David Savona

A New Cigar Aficionado Online

Posted: Sep 20, 2010 12:00am ET

Flash back to 1997. The space station Mir was in orbit, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 7,000 for the first time, a computer program called Deep Blue made history by beating champion Gary Kasparov and Cigar Aficionado magazine launched its website, CigarAficionado.com. Today, after 13 years, all of us here at Cigar Aficionado would like to personally welcome you to the completely new beta version of CigarAficionado.com. It's a very modern take on your favorite cigar website.

Saturday Report: 122 Cigars

Posted: Aug 14, 2010 12:00am ET

I’m home from the IPCPR trade show going through my notes and all the cigars I brought home from the trip. I thought I’d put together a few numbers about what I found in New Orleans:

122 Cigars (all singles, none in boxes) brought back in my carry-on bag from the trip. This is fairly typical for me. I'm happy that I didn't have to go through a bag search this year. One year it happened, and I got a kick out of the inspector's face as she pulled Ziplok bag after Ziplok bag of cigars from my satchel, her eyebrows rising higher with each discovery.

Thursday Report: IPCPR Day Three

Posted: Aug 12, 2010 12:00am ET

There was sad news to report as the trade show began this morning. I found out that Jean Clement, the cigarmaker who was better known by the name of his cigars, Juan Clemente, died here at the trade show. But, as with all things in this world, life must go on, and so did the trade show.

Wednesday Report: IPCPR Day Two

Posted: Aug 11, 2010 12:00am ET

The crack of thunder shook me out of my slumber this morning in New Orleans. It was a line of storms with frequent bolts of lightning and booming retorts, followed by a heavy rain. Welcome to August, storm season in New Orleans.

The previous night was a late one. It began with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Cochon, where team Cigar Aficionado was joined by Tim Ozgener and Jon Huber from C.A.O. International and Nish Patel and Sam Phillips from Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. We dined on crisp and flavorful bites of alligator; spicy, roasted oysters; smoked rabbit and cornbread dumplings and roasted red fish. Cochon, which is hip and eclectic, is perfect for trying food you won't find elsewhere and washing it all down with bracing cocktails. It's loud, vibrant and enormous amounts of fun. The good times continued as we made our way to Frenchman Street, which has side-by-side bars featuring live music. We walked into the Spotted Cat Music Club, and were treated to the sweet sounds of Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns. What a great band (there was a guy playing a mean sousaphone) and what a glorious voice on Miss Lake. That woman can sing.

Tuesday Report: IPCPR Day Two

Posted: Aug 10, 2010 12:00am ET

After a bracing southern breakfast of eggs, grits and biscuits at the hole-in-the-wall New Orleans institution known as Mother's, I rolled into the convention center for the formal start of the IPCPR trade show. (I really mean rolled--I'm feeling very full here.) I headed for the Cigar Aficionado booth, and nearly walked into the Berlin Wall.

First Day in New Orleans

Posted: Aug 10, 2010 12:00am ET

I flew into New Orleans Monday afternoon for the start of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers show, also known as the IPCPR.

Today was all about getting into town, getting settled, and getting ready for a busy week. The long taxi ride from the airport showcased the typical New Orleans summer weather. I was treated to a spectacular lightning display as bolts of white thundered down from the heavy, charcoal gray clouds covering the city, followed by a hearty southern rainstorm.

Going to the Trade Show

Posted: Aug 6, 2010 12:00am ET

Starting Monday I’ll be in New Orleans for the annual International Cigar Pipe and Retailer trade show, the show formerly known as RTDA. Those of you who follow the industry know that this is the time when cigar companies unveil their latest smokes. Those of you who are new to this blog or website should get ready: there’s going to be a lot of news about great new smokes coming out next week.

Looking at Bigger Cigars

Posted: Jul 28, 2010 9:16am ET
Back in 1995, when I was hired by Cigar Aficionado, I was a huge fan of big cigars (I was also thinner, had no beard, and my hair was all black, but that's another story.) When I wanted a cigar—and I always wanted a cigar—I reached for the big ones, double coronas and Churchills especially. Sure, I loved robustos too, enjoyed big pyramids as well, but I didn’t look upon coronas and petit coronas with as much favor.

Hidden Gems

Posted: Jul 19, 2010 3:51pm ET
This weekend I took my wife and son out for breakfast at one of our favorite places. It’s a tiny donut shop called Speedy Donuts that has been in business for 41 years, almost as long as I’ve been alive, and despite driving by the place literally hundreds of times it was only a few years ago when I finally went in for a bite.

No Churchill for Churchill?

Posted: Jun 15, 2010 9:44am ET
Reading the news this morning I came across a disturbing piece from Mail Online, the online site of Britain’s Daily Mail tabloid. Beth Hail reports that one of history’s most iconic cigar smokers, Sir Winston Churchill, has been stripped of his beloved stogie.

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