Gordon Mott

The Pebble Beach of the Caribbean

Posted: Mar 10, 2010 9:17am ET
The rating of golf courses is subjective. Some players like old-style parkland courses, some like the links format, others only get excited over target golf. The debate over modern versus traditional designs can go on forever. There are very few perfect golf courses, although we all know the ones that get touted as such by name: Pine Valley, Augusta, Shinnecock, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, Winged Foot, Seminole and places like Pinehurst No. 2 are just a few of the great ones.

Golf Trip

Posted: Mar 8, 2010 9:50am ET
You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief around the stone coffee table on the outdoor patio, the palm fronds brushing against each other in the light breeze and the stars—especially the Orion constellation—shining in the clear, nighttime sky. We were sitting there in shirt sleeves, a glass of Brugal rum on the rocks with a slice of lime, and the magazine’s Cigar of the Year, a Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro in our hands. It was our second night at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, but the first night, after a three a.m. wake-up call for a six a.m. flight, the cigar and glass of rum hadn’t been quite as relaxed, more a defiant declaration that we were on vacation than a laid back moment before collapsing into bed—and the golf hadn’t even started yet.

Cigar Culture

Posted: Feb 22, 2010 11:04am ET
I sometimes forget about the origin of cigars. I know that might sound odd. But I’m not saying that I don’t know where a cigar is made—that has become second nature. What I’m talking about is sometimes taking for granted the long arc of history and the incredible nuances of culture linked to premium hand-rolled cigars. 

Day Three: A Tribute to Cigars

Posted: Feb 19, 2010 4:21pm ET
They stood at the back of the makeshift room set up inside the cigar factory with a podium at the front and rows of tables arranged for a cigar seminar conducted by the owner of Matasa, and the creator of the Casa Magna, Fonseca and the new Quesada brands. Dressed in white t-shirts that commemorated today’s launch of the Quesada Tributo cigar, which will hit retail stores by May, the employees of the Matasa factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic, listened attentively to the presentation in English by their employer, their patriarch, Manuel Quesada. Certainly, only a few understood the words. When Manuel’s daughter Raquel introduced them as part of the Matasa family, the “artists who create our ideas,” the entire room of about 50 ProCigar festival attendees stood and applauded them. The workers’ smiles expressed their understanding, and in essence, told the whole story—this day was about more than just a new cigar, or another tobacco blend or some perfunctory promotional event. It was about family, too.

Day Two: ProCigar Festival

Posted: Feb 18, 2010 2:54pm ET
I won’t give you the details about last night’s ProCigar Festival dinner. Suffice it to say I did not escape the merengue dance contest, which was officiated by José Blanco of La Aurora. He called on me to come up to the stage and show the world how little I knew about the local dance step; all I can say is, “Wait 'til next year’s Big Smoke, José.” I don’t think anyone from Dancing With The Stars will be calling me. But it was a lot of fun, even if you are like me and your idea of fun is not exactly the same thing as dancing an unfamiliar Caribbean dance style in front of 200 people. At least my Dominican partner was forgiving.

Back in CigarLand

Posted: Feb 17, 2010 4:32pm ET

I’m back in the Dominican Republic, land of cigars. I’m always amazed when I realize how much time has passed since my last visit here because it always feel like I should come here all the time. At the same time, I always remember my first visit here back in 1992. You’ll find a story in the Premier Issue of Cigar Aficionado. The title? CigarLand. 

Snow Day

Posted: Feb 10, 2010 11:36am ET
Snow is coming down hard, and has been since about 7 o’clock when I decided it was wise to not rely on my commuter train system to get me home this afternoon. So, I stayed home, and have been in the process of knocking off those list items that have been there a long time, in between communicating with the Cigar Aficionado team—Dave, Jack, Greg, Andrew, John and Leah—as we wrap up production on our March/April issue. It’s a good one, but I won’t spoil the surprise.

Cooking With Charlie

Posted: Feb 4, 2010 2:55pm ET

Hope you all have checked out my new video with Charlie Palmer at Aureole restaurant. Tough duty that, let me tell you. Being down there in the kitchen with the stoves blazing was enough to remind me just how hard kitchen work can be. On the other hand, I kept getting bowled over by the great aromas and the fantastic views as the cooks spent the afternoon hours prepping for the evening, pre-theater rush. We had a pretty narrow window to finish up the shoot, and by the end, Charlie was gently but firmly urging everyone to get a move on. I just wanted to soak it at all up.

Caribbean Smoking

Posted: Jan 4, 2010 10:19am ET
The night was balmy. There was a moon high in the sky, and a light breeze off the nearby ocean, where you could hear the unusually high surf crashing into the beach. I wanted to end 2009 on a high note, a celebration of a year survived and a silent nod to how many great, and some not so great, cigars that I smoked during the year.

12 Days of Christmas

Posted: Dec 15, 2009 12:00am ET

I attended a gathering at the Cigar Inn, the home of Cigar Aficionado’s lounge. Billy, Gus and Bass Fakih hosted a group of cigarmakers including Eddie Ortega of 601, Nestor Miranda and Rene Casteneda of Miami Cigar & Co. and Pepin, Janny and Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars. By the time I got there at 1 p.m., the cigar shop was crowded with guys smoking up a storm,  enjoying an open bar including Presidente beers and working their way through a buffet table of great food. 

Ratings & Reviews

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