David Savona

A Smoke With Rocky

Posted: Jun 1, 2009 11:25am ET
On Saturday afternoon I dropped by the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue in New York City to see Rocky Patel. He was there for the entire day, greeting cigar smokers and talking about his many lines of cigars.

Rocky never stops—he’s always somewhere on the road, whether its in a cigar factory in Central America or a cigar shop somewhere in the United States or abroad. The guy is tireless, and he seems to feed off the energy of the cigar smokers around him who enjoy his company. Everyone seems to love the guy.

Memorial Day

Posted: May 26, 2009 3:30pm ET
What a great weekend. I swam, I fished, I barbecued and I had an extremely relaxing time. I think I spent all of ten minutes inside.

The highlight was Sunday. It began with the Memorial Day parade, where our little town puts on a big show. My wife, little boy and I walked into town just before the start of the parade, taking our spots in front of the local market. First came the antique cars, then the fire trucks (a big hit with my boy) and the veterans of World War II, followed by school marching bands and the local Little Leaguers. At the end, the thump of rotors brought everyone’s eyes to the sky as a pair of army helicopters did a fly by, which was stunning.

Notes from Don Carlos

Posted: May 21, 2009 2:20pm ET
Details are key in the magazine business, and sometimes one word can hold you up for hours. I’m not talking about a frustrated writer hunched over a keyboard searching for the proper way to describe how a night was dark and stormy—I’m talking about facts, and getting them right. I found myself in such a situation earlier this week as we were making the final edits on the May 19 Cigar Insider.

Derby Day

Posted: May 6, 2009 4:39pm ET
Memorial Day might be the traditional kickoff for outdoor activities for most people in America, but the Kentucky Derby is my personal clarion call to spring. That’s because our good friends Jay and Tammy throw a killer Kentucky Derby party, a wonderful affair with southern food, great music and cold, sweet Makers Mark mint juleps.

A Smoky New York City Restaurant

Posted: Apr 27, 2009 4:22pm ET
I had dinner Thursday night at a great New York City restaurant. The food was lovely, but the best part was the cigar (two, in fact) that I puffed during cocktails, appetizers, entrée and dessert. The only bad part? The restaurant is only open a half-dozen times a year, and it only seats about 30 guests.

A Greener (And Frostier) World

Posted: Apr 22, 2009 4:58pm ET
I like to think I’ve done my part in the fight against global warming—on a very localized level. I speak, of course, about the beer fridge.

A beer fridge typically evolves from an old refrigerator that someone in the house (usually the wife) has deemed inappropriate for use in the kitchen. Sure, it still works, as in it keeps things nice and cold, but no doubt it’s showing its age. Perhaps there are a few scratches on the doors, maybe the fan makes too much noise, or maybe the shelves in the door no longer function properly. When you whip open the door of your refrigerator to grab the milk, and bottles of ketchup and mustard fly across the room, it’s a sign that you need a new refrigerator. (I speak from experience.) And with it, a beer fridge is born.

Florida Smokers, Unite

Posted: Apr 14, 2009 9:57am ET
If you're anywhere near the Tampa, Florida, area, you owe it to yourself to grab a few fine cigars and head to 215 N. Dale Mabry Highway this afternoon. At 4:30, the Cigar Rights of America, Tampa’s own J.C. Newman Cigar Co. and Naples’ Rocky Patel Premium Cigars are leading a rally of cigar smokers to protest SB 1840, a bill that would tax cigars by the ounce, adding about 50 cents, 75 cents or more to each cigar you buy. (Click here for the details)

Smoking with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo

Posted: Apr 8, 2009 10:12am ET
I’m always happy when Ernesto Perez-Carrillo comes to New York. I’ve known him since my early days at Cigar Aficionado, and El Credito Cigars in Miami was the first cigar factory I ever visited. On that first meeting, he welcomed me with a baggie of unbanded lonsdales that blew me away with power, spice and flavor.

A Day With the Ozgeners

Posted: Mar 19, 2009 3:21pm ET
Cano and Tim Ozgener from C.A.O. International came to town yesterday, and I spent a good part of the day with the two of them. We met in the Cigar Aficionado offices and chatted while smoking C.A.O.’s newest blend, the Lx2, which I think is the best one they make. It has a mix of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, a binder from Honduras and a sun-grown wrapper from Nicaragua. The combination makes for a hearty, sweet smoke with good balance. We gave the Lx2 Toro 91 points in the December 9 Cigar Insider.

A Smoke With Avo

Posted: Mar 17, 2009 2:46pm ET
Last night I had the chance to pair some of my favorite things: steak, cigars, wine and great company. It was the kickoff dinner for the Avo Compañero tour, commemorating Avo Uvezian’s 83rd birthday and the release of the newest Avo celebratory cigar.

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