Cigar Aficionado

Big Smoke Seminars

Start making plans because the schedule for the Big Smoke Las Vegas Seminars is now official.

The Big Smoke Las Vegas weekend kicks off on Friday, November 13, and Saturday and Sunday's schedule includes a series of seminars that cover cigar knowledge and food and drink, respectively.

The annual exchange of cigar knowledge program will begin Saturday morning promptly at 9 a.m. (sorry late-night revelers) when each member of the audience files into a conference room of the Mirage Hotel & Casino and is handed a humidified packet containing the top three legal cigars of 2014. The audience then lights up Cigar Aficionado's No. 3 cigar of 2014, the Illusione Fume d'Amour Clementes, with brand owner Dion Giolito speaking about the cigar.

Executive editor David Savona and senior contributing editor Gordon Mott then speak with Hirochi Robaina, a renowned Cuban tobacco grower, about Cuba's cigar industry and where it's headed. It will then be time for Ernesto Perez-Carrillo of EPC Cigar Co. to present and light up his E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III, Cigar Aficionado's No. 2 cigar of 2014, before senior editor Greg Mottola leads a panel discussion on the popular maduro wrapper, particularly Connecticut broadleaf.

Humidity and controlling it so your cigars stay preserved can be one of the most confusing topics for both new and experienced cigar smokers. Panelists Daniel Marshall of D. Marshall Humidors and Sean Knutsen of Boveda humidification systems will discuss humidification and offer advice on maintaining proper humidity for your cigars.

Jose Oliva of Oliva Cigar Co. will then take the stage to talk about his Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado, Cigar Aficionado's No. 1 cigar of 2014, before Carlos Fuente Jr. stands up to tell the story about his Fuente Fuente OpusX cigar, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its debut.

The program will then break for lunch and eventgoers will head to another conference room where they will enjoy a meal sponsored by Litto Gomez and his La Flor Dominicana team, who will be on hand passing out cigars.

Sunday's seminars will again focus more on the lifestyle associated with cigars, namely food and drink. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., bleary eyed cigar lovers will sit down to a breakfast prepared especially for their tastes and cooked by Chef Nicole Brisson from CarneVino, who will demonstrate how to cook the dish.

Next, the audience will head to another conference room where Michael Giannini and Leo Peraza of General Cigar Co. will be providing all the components needed to roll your own cigar. Finally, Senior features editor and spirit expert Jack Bettridge will pair cigars with a flight of Bourbons in his annual drinks seminar.

It's set to be another fun, educational Big Smoke Las Vegas weekend. And don't forget, tickets for the evening sessions, the largest cigar celebrations in the world, are also available.