Written by Puff Staff

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

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This week we salute a baseball legend that loved his cigars and lived to a ripe old age. Plus, we have new cigars, new tobacco regulations and a great place to enjoy a smoke with a show in Vegas.





Cigar Chomping Pitcher Dies at 102

Next time some helpful friend or relative tries to convince you that smoking cigars will shorten your life, tell them about Conrado Marrero. The cigar chomping Cuban-born pitcher died this week at the age of 102. Known as Connie Marrero, the pitcher began his baseball career with teams in Cuba and Mexico before making his U.S. major league debut at the age of 39. Despite standing a mere 5’5” tall and weighing only 158 pounds, Marrero quickly made his name with the Washington Senators. After being cut by the Senators after five seasons in 1955, Marrerro returned to Cuba to play for the Havana Sugar Kings before retiring in 1957.


He continued to work as a coach and instructor well into his 80s, and always enjoyed a good cigar. Marrero was bedridden after breaking his hip in 2011, but still knew how to enjoy himself to the end. His grandson Rogelio Marrero stated last month, “He still takes his cigars and red wine, and if I brought him women he’d take that, too. Those were always his great vices.” Sounds like our kind of guy!

At the time of his death, Marrero was the oldest living ex-Major Leaguer. Had he lived two more days, Marrero would have turned 103. So much for cigars being bad for your health.

FDA Proposes New Rules for E-cigarettes

The FDA just proposed some new rules on tobacco products, but fortunately, the cigar industry dodged the bullet this time around. Instead, the Food and Drug Administration extended its powers to include policing e-cigarettes. The proposed rules would ban free samples and sales to minors as well as require warnings of nicotine addiction.

Holly Madison Brings Burlesque to Vegas

If your idea of a great night in Las Vegas involves watching scantily clad dancers while sipping cocktails and smoking a hand-rolled cigar, Holly Madison has a show for you. The former “Girls Next Door” star is bringing her act to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Vegas strip, starting May 1. The show, entitled “1923 Bourbon & Burlesque” by Holly Madison evokes the ambiance of the roaring twenties, with performances by alluring dancers and Prohibition-style drinks served in a hidden VIP room. A four-piece jazz band and vocalist will carry out the speakeasy mood.


Madison explained the concept behind “Bourbon & Burlesque.” “It’s a small bar and nightclub lounge that’s designed to look like a speakeasy. The owners wanted to program entertainment throughout the night and that’s where I got the idea for doing a burlesque show for them. Instead of doing a traditional show though, that goes from start to finish, small vignette performances will happen throughout the night.”

The show’s site promises custom barrel-aged whiskey and hand-rolled cigars from around the world, so this could be our kind of hang when we hit Sin City. Check it out at

Florida Sun Grown Tobacco

The state of Florida is better known for making cigars than actually growing the tobacco, but that may be changing with a new brand grown in the state. Jeff Borcysiewicz, owner of Orlando’s Corona Cigar Co., purchased 20 acres of land in Clermont, Florida, back in 2012 with an eye toward cultivating Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99 tobacco, but now he has bigger plans. Borcysiewicz has trademarked his Florida Sun Grown tobacco and intends to produce superior crops. He explained, “What I was looking for was to make this tobacco a designated product of origin, so I worked with the Florida Department of Agriculture and trademarked the name Florida Sun Grown. This means that the tobacco is specific to Florida and is now a legal denomination.” The first crop was planted last year and the future looks bright for this new brand of tobacco.


S&M Brands Introduces LEX12® Blend #7 Cigars

The century-old Virginia tobacco company S&M Brands is expanding its LEX12® brand by introducing LEX12® Blend #7 Cigars. The smokes are made from a proprietary blend of dark air-cured tobaccos and toasted light air- and flu-cured tobaccos that combine for a smooth, sweet taste. These small cigars are sold in foil pouches of three with 15 pouches per carton.

Welcome the Grand Empire Reserve Line of Premium Cigars

The partnership of Reinado and Cigar Alliance has been working together on several projects, including the Grand Empire Reserve line of premium boutique cigars. The smokes will come in five sizes and be available in retail tobacco shops.  

Oaks and Smokes Derby Eve Gala to Rock Louisville

If you can’t actually make it to Lexington for this year’s Kentucky Derby, there’s a party going on in Louisville that may be more your speed. The Ice House will be hosting its Oaks and Smokes Derby gala from 7 p.m. until midnight on May 2, shutting down East Washington Street for an evening of Kentucky-inspired dishes, drinks with cigars and live music. Tickets are $125 at www.oaksandsmokes.

Paul’s Cigar Bar Coming to Hastings, Nebraska


Nebraska isn’t the kind of state where you’d expect to find a cool cigar bar, but that’s just what’s going to open in Hastings this summer. Paul and Sandra Hamelink have taken over a 1,000 square foot space in a 131-year-old building at 201 Lincoln Ave. According to Paul Hamelink, “It’s a cool place. It’s got exposed brick and all the limestone stonework. It’s really a neat space.” Hamelink enjoys relaxing with a fine cigar and hope kindred souls will come out to join him when Paul’s Cigar Bar opens in a few months.

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