I want to publicly thank all the attendees, and I want everyone out there to know about it. We were under some pretty severe restrictions about where we could smoke, and it would have been all too easy for people to ignore our pleas for compliance. But they did. It meant there were a few times we didn’t get to light up like previous years, but we managed to move from those rooms to the main seminar room where everyone could enjoy their favorite cigars. And the main Big Smoke room was jammed with smokers both Friday and Saturday night.
Our coverage of the Big Smoke will begin later today, and continue for the rest of the week. You’ll get to read about some of the really great moments: Jorge and Jose Orlando Padrón presented their 40th Anniversary cigar. Carlos Toraño told great stores about fooling Spanish smokers into thinking they were smoking Cubans, but they were his cigars. And Carlos Fuente Jr. reminded everyone just how much of a family effort the cigar business can be. There was a rolling seminar with La Gloria Cubana’s Ernesto Perez-Carrillo that demonstrated every step of the process used to make a great handrolled cigar; I even served myself up as fodder for making a fool of myself, trying to put a wrapper on a cigar in front of the crowd. Talk about nervous; I said I’d rather tee off in front of 50 people than do that again. James Suckling led a great discussion about the state of Cuban cigars. And then, James and Dave Savona led a great panel about the process of blending cigar tobacco. All I can tell you is that the seminars sold out more than three weeks before the event, so if you are interested in coming next year, give yourself a reminder for mid-year to make your reservations.
Each Big Smoke night also was really entertaining. Nearly every major manufacturer was on the show floor, and we had a great lineup of Bourbons, Scotches and Tequilas for everyone to enjoy. The hotel supplied food for the evening from many of the restaurants that have outlets there.
So, read up, and get ready for 2009. We have a date for early November next year at the Venetian. We are hammering out the final details. We’ll post the date here on the Web site soon.
In the meantime, enjoy our coverage and get a little green with envy about what you missed.