Trade Show Blog—First Smokes

First things first—I keep calling this IPCPR trade show by its old name, RTDA, so from now on I’m just going to say “trade show.” Problem solved.

It’s Monday morning here in Las Vegas, and in one hour the trade show begins. I arrived last night on a delayed flight from New York and met up with a big group of cigarmakers eating outside at Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s restaurant in the Venetian Hotel. I tucked into a plate of steak frites, ordered a Martini and fired up my first cigar.

Michael Chiusano, owner of the Cusano and Cuvée brands, gave me smoke No. 1. It’s the new Cusano 59, which is the final incarnation of the Cameroon-wrapped perfecto I smoked with him early this year in the Dominican Republic. It’s a fine smoke, much as I remembered—very toasty, just a bit sweet on the finish and with a pleasant, earthy spiciness. It was a nice starter smoke.

After the steak, I was ready for a strong cigar, and I found something I absolutely love. Pepin Garcia handed me his latest, My Father, in about a 6 3/4 inch long size with a tapered head. I cut it and lit it, and immediately I felt a big blast of power. Wow! I think this may be Pepin’s strongest smoke ever, or maybe almost as strong as the Tatuaje Cazadore he makes for Pete Johnson. Here are my notes, straight from my notebook: Big!! Spicy!! That’s some cigar.

There’s a lot more to say, but I have to get to the show. James Suckling is firing up a blog now as well. We’re going to keep you covered from top to bottom on this show, so stay tuned.

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