Preview the NEW
Heading to Houston

This weekend I’m flying to Houston to hang out with most of the U.S. cigar industry at the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America trade show. It’s the time every year when cigarmakers show off their new creations, and our team of Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider editors will be there to smoke away and try to figure out what’s worth your attention.

I’ve already tried a few of the things that will be on display. Probably the most anticipated cigar of the show is the Padrón 80th Anniversary (at least that’s what I’m calling it right now), which is an amazing perfecto that is simply loaded with rich flavor. It was first smoked at the Big Smoke Las Vegas in November, but the Padróns have been tweaking the blend for the past eight months or so. I smoked another version in Nicaragua in January with the Padróns and my colleague James Suckling, and it tasted even better. I can’t wait to try a few next week.

The Oliva Serie V tasted like a winner to me when I first smoked it in New York with Jose Oliva a few months ago, so I’m eager to see how that one has come along, and I really like the San Cristobal being made for Ashton by Pepin Garcia. (That’s not surprising: I like just about everything Pepin makes.)

I’ve written about, but haven’t smoked, the CAO America, so I’m looking forward to giving that a try. And I’m sure Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has something great up his sleeve, as well as Litto Gomez.

Every year I make the mistake of bringing cigars with me to the RTDA show. (I hate to run out.) I remember one year being searched by security at the gate when I was going back. I thought the guy was going to have a heart attack when he saw how many cigars were in my carry-on bag. Must have been about 200 or so. He must have thought I had a problem.

The show begins Sunday, and runs through Wednesday. For those of you who can’t join me there, keep watching the web site for blogs from the show. I’ll try not to grouse too much about the heat and humidity, and promise to keep you up to date.

And if there’s something specific you’d like me to look out for, let me know.
Matthew Caruso Jersey August 3, 2007 5:23pm ET
Hey David, have fun in Houston. When you see Jose Oliva, tell him his long lost Italian twin brother says "What's up!" I had three people tell me that we look like we were sperated at birth. I think it just because we were both wearing brown shirts when our picture was taken. One thing I would be interested in is if there is a strong blogger presence at the show. A couple of the sites I am tuned into say they are going and will provide lots of content. And if that's the case, are exhibitors stepping up their visual presence to reach blog readers. Anyway, interested to hear about what's coming down the pike from the show. -Matt
Ron Wright August 3, 2007 5:50pm ET
David -Paul Garmirian (PG Cigars) is releasing a new line called Soiree. Paul stated it took him four years to get the right combination. I have had the pleasure of trying one and I think you will really enjoy it.Have fun in Houston!Ron
DAVE Savona August 4, 2007 9:53am ET
His lost Italian twin? I'll sure he'll get a kick out of that.Ron, I never was a fan of PG Cigars until I smoked the 15th Anniversary blend, wbich I believe debuted two years ago. I'll be sure to try the Soiree in Houston.
Manny Iriarte August 4, 2007 12:24pm ET
Hi David,We exchanged comments before in reference to the taxing that they want to implent in the cigar industry. I'll be attending the RTDA for the first time as a photographer and I hope to meet you there. I'm also very anxious and excited to try the new cigars that will be awaiting us all at this years RTDA. More than anything... I'm looking forward even more to smoke the Padron 80th anniversary. This is especially because I was in their factory in Nicaragua a few months ago when they were preparing it for perfection. Thank you for being such a great part of the cigar industry and for always having nothing but excellent thoughts and reviews on whats out there.

Log in if you're already registered.

Or register for Cigar Aficionado today—it's free.

Registration allows you to:
  • Keep track of your favorite cigars in your personal humidor.
  • Comment on all our stories.

Forgot your password?

Ratings & Reviews

Search our database of more than 17,000 cigar tasting notes by score, brand, country, size, price range, year, wrapper and more, plus add your favorites to your Personal Humidor.