Back in Vegas

It’s Big Smoke time, so I’m in Las Vegas with much of the premium cigar industry, puffing away and enjoying the city. We started in style yesterday with a little Cigar Aficionado welcome party at Rhumbar at the Mirage Hotel. Rhumbar is a great spot—stark white on the inside, very hip, with caged metallic statues of fighting roosters suspended above the bar. And yes—it’s entirely cigar friendly. My favorite part of the bar is outside—a huge patio overlooking the Las Vegas strip. You can smoke out there as well.

I walked in with Gordon Mott and Jack Bettridge. The first people we saw were Manuel Quesada and Brad Weinfeld. We said hello, and Brad handed me a Casa Magna Extraordinario (Salamone size, very nice cigar), which I clipped and lit. We started talking while sipping some aged rum and nibbling on Kobe burgers.

The cigar guys were in great spirits: the party was our way of thanking them for coming out to the Big Smoke, and a way to reconnect with old friends before things get crazy tonight. We get thousands here in Vegas, so the time for quiet conversation is now.

I spent some time with Robert Levin and his crew from Ashton, Wayne Suarez from Fuente, Rocky Patel, Mike Giannini and the folks from General Cigar and La Gloria Cubana, Gary Hyams and Jon Huber from CAO, Pete Johnson, the Garcia family, Paul Palmer and Arsenio Ramos from Tabacalera Tropical, Dion Giolioto from Illusione, Sam Leccia and several guys from Oliva, Jose Blanco from La Aurora, Matt Arcella from the Davidoff shop, Les Mann from Colibri, Micahel Frey, who owns Rhumbar—the list goes on and on. There’s no way I can remember them all.

After the Casa Magna, I lit up a Tatuaje given to me by Pete Johnson, which was spicy and flavorful (as always) and started chatting with James Suckling.

There were a couple of sprinkles during the night, but no one seemed to really care—we had a great time. It’s Las Vegas, and we were smoking—how could we not?

Tonight, ti's the first Big Smoke. Tomorrow, the Saturday cigar seminars. If you're not here, sorry you'll miss it. If you're out here wtih the rest of us, be sure to say hello!