Cigar Aficionado

Behind the Scenes of the Big Smoke

Last weekend’s Big Smoke was awesome. Just think about it: More than 6,000 people, mostly dudes, invading Vegas and smoking and partying for one unforgettable weekend. We should do it once a month!

What impresses me the most is the camaraderie of everyone who enjoys the leaf. It’s about hanging with your brothers under the pretext of enjoying a good cigar, but taking pleasure in everything Sin City has to offer and there are lots. Just remember the motto: “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.”

Anyway, one rocking place for cigar aficionados in Vegas was Casa Fuente in the Forum Shops in Ceasars. I went with some cigar makers like Jorge Padrón, Litto Gomez and Ernesto Perez-Carrillo following the seminars and lunch at the Venetian on Saturday and it was packed. We had a blast just puffing away and talking about cigars, life and everything else in between. And we had a lot of laughs as well. Check out my video.

It sort of reminded me of kicking back in bars in Havana and smoking...I mean doing research.

It’s a shame that smoking has been curtailed slightly in Vegas; whereby, you are mostly only allowed to smoke on the casino floors or outside. But thank
God we can still smoke in special places like Casa Fuente. See you there next year, or before…

"Hi,,my name is Bobby Peluso..I think all of u guys, are great. Do u think u could ever come to Salem,NH. Visit TWO GUYS SMOKE SHOP...Mabey a litte dinner and smoke some cigars with myself and the rest of the members of the store? I have the utmost respcet for each of u,,and the articles u write..Happy holidays,Bobby, PLease contact the store and ask for Dave, he is the owner.6038982221." —November 20, 2007 13:54 PM
"Awesome is a good word to begin describing this year's Big Smoke and Seminars. It does not go far enough, however. In spite of Sin City's new smoking ban, every activity was incredible. I saw only one unhappy face, and that was a wife on a cell phone berating her husband for going outside and leaving her behind in the meeting room. Every other face I saw had a smile as wide as a face could bear, and a lot of twinkle in all eyes. I am not sure how much was precipitated by the liquid spirits in the room and how much by the cameraderie, but it was easily seen.I want to take just a moment to say thank you for all the hard work and planning that must go on behind the scenes. All those hours and all that effort paid off very well.Additional thanks needs to go to the "celebrities" who circulated during the event. The cigar makers, the tobacco growers, and the magazine representatives. For the most part, I felt welcomed as a friend and equal, and enjoyed listening to your thoughts on cigars, foods, and spirits.I envy you that work you have James. Although I am sure there are some uncomfortable times, I know that you are rewarded with some excellent perks. If you ever need an apprentice, I would toss my name into the ring right now! Thank you again. I will continue to read your work, and to enjoy the finer things in life that are introduced through your efforts." —November 15, 2007 09:30 AM
"Man, that sounds awesome. Wish I could have been there, but I'm stuck in Jerusalem for the year! Though the Casa Del Habano here is a great place to smoke Petit Edmundos and Sancho Panza Belicosos. Keep up the great (and probably quite enjoyable work) James!" —November 14, 2007 04:01 AM