One of the casualties of smoking bans is the increasing rarity of the cigar dinner. A staple during the cigar boom, the nights when one could sit down with friends, be served a mighty steak and a big red wine with cigars before, during and after your meal are few and far between. A sad thing indeed.
It's Sunday evening as I write, and tomorrow is my first day back in the office after a week's vacation. My son will be back in school, work will begin anew, and the calendar will be ready to flip from August to September. While the season will go on for nearly another month, summer vacation is officially over. Like so many before them, this one has gone too fast.
The annual IPCPR trade show is in my rearview mirror. I’m back in the office (along with the rest of the Cigar Aficionado staff), and I’m beginning to sort through my notes from the show.
I hope you followed along on our social media accounts while we were in hot, humid and always exciting New Orleans. We were busy on Twitter (@CigarAficMag, @DavidSavona, @af_nagy) and we did quite a bit on Instagram, our newest social media expression. With cigars being a visual medium, Instagram is a great way to show off the new cigars. (Our Instagram accounts go under the handles @CigarAficMag, @DavidSavona, @af_nagy and @ohwellallright).
Summer is here in the United States, and with it comes new cigars. Every day here at Cigar Aficionado we hear of something new coming to market as we draw ever closer to the annual cigar industry trade show. This year, in fact, there are so many new things that we've created a hub to help you keep track of everything new.
Whisky and cigars. They're two of the three pillars of my employer, M. Shanken Communications Inc., the publisher of Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate and Wine Spectator magazines. But they're also the indulgence of a very special person, Richard Overton. You may have never heard of Mr. Overton, but today he celebrated his 109th birthday.
Montecristo is one of the world's most famous cigar brands, a marque that was created 80 years ago by Alonso Menendez. Emblazoned by a logo of a proud fleur-de-lis surrounded by a sextet of crossed rapiers, the cigar is smoked and enjoyed around the world.
This week, the Tobacconists' Association of America is holding its annual meeting, a gathering of U.S. cigar shop owners and cigar manufacturers that has taken place for 47 years.
The meetings tend to be convivial, relaxed, quite unlike the hectic week of IPCPR trade show activity, which will take place this summer. The TAA is one part doing business and one part making new relationships and cementing old ones.
It happens in so many places in Havana that sometimes I don't even notice. But when it happened at El Rum Rum de la Habana, a skinny, bright and clean paladar located on the narrow streets of Vieja Habana, it made me think about how special it is, so I began writing.
Montecristos of all sizes, Romeo y Julietas galore and Cohiba Maduros for everyone you've ever known. Havana's cigar shops are full of cigars on this trip.
So far I've been to seven Casa del Habano cigar stores, including the standouts at the Meliá Habana Hotel, Quinta Avenida, Club Habana and the Habana Libre Hotel. Rumors of a cigar shortage have been overblown, but there's certainly things you can and cannot get.
It's all anyone wants to talk about—what kind of cigars can you buy for $100 in Cuba? More important, in my opinion—what cigars should you buy for that $100?
The landmark decision on December 17 to improve U.S.-Cuba relations has changed the laws about official America travel to Cuba. American visitors to Havana have long been forbidden to come back with so much as one cigar or a drop of Cuban rum, but as of January 16 those who visit this island on authorized trips can legally return home with $400 worth of Cuban goods, $100 of which can be tobacco or alcohol. No insult meant to Cuban rum, which is lovely, but my $100 is going to go strictly to cigars. Yours should, too.
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