rob] Yes. Thank you so much.
– Thank you.

How to Retrohale a Cigar

– Oh, that’s got a good retrohale, man. Good retrohale.
– Yeah, ret- yeah. But many people don’t like it. I don’t know why.
– The retrohale?
– Yeah. Many like, I don’t retro. I say, oh.
– Oh, they don’t retrohale.
– Yeah.
– Oh, I thought you meant they don’t like the retrohale.
– They don’t retro.
– Right.
– Yeah. I do it all the time.
– I can’t stop doing it.
– Yeah. Same here.
– I have to consciously be like, okay, I should slow it down a little bit.
– Yeah. Same here.
– But to me, the retrohale brings–
– New flavors, right?
– Oh my God new flavors.
– [Stefan] Yeah, I know.
– How I learned by, actually Tim from CAO taught me how to retrohale the LX2. And he said, bring the smoke in, and he thought of the anatomy because of the back of the throat, it either goes down or up to the nasal cavity. So think about pulling that smoke to the back of the mouth, but not swallowing it and more blowing out of your nose. It’s a weird, like I push my tongue to the top of my mouth to push it back there and actually, I take that back. I blow out some of the smoke.
– Yeah.
– So I pull it in, blow out some of the smoke. And then I push and I blow out the nose. Because if I try to do all of it, sometimes it’s like, whoa, that’s a lot. And then you , then you start coughing.
– True.
– So I don’t know. Now that I’m thinking of it, I’m like, am I gonna screw it up on camera?
– [Stefan] No, no .
– Yeah. Wow.
– Yeah. We already live, right? No.
– Oh yeah, we’re already live. We’re talking.

Who Blends Lampert Cigars?

– Yeah. So let me tell you a little bit about the cigar.
– Yeah, and–
– Oh.
– Stefan.
– Yeah, Stef- Oh, okay.
– From Lampert Cigars.
– Yeah, Lampert Cigars Yeah, that’s right.
– Right here. All the way from Austria.
– Yeah, Vienna. Yeah.
– This is your first PCA?
– First PCA, yeah. It’s been a long time since–
– Casdagli is basically distributing your cigar.
– Exactly, yeah.
– And who blended it? None other than…
– Indiana Ortez.
– Yeah. I was trying to tee him up here, Indiana Ortez. We’ve had Indiana on the show before for our Unboxed Live.
– Yeah.
– Phenomenal woman, phenomenal blender. It was a pleasure watching her Instagram and going through and watching her blend this. And the label was always hidden. And then eventually the label came out, and I said, Lampert, where is that coming from? And Indiana’s blending it for you.
– [Stefan] Yeah, exactly.
– Unbelievable. Go ahead. Whatever you wanted to start with, you had wanted to start with something.
– Oh, just like super happy to be here in the States. It’s my first time at the PCA. And it’s fantastic people. I think it’s the show, like the show where you have to be as a cigar producer, as a cigar brand. It’s phenomenal. You meet great people. I love it. We were super busy. The whole show, completely sold out. Really happy. It went really well. It was great. Yeah.
– Yeah, we had to dig in your case to see if you had one box left. And if we didn’t grab this, it would’ve been sold out. Somebody would’ve taken it.
– Oh yeah, for sure. Yeah. Oh yeah for sure.
– We gotta covet these. These are the last remaining Lamperts at PCA. And this size, this short Robusto. It’s a three by three quarter 52 ring gauge. It’s absolutely phenomenal for dog walking, quick smokes. Well, not even quick.
– Yeah.

Do Smaller Cigars Get the Better Tobacco Leaves?

– Just phenomenal smokes. Sometimes I feel like smaller smokes get higher primings and more flavorful.
– Yeah.
– I mean, unless the leaf is really big, but sometimes it’s the most beautiful, flavorful, most impactful smoke I’ve ever had.
– Yeah. No, completely agree. So my favorite vitola is the short Robusto because I prefer like smoking two or three or four a day instead of like one or two Toros. Because–
– Right.
– You can have a short Robusto when you have a break, with coffee, it doesn’t take too much time, but you have a lot of flavor, I think what comes out of a short Robusto compared to like a Toro it’s like, to me it’s like the best. And in Europe it’s our best seller, the short Robusto.
– And in some of the longer, like a Toro, or a Churchill, it takes time to build to this flavor and you’ve cut out all the time and said, I’m gonna give you everything
– Exactly. Yeah.
– Right up front in this short Robusto. And I love that.
– Yeah.
– Because I’m not waiting.
– Yeah. Same here.
– I’m impatient.
– I’m a big short Robusto fan.
– And I love the idea to be able to smoke three of these a day and not feel guilty that you didn’t finish it. Because let’s face it. I spent my hard earned money on it. So whatever I leave is money wasted. And now you’ve mitigated that.
– Yeah.
– I’m straight to the flavor, straight to the opportunity. And I don’t feel guilty after I’m done because I’ve smoked it. I smoked it all.
– Completely agree on that. Yeah.
– The band pretty much takes up the whole length of the cigar, which is phenomenal. Beautiful presentation on the band. What the band has a shield or a crest. Is that your family crest?
– Yeah, it’s my family crest. Yeah.
– What does it mean?
– It’s just like, also our family goes back until 1593. We got two emblems. This is the second one that we got.
– Yep.
– Yeah. And it just means, so it goes deep into Europe history.
– Yeah. Let’s go.
– Okay, okay, we can do that.
– Let’s deep.
– Okay.
– Deep cuts.
– Let’s go deep into Europe. So there’s like a small country. So the Lampert family usually comes from the country called Lichtenstein. Very small one, it’s between Austria and Switzerland. So Las Vegas is bigger than the whole country. Yeah. Let’s put it that way. And our family was like, so the country was divided in two parts, the upper and the lower part. And we were at the upper part. We were kind of like more, how do you call it more than majors? Kinda like not owning, but we were like for the king, we were like, I don’t know how you call it in English.
– Land owners?
– Like governing the upper land. The Lampert family, yeah.
– Okay.
– Yeah. So that’s history. Then we got that–
– So the shield has, is it a lamb or a goat?
– [Stefan] It’s a lamb.
– A lamb.
– Yeah.
– In the shield and on top of the shield is a lamb.
– Yup, exactly.
– What does the lamb mean?
– So there are different meanings. Like there are different meanings, but this kind of like interpreter, what it meant, like in that kind of age, like in 1675 and that I have to look it up again, because everything on that emblem means something. The color, the lamb, everything.
– Were you guys like sheep herders or?
– No, we have nothing to do with that, no.
– Nothing?
– Nothing to do with that. It’s just, it’s a symbol that I have to look up again because it’s very complicated to read such emblem.
– But the lamb, is it correlating to Lampert?
– Oh yeah, yeah. That’s why probably.
– Really?
– Yeah.
– Okay.
– Yeah.
– Does Lampert mean anything translated or is it just a family name?
– It’s just a family name.
– It’s not an area or anything?
– No, it’s not an area.
– Okay. And the year 1675, was that when this shield was presented?
– Yes, exactly.
– So this is the second shield, the first shield came in 1500s?
– Yes and this will be our new release soon, because we have a new line, 1593, with the first shield that we got when we are working on that.
– Cool.
– Yeah.
– What made you wanna start a cigar brand?
– So my main job is I’m a lawyer.
– Oh great.

How Many Lawyers Does it Take to Make a Cigar?

– Yeah, so I’m a lawyer. So I have my clients smoke cigars. When they come to my office, they smoke. So smoke a lot. So I thought, okay, hey, let’s make a cigar that everyone likes. So I started making a cigar, reached out to many factories, and many factories, oh you’re too small. And we found factories that could do our capacity. And so we got the first blend. Fantastic. Got it into my office and yeah, I gave it to my friends, to my clients, say how you like it? Like, oh wow. That’s fantastic. I was like, oh wow, yeah, thank you. And so we keep going doing very small orders and at some point a client said, hey, you have to open a cigar company. That’s phenomenal stuff that you have. I said, oh yeah, I will think about it. And yeah, at the end, I started opening a cigar company, yeah.
– That’s great.
– Yeah.
– Thank you for sharing it with us.
– Yeah, you’re welcome.

Where Can You Find Lampert Cigars in the United States?

– I mean, this is a treat. Where can people in America get this? From Small Batch Cigars?
– Small Batch Cigars, Luxury Cigar.
– Club, yeah. I have actually published a list on the retailers where you get it on my website.
– And the website is?
– Yeah.
– That’s L-A-M-P-E-R-T cigars.
– Yeah. Yeah.
– Plural. Dot com.
– Yeah, exactly.
– Amazing. Great cigar.
– Yeah. Thank you. When we started also, ’cause I gave you the cigar, the preferred retailer program that we have in Switzerland.
– Now this looks like a top hat and a bearded guy smoking a beautiful cigar.
– Yeah, exactly.
– This is a Figurado?
– A Figurado, yes. Salomones.
– Salomones size is amazing.
– Yeah.
– This is gorgeous.
– [Stefan] Thank you.
– Which is not, this size, is not uncharacteristic of Casdagli Cigars.
– Yeah, exactly.
– They have these molds.
– Yeah.
– They smoke beautifully.
– Yeah.
– They’re long cigars.
– Oh, yeah.
– Much longer.
– Oh yeah, yeah.
– We’re not gonna sit down and have a meeting at the law office with this sucker unless we’re going into a lot of litigation.
– Yeah. The time clock is running, right?
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. So when the lawyer comes in and sits down and says, let’s have a cigar during this meeting and he pulls out this one, you save some money. If he pulls out this one, you are getting charged a lot of money for this cigar, my friend.
– That’s true.
– The clock is running.
– Yeah. Two hour smoke, expensive smoke at the end.
– No, no. Four hour smoke. Speak the language, right? Here we go. So what made you wanna become a lawyer?
– So in school, I like to, because we did a lot of Roman law and I got into this Roman law, how it worked, like very back, like back in the past. So yeah. I started, that was like my passion. I was very good in that, in Latin. And then this Roman law–
– Can you read Latin?
– Yeah. Oh yeah.
– [Rob] Nice.
– Yeah. So then I got into law because once you understand like the basic, you understand a lot, how the system works.
– [Rob] Sure.
– Yeah.

Blending Cigars and Construction and Environmental Law

– And do you have an area specialty for law?
– Yeah. So I’m doing construction law.
– Okay.
– And environmental law. Like environmental impact statements.
– [Rob] Wow.
– Yeah.
– So those are two big things that either can work together,
– [Stefan] Oh, they work perfectly together.
– Or they can clash.
– Oh you, they work perfectly together. Because I–
– But in America,
– Yeah.
– Sometimes building has to be subject to environmental causes and be cautious of the impact, right? Because you’re changing the environment and so sometimes they can collide and other times they can work together. Is it more popular in Austria to be more environmentally conscious when building?
– Oh yeah. It’s a big thing in Austria. It’s becoming–
– Big thing?
– Yeah, it’s becoming more and more, especially like the renewable energy.
– Yeah.
– It’s becoming huge.
– Now you’re speaking my language.
– Yeah.
– I like that. Innovation, renewable energy.
– Oh yeah.
– Stewards of resources.
– Austria’s goal is like until 2000– Oh, oh. It’s like 2030.
– The set’s falling apart behind me. Go ahead.
– Yeah, yeah. So Austria’s governments goal is until 2030 to get everything out of renewable energy.
– So by 2030,
– Yeah.
– All energy wants to be renewable. Does that also have to do with reducing the carbon footprint?
– Oh, yeah. Exactly, yeah.
– They want carbon neutral energy. Not just energy.
– No. Carbon neutral, yes.
– That’s amazing.
– Yeah. Like wind farms–
– The whole country?
– Whole country.
– To be carbon neutral?
– Yes. Like we do like wind farms, water plant. That’s where we get the energy from.
– Right. I applaud you.
– Yeah.
– That is a great endeavor to be working on.
– Oh yeah. I love it.
– Yeah.
– It’s great clients, It’s a great job and yeah. Besides that I can smoke great cigars.
– What’s the coolest project you worked on that you thought there is no way we could get energy this way, and they did it?
– Let me think. There was a project going that we were trying to build wind turbines. But I thought it’s impossible because some neighbors didn’t really like the renewable energy. They are like against it, say, oh no, I don’t want that. And at the end it was hard work, but we made it happen.
– So then everyone got on board.
– Yeah, everyone got on board–
– What made them not want it?
– Oh, I don’t know. They were are like, probably it’s just like a visual thing. They didn’t wanna see it.
– Yeah, that’s true. It’s visually like, you know, it disrupts the landscape.
– That’s true. But we took them to a tour. Say, okay, hey, let’s go to this wind turbine, you can go up to the top and drink Champagne or whatever you want.
– Sure.
– Yeah and they did it. They saw it, how it worked. Oh yeah, that’s actually a great thing. And we got them on board and we got the project done.
– Nice.
– Yeah.
– Very cool. Anything new coming up that you are working on that’s very cutting of edge and totally different?
– We are working on couple of new blends with like, we wanna publish a Connecticut.
– Okay.
– Like a Connecticut.
– I meant renewable energy, but you went to cigars.
– Oh, okay.
– Either one works.
– Oh, okay. What’s coming up new? Oh, we just launched like in law, in Austria what we launched is like a new, like, how do you call it? Like energy innovative act. So that companies that invest in Austria, get good money from the government if they invest in renewable energy.
– Oh nice.
– Oh yeah. So I have a couple of American clients actually in Austria. They are investing a lot in renewable energy.
– Wonderful. Wonderful.
– Yeah.
– Because it’s like great energy. I think it’s, for me, like personal wise, I think it’s the best energy that you can get, like renewable with no carbon footprint, yeah.
– Yeah, it’s our responsibility as stewards of the planet.
– For the environment, yeah.
– Yeah. Absolutely.
– To think about your kids.
– Yeah. The future.
– Yeah, future, yeah.

Is Lampert Cigars Releasing a Connecticut?  

– It’s a big deal. Okay, now we can talk about cigars. You got something new coming up with the Connecticut?
– Connecticut wrapper, yeah.
– Yeah.
– We are working on that with a cigar, Connecticut wrapper. But I don’t wanna talk more about that, it’s just, we are in process, it’s hard work.
– To come.
– To come, yeah.
– Don’t hold ’em to it.
– Yeah.
– This all takes time.
– Yeah.
– How long did it take to launch the 1675?
– I think a year.
– A year?
– Yeah a year.
– So that’s no short process?

Cigar Smokers Around the World Taste Test Lampert Cigars

– No, it’s long, because you know when I like a sample, what I do like, so in my company I have like a tasting panel from different countries. So I like a cigar, I have a couple of people, actually many people on board. If I rate it, I smoke a cigar three or four times until I like it until I say, okay, let’s try it in the morning, try it in the afternoon, after lunch, after dinner. And let’s try, what’s getting out of the flavors. Okay, I like the cigar. It’s like, okay. But you know what? I wanna know what the people are saying. So I keep sending the people that have independent samples to see, hey, what do you think about this cigar? It’s with no band, nothing. I just wanna hear their honest opinion. I send to Europe, I send to the States and I send to the Middle East. So just to get like a very broad opinion, if they really like the cigars, because sometimes my taste can be wrong, they have like a weird taste. So, because I wanna connect with all the people to get like, okay, they like it, so it must be a good cigar, like in flavor wise because it’s not only me that I like it. I want have the people on board that like it.
– [Rob] Yeah.
– Worldwide.
– [Rob] Awesome.
– Yeah. Because we are small and we can do that, yeah.
– I love the blind tasting aspect that you did do it because you don’t want, you know, I was just talking to Reinhard about how the colors and the bands and the whole presentation affect how you perceive flavor. So when you send it to them unbanded and just ask for their honest opinion on it, if they do it right, they’re not gonna be–
– They tell, I don’t like it or that was crap. I say, okay, thank you very much. No, it really helps a lot. I’m actually very thankful for their honest opinion.
– Honesty.
– Yeah. It helps me a lot to develop the brand. It’s like that’s no blend, nothing. A big, just like in a humidor bag or in a tube. I don’t say much.
– Yeah.
– Three samples. Give me your honest opinion. Smoke it and let me know what you think. If it’s crap let me know, I don’t mind.
– This has got the right amount of sweetness that I absolutely love in a cigar.
– Yeah, it’s not too sweet, right?
– No, but I love sweetness. Just the right amount of sweetness, to keep that salty sweet.
– Yeah.
– A little bit of that nicotine can be bitter. And it’s just a, my palate keeps going back and forth and I’m… it’s all good.
– Yeah.
– It’s so good.
– Thank you.
– We had a great opportunity to speak to Indiana about this blend and blending it. And Ben actually interviewed her on it and it was phenomenal. Great cigar, great company to work with. Great blender to work with.
– Oh yeah.
– What did you learn from Indiana during the blending process? Were there certain things that you picked up that you were like, holy cow, I would’ve never thought of that.
– Some certain process that were behind all the cigar making, I was like, okay, I learned that, I learned that. What you have to think about before you launch a brand, like if you wanna do it like worldwide, you know, you to have inventory, you have to have, okay, this is the States, this is Europe, you have to divide the market, how it’s going, because if you sell to that country, the other country’s angry, like how that works, yeah. Because oh no, he’s stealing from us. It’s like every country has like, a cigar inventory, kind of like you calculate, okay, with Germany, it’s this amount of cigars, Austria needs this amount. And if one country needs more, like the States, usually they need more than I thought. Okay, how can I get some cigars out of them?
– The States are gonna consume the heck out of this.
– Oh yeah.
– Everywhere. All over the world, they’re gonna want it.
– Oh, yeah.

Do Europeans Prefer Cuban Cigars? 

– When working in the European Union or other states within that or countries, I should say, you have to compete with Cuban cigars, which is not the case in the United States. And you’re also running into consumers that are preconditioned by Cuban cigars as being the upper echelon.
– Yeah, yeah.
– When coming in with a non-Cuban cigar, what does that mean for you? What road blocks and barriers are you trying to break down to get your customers in those countries to try Lampert Cigars?
– Okay. So you’re completely right. Usually in certain countries, the Cuban cigars are a standard. So that’s like, okay, what we do is like, look, we try to convince. So we convince people with quality and also to a very great value.
– Okay.
– So what I do to, because I have like couple of customers, oh, I only smoke Cubans, I don’t smoke anything else. Like in Europe, it’s very common that they’re totally–
– And it’s not a mean thing. It’s just, I have a preference for Cubans. I don’t deal with anything else.
– So what I do, I give the customers that are so into Cuban I give them a cigar for free. Hey, let’s try this. What do you think about that? And most of them, they’re convinced of the quality, because the quality is always same. We try to have always the same quality.
– [Rob] Oh yeah. That’s a must.
– Yeah. It’s a plus. And we have availability because Cubans sometimes are not that much available even in Europe, now. We’ve got a shortage and we have availability and we try to get the best standard for the best value.
– Have you ever thought of unbanding your cigar and giving it to your client who says he only smokes Cuban and say I got a brand new Cuban for you to try?
– Oh, I did that many times.
– Yeah?
– Oh yeah.
– What was their reaction?
– Oh wow. That’s Fantastic. One of the best Cubans I’ve ever had. What is that? Is that Upmann 54? I said almost, yeah.
– You don’t tell them?
– No, I don’t tell them, no.
– You don’t even tell them? He thinks it’s a Cuban.
– Yeah, he thinks it’s a Cuban. Yeah.
– The whole time?
– Oh yeah, the whole time. And then he says, oh wow that ash? Amazing. I never had that before. I said yeah, great Cuban, huh?
– What if he wants to buy more? Do you just, oh yeah, I’ll send you a box?
– No, at the end, if he wants to buy more, I said, look, it wasn’t a Cuban. I’m sorry, but you like it, do you wanna order it? Oh yeah, sure, send me the box.
– I like your style. I applaud you. Great style. That’s what I would do. Oh, you only smoke Cubans? Oh, by the way I have one. Yeah, don’t look at these Lamperts, they’re not that good. Here, try this.
– Yeah. Oh yeah.
– It’s the Lampert.
– Oh yeah. I know. And many people would say, oh it’s fantastic.
– It’s all psychological.
– Yes, exactly.
– [Rob] All psychological.
– It’s like what you mentioned about the band, it’s like very band focused. If it’s a Cuban band on it or it’s another band on it.
– [Rob] Right.
– Yeah.
– Amazing. Are you married?
– No, I have a girlfriend.
– Girlfriend?
– Yeah. Three years. Yeah.
– How many years?
– Three.
– Wow.
– Yeah.
– What is the typical timeframe for somebody to date somebody in Austria and then get married?
– Depends. From one to seven years I guess.
– How?
– One to seven.
– One to seven?
– Yeah, one to seven.
– You’re going more towards seven?
– Oh yeah. More to seven. Oh, I hope she doesn’t see it .
– Yeah, yeah. She’s not watching, she doesn’t know the channel.
– We cut that out.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, that’s good. So you guys have fun. Do you guys like to do any hobbies that you like to do in particular?
– Oh yeah. I like skiing. It’s Austrian, of course.
– Skiing?
– Oh, yeah.
– Snow skiing?
– Snow skiing, yeah, yeah. Cause I grew up–
– I have to clarify. I’m from Minnesota, you can water ski.
– Oh yeah, no it’s snow skiing. Cause I grew up in the Alps actually, so. Yeah, I know a little bit about skiing, yeah.
– Yeah. Just a little.
– Yeah, a little bit.
– Just a little.
– That’s I think that’s the best, like the sports where Austria is good at, skiing.
– Really?
– Yeah. Yeah.
– Do you do cross country skiing or just downhill?
– Oh no. Everything.
– Everything?
– Everything. Yeah. Skiing. Yeah.
– Everything?
– And I do play basketball.
– Okay.
– Yeah.
– You got some height on you.
– Yeah.
– What are you, 6′ 12″?
– 6′ 5′.
– Yeah. 6′ 12″ is seven feet for anyone paying attention out there. 6′ 5″?
– Yeah.
– Play a little basketball?
– Yeah a little basketball and swimming.
– Swimming?
– Yeah.
– What’s your favorite position in basketball play? Are you a forward or defense?
– Forward.
– Forward?
– Yeah. Forward.
– You like to dunk on ’em?
– Yeah. Oh, I’m to heavy for that now. I can’t do it. I used to, but you know, you get older and.
– It’s gotta feel good to just be able to dunk that ball and hang onto that rim a little bit.
– Oh, I wish I could do that, but for me–
– You used to.
– Used to, yeah. But you know, you get older and yeah.
– Knees can’t handle the jump that high.
– Knees problem. But for me, it’s just an amazing hobby, you know? You meet great people, it’s a team sport. Love it. The States, like I watch a lot of NBA.
– Who’s your favorite NBA player?
– KD.
– KD?
– Yeah, KD. Kevin Durant, yeah.
– Kevin?
– Durant.
– Durant?
– Yeah, KD, yeah.
– Oh Kevin. I was thinking Kevin Garnett.
– Oh no. Kevin Durant, KD.
– Okay.
– Yeah.
– What do you like about him?
– Oh, like how he plays because he plays super smart. Like he passes, he takes the shots when it’s necessary or I love the whole the team that he plays. Because he gets all the team members on board.
– He’s the leader.
– Yeah, he’s a leader, yeah.
– Yeah?
– Yeah. I like it. Golden State Warriors.
– Golden State Warriors.
– Yeah Warriors. Yeah.
– Love it.
– Yeah. It’s my favorite team.
– It’s fun to see somebody that can get the team energized and come back.
– Oh yeah.
– From losing or from a, you know, a few points down.
– [Stefan] Yeah.
– That’s the fun of the game. I think basketball’s fun to watch. But probably like the last five minutes is the most fun.
– Oh, then you’ve never watched soccer.
– No.
– Yeah.
– Yeah, soccer.
– That’s boring. That’s boring. 90 minutes.
– Soccer can be boring ’cause it’s a lot of setup.
– Yeah, yeah. 90 minutes no goal, potentially.
– But hey, American football is a lot of whistle blowing, you know?
– That’s true.
– Okay, break. Reset up. Charge online.
– Yeah.
– Break, reset up. Charge on the line. Soccer, I commend those guys. They gotta keep it going.
– Yeah. That’s true.
– There’s no break.
– [Stefan] Oh yeah. That’s true, yeah.
– You either control the ball,
– Yeah.
– Or you don’t.
– Oh yeah, that’s true yeah.
– So I love that aspect. So from that part, it’s a more patient game.
– [Stefan] Oh yeah. It’s way more patient.
– Not a boring game, right? It’s a more patient game.
– That’s true. And you have to play clever.
– Yeah. Every little bit counts.
– [Stefan] Yeah.
– I feel like, I play a lot of baseball.
– [Stefan] Yeah.
– To me, baseball’s won by errors and omissions. The other team’s screwing up.
– Yeah.
– Missing a throw. Not throwing it fast enough. Missing the tag.
– Yeah.
– Not getting the tag, letting the guy steal. You know, all of that, pitching the wrong pitch. So he cranks a Homer when it’s, you know, you’re down by two.
– Yeah.
– So it’s stuff like that I just love, it’s just a little bit of an edge. And when you see somebody like Kevin, that can lead a team to get that edge, is so fun to watch.
– That’s true. Totally agree with that.
– Yeah.
– Yeah.
– What else is coming up in the future for you? You looking to do anything as far as break ground on releasing Lampert Cigars to a new country, or do more as far as bringing more cigars to the United States? You had talked about the Connecticut. Clearly there’s only the one line, right?

Try the Cigar Whose Saltiness is Reminiscent of a Costa Rican Ocean Breeze

– Yeah, at the moment we have like, but we’ve also the preferred retailer program with that. We have actually in Europe we have two, like two more lines. We have the Ocean Breeze. Yeah, which we brought into the States. I think it was for Luxury Cigar Club exclusively.
– Nice.
– Yeah. So sometimes we bring exclusive brands that we have in Europe, we bring it to the States for exclusive customers.
– I love that.
– So that’s what we do, yeah. So we try to keep certain cigars very exclusive, because I don’t have much production of certain cigars. So I have in Switzerland, I kind of have like a VIP program going, like if you reach a certain amount, you can access these kinds of cigars. Because I have like 50 boxes or something, it’s nothing.
– Right. Very limited.
– Very limited.
– It’s just some unicorns. Anyone out there. Unicorn chasers? Better start looking at his portfolio. Ocean line, what is the other line?
– Yeah, Ocean Breeze and the other line–
– Ocean Breeze.

Customize a Premium Cigar with Lampert

– Is my Cigar Lab line.
– My Cigar Lab line?
– Yeah, My Cigar Lab. That’s the name of the brand. That’s with this guy.
– Okay. My Cigar Lab.
– Yeah, so the idea behind this blend was actually came up when I was in Thailand. Cause Thailand is very famous for suits, you know? You get the custom made, tailor made suits. So I thought, it was a rainy day, like it’s rain, we got into a storm. So I was just sitting on the balcony, smoking cigars. I thought, you know what? These guys in Thailand, they can make the suit, whatever you want, you can make it like that size, you can adjust, you can make it here, you can make that. I thought, you know, that would be great if we can do that with a cigar. So what we did first with this brand before we launched it, we made custom made cigars so we had like a program online, saying, okay, you can enter the program and you can modify the cigar visually how you like it and what blend you like it and we make it.
– Wow.
– Yeah. And you can also use your own band. You can upload it. We will take care of the band. So that’s why we got many customers in Switzerland, big companies, hey, we wanna have our own cigar. So we make custom made cigars for them with their band.
– Wow.
– Yeah.
– So that was–
– That’s very bespoke.
– Yeah. So that was the idea behind it. And it got bigger and bigger. So we got approached from a company in Belgium, company in Ireland, company, again, companies in Switzerland, they wanna have custom made cigars, I said, yeah, sure we can do that. And it got bigger and bigger and I thought, you know what, with that blend, with certain blends, we have to make a standard line out of it, like a standard portfolio. Then we created a standard portfolio with these cigars that we have also available in Switzerland and a few in the States, yeah. So that’s the story behind the My Cigar, it’s like my cigar, but it’s like a laboratory. You just create like crazy things.
– Yeah.
– Yeah.
– I love it.
– Yeah. That was, yeah.

Pairing Premium Rum with Premium Cigars

– So do you think there’s gonna come a time where the cigar business is gonna take you away from being a lawyer?
– Yeah, it keeps me at the moment keeps me super busy because we have like more than 10 countries already that we are handling. At certain point, I think. But I still love being a lawyer, you know? It’s an amazing job. I have amazing clients. At some point, yeah. I will think about it. Because I have also a third business. I make rum.
– Rum?
– Rum, yeah. I pair my cigars with rum. So I do pairing.
– So you make rum, you make cigars, and you’re a lawyer?
– [Stefan] Yeah, exactly.
– Is there anything else you do?
– Not that I’m aware of. That’s it, yeah.
– So what kind of rum?
– So our rum is made in Panama.
– Panama?
– Yeah, Panama, yeah. We have like a–
– Is that a normal spot to be making rum?
– Oh, it’s very famous. We have a very, very great master blender.
– Really?
– Oh yeah. It’s fantastic.
– I’m rum ignorant. So you’re educating me.
– Okay, yeah. So rum wise, we make a seven-year-old rum, a 12-year-old rum and these rums, we adjust with our cigars. So we go there say, okay, taste the cigars. What kind of flavor would fit? What kind of drink would fit to that cigar? And then we start working on the blend, like the cigars, cigar blend. Like we work with the rum blend to get the best out of it, to have the best pairing ever.
– Oh my gosh.
– Yeah. So we–
– So it’s truly paired with the cigar.
– Yeah.
– What’s the name of the rum?
– Lampert Rum.
– Lampert Rum.
– Yeah.
– Lampert Cigars.
– Yes, exactly.
– If I’m smoking the 1675, what rum am I drinking?
– The 12 year.
– The 12 year?
– Yeah. In a perfect age, 12 years in a wooden barrel. Perfect.
– What about the seven year?
– The seven year, I suggest if you smoke a cigar, but if you are a beginner. Because it gives very sweetness. It’s more kind of like a sipping rum, if you wanna mix it with a drink, like Cuba Libre or something.
– Okay.
– But the 12-year-old rum is like even more quality. You don’t mix it with a drink, it’s too expensive.
– Right.
– Yeah.
– That’s drink neat.
– Oh yeah, drink neat. Yeah, on the rocks.
– And smoke the Lampert 1675?
– Yes, exactly.
– Now, what about the other cigars? You have another year above 12?
– Oh yeah. It’s coming soon. Because after that, I’m flying to Panama to the factory. We are trying to create an 18-year-old and 25-year-old rum.
– [Rob] Holy cow.
– Super old, very, very special. We try to keep it very limited. Because the rum, we just started like one and a half year ago and that’s our first production came out. It’s on the boat. No, I think it’s already cleared at the moment, but we are almost sold out. We haven’t even started selling, but we have so many pre-orders sold.
– Can people get this in the United States or only in Austria or where?
– No, United States is the next part. Cause it’s a bit complicated, I heard it’s state to state, you have to check.
– Yeah.

How to Buy Lampert Rum in the United States 

– So we are looking for an importer in the United States at the moment that can help us to bring the rum.
– So those of you with international connections, if you want Lampert Rum,
– Yeah.
– You gotta tap into those.
– Yeah.
– Where could they get it? Is there a big distributor or retailer in Europe that they could get it from?
– They can get it from me directly.
– Directly?
– Oh yeah, I have warehouses everywhere. Yeah.
– send me an email.
– All right.
– Yeah.
– That just got easier. Now you know a guy. and you can get Lampert Rum.
– Highest quality, best quality.
– 12 year.
– 12 year.
– With your Lampert 1675 cigar.
– Perfect pairing. You will love it.
– How come you didn’t come over with the pairing? How come you didn’t come over with the rum to pair?
– Because it was on the boat.
– I’m just kidding. I don’t even drink. Just giving you a hard time.
– Nah, yeah. I would love to, but it’s…
– We’re pairing with espresso, which is great.
– It’s great, yeah. Fantastic.
– Stefan, I wanna thank you so much.
– Yeah, thank you too. It was amazing. Thank you for being here.
– Thank you you for being here. Welcome to United States, welcome to PCA.
– Love it.
– Welcome to the cigar industry.
– Thank you.
– Thank you for making such great cigar with Indiana Ortez, Casdagli Cigars, you yourself. Clearly have a great palette. You’re a knowledgeable guy and we appreciate you.
– Yeah. Thank you very much for the interview, love it. Big Boveda fan.
– Yeah.
– Thank you. Love the United States.
– Thank you so much.
– Thank you.

Where to Buy Boveda for Your Humidor

– You heard it here first. Lampert Cigars. You can find it all. Get the perfect pairing and as always, make sure you protect those cigars with Boveda. Head over to for more Boveda products. Thank you all. Signing out.
– Thank you.

What are Tobacco Primings?

While savoring the Lampert 1675 short Robusto, Rob questioned if smaller smokes, like the 3 3/4 x 52 ring gauge get higher primings and are therefore more flavorful. So what are primings? The rows of leaves on a tobacco plant.

According to our friends at Cigar Aficionado: “The number of primings varies, but six is average. The first priming is closest to the ground, the sixth is near the top. The higher the priming, the stronger the tobacco. Most fine cigar tobacco is harvested by priming. Workers always harvest from the bottom of the plant up, taking two to three leaves at a time. The lowest level of priming, known as sand leaf, or libre de pie, is often discarded. A few days go by between priming harvests, allowing the plant to further mature.”

Highlights from this episode of Boveda’s Box Press Cigar Podcast Include:  

  • 01:42 How to retrohale a cigar
  • 03:24 Who blends Lampert’s boutique cigars?
  • 05:03 Do smaller cigars get the better tobacco leaves?
  • 09:32 How many lawyers does it take to make a cigar?
  • 10:37 Where can you buy Lampert Cigars in the United States?
  • 12:45 Blending cigars with construction and environmental law
  • 16:51 Does Lampert Cigars have a Connecticut wrapper?  
  • 17:08 Cigar smokers around the world taste test Lampert Cigars
  • 21:00 Do Europeans prefer Cuban cigars?  
  • 28:35 What cigar is reminiscent of the saltiness of an ocean breeze? 
  • 29:37 Customizing your own cigar with Lampert
  • 31:28 Pairing premium rum with premium cigars

Where Can You Find Lampert Cigars?

Because of supply chain issues, European cigar smokers sometimes have a tough time finding Cuban cigars. So, in lieu of an H. Upmann 54, swap in a Lampert. Check if your tobacco shop carries Lampert Cigars here. Buying cigars in the United States? See what lines are in stock online here.

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