Drunk Chicken Cigars: For Any Time of Day

Drunk Chicken Cigars produces premium cigars that can be smoked anytime of the day. Seãn chats with founder Desiree Sylver at PCA 2021.

Desiree Sylver:

Hi, I’m Desiree with Drunk Chicken Cigars. And you’re watching Sean Johnson with Cigar Conversation.

Seãn Johnson:

Hey everybody. This is Sean Johnson with Cigar Conversations. We’re having another episode. We’re here at the 2021 PCA. And I’m here with the gorgeous Desiree.

Seãn Johnson:

How you doing?

Desiree Sylver:

Good, how are you?

Seãn Johnson:

I’m good. I’m good.

Seãn Johnson:

Now, first of all, I’ve never thought I would hear this name, the Drunken Chicken. How did that come about?

Desiree Sylver:

Well, we’re the Drunk Chicken.

Seãn Johnson:

The Drunk Chicken?

Desiree Sylver:

Yeah. We’re not drunken yet.

Seãn Johnson:

I saw you guys at the party last night at the hotel bar with drunken chicken.

Desiree Sylver:

Oh, we were drunken last night. Today we’re drunk.

Seãn Johnson:

So, tell me about Drunk Chicken Cigars. How did the name come about?

Desiree Sylver:

The Drunk Chicken name came about from my chicken farm. I have a small chicken farm. Chickens are my pets.

Desiree Sylver:

And so, my friends named the chicken farm the Drunk Chicken because, in the city, I live in the Washington, DC area, people don’t know about chickens. And they stumble. They are curious. They’re all over the place. And they think my chickens were drunk when actually, we’re the drunks.

Seãn Johnson:

Okay, all right.

Seãn Johnson:

Now the, next thing is, I thought maybe you had two or three different lines. But you have how many?

Desiree Sylver:

Seven.

Seãn Johnson:

Seven?

Desiree Sylver:

Yes, seven different brands.

Seãn Johnson:

Okay. Tell me. Go ahead. Tell me about them.

Desiree Sylver:

Tell you about them?

Seãn Johnson:

Yeah.

Desiree Sylver:

We started Drunk Chicken Cigars with five blends, one full body, three medium and a mild.

Desiree Sylver:

We have the DCO, which is a Mexican San Andres with ever-growing binder and Nicaraguan Ligero fillers. That comes in three different sizes. The lancero that you’re smoking. It also comes in a gordo and a robusto, which is the size that I’m smoking here.

Desiree Sylver:

The three-

Seãn Johnson:

This is what happens a lot. You got people passing by, trying to get your attention. Sorry.

Desiree Sylver:

The three medium cigars, the Mother Clucker, the Fat Hen, and the Living the Dream. All three of those-

Seãn Johnson:

Say mother clucker three times fast.

Desiree Sylver:

Mother clucker, mother clucker, mother clucker.

Seãn Johnson:

Okay, go ahead. I’m trying to get her to cuss on camera.

Desiree Sylver:

You were. I think you understood what I was saying.

Desiree Sylver:

The mother clucker has a cute little story to go along with the name.

Seãn Johnson:

What’s that?

Desiree Sylver:

I had a rooster called Midnight. And he used to come up off the ground and try to get his spurs into my leg. And so, I used to fight the rooster. Every time I tried to feed them, I used to be fighting the rooster. And I’d be like, “That mother clucker. That mother clucker.”

Desiree Sylver:

And so, I went in the house and I have kids, so I didn’t want to cuss. I go in the house and they said, “Mommy, did the mother clucker try to get to you today?”

Desiree Sylver:

And I said, “It’s Midnight.”

Desiree Sylver:

“Well, you always call him mother clucker. I thought that was his name.”

Desiree Sylver:

So, I had to use it.

Seãn Johnson:

Okay. That makes sense.

Desiree Sylver:

Let me go back to the cigars now.

Desiree Sylver:

All of the medium palm cigars have the same Nicaragua Habava wrapper, the same Ecuadorian binder, but difference is the Mother Clucker has the Ecuadorian filler. And that gives it that cayenne pepper, that hay, that cedar tastes because it’s all Ecuadorian.

Desiree Sylver:

The Fat Hen, we mixed it with some Dominican. And when we added that Dominican, you still have a light hint of that cayenne and a little bit of that cedar, but it also added some pecan, a little bit of sweetness to it.

Seãn Johnson:

Okay. Now I want to smoke it.

Desiree Sylver:

Now you want to smoke it?

Seãn Johnson:

Yes.

Desiree Sylver:

You want to smoke a fat hen?

Seãn Johnson:

Yes.

Desiree Sylver:

You know they have grills for that.

Seãn Johnson:

I’m good. I’ll still smoke it. I’ll still smoke it.

Desiree Sylver:

Then the Living the Dream is all Dominican filler. And that Dominican filler gives it a real smooth taste and a smooth smoke. I created that one because I was smoking a lot of cigars and you pick up a heavy one, a medium one, and then every once in a while, you want to do light cigar.

Seãn Johnson:

Correct. Correct.

Desiree Sylver:

And then the last cigar that of the original five is the Sweet Dreams. And that’s when I’m smoking right now.

Desiree Sylver:

We are here at the PCA, so I have to stay on the light side because it’s a lot of cigars.

Desiree Sylver:

But this is a Connecticut wrapper with the Nicaragua filler. It has a sweet tip, so it has a strong notes of cocoa, vanilla, things of that nature. Maple syrup.

Seãn Johnson:

Oh, okay. Okay.

Desiree Sylver:

Yeah, strong notes of that. I made these cigar for me. It never was made to sell. The cigars were made so I could smoke the full body at night with my bourbon and whiskey. I just smoked the Mother Clucker with the spice, with my red wine. I love dry red wine.

Desiree Sylver:

The Fat Hen only came in a shorty torpedo when I originally made it, because at work, I only have 45 minutes to an hour. I needed that quick smoke, so I could keep my job because I had to keep my mind right.

Desiree Sylver:

We talked about the Living the Dream. After you smoke so many cigars a day, you want something light.

Desiree Sylver:

And then the Sweet Dreams goes great with my coffee. Oh my God. Coffee in the morning, coffee at night for a night cap. That’s how the cigars were made first of all.

Seãn Johnson:

Basically, what she’s also telling you is, she’s dropping some knowledge as far as what pairs well, obviously with your taste buds. So, definitely when you go ahead and pick up these sticks, try that. And then you can go from there, but at least you have a base of what to start with.

Seãn Johnson:

That’s definitely good. I’m going to take your advice and whatever it is that I smoke, I’m going to be playing this over, so I know what to pair it well with because I love pairings.

Desiree Sylver:

One of the things I tell, we are an any of the day cigar. And one of the things that I noticed is, I was doing a video. You can see it over there in the background. And I was looking on the Instagram.

Desiree Sylver:

And when you go through Instagram, people like to pair their cigars, right? So, I was like, I say bourbons. But one of the things I found that people were pairing with Coke and rum and everything else.

Desiree Sylver:

And so, I say that pairing is a very individual thing. What you are drinking and eating and what your palate is and what is it is.

Seãn Johnson:

It’s a personal-

Desiree Sylver:

It’s a personal preference, so what you pair it with is what you like.

Seãn Johnson:

Correct. Correct. Let me ask you this.

Desiree Sylver:

Yes.

Seãn Johnson:

Every time you came up with a blend in your mind, you go ahead and you talk to the blender and you say, “Hey, I’m looking to do this. I’m looking to do that. I’m trying to get these notes.”

Seãn Johnson:

Which one was the most difficult for you to perfect the blend and say yes, this is exactly what I’m tasting? Which one was it?

Desiree Sylver:

I did not go through a process like that. I ran into a blender in Florida. And while we were in Florida, I’m a little bit of OCD nerd. And when I got divorced, I couldn’t figure out what to do. My kids were with their dad for the weekend. And I’m sitting at home alone looking pathetic.

Desiree Sylver:

So, I said, where would I usually be? So, I decided to go to a Star Lounge. While at the Star Lounge, I never realized there was so many cigars. I smoked cigars because he would go to the store, pick a cigar, hand it to me, and I would smoke it.

Desiree Sylver:

Now, I go in the door and go, what do I do?

Desiree Sylver:

The guy in there telling me about the wrapper, binder, filler, and all the notes and I’m looking like, I didn’t know.

Desiree Sylver:

And what I did was I picked up a few sticks. Some that I remember, the wrappers, that I’d smoked before. And then I went home and started putting an Excel spreadsheet together with cigar that-

Seãn Johnson:

Wow. A little bit of OCD? Excel spreadsheet? Okay, go ahead. Sorry.

Desiree Sylver:

Well, there’s only 200 cigars in there right now. I still keep it up with the wrapper, binders, fillers of the things that I’m smoking.

Desiree Sylver:

And I noticed the pattern of the cigars that I liked, what was the wrapper, binders, and fillers.

Desiree Sylver:

So, when I met the roller, I said, what leaves do you have?

Desiree Sylver:

And he looked at me like, what do you mean?

Desiree Sylver:

I said, well, what wrappers do you have? What binders do you have? What fillings you have? Because I want to put something together since you asked me to roll what I want.

Desiree Sylver:

He said, “Okay. And he rolled what I wanted. I went back to the hotel, smoked the cigar, and was like, this is an amazing cigar. I go back to them and said, “I want to buy 200 cigars from you and I want to blend them.”

Desiree Sylver:

He said, “Okay, I’ll work with you.”

Desiree Sylver:

I said, “Can you give me a better price?”

Desiree Sylver:

He goes, “Okay. I can do that.”

Desiree Sylver:

I said, “I’m going home tomorrow, I’m going to call you up and we’ll work together.”

Desiree Sylver:

And so, we started working on it. And I only intended at that time to do 200. But as he started sending me cigs based on our conversation, based on what I asked for, I started knowing I want more because, oh, this is great with my whiskey. And this is great with my red wine. Okay, I like the blend that you gave me, but I want to tweak it more of this or more of that.

Desiree Sylver:

And he would give that to me. And it took about six months to go through, before I had number one which was the DCO, number two, which was the Mother Clucker, three was the Fat Hen, Living the Dream and the Sweet Dreams. And they had white wrappers that said, number one, two, three, four, five.

Desiree Sylver:

And I told him, roll me a hundred of each and he put number one, two, three, four, five on all of them. And that’s what I walked around with for months.

Seãn Johnson:

When did you launch the first plan?

Desiree Sylver:

I launched all five at the same time.

Seãn Johnson:

You are unreal. Okay. Can you see who we dealing with right here? You launched all five at the same time?

Desiree Sylver:

Yeah. I did get the advice to do one at a time, but that’s not how I roll.

Desiree Sylver:

And the reason I didn’t is because I like to smoke different cigars at different times. I realized that other people like to smoke different cigars at different times. If I only launched one cigar, I’m only appealing to a small population. And so, I wanted to have the broadest appeal if I’m going to do this.

Desiree Sylver:

The one thing that I did do, I did a lot of research. I went through a lot of cigar lounges. I talked to a lot of owners because actually my friends, told me I could sell this. I never thought I was going to sell it.

Desiree Sylver:

And when I started giving them, it was, “Number one? What is number one? What are you? What are you smoking?” They gave me an awful look.

Desiree Sylver:

I started giving it to them and they said I needed to sell this. So, I started going to lounges and asking them, could you sell this?

Desiree Sylver:

And the number one thing that came out was I needed to change the band rom number one and I needed to come out with a good name. And the name I came up with originally was Mad Dog. And I went to Atlanta like, “I’m going to call it Mad Dog,” real excited about it.

Desiree Sylver:

And he said, “Why?”

Desiree Sylver:

I said, “Well, I found the LLC, the www, and I’ll be Mad Dog.”

Desiree Sylver:

He goes, “Okay, well tell me the story behind that.”

Desiree Sylver:

What story? I needed a name. Mad Dog.

Desiree Sylver:

And he goes-

Seãn Johnson:

No.

Desiree Sylver:

No. He said you have to have something that means something to you. And my fiance and I looked at each other and both said drunk chickens. And the owner says, “I don’t know what that means, but that’s your name. And tell me the story behind that.”

Desiree Sylver:

So, we were telling him about the chicken farm and how friends came up with the name drunk chicken and how we use it every time we call up somebody, “Hey, come over, see the drunk chicken.”

Desiree Sylver:

He says, “It sounds like a good story to me. That’s your name.”

Desiree Sylver:

We’ve been the Drunk Chicken ever since.

Seãn Johnson:

All right. Now we know. Now we know. That’s definitely the whole DC, chicken falling over, how mother clucker came about, that’s definitely a good story. It’s better than Mad Dog.

Seãn Johnson:

Why Mad Dog? Because I liked the name. It was available on GoDaddy. So, I got it.

Desiree Sylver:

Exactly.

Seãn Johnson:

Well, listen, definitely much success. But before you even talk about success, because you’re already on your way, where can we find the sticks?

Desiree Sylver:

Well, they’re in over a hundred stores and they’re across the US right now. And we’re growing. You can also find out more information on www.drunkchickencigars.com.

Seãn Johnson:

Oh, so they can go there and see where-

Desiree Sylver:

All the stores-

Seãn Johnson:

The carry your cigars? Okay.

Desiree Sylver:

Yes. We are a wholesale and we are retail, so you can buy on there, as well. I always recommend that if it’s your first time knowing about Drunk Chicken Cigars, we offer a sample pack of all five.

Seãn Johnson:

Oh, okay.

Desiree Sylver:

Yes. You can go out and get that. I call them premium and original. But they’re the same five-pack it’s just different sizes.

Seãn Johnson:

Got you.

Desiree Sylver:

Yeah. So, I recommend doing that. Also, asking the local lounges because the more you ask, the more they have to figure it out and then you can make it to your local lounge.

Seãn Johnson:

There you go. Okay. She just exactly what I was going to say. Talk to your local retailer, brick and mortar. So, they’re going to go, “You know what? I’m going to start carrying this because I’m getting asked so many times.”

Seãn Johnson:

And if it’s even just in order to cure the curiosity, you’re going to pick it up from there because once you’ve tried it, through the sample pack, you’ll know what you like, because you were saying you’re catering to everybody’s palettes. Not just one. So, there’s going to be something in it for me.

Desiree Sylver:

Yes. Absolutely.

Seãn Johnson:

And from there we can go ahead and go to the size. The lancero, I’m loving it. It went out because we’re having a conversation. I got caught up. So now I’m going to have to re-light.

Seãn Johnson:

But Desiree, thank you very much.

Desiree Sylver:

It was nice to meet you.

Seãn Johnson:

And when you come to Miami in September, we definitely have to go ahead and catch up and we’ll make it happen.

Desiree Sylver:

All right.

Seãn Johnson:

Listen, this is Sean Johnson. And until next time, have great cigar conversations.

Thank you for watching another episode of Cigar Conversations. For more information or to comment on previous shows, visit us at cigarconversations.com. Or if you’d like to appear on a future show or advertise with the Cigar Conversations, send us an email request at ads@cigarconversations.com.

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