On my recent trip to Vegas (Nov. 18 2017) I was asked “Hey, so why do they call you Lefty? Is it because you are never right?”…Somebody wake up the drummer, two shows nightly, and tip your servers. I didn’t leave Vegas with a photo roll like on the camera in The Hangover, but I did have a great time there again.
So why was I in Vegas? The Big Smoke 2017 at the Mirage, which is basically an excuse for a bunch of guys from all across the country to smoke a bunch of cigars in Vegas. What a great combo! I have been incredibly fortunate to be involved at this yearly event due to the graciousness of the Arturo Fuente family and team there to display our Fuente cigar artwork by Noah Fine Art. The Fuente family truly personifies class, passion, and family, and to be a part of this family is a great honor helping raise awareness and support for The Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.
So what is the Big Smoke? This event is put on by Cigar Aficionado magazine and is far more than just an excuse to smoke the finest cigars. It is a ticketed event open to the public which takes place in two sessions: 3 hours on a Friday night and then 3 hours again on Saturday. A VIP ticket is also available for purchase to allow access one hour early for each session. There are many other opportunities, such as seminars on various topics throughout the day and special events to hear from some of the leaders in the cigar industry.
To give a mental picture of what actually happens there, ticketed guests are provided a coupon book, and when the doors open enter the Mirage special events center like a herd of cattle in a stampede racing to their favorite cigar booth to get whatever product is being passed out. Many of the large cigar manufacturers are present, including Fuente, JC Newman, Padron, and Oliva, as well as Tatuaje, Alec Bradley, LFD, and many others. Cigar Rights of America also has booth there to discuss all the fine work they are doing. Its just a great time to not just enjoy premium cigars but also to meet prominent members of the cigar companies and discuss cigars with them. Certainly special thanks to the Oban, Lagavoulin and Tin Cup, among others, for sharing their fantastic whiskies as well.
I also want to mention my great experiences at certain local cigar lounges. On the previous Thursday evening Tatuaje put on a great event at En Fuego cigar lounge in Henderson, and offered some terrific cigars including their Cojonu maduros. The Cigar Box is also one of my favorite stops. Its a great spot to enjoy a latte, beer or wine, and cruise their very comprehensive humidor. The layout and brick industrial decor creates a great environment. Another lounge I have been frequenting lately is the Havana cigar lounge on Flamingo, which features a darker intimate feel with a prominent TV screen great for games and movies, as well as classic cigar artwork such as Al Pacino from Scarface. And of course, Casa Fuente is the main place to hang, smoke Fuentes, and drink the best mojitos in Vegas.
All in all I had a great trip, trying to learn as much as I can to help bring the best possible cigars to our Chamber. I love using the reason of “research” to experience as many premium cigars as I can, so we can all continue to enjoy the great camaraderie together at our special Chamber at 9900.