Big Smoke Thoughts
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 9:55am ET
Back at my desk today after a weekend in Las Vegas with the most enthusiastic, upbeat cigar smokers that you could find anywhere on the planet. The occasion was the 2009 Big Smoke, which is one of my favorite annual events. In the upcoming days, you’ll read and see our coverage of each Big Smoke night, and the two days of seminars. Here are a few of my ruminations.
Penance of a Red Sox Fan
The guys will be reporting on the details of the seminars, and the panelists who all did a great job. My thanks to Nestor Plascencia Jr. of the Plasencia tobacco growing family and Sam Leccia, the creator of the Nub brand for Oliva Cigar Co. They both showed great knowledge about tobacco, and gave great answers to the questions thrown their way. I’ve now been in the cigar world long enough (17 years to be exact) to have the next generation start to move into positions of responsibility and authority. Whether it is the young Quesada daughters, Sathya Levin from Ashton, Jorge Padrón at Padrón Cigars…the list actually is long. But the observation is the same: These guys are good. Apart from the knowledge they have, and the expertise they have developed over the years, they have brought with them something that can’t really be taught: The passion of their fathers. It’s a treat to see.
Big Smoke Nights
I’ve been to more than 100 Big Smokes…I’ve lost track of the exact number. But I never get tired to talking to Cigar Aficionado readers and hearing their comments about the magazine. What I can also tell you is that it is hard to imagine more happy people in one place at the same time. What’s not to be happy about? There was food from half a dozen Las Vegas restaurants, including Charlie Palmer’s great Aureole, spirits including Jack Daniels, Ron Zacapa, Bombay Sapphire, a whole table’s worth of single malt Scotches…oh, I’m going to stop here because no matter how hard I’ll try I’ll forget someone who should be mentioned. Put it this way, if you couldn’t find something you liked to drink at the Big Smoke, you don’t like to drink. And, of course, there were the cigars, including the number one cigar of 2008, the Casa Magna Colorado Robusto from Manuel Quesada.
Just so you all can start planning now, the 2010 Big Smoke Las Vegas is Nov. 12, 13 and 14th. If you get a twinge reading my descriptions, or think you might like to be there next year, put it on your calendar now. Come join us at the best cigar party in the world.
Photo by Sjodin Photography
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