|BIG SMOKE Las Vegas
November 13, 14, and 15 2009|
Our Big Smoke evening was Friday night and it was a blast! I was suprised to find many of our customers there from the Temple area and we all took full advantage of the companies there. Each person was given a coupon book and you give the respective coupon to the company and they give you a cigar. Some of the companies were Rocky Patel, CAO, General Cigar, Oliva, Cusano and Arturo Fuente just to name a few. One advantage of going with a spouse is double the cigars! Intermixed with the cigar companies were the liquor companies. Jack Daniels had their Gentleman Jack blend and it was very smooth. Everything was a cigar lovers Christmas basket, food, music and a place to sit and catch up on who you missed on the first go-around.
After the Big Smoke evening there were seminars on both Saturday and Sunday. If you have not attended a Big Smoke event I highly recommend going to the seminars. They are consumer oriented and very entertaining. For instance on Saturday we received one each of the top three rated cigars of 2008. Each of the companies took turns telling a story as to how the cigar concept was made, and how they came to be where they are.
If anyone has visited Cigar Aficianado online you may have watched their videos, an overview of these was quite entertaining.
James Suckling with Cigar Aficianado gave an interesting speech on the status of Cuba and the cigar production and distribution thereof. It seems even with the embargo the US is still the 10th largest trading partner with Cuba.
The last seminar on Saturday was lunch with the Fuente family. We were given cigars at the door and one of these was an OPUS X, aged 15 years and had not made it to production. Lunch was a salad, grilled ribeye and a very nice wine, with a mousee and red wine chutney for desert. The Fuente family gave a very nice presentation and afterwards we visited with several people from around the country.
Sunday was interesting. We started with a breakfast served by Charlie Palmer, a famous steak house restauranteur. The breakfast started with a bloody mary and consisted of a poached egg, potatoes, breaded ham and coffee. Mr. Palmer shared some of his cooking techniques and then we returned upstairs for more cigar stuff.
Ever rolled your own cigar? Well you get a chance here and I will tell you it is not as easy as it may look. The only thing most of us made only resembled something round! And then it was bourbon. I'm not sure but I think the panel started way before we did. We were each given five glasses with a different bourbon in it. Eagle Rare, Makers Mark, Woodford Reserve to name three. The cigar was a Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 and was a good pairing with each. The Makers Mark was a favorite with a long finish which complimented the finish of the cigar.
I recommend anyone who has a chance should go the next big smoke, get some friends together and make it a weekend get-a-way. I promise you will enjoy it.