Belen Jesuit Preparatory School’s annual scholarship fundraiser has been called Tómbola — Spanish for raffle — since the Miami school’s early days in Cuba, but the event has evolved into a lot more than a simple raffle since then. For one weekend, one of the school’s small courtyards becomes the event’s cigar lounge, where moms, dads and alumni gather for stogies and spirits. This year’s event featured cigars by Padrón, C.L.E., and My Father (all companies whose owners have ties to the school) as well as Aberfeldy whisky. All told, this year’s Tómbola raised more than $675,000.
A year ago, we ran a story about Corona Cigar Co. owner Jeff Borysiewicz's Clermont, Fla. tobacco farm and how it might have been destined for an eventual Drew Estate blend. This past weekend, Drew Estate gave some of its die hard fans a taste of that blend: Florida Sun Grown (which is also the name Jeff chose for the tobacco he's growing).
Jeff is the first person to grow premium cigar tobacco in Florida since the 1970s. History's being made here, and the Corona and Drew Estate's teams helped smokers wrap their heads around it all with tours of the Corona curing barn (led by Jonathan Drew), as well as an explanation of the blending process from Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera.
Padrón’s semi-secret society of Bastards added new members to its ranks at its most recent Smoke on the Water event at Padrón’s Little Havana facility. There wasn’t much water, but there was plenty of smoke, as everyone in attendance got two cigars: Dámaso and 1964 Anniversary Series. Much of the Padrón clan was on hand to host their most Padrón-crazed group of fans and beer was flowing thanks to MIA Beer Company.
Espinosa Cigars hosted a big crew — made, in large part, of out-of-towners — for a weekend of herfing, eating, and drinking. They called it LaZonaPalooza (check out photos guests posted on Instagram using #LaZonaPalooza) and it was a damn good time. Also in attendance were the owners of brands also manufactured at the La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, like La Jugada and Protocol. Check out photos (courtesy of Espinosa Cigars and photographer Ramón Santana) below.
On Friday, Drew Estate hosted a grand opening event for its brand new Drew Estate Lounge at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., which is home to the NHL's Florida Panthers. Guests of the new outdoor space at the arena were treated to an open bar, hors d-oeuvres, and Drew Estate's new cigar made exclusively for the new lounge: The Year of the Rat, which is an addition to the brand's Única Serie.
Every year, Davidoff takes one night during the IPCPR trade show to recognize its appointed merchants at the Golden Band Awards. Really, though, the black tie affair serves as one of the trade show's best parties. At this year's Golden Bands, there was great music, live painting, and some real-time assessments of guests' appearances by The Bumbys, who you might recognize from the Miami Beach launch party for Davidoff Escurio (check out The Bumbys' website for a better idea of what that's about).
Nat Sherman hosted a celebration of the company's 85th anniversary at its New York City Townhouse store on June 30. All of the proceeds from the event (largely by admission and a silent auction) went to City Harvest, a group that fights hunger in New York.
The event raised over $8,000 for the charity. Guests enjoyed limited-edition Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary cigars, champagne, wine and light fare. Nat Sherman keep the anniversary celebration going with a series of similar events across the country this year.
photos courtesy of Nat Sherman
Guests in attendance included, Joel Sherman, President & CEO of Nat Sherman, Bill Sherman, Executive Vice President of Nat Sherman, Larry Sherman, Vice President of Nat Sherman and Michele Sherman, Managing Director of Nat Sherman.
Miami Cigar & Co. — perhaps best known in recent years for the Nestor Miranda Collection — has been making a push to involve itself more in its namesake community. To that end, the company was the cigar partner of the Dwyane Wade Fantasy Camp Draft Party in Hollywood, Florida.
It was the kick-off event for the fifth annual camp headed by Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade. 100 guests were treated to "music, bites, cocktails and Nestor Miranda Collection cigars," according to a Miami Cigar press release. In addition, Wade was presented a Miami Heat-themed humidor made by Hfbarcelona (which Miami Cigar distributes)
“We are truly honored to have had the opportunity to take part in Dwyane Wade’s fantasy camp. We are always excited to give back to the community and spread that #OneLife mentality whenever possible,” said Miami Cigar VP Jason Wood in the press release.
Take a look at the gallery below for photos from the event.
One of downtown Miami's premier tobacconists, Smokeshop Downtown Miami, unveiled its new Davidoff shop-in-shop on June 24, inviting customers to head over and sample the goods.
Check out the slideshow for photos from the event.
It seems like every year, the Procigar festival can be counted on to bring attendees some new experience that makes the trip worthwhile. The 2015 festival saw two major additions to the event’s agenda: tours of Tabacalera Palma and La Aurora’s new Cigar World.
Tabacalera Palma was a member of Procigar last year, but this is the first year the factory — which has drawn a lot of attention lately for having manufactured successful cigars for Ag-ing Room and Señorial — has offered tours to festivalgoers.
La Aurora, for its part, has opened a section of its Dominican facility called Cigar World. It’s a unique museum-style learning experience where visi-tors not only pick up knowledge walking through (for example, from tobacco on display at various stages of growth and fermentation), but can also take classes where they’ll learn from masters like Manuel Inoa, Benji Menéndez and Daniel Núñez.
Of course, Procigar wasn’t all educational. The event was packed with as much partying as any other year’s, including the much anticipated “white party” at the Monumento de Santiago, a poker tournament, beach day at Puerto Plata, and the usual blowout gala and auction to close things out.
One of South Florida’s biggest cigar events, organized by one of the biggest tobacconists in the area, moved to a new venue this year to accommodate its biggest crowd yet. Smoke Inn’s The Great Smoke was held at The Ameri-can German Club of Lake Worth, which meant plenty of room for the sprawling celebration of cigars, alcohol, food, and dunk tanks.
Attendees went home with dozens of cigars (as well as copies of Cigar Snob). There was also live music, great food and plenty of booze, including samples from some of the bigger names in spirits (can’t complain about free Gentleman Jack). Make sure to look out for event dates and ticket prices for next year from Smoke Inn.
The Montecristo Social Club Social Club Road Show kicked off its member event series in South Florida — first with a dinner and herf at Ft. Lauderdale’s Morton’s Steakhouse, and then with a similar event at Smith & Wollensky in Miami Beach.
At each of those events, at least 50 guests enjoyed the new Romeo Añejo, as well as hors d’oeuvres and a brief seminar led by Altadis’ Larry Palumbo, who offered a primer on to-bacco selection, sorting, and other parts of the cigar making process. A certificate of comple-tion was presented to each guest afterwards.
More than 150 guests were on hand for the inauguration of Cigar World, La Aurora’s impressive new cigar learning experience. Those guests toured the facility, which is part museum, part immersive classroom. The new section of the iconic company’s Domini-can headquarters offers exhibits featuring tobacco plants at various stages of growth, pilones cut in half (so visitors can see what the inside of a fermenting bale of tobacco looks like), and a multimedia room. The idea behind this project is to “preserve and disseminate this essential part of Dominican culture.” The first event at Cigar World also included an address by Guillermo Leon.
South Miami kicked off a series of “Havana Nights” events with Azarías Mustafa Córdoba of Córdoba y Morales Cigars. The event fea-tured the company’s La Clave Cubana brand as well as a cigar rolling demonstration. Three-time Grammy winner Tomasito Cruz (who has worked with some of the biggest names in Latin music as well as non-Latin stars) was on hand to provide some live music.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a cigar event in Miami without some kind of pork and beer. There were pan con lechón sandwiches and beer specials all night — not to mention South Miami Cigar & Wine’s usual selection of wine.
Do you love art as much as you love cigars? Los Angeles’ 2nd Street Cigar Lounge & Gallery, a regular participant in Downtown LA Art Walk, will be hosting an event featuring photographer (and friend of Cigar Snob) Jim Pollock (jimpollockphotography.com).
You’ve seen Jim’s work in two of our First Cigar Q&A features: Ben Bass (July/August 2014) and Abner Ramírez (November/December 2014). Jim will be displaying some of his “old favorites and new works,” he said.
So head to 2nd Street Cigars this Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. Let Jim know we said hi.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said that the Feb. 20 event would be part of Downtown LA Artwalk. While Jim Pollock and 2nd Street Cigar Lounge & Gallery are regular participants, this will be a separate event.
The 44th Annual Eclipse Awards recognized horses and individuals who achieved great things in 2014. Recipients are chosen by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. The night before, a party was thrown to benefit Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare. The it featured an open bar, live music, gourmet food, and an exclusive special-edition blend from Herrera Cigars.
Hosted by Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman, La Verbena was held at Centennial Park in Ybor City. About 5,000 cigar lovers and their families enjoyed music from radio personality Franco Silva, food, and cigar rolling demonstrations. Children participated in games such as felt Cuban sandwich assembly and dominoes.
The festival also marked the launch of Tampa Mafia Magazine and included exhibits like “Ybor History” (which details the birth of Ybor City’s cigar industry) and “100 Years of Baseball in Tampa.”
Miami Cigar, Creativas PR, and 400 guests (including Roxanne Vargas of NBC 6, TV personality and spokesperson Adriana Catano, and Telemundo 51 personality Mariana Rodriguez) gathered at the beautiful Grove Isle Hotel & Spa for Creativas’ annual Christmas party, which Miami Cigar co-hosted for the first time this year. Each guest brought a new, unwrapped toy for Neat Stuff, a charity that helps children in dis tress. They also got a complimentary cigar — choosing from Nestor Miranda Collection, La Aurora Untamed, Propaganda by Viva Republica, and Tatiana — and Z afra Rum cocktails.
Havana Group Cigars’ party drew 75 guests to celebrate their 9th anniversary with food, drinks, and music. Lucky raffle winners received My Father Cigars, Aging Room, and Flor de Gonzalez boxes, as well as swag from companies like Oliva and Espinosa. In addition to the Cubanstyle roast pork and fixins, guests were treated to samples of Dos Maderas Aged Rum as well as Templeton Rye Prohibition Era Whiskey.
Joey DiSalvo hosted his bi-annual Taste The Good Life charity gala at DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant, a registered National Historic Landmark. The event, which raises money for a different charity each time, netted $25,000 for the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program. Three hundred guests enjoyed a full open bar, delicious food like spinach- and feta-stuffed chicken, oysters, and grilled eggplant. Of course, there were also cigars hand selected by Joey D, raffles, and auctions. The evening’s entertainment included music by the soulful Antoinette Montague and John Mulkerin of The Groove Doctors.
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