David Savona

A Senseless Ban

Posted: Oct 29, 2009 1:00pm ET
I’m still scratching my head over New York City’s move to ban flavored tobacco products, including flavored cigars and even pipe tobacco. It just doesn’t make sense. And even if you’re not a fan of flavored tobacco (and I’m not) you should still find the news disturbing.

Not My New York

Posted: Oct 15, 2009 10:17am ET
What happened to New York? When I was a kid growing up in Connecticut, New York City was always the big, mysterious place with a little Wild West thrown in. It had a reckless side, a rebellious side and a seedy side. Cabbies drove like crazy, you could find things here that were available nowhere else, and it was very common to see people wearing all kinds of crazy outfits. On an early visit, I turned a corner and almost walked into a man stripped to the waist with boxing gloves on each hand. (I crossed the street.) People were different in New York and they did what they wanted, and God help those who tried to tell them no.

Smoking with the Most Interesting Man in the World

Posted: Oct 7, 2009 2:52pm ET
I met the most interesting man in the world the other day. No, I'm not talking about Jack Bettridge—it was Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor who portrays The Most Interesting Man in the World in ads for Dos Equis beer.

They’re great ads, and you’ve likely seen them. (The YouTube views on one of the commercials exceeds 1.4 million.) Goldsmith plays a mysterious character with near mythical powers, bench pressing a pair of women in chairs to the cheers of a crowd, freeing a grizzly bear from a trap, or exploring ancient ruins, all while wearing a well-pressed tuxedo or smoking jacket. A narrator proclaims his prowess, tongue pressed firmly in cheek: “He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels... He lives vicariously, through himself," and the classic: “He can speak French—in Russian. He is, the most interesting man in the world.”

Good Signs and Bad Signs

Posted: Sep 3, 2009 10:39am ET

Every cigar smoker has experienced the feeling of not being welcome. You walk up to a bar, cigar in hand, and encounter a sign. Perhaps it says NO SMOKING. Worse, you might enter the haze of a smoky bar, sit down at your stool, take out a cigar and only then see the sign that says NO CIGAR SMOKING, letting you know that only cigarettes are welcome. It happens far too often.

Welcome to the Machine

Posted: Sep 2, 2009 1:15pm ET
I’m in Tampa, Florida, which once was the heart of American cigar production. In the 1950s, some 500 million cigars a year were made here. Things are a bit different now. When Havatampa Inc. closed its doors in July, it left only one cigar company making cigars in any volume in the Tampa area: J.C. Newman Cigar Co.

Bargain Cigars

Posted: Aug 28, 2009 12:23pm ET
What do you consider a bargain-priced cigar? A $5 smoke? One retailing for $4? Less than $4? Or maybe it’s simply a cigar that gives you a great smoking experience for less than you would expect.

Every year at Cigar Insider, we survey cigar shops from around the country to get an idea of the buying habits of the premium cigar smoker. This year price was a major concern. “People are buying cheaper cigars,” said Craig Cass, who owns four Tinderbox stores in (and around) Charlotte, North Carolina. “The $10 guy,” he said, “is now at $8.” Others agreed.

Remembering Dad

Posted: Aug 17, 2009 4:17pm ET
My father died on July 28. He was ill for a short time, went through a tough operation, gave us hope that he would soon be back on his feet, but died very quickly of a heart attack on a Tuesday morning. One day he was there, the next he was gone.

Trade Show, Day Three

Posted: Aug 12, 2009 10:21am ET
Monday night was a busy one. Barry and I walked to the Alec Bradley party. On the way we stumbled across the Cigar Factory of New Orleans, which I’d consider a must stop for any cigar smoker coming to the Big Easy. They had 8 rollers working when I visited, pumping out handmade cigars in a very rustic atmosphere. Owner David Sharrof told us the location had been going for ten years, and it seemed popular with the tourists. I didn’t try the smokes yet, but regardless of the quality this is a fine place to stop to see how cigars are made by hand.

Trade Show, Day Two

Posted: Aug 10, 2009 6:19pm ET
After several cups of strong coffee and a bracing breakfast, I headed back to the convention center on Monday morning with Gordon Mott, Greg Mottola and Barry Abrams from the magazine. We got out of the cab and headed our separate ways to cover the trade show floor.

Trade Show, Day One

Posted: Aug 10, 2009 11:08am ET
I took the early flight yesterday morning with Gordon Mott to New Orleans, taking off at 7 a.m. from JFK and landing in NOLA at 9. We were able to get to the convention center just after 10, right at the time the show floor opened for the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers show. Perfect. We stepped in and were immediately greeted by the aroma of fine cigars.

Ratings & Reviews

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