Event Review: Miami Cigar Extravaganza
The boys at Cigar Inn definitely know how to throw a party. On Saturday December 12, 2009 I decided to head into midtown Manhattan to check out the Miami Cigar Extravaganza with my good friend and business partner Sonny who has contributed to this website in the past. I was eager to obtain a box of Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial cigars and was more then happy to purchase a box of cigars from one of the companies sponsoring the event.
The Cigar Inn which is located at 1314 Second Avenue in NYC is the place to be if you want to smoke a cigar. The shop features the only Cigar Aficionado lounge in the world and it is everything the cigar smoker could want with large screen TVs, comfortable seating and a great eclectic mix of people. The owners Gus, Billy and Bas are true gentlemen who treat you the way a consumer wants to be treated and their hospitality will make you happy to call them a friend.
Events at Cigar Inn can be quite crowded so I headed down there at 11am and was happy to see the place was the proverbial calm before the storm. Gus welcomed me and Sonny the second we walked in the door and Billy remembered I wanted a box of Nestor Miranda Coffee Breaks to the point where he already had me packaged up and ready to go. Being there so early I was able to reap the rewards by getting some alone time with Jose and Jaime Garcia but I wished I payed more attention in Spanish class when in High School. Both of them were gracious enough to sign my box of Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial cigars.
I sat down with Sonny and smoked one of the new cigars from Jaime Garcia and I was floored with the quality smoke. At this point I was extremely happy I decided to make a box purchase. As I was smoking I saw Chris the local rep from Miami Cigar Co. and I asked him to introduce me to Nestor Miranda. Nestor is a man who from across the room radiates class and dignity. The way he dresses and the way he carries himself lights up a room. To be honest I was a little intimidated to meet the man because as much as I want to be recognized by the cigar world, I realize I am just a tiny piece of the universe. Nestor turned out to be extremely gracious and he was a very warm individual who took the time to sign my box of cigars bearing his name. I would love one day to be able to interview him or to do 10 questions/answers for the website. Nestor left an impression on me that I will remember for a long time to come and I was honored to shake his hand.
As I was sitting smoking with Sonny a person next to us seemed to know Eddie Ortega very well and during a lull in their conversation I took the time to introduce myself and as we were talking Eric Espinoza came over and we got to talking about cigars, bloggers, Cuba and much more. Eric was extremely gracious and gave me a lot of his time. I told him I was a big fan of his cigars and that his Cubao Maduro would make my list of Top 10 Cigars of the year. At this point he asked if I ever had a Murcielago and I informed him sadly I did not. About an hour later he made it a point to track me down and hand me one for my enjoyment. I am smoking it as I write this entry up and I wish I found this cigar sooner. The cigar has wonderfully rich notes of dark chocolate and cocoa. I promise a full review before the year is over. As we concluded the conversation Eric gave me his number and he agreed to do a 10 question segment for the website in the near future and for that I am grateful. Eric is definitely the type of guy you would love to sit down and smoke with on a regular basis. He is one of the guys and very down to earth.
I also got to spend time talking to Gary Artz who is one of the best writers in the indusry and a good friend of the Miami Cigar scene and cigar bloggers alike. I was honored when while talking to Mr. Artz that Danny from Old School Cigars referred to us as the two writers. To be addressed as a writer along side a man whose work I admire so much was an incredible compliment.
And to those who follow me on twitter I too felt like a celebrity at the event when I was recognized by someone who has seen the occasional video segment I post to twitter called “my daily cigar from my effin caddy” when I do a minute video letting people know what my first cigar of the day is.
The highlight of the day though was when Nestor Miranda and Jose Pepin Garcia got up to sing with the guitarist from the Latin band that was hired for the event. Although the sound quality of the video wasn’t the best I tried to clean it up the best that I could. I’ve embedded it into the post and I hope it translates to the great time we all had at Cigar Inn.
This my friends was a day to remember…
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