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Part One: Big Smoke Evenings Las Vegas

David Savona
Posted: November 10, 2008

When the calendar page flips to November, Big Smoke season begins. And the biggest Big Smoke of all is the Cigar Aficionado Las Vegas Weekend.

The gala show returned to Las Vegas on November 7, lighting up the city with passionate crowds of thousands of cigar smokers. The main events for the three-day show were the Big Smoke evenings, held on Friday and Saturday night.

The show returned to The Venetian resort and casino (which now encompasses the luxurious new Palazzo resort) on the Las Vegas Strip. Cigar lovers from across the United States and around the world gathered to sample great cigars and fine drinks, and enjoy an atmosphere where everyone welcomes your cigar.

The ballroom was full of energy on both nights, as longtime Big Smoke veterans—some of whom hadn't missed a single show in the event's 12 years—mingled with Big Smoke newcomers who soaked in the grandeur of the massive 80,000-square-foot space.

Brian Coerver fires up his cigar.

"I would never miss this for the world," said Lenny Abromowitz. The Indio, California, resident was attending for the eighth time, along with a group of friends. For the first time, he brought along his 22-year-old son. "It's a father-son bonding weekend," Lenny said.

Another father-son team chose the Big Smoke ballroom as a place to catch up on old times over fine cigars. The father lives in New Jersey, his son in Florida.

The guests shook hands and posed for photographs with their cigar heroes, and many of the cigarmakers autographed the white-and-green canvas Cigar Aficionado bags that soon grew stuffed with cigars. The lineup was extensive: an Alec Bradley Tempus, Arturo Fuente, Ashton, A. Turrent Six Generations, Aurora 1495, C.A.O. Mx2, Carlos Toraño, Cuvée Rouge, Defiance by Xikar, Diamond Crown, Don Tomás, El Rico Habano, Flavours by C.A.O., Fonseca, Hoyo de Monterrey, La Caya, La Flor Dominicana, La Gloria Cubana, Macanudo 1968, Nub, Oliva Serie G, Padrón, Rocky Patel, San Cristobal, Te-Amo World Selection, Winston Churchill and Zino Classic.

The room was a playground for adults, with luxury cars and motorcycles captivating attendees.

Attendees check out a V-Rod Muscle bike from Harley-Davidson USA.

Harley-Davidson USA showed off two V-Rod Muscle bikes and Chevrolet displayed its new Camaro Z28, scheduled to begin production in February. Other cars shown were the Cadillac Hybrid Escalade and XLR convertible, a Saturn Sky Turbo and the Audi S5.

Great cigars taste far better with a libation, and a wide variety was available, including Bowmore and Auchentoshan Scotch, Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey, Ron Matusalem and Ron Zacapa rums, and a fleet of Tequilas, including Don Julio and El Mayor.

Those searching for a cocktail could get a fresh Margarita from the Patrón ice bar, while aficionados in need of a cold brew could sample the new Budweiser American Ale, served on draft.

When it was time for a bite, the smokers could choose from an array of dishes from The Venetian hotel to a pulled pork plate topped with savory slaw from Charlie Palmer Steak—served by the chef himself, who loves fine cigars.

The evenings brought smiles to the faces of the aficionados, who enjoyed a night (or in some cases, two) where the smoking light was shining bright.

CLICK BELOW TO READ ABOUT THE SUNDAY SEMINARS
Charlie Palmer Breakfast
Roll Your Own
Mas Tequila

CLICK BELOW TO READ ABOUT THE SATURDAY SEMINARS
Fathers and Sons
Cigar Rolling
Cuba
Cigar Blending
Lunch With The Experts

CLICK BELOW TO VIEW OUR PHOTO GALLERY
2008 Photo Gallery

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