David Savona

Veteran Cigar Lover

Posted: May 11, 2015 11:00am ET

Whisky and cigars. They're two of the three pillars of my employer, M. Shanken Communications Inc., the publisher of Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate and Wine Spectator magazines. But they're also the indulgence of a very special person, Richard Overton. You may have never heard of Mr. Overton, but today he celebrated his 109th birthday.

A Future Look at Montecristo?

Posted: Apr 15, 2015 11:00am ET

Montecristo is one of the world's most famous cigar brands, a marque that was created 80 years ago by Alonso Menendez. Emblazoned by a logo of a proud fleur-de-lis surrounded by a sextet of crossed rapiers, the cigar is smoked and enjoyed around the world.

The TAA Show

Posted: Apr 14, 2015 11:00am ET

This week, the Tobacconists' Association of America is holding its annual meeting, a gathering of U.S. cigar shop owners and cigar manufacturers that has taken place for 47 years.

The meetings tend to be convivial, relaxed, quite unlike the hectic week of IPCPR trade show activity, which will take place this summer. The TAA is one part doing business and one part making new relationships and cementing old ones.

The Unbidden Ashtray

Posted: Apr 8, 2015 11:00am ET

It happens in so many places in Havana that sometimes I don't even notice. But when it happened at El Rum Rum de la Habana, a skinny, bright and clean paladar located on the narrow streets of Vieja Habana, it made me think about how special it is, so I began writing.

Cuban Cigar Inventory

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 11:00am ET

Montecristos of all sizes, Romeo y Julietas galore and Cohiba Maduros for everyone you've ever known. Havana's cigar shops are full of cigars on this trip.

So far I've been to seven Casa del Habano cigar stores, including the standouts at the Meliá Habana Hotel, Quinta Avenida, Club Habana and the Habana Libre Hotel. Rumors of a cigar shortage have been overblown, but there's certainly things you can and cannot get.

The $100 Cuban Question

Posted: Feb 26, 2015 11:00am ET

It's all anyone wants to talk about—what kind of cigars can you buy for $100 in Cuba? More important, in my opinion—what cigars should you buy for that $100?

The landmark decision on December 17 to improve U.S.-Cuba relations has changed the laws about official America travel to Cuba. American visitors to Havana have long been forbidden to come back with so much as one cigar or a drop of Cuban rum, but as of January 16 those who visit this island on authorized trips can legally return home with $400 worth of Cuban goods, $100 of which can be tobacco or alcohol. No insult meant to Cuban rum, which is lovely, but my $100 is going to go strictly to cigars. Yours should, too.

First Night In Havana

Posted: Feb 24, 2015 1:00pm ET

It was late in Cuba's capital city. The air was warm and heavy, with no hint of a breeze, and the royal palms stood still, unswaying, as if they were made of stone. The car stopped on a quiet street, and our party walked through the flowered courtyard of La Moraleja, a fine paladar in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.

Back To Cuba

Posted: Feb 23, 2015 11:00am ET

Monday morning, at the Miami International Airport. I'm sitting by my gate, staring out the window at a silver, red and blue American Airlines jet getting ready to take on passengers and make the short flight south across the Florida Keys to Havana.

A Special Bale of Tobacco

Posted: Jan 13, 2015 11:00am ET

All good cigar companies have them: packages of tobacco wrapped in burlap or palm known as bales. It's the lifeblood of the industry, the raw material that is painstakingly turned into cigars. Without warehouses filled with bales you simply won't last very long in the cigar business.

Meeting A Churchill

Posted: Dec 10, 2014 12:00pm ET

The man in the suit reached out his hand, a smile spreading across his face.

"Randolph Churchill," he said.

The famous surname was no mere circumstance—Randolph Churchill is the great-grandson of the late, great Sir Winston Churchill, and I had the chance to meet him last night. The celebration was one worthy of his famous ancestor, a party with cigars and fine spirits celebrating the launch of the Davidoff Winston Churchill.

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