David Savona


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.

Yankee Dreams

Posted: Aug 30, 2007 11:25am ET
Watching the New York Yankees eke out a second straight win against the Boston Red Sox last night brought a huge smile to my face. I’m a diehard Yankee fan, and have been since I was a kid. (As a young boy in the 1970s I remember going on a field trip to Boston, and yelling out the car window “Go Yankees.” I’m lucky to have survived.) For my money there’s no rivalry in the world that comes close to that between the Yanks and the Sox.

Fight For Your Cigar II

Posted: Aug 28, 2007 2:59pm ET
Not long ago I blogged that it was time for you to fight for your cigar. It's time to do more.

First, an update. The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have each proposed to greatly increase the funding of the State Children’s Health Initiative, known as SCHIP. Funding the increase would come from higher taxes on cigarettes and cigars. For cigar smokers, the proposal would hike the Federal Excise Tax on large cigars, which is currently capped at five cents a smoke. The latest plan would increase that cap to as much as $3.

The Draft Night Smoke

Posted: Aug 17, 2007 11:46am ET
Where did the summer go? A few weeks ago I was on vacation in Vermont, and last week I was in Houston at the RTDA. Both are in my rear-view mirror now. On top of that, I’m one week away from my fantasy football draft. Summer is just about over.

RTDA Blog: The Wrapup

Posted: Aug 9, 2007 4:22pm ET
I’m back in the office with a full notebook, bags and bags of new cigars and a slightly groggy head. RTDA is over.

Despite the lower attendance than at the 2006 show in Las Vegas (where the show shall return in 2007, by the way) most of the cigar folks I spoke with were fairly pleased with the amount of business they wrote. I was happy with most of the cigars I smoked, although I have a lot of cigars on my desk still to try.

RTDA Blog: Day Three

Posted: Aug 7, 2007 8:12pm ET
My voice went out sometime around 8 last night, the victim of lots of cigars and maybe a little too much talking. Occupational hazard. I’ll be fine.

The voice aside, last night was a good one, with a great dinner hosted by Ashton Cigars at the Petroleum Club overlooking the city.  I ate blackened snapper while drinking Caymus Conundrum and smoking Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Belicosos. It was great food and great service, which seems to be a standard at any Ashton event.



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