2018 Big Smoke Las Vegas: Lunch With Micallef Cigar

2018 Big Smoke Las Vegas: Lunch With Micallef Cigar
Photos/Jacob Kepler
Big Smoke attendees filed into the Mirage convention hall for a hearty steak lunch.

After stocking up on more than 35 handmade cigars the night before and then receiving each of Cigar Aficionado’s top three cigars of 2017 in the morning, Micallef Cigars had a special surprise for their lunch guests: a pre-release cigar.

As attendees filed into the Mirage convention hall to tuck into their much-deserved meals, they were handed a Micallef Migdalia Toro, a 6 inch by 52 ring gauge size that is not yet on the market. And the small cigar almost didn’t make it to Vegas.

“So you guys are the first ones to get it,” said Steven Henrickson, who addressed the audience on behalf of company owner Al Micallef. “This larger format had an issue clearing Customs and barely made it to the show.”

Steven Henrickson addressed the audience on behalf of company owner Al Micallef
Steven Henrickson addressed the audience on behalf of company owner Al Micallef.

The Toro, the second size in the Migdalia line, is rolled with a Sumatran binder, Nicaraguan and Dominican filler and covered by a dark, Mexican San Andrés wrapper. As Henrickson pointed out, Micallef wanted to reward Big Smoke attendees’ devotion to cigars.

“You guys are what makes this business work,” said Henrickson.

Although Micallef himself unfortunately couldn’t make it to the event, he was there in virtual form via a short video that the company produced and played during the meal. In the video, Micallef recalled how his foray into the cigar industry started after a chance encounter with two rollers who worked for the Gómez Sanchez family.

The Micallef Migdalia Toro is a 6 inch by 52 ring gauge size that is not yet on the market.
The Micallef Migdalia Toro is a 6 inch by 52 ring gauge size that is not yet on the market.

According to Micallef, the rollers were driving through Texas (Micallef’s home state) when their car broke down. Stranded, they stopped at the nearby Silver Leaf Cigar Lounge, in Fort Worth, where they offered to roll some cigars for the patrons. Micallef happened to be there and tried their cigars that same day.

“I have this bad habit of of turning things that are fun into businesses,” said Micallef in the video.

Guests started their meal off with the Mirage’s signature Caesar salad, which is made from hearts of romaine lettuce, focaccia croutons and shaved Parmesan with Caesar dressing. Servers then started to pour the lunch wine, a Tenshen Santa Barbara County Red from 2016.

Micallef partner Delicia Silva was on hand to sign calendars.
Micallef partner Delicia Silva was on hand to sign calendars.

After clearing their plates it was time for the entree: an eight-ounce marinated New York steak au jus served with crispy fried onions, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and thin haricots verts.

Coffee and tea were then offered, along with a rich dessert of New York-style cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and strawberry sauce.

It was a fitting meal for a group of devoted cigar smokers who had spent their morning learn about their hobby.

Save The Date

  • The Big Smoke Returns to Las Vegas November 15-17, 2019
  • Don't Miss The Big Smoke Florida, March 23, 2019 in Hollywood, Florida (Buy Tickets Now)

Click here for more information on the 2019 Big Smokes.

Big Smoke Evenings

2018 Big Smoke Las Vegas Evenings

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Top Three Cigars of 2017

The New King—Nicaragua

Talking Cuban Cigars With Fernando Domínguez

Cult Cigars

Sunday Seminars

Cigar Lover’s Breakfast

Roll Your Own Cigar

Pairing Bacardi Rums With Fine Cigars