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).
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.