Gordon Mott

Starry, Starry Night

Posted: Sep 9, 2010 12:00am ET

The Big Dipper tilted across the western sky. A dazzling combo of Jupiter and Uranus had risen high in the east. And, about 10 men, nine Danes and an American (yours truly), were lighting up cigars after a night of revelry celebrating one of the Danes’ 25th wedding anniversary. The outdoor air at 1 a.m. was crisp, but apparently warm by early September standards in Denmark because some of the men were in shirtsleeves; the American was shivering, still in his sports coat and long-sleeved shirt.

Cigar Inventory

Posted: Aug 23, 2010 12:00am ET

I’m getting ready to re-stock my personal cigar inventory. I’ve been fortunate in that most of the cigars I smoke are at work, and supplied as part of our tasting reports. But you’ve all seen my humidor at home. It’s got a mix of cigars from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Cuba. There’s also a drawer full of “assorted” cigars, most of which are not my favorite smokes, but my friends appreciate getting them on the golf course, or as part of one of our after-dinner rituals at my house.

Chloe R.I.P.

Posted: Jul 9, 2010 9:55am ET

Our faithful companion, Chloe, a.k.a. Clos Vougeot, left this world about three weeks ago. I haven’t been able to sit down to write this farewell until this week. The emotions were just too raw and too painful, but with a little passage of time, the pain is a little less acute. I’m slowly coming around to a place where I can remember her presence with a deep fondness without tears coming to my eyes. And, I can appreciate that the loneliness my wife and I feel without her around is testimony to how much we loved her and how much a part of our lives she was every day.

Spring in New York City

Posted: Apr 27, 2010 9:29am ET
Spring never seems to come soon enough in the Northeast, especially after the recent long, cold, wet winter of 2009-2010. But last Friday, the day offered up not just spring-like weather, but the promise of an early summer. It was all blue sky and bright sunshine, and I was lucky enough to enjoy it all on the terrace of the Metropolitan Club, a venerable institution at 60th and Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park.

Casa de Campo: The Hotel

Posted: Mar 12, 2010 3:20pm ET
What do you get when you carve out 7,000 acres of Caribbean coastline, build a hotel with 265 rooms and 100 private villa rental homes, construct four golf courses, a new marina, private beach and a residential community the size of a small city? Paradise? Pretty darn close.

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.

Ratings & Reviews

Search our database of more than 17,000 cigar tasting notes by score, brand, country, size, price range, year, wrapper and more, plus add your favorites to your Personal Humidor.