David Savona


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.

Spring is Coming

Posted: Mar 10, 2009 4:41pm ET
This weekend we pushed ahead the clocks and, at least in the northeast, got a beautiful early taste of spring. On Sunday, I cleaned off our outdoor table while my wife sautéed some grey sole, and the family had our first outdoor lunch of the season. We got a bit fancy for a lazy Sunday afternoon, doing the full spread with the fish entree, some sauteed green beans in olive oil, some fresh Italian bread and a bottle of wine. Who could blame us for getting excited? The temperatures hit 70 degrees. After months indoors, it felt about as good as you can imagine.

Puzzles and Cigar Barns

Posted: Feb 27, 2009 1:06pm ET
Cigar barns can be pretty darn big. They can also be pretty darn expensive. Making a sizeable one out of wood, the way it’s done in Connecticut and in Nicaragua, can cost $250,000 if you’re building it in the Dominican Republic. As my brother would say, that’s a lot of ‘scarole, especially in this economy.

Off to the Dominican Fields

Posted: Feb 20, 2009 4:12pm ET
My shoes were dusted with a thin layer of reddish brown dirt. My bare arms were being baked by the tropical sun and the smell of curing tobacco was in my nostrils. I was back on a tobacco farm.

I took the long drive from Santiago out to Mao today with a group of about 30 other people here for the final day of the ProCigar Festival. Some went to see a rum distillery, others to see where chocolate is made and others still to a Davidoff tobacco field (which I saw last year). We were headed to Copata, the farm company in Mao where General Cigar Co. grows most of its Dominican tobacco. I was last here some four years ago when the project was in its infancy. Today it’s a mega-complex and one of the most impressive tobacco farms in the world. It’s partially self sufficient—in addition to growing filler, binder and even wrapper tobacco, the 1,200 acre area grows vegetables, trees, produces a natural pesticide, has a fish farm, all kinds of livestock, a three million gallon reservoir and too many other things to mention here.

Dancing, Dominican Style

Posted: Feb 19, 2009 3:34pm ET
Last night was opening night in Santiago at the ProCigar Festival. I was sitting in a gorgeous setting, a table in the middle of an old estate once owned by a pal of former Dominican dictator Trujillo. Each table was resplendent with elaborate exotic plants, some as tall as a yardstick. Everything was green, orange and white, the entire setting for some 175 people set beneath a canopy of bright white, blowing in the gentle evening breeze. I was enjoying an Aurora 100 Años Lancero and patting my belly, which was sated on roast pork, roast goat, yucca, plantains and other Dominican delicacies.

Back in the Dominican Republic

Posted: Feb 18, 2009 4:21pm ET
The Airbus swooped down from the clouds, revealing the lush, tropical landscape below. Fields of yucca, plantain and tobacco covered the land, flanked by mountains brimming with trees, each one cloaked by thick mist.

I’m back in Santiago, and it feels good.



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