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Written by Gary J. Arzt

Monday, 02 June 2008

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alec bradley event at jazzizleisure and relaxation
musicspecial events
On Thursday, 29 May, at 6:00 PM, a noticeable crowd was gathering at Jazziz at the Paradise Shops adjacent to the Seminole Hard Rock hotel.

The crowd was made up of cigar smokers, some cigar makers and many cigar retailers, coming together to celebrate the introduction of Alec Bradley's exquisite new cigar line, Tempus. I say "...celebrate the introduction..." very deliberately, because this was not a 'product launch' or a 'promotional event.' This was pure hospitality by Alan Rubin, Ralph Montero, George Sosa and all the Alec Bradley people...and, as such, they proved to be excellent hosts; just as they are excellent cigar makers.

There were no speeches, no pitches, no slide shows...just conviviality and fun. A true celebration, of a cigar, or a company, of cigar smokers.

I saw and spoke with many old friends and, speaking for myself...had a great evening.

The evening was beautiful and the venue, a jazz club was very accommodating, even though we could only smoke outside. Nonetheless, the exterior was comfortable, with tables and chairs, high tables and stools, and no one paid any attention to the usual inconvenience created by Florida Law.

Arrival at Jazziz required the usual procedural matters: present your ticket or pay for it there; get your "goodie bag," (which contained a beautiful Alec Bradley tee shirt, copies of Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado as well as Jazziz, the club's eponymous magazine, the requisite baseball cap and a CD - Alec Bradley Mix and your fluorescent 'hospital' wristband and move to another table to pick up your real gifts. A leather two (2) stick case filled with excellent Tempus cigars and a paperboard case filled with various Alec Bradley products including the Maxx, Trilogy and including their fabulous Tradition...a smoke I truly enjoy.

 


Olindo Zecca of Alec Bradley handing out leather cigar cases with cigars included.

The goodies in the goodie bag

The formalities attended to, the fun began. We enjoyed drinks from Remy Martin, excellent coffees from Nespresso and the fellowship of other friends and fans of Alec Bradley.


The Remy Martin Serving Girls

Those of us who wished to, could have dinner, on our own dime - well, not quite a dime - while enjoying Jessy J, a beautiful young lady, who extraordinarily plays the jazz saxophone. And she played it superbly!


Jessy J. (Click Here for Video 1 Video 2)

Jazziz Cover with Jesse J

The guest mix was superb, embracing as it did other cigar makers - I spoke with Nick Perdomo, looking dapper as ever, and accompanied by his tailor. Nick and his lovely wife Janine were leaving the next day for their first vacation in twelve (12) years. When I got home that evening, I fulfilled Nick's request: sending him an e-mail with the names of some excellent restaurants in Paris, Madrid, Rome, and the French Riviera. Also present were Eddie Ortega and Erik Espinosa of the eponymous Espinosa y Ortega (EO Brands), and Jose Oliva.{mosimage}

The cigar industry is much like the wine industry, in that these people are competitors; but, at the same time they are friends and maintain cordial relationships. Thus, the turn out for an evening like this is always composed of other cigar makers.

A very appetizing variety of hors d'oeuvres and 'finger foods' were purveyed by the wait staff all throughout the evening. Having missed lunch, I indulged enthusiastically and frequently while not missing the victuals ordered by Erik Espinosa who I sat with along with Eddie Ortega and Raul Cruz, EO's Operations Manager. Their other associate, Alan Kaye, spent some time with us and then rushed off to the casino, succumbing to one of his many addictions!

Many well known and highly regarded South Florida retailers were there. Abe Dababneh of Smoke Inn(s), with what looked like about fifteen (15) or so of his customers and friends! I took the opportunity to look at a few photos of Brandy and Abe's adorable new baby girl. She looks a lot like Abe, but, on balance she resembles Brandy more. Lucky girl! Oded Ben Ari of Mike's Cigars, George Valdes of Sabor Havana, Elena Artemendi of Aficonados, all attended and enjoyed the evening. At events like these, the ambience is something akin to a class reunion for people in the industry.


Jessy J, Michael Fagien and Alan Rubin
Video Interview with Alan Rubin

Cigar Roller (Click Here for Video)

I have to tell you that the much anticipated Tempus line lives up to its pre-launch publicity. These are all beautiful, elegant sticks in a superb wrapper grown 'somewhere' near the Honduran/Nicaraguan border...Alan Rubin was not very specific! The cigars afford the smoker enchanting moments as the complexity of the blend becomes apparent.

And...there's a vitola for everyone: Corona (5.5 x 42), Robusto (5 x 50), Churchill (7 x 49), Torpedo (6-1/8 x 52) and my favorite, the Lancero (7.5 x 41) - a little bigger than the traditional 38 ring gauge. And what an elegant Lancero it is...but then, that's what the Lancero is about!

What an evening!

Alec Bradley Tempus Cigar

Alec Bradley Tempus Cigar

 




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