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An Interview With Dr. Jon Kowalski

Doctor Jon is a good friend of ours, and a guest on several upcoming episodes, so I sat down with him for an interview to get his perspective on a number of cigar and bourbon related topics. We’ll begin to have more of these upcoming interviews in the future, especially with people like you who want to further their journey into the bourbon and cigar world.

The Interview

Joe Johnson: So Jon, I want to thank you for sitting down with me to go over your cigar and bourbon journey. First up, you’ve come with me to Biggs Mansion here maybe ten or twelve times so far. What would you consider your favorite cigar experience so far?

Jon Kowalski: Thanks so much for having me! And it has to be the Atabey Misticos we smoked shortly after the birth of my second daughter. I remember we were playing up in the old poker room at Biggs and you bought us both one of those cigars. Man, was it a good smoke.

Atabey Misticos (6 x 56)

JJ: I remember that night, it was a good time! So an Atabey is a pretty premium stick and I know it’s hard for some to get one. Is there something more commonplace you enjoyed that stood out?

JK: It’s really a toss-up; there have been a few LFD cigars, though maybe not the giant Digger, but some of the smaller ones. I think we also did an Ashton Cabinet Churchill once that was pretty tasty and easier to find. Got those at Binny’s on the way to a game night, didn’t we?

La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Digger

JJ: Yes! And too true, the Digger is special and for special occasions…mainly when you don’t need to stand for a while, hah. So with those cigars that really stood out, what comes to mind with what we’ve drunk? Is there something special you’d do again if you could?

JK: Well, there have been a couple rare items that really made my day, but honestly we both seem to really enjoy the normal Buffalo Trace that comes cheap and easy at most stores. It’s great for sipping and stood up to the smoke. Otherwise, maybe some of that Hibiki…if we can find any.

JJ: Again, a good point. The Suntory mess is making it harder and harder to source those bottles. Hell, even this weekend we couldn’t find any Buffalo Trace at the Oak Brook Binny’s on the way to a party, it can be difficult for any brand to thrive. So, any other parting thoughts or ideas for anyone reading out there?

JK: Just that you need to keep an open mind and an open mouth. It can be hard to learn what you like, but don’t let one bad bottle or one bad pour ruin things for you. Or one bad cigar, either! There have been a few that didn’t fly for me, it’s all about tasting and learning. Just like with food or wine or anything in life, you need to experience it in order to learn from it all.

 

JJ: Excellent points, all. Well, thank you for joining me, Jon, and looking forward to having you on an upcoming show!

JK: Thanks again, Joe, and always a pleasure!

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