David Savona


Back in Vegas

Posted: Nov 13, 2009 12:43pm ET
It’s Big Smoke time, so I’m in Las Vegas with much of the premium cigar industry, puffing away and enjoying the city. We started in style yesterday with a little Cigar Aficionado welcome party at Rhumbar at the Mirage Hotel. Rhumbar is a great spot—stark white on the inside, very hip, with caged metallic statues of fighting roosters suspended above the bar. And yes—it’s entirely cigar friendly. My favorite part of the bar is outside—a huge patio overlooking the Las Vegas strip. You can smoke out there as well.

The Sad Plight of Cigar Smokers

Posted: Nov 6, 2009 4:30pm ET
Today I watched a bit of the Yankees celebratory parade at lunch with some friends here in New York. We decided to enjoy a short cigar before heading back to the office.

Outside, of course—New York has a pretty strict smoking ban.

Cigar of the Year Coming to Big Smokes

Posted: Nov 2, 2009 1:37pm ET
I know a lot of you are planning on coming to our Big Smoke in Las Vegas, which is less than two weeks away. (Can’t believe it—This year went by fast.) I just got off the phone with Manuel (Manolo) Quesada, and he told me what he was planning on giving out—Casa Magna Colordo Robustos, the Cigar of the Year.

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.



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