We recently spent some time with Hoochly friend and supporter, Dave Cribbin of Rolling Thunder Cigars, to learn more about the man and what he’s up to in the cigar world.
Hoochly: Tell us about yourself, who is Dave?
Dave: I am a serial entrepreneur and a big family guy, I love spending time with my wife and my three girls. I love riding my Harley Deuce, building furniture, going to the beach, drinking an occasional adult beverage or three and of course smoking cigars.
Hoochly: When did you start smoking cigars and what was your first one?
Dave: My first “cigar” was in sixth grade in the woods, it was one of those plastic tipped beauties! But my real first good smoke was an AVO a number of years later.
Hoochly: How did Rolling Thunder Cigars get started?
Dave: I was thinking about new business opportunities and what it would take to launch a new business. I started to see a number of cigar groups on Facebook and it struck me that here was an unlimited advertising medium every bit as powerful as TV and infinitely more targeted that was free and you could advertise cigars! So it was on!
Hoochly: How did you come up with the name .50CAL and what is behind the military theme?
Dave: The name Rolling Thunder Cigars is actually little pieces of my life rolled into a bundle. My love of Riding, Smoking Cigars and the very deep respect I have for the men and women of our Military forces. In College I had the chance to spend a summer in Quantico at Camp Upshur, part of India company 3rd platoon as a PLC Candidate for the Marine Corps. I didn’t ultimately join the Marines but the training and the time I spent there made a lasting impression on me. Naming our cigar the .50CAL was easy. There just ain’t a Bigger more Bad Ass round you can put through a rifle, so it had to be a .50CAL!!
Hoochly: For those who have not smoked a .50CAL, what should they expect in terms of strength and flavor?
Dave: We have a little sumthin sumthin for everyone; our Connecticut is a very flavorful mild smoke, our Habano is the next step up on the strength scale , our Maduro is a bit stronger (my favorite), and for those who want a stronger smoke our Box pressed Double Ligero should fit the bill nicely.
Hoochly: Are there any new blends or sizes on the works?
Dave: This year is going to be a great year for us. When I started Rolling Thunder we were having our cigars manufactured in a small shop in Ybor City. Although the flavor was good the construction wasn’t as consistent as I wanted. So we have gone to manufacturers in Nicaragua to have our cigars made. The new product has just started to come in and the quality and consistency is head and shoulders above last year’s product. Our New Box Pressed Double Ligero is a really nice smoke as is our new Habano which I’m smoking as I’m doing this interview. Next up will be a couple smaller ring gauge cigars that I’ll be working on this week while I’m in Nicaragua, I’m very excited about that!
Hoochly: Where can people buy your cigars?
Dave: We started selling our cigars as an online retailer www.rtcigars.com and have now begun to distribute our cigars through the brick-and-mortar stores. We currently have about 35 shops that carry our brand and that number is growing every day as we add additional sales reps to expand our distribution.
Hoochly: What is your favorite beer and/or adult beverage and what do you recommend as far as pairing with the 50CAL?
Dave: I’ve been a Bud Light guy for a long time but I do like my Guinness Stout. I’ve recently started to drink some of the craft beers and I got to tell you that Poolside is one of my favorites! As of my favorite adult beverage it would be a Bombay Saphire Martini up with an olive shaken until it’s ice cold! As far as pairing goes I like .50CALS with coffee in the morning, I like them with a little ice tea in the afternoon and something with Gin in it after work.
Hoochly: When you are not smoking 50 CAL what other cigars do you smoke?
Dave: When I’m not smoking .50CALS? I don’t understand this question! (Laugh out Loud)… Before .50CALS I used to smoke Ashton’s Paul Gamarian, Nat Sherman, La Gloria Cubana, and a few others…
Hoochly: Tell us about the custom furniture business, how did you get in to it and do you still make furniture?
Dave: I’ve been building furniture since I was about seven years old when I helped my dad build the kitchen table that my brother and sisters and I grew up eating dinner at, that table still looks good 50 years later. So when I had a chance to open my own shop I went for it, it was a huge challenge but a lot of fun. I got the chance to create some really cool pieces and I still do but only for myself.
Hoochly: What is your connection with Cigar for Warriors?
Dave: Cigars for warriors is a great organization who helps making the lives of our troops just a little more comfortable while they are out serving our country. When I found out about CFW, and saw what they were doing for our guys and girls in the military I really felt obligated to help out and jumped right in and till this day we try to do what we can to help support this great organization.
Thanks for Inviting me to the HoOchly Circle, Is good to be a part of it!
Read Buckroe’s review of the .50Cal Double Ligero!