Written by Kevin Godbee

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

User Rating: / 1

clubs and organizationsspecial events
the big smoke

Friday Night at the Las Vegas Big Smoke (Continued) Big Smoke Part I Big Smoke Part II

In addition to cigars, spirits and food, there were also some other "toys" on display ...

The Matusalem Rum Girls were just as sweet as the liquor ...

(Matusalem article)

Babe Alert at the La Gloria Cubana Booth!

Even though I was temporarily distracted by the La Gloria Cubana Booth Babe, I did speak to Michael Giannini from El Credito Cigars. He said, "We’re participating right now the La Gloria Cubana super roll. All expense paid trip to Miami. Anybody that roles the best cigar tonight gets to come to Miami and roll cigars from scratch."

La Gloria Cubana creator, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and Kevin Godbee, Founder / Senior Editor

My next stop was the La Aurora Booth where I received one of my favorite cigars, the La Aurora 1495. I spoke to Jose Blanco. Our conversation went like this ...

"Kevin, how are you? It's always great to see you. It's great to be in Vegas. This is a big event. You know, us from La Aurora, we've been coming here for years. This year we're giving out the 1495 Robusto which has a Sumatra Equador wrapper. It has a binder from the Dominican Republic. It has four different fillers. It has corojo. It has Nicaraguan. It has Piloto Cubano and also has .. ah, we’ve got to stop it there. Now I've forgot.


... Uh, let me see. Corojo. Corojo piloto, Nicaragua, oh, and Peruvian Ligero. It's Peruvian Ligero in it too. So, you know, it's a very complex cigar. You know, I don't care how good a cigar is. If from start to finish it tastes the same and it's good, to me it's a good boring cigar. I like a cigar's complexity. I like a cigar to be earthy. I like a medium to full with a good finish, a good draw, good construction, because when you’re making a great cigar, you have to put a lot of things into motion to get it, and that's why we always invite people to go around the Dominican Republic. And when they see all the things that go into making a cigar, they say that a cigar at $8-10 is cheap. A lot of people don't realize, from seed to when it goes on to the store, a cigar has gone through 235-245 hands.

Kevin: Wow.

Jose Blanco: In one way or another. So, you know, we're having fun here in Vegas. It's always great to see you, and you know, we encourage people to come to these events, to keep on smoking. You know, one of the true pleasures in life is smoking cigars. Thank you, Kevin."

San Cristobal by Ashton

Another favorite of mine is the San Cristobal by Ashton.

Here's Michael Watman with Ashton Distributors and Ashton Cigars which encompasses San Cristobal, La Aroma de Cuba, Sosa Cigars, and of course all the Ashton products. "Right now we are profiling the San Cristobal made by Don Pepin. It's 100% Nicaraguan. A dark, Nicaraguan wrapper.

As you know, Don Pepin is the master tobacador for 35 years in Cuba, defected about 7 years ago to Nicaragua and has been making cigars there for the last 4-5 years. We also developed the La Aroma de Cuba Edition Especial which was released 3 months ago which is a Nicaraguan puro as well. Medium-bodied, Cuban seeded, grown in Nicaragua. Fabulous cigar.

The La Aroma de Especial is a medium-bodied and the San Cristobal is a full bodied cigar.

They’re both excellent and very smooth."



Sam Russell, the marketing director for Davidoff, told us about the new Winston Churchill cigar. "It is a new cigar from Davidoff and grown in the Dominican Republic and it's in partnership with the Winston Churchill family. It's a full bodied cigar using a blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican tobaccos. The wrapper is Ecuadorian. Sun-grown."

Next to the Davidoff - Winston Churchill booth was Ron Zacapa Rum.

This lovely lady told me about the 23 year old Ron Zacapa Centenario Rum.

She said it is hand wrapped in royal palm leaves and produced from a blend of vintage rums with up to 23 years of barrel age, and it represents the pride of Guatemalan rums, the pride of closely guarded recipes known only to skilled master blenders, and the pride of a government that strictly mandates the aging process. It took 1st place in the premium category at the Caribbean Week's Rum Taste Test in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

I didn't hear a word she said. Someone else took those notes for me.

Cusano Cigars

Cusano Cigars had a lovely lady from The Dominican Republic smoking one of their cigars, and once again I was pleasantly distracted.

Michael Cusano told us of his new facility in the Dominican Republic in Santiago.

"So all of the new products that you see coming from both Cusano and Cuvée taking on a stronger tone. Basically where our original brands left off, you have the Cusano Havano LXI. The Cusano Rare Cameroon 59. The Cuvée Rouge and the Cuvée 151 are all new releases from our own facility. So now we have a little bit more artistic license. You're going to see a new twist on the next generation of Cusano cigars. So we invite everybody to try them.

All of the Cusano LXI Havano, the Cusano Rare Cameroon, the Cuvée Rouge and the Cuvée 151 all come from our new facility now. And we're also working on the new Cuvée Grand which is gonna blow your head off. It's great."

"And when will we see that available for retail sale?"

"I just got the wrapper. It's a fantastic wrapper. A Havano out of Brazil is absolutely fantastic. Probably within the next 90-120 days. (February - March 2009)."

Alec Bradley Tempus Inceptio

Not to take anything away from all the wonderful people in the business, but Alan Rubin is one of the coolest guys I know in the cigar business. He is always smiling, always in a great mood and makes you feel like family. His intelligence and pride in his product always come through in conversation.

Alan told us about the new Tempus Inceptio. "We're showing a new size of the Tempus. As you know Tempus got a 94 rating in Cigar Aficionado in the last issue. And right now we're showing a new size called the Inceptio. "Inceptio" meaning from the inception of the beginning because this is the exact size that we blended Tempus on originally, 46 5 5/8 Corona. This is the cigar that we knew when we had something big and we blend it around this specific size. So we're proud to add it to the line, the new Inceptio size, which is going to start shipping the beginning of next year (January 2009)."

Laura Travieso, Alan Rubin and Kevin Godbee

Friday night was a great warm up for the rest of the weekend of smoking, drinking and eating gourmet food while hob-nobbing with cigar industry executives and fellow cigar smokers.

Here are some more photos from our arrival at the Venetian and the Friday night event.

The Venetian Bathroom in our suite The Venetian Suite View from The Venetian Suite
Treasure Island from the Window Mirage from the Window The Venetian Suite
Event Floor Layout Crowds waiting to enter More of the Big Smoke Crowd
Laura Travieso & Kevin Godbee Laura Travieso & Kevin Godbee  
Close-up of Big Smoke Tickets Daniel, Jon, Shari, Paul, Mitch, Kevin Daniel, Jon, Shari, Paul, Mitch, Kevin Logo on the Shirts Kevin Godbee & Rocky Patel with Booth Babes Eric Newman of J.C. Newman
Scott Heiser, Nub Cigar "Poriggity" in the forums Te Amo to the Te Amo Girl!
Kevin Godbee Laura Travieso

Big Smoke Part I

Big Smoke Part II

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