David Savona

Remembering Alfons

Posted: Nov 30, 2007 11:55am ET
I opened one of the cabinet humidors in the office this morning, spied a box of cigars in a corner, and couldn’t help feeling a bit sad. It’s a box of Alfons Mayer cigars, and I’ve had them since 2005.

Alfons Mayer was an outstanding tobacco man, one of the world’s best, and for years he was the tobacco buyer for General Cigar Co. Think of this for a moment—he bought all of the tobacco for a company making tens of millions of cigars every year. He lived on a plane, visited virtually every country that grows usable cigar tobacco and was a walking encyclopedia of tobacco knowledge.

Smoking Big in Las Vegas

Posted: Nov 9, 2007 11:53am ET
I landed yesterday in Las Vegas for our Big Smoke, and I wasted no time getting started Vegas style. After a long flight, I was hungry and ready for a cigar, so I dumped my bags at the Venetian Hotel and went straight to the Forums Shops at Caesars’ Palace.

Sharing a Smoke with Jose Oliva

Posted: Nov 5, 2007 12:20pm ET
Jose Oliva was in town on Thursday, so I took a little drive after work to Club Perfecto in South Norwalk. Jose was hanging out with some of the members, smoking cigars and playing a little poker. (Don’t raid the place—they play for cigars, not money.)

A Smoke With Carlos Fuente Jr.

Posted: Oct 28, 2007 2:07pm ET
On Friday night I dropped in on a local cigar shop and lounge, Club Perfecto in South Norwalk, Connecticut. Carlos Fuente Jr. was dropping by, so I wanted to say hello.

I got there before Carlos, who was stuck in traffic. It was a rainy Friday night, and the ride from New York City was taking twice as long as usual. Co-owner Brian Shapiro handed me an Arturo Fuente Short Story, and I lit up and started talking to some of the regulars.

Smoking a New Padrón

Posted: Oct 18, 2007 11:45am ET
Got a call from Jorge Padrón the other day. He was coming to New York City for a dinner at the Grand Havana Room, and he asked me to come along. He told me he was passing out the Padrón Reserva de la Famila No. 44.

The what?

A Taxing Situation

Posted: Oct 15, 2007 3:21pm ET
I’m back in the office after a few days in Charleston, South Carolina, at the annual Cigar Association of America meeting. This is a gathering where some of the nation’s biggest cigar makers discuss the issues of the day, and this year no issue loomed larger than SCHIP.

The Best Cigars of the Year

Posted: Oct 4, 2007 3:15pm ET
I’m a happy man. My humidor is full of great cigars and I have to smoke them all.

I test cigars all the time here at Cigar Aficionado, but with each test I have no idea if the cigars I’m testing are going to be great, good, bad or absolutely awful. But this test is different.

Hanging With The Padróns  

Posted: Sep 18, 2007 4:19pm ET
To me, one of the most telling things about the new Padrón headquarters in Miami is the offices. There are three large ones: the biggest for chairman José Orlando Padrón, and ones for brothers Jorge and Orlando. While I’ve spent plenty of time in José Orlando’s office, the brothers’ seem rarely occupied. Most of the time when I’m visiting—and I tend to drop by whenever I’m in Miami—all three tend to gather in the biggest part of the factory, the area where cigars are packed and orders are filled.

Sitting Down with La Gloria’s Ernesto Perez-Carrillo

Posted: Sep 7, 2007 8:35am ET
Being in Little Havana just isn’t complete without a visit to Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, the maker of La Gloria Cubana cigars. I stopped by El Credito Cigars, his cigar factory and shop on Calle Ocho, near the corner of 11th Avenue, earlier this week for some lunch and a chat about cigars.

Dropping in on Pepin in Miami

Posted: Sep 5, 2007 10:58am ET
I spent yesterday in Little Havana with Jose “Pepin” Garcia in his factory, El Rey de los Habanos. You know the place: the tiny operation in Miami that creates amazing cigars. He has only about a dozen rollers, and they work slowly and carefully making beautiful smokes, among them Tatuajes (the brown label versions are made here) some Padillas (such as the 1932 Perla, a sublime small smoke) and some Don Pepins.

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