Overall, I was very pleased with the event. Well worth the $75 admission price.
Getting In: Getting in was a breeze with no lines. We arrived about 6:30 PM walked right in the doors and picked up the goody bag of about 45 cigars (more on the next). The entrance was well organized with at least 10 places to pick-up the goodies. I didn’t have to stand in many lines to get the majority of my cigars. They were already boxed and in a bag. First thing I did was open the box and take out a nice Torano Signature to smoke.
Goodie Bag: As expected, the smokes were on the whole – average. They ranged from Torano, Perdomo and CAO down (and I mean way down) to 3 packs of Black and Milds and a machine made Garcia y Vega (now sitting in the trash). I’d say overall, I was satisfied with the cigars. I like that they gave us an inventory list of what was in the box so I wouldn’t forget.
Seminars: They had some great seminars, which included extra cigars. I found this to be the absolutely best part of the night. I was able to listen to people that really loved their business and learn about cigars. The first seminar was Cigar Family (Fuente and Newman). Listened to Dr. Bob R. (forget the last name) and Eric Newman (President of JC Newman). It was great to hear Dr. Bob’s love of Don Carlos and the Fuente Family. He was inspirational. (Although he never said how he was connected with the Fuente Family.) Eric Newman talked about the history of the their family business and all the great things they’re doing in DR – building schools, infrastructure, etc. Great stuff. At the end, each person got a Don Carlos cigar and a Cuesta Rey Centro Fino Sungrown. EXCELLENT. Next, we listened to Nick Perdomo talk about Tabacalera Perdomo. Excellent speaker and took a lot of questions. It was interesting to hear about his family’s Cuban roots and what they went through. He has a definite opinion on the quality of the current Cuban tobacco product. At the end, we each got an unbanded Perdomo Reserve Cuban Café belicoso. Last on the list (wish there were more), we listened to CAO talk about the Brazilia and Italia lines. Excellent discussion and Q&A session. I asked about developing a cigar with Brazilian filler, not just wrapper. They noted there is a concept cigar they’re working on in their Nashville HQ. I’m looking forward to trying this one if it ever gets rolled out. I really like the Brazilia product. We got our choice of a Brazilia Gol or Italia when leaving (took the Italia). (Classic question for the night to the CAO rep – “should I leave the cello on?”)
Babes: Plenty of babes with the vendors. Really enjoyed watching Jennifer Barretta bending over the pool table.
High Points: Definitely the seminars. They really made the night worthwhile.
Low Points: Filling out the Nat Sherman entry and finding out the Freebies were cigarettes. They should just stay home next time if they’re giving out cigarettes. Lines for anything free. I hate lines and gave up on most of them. (Although a fresh-rolled Torano would have been nice). If the vendors are going to give out free fresh-rolled cigars, they should have more than one roller. These lines were huge and I could have spent all night in them.
Vendors: Some excellent, some poor (at least based on my taste in cigars). I could do without the flavored cigars, machine made cigars and smokeless tobacco. Spoke with the Indian Tabac rep and learned they’re trying to get Rocky Patel into my local store. I’ll need to keep asking about that.
Overall, this was a night well worth it and I’d definitely do it again next year, especially at the price point of $75.This message has been edited. Last edited by: csmithnj,
Ditto, it was a much better evening than I expected. Small, er Cozy! venue, but easy to get there, park, enter, and peruse. Getting to the majority of the tables early was the best approach, but if you're planning on staying for 3 to 4 hours, you shouldn't have to rush.
I did think it was hilarious to see the unfinished minis like the Black and Milds all over the place - A testament to just how good they are. I too have to find a taker for the Nat Sherman cigarettes or toss them.
The booth playmates were pretty good, but not spectacular. Jennifer Barretta was as looker and pretty talented. But my favorite was Oksana Babiy (Tony Soprano's Russian girlfriend) at the CAO booth. She looks good on TV, better in person (IMO). Pictures will be posted on the CAO website later.
I left with three fresh hand-rolleds. Filipe, the Torano guy, initially came out with only three racks of cigars to wrap, then took a long break, and came back later in the show. They should definitely bring more rollers.
I agree, Nick Perdomo was very cordial and interesting.
I didn't win the Triumph, but I was coveting the Montecristo Afrique Land Rover until I saw that it only gets 10 city/12 highway MPG.
All in all, it was a good night, the goody bag had some average to very good stuff (tossed out the DiNobilis and cigarillo-types), and I met a number of friendly folks with similar tastes. I recommend it.
The event at Pegagus is on Nov 9th.
Thinking about Meadowlands Madness. I went to the one in April. Very fun night. However, I'm not as impressed with the quality of the smokes at that event vs. Cigar Mania.
Csmithnj - I looked for my picture all night
I also agree the night was worth the price.
Although I didn't win a box of FFOX, oh well maybe next time.
I went to the 8:30 CAO set-up and they gave us a zip lock with a Gol & Italia in it. I got 2.
We'll have to find a better way to hook-up next time.
You-all will have to forgive me - I think I just got back - or left or maybe I shouldn't
drink that Dewar's 12 yr. anymore...BrainFart This message has been edited. Last edited by: Diehardpuffer,
B.A.S.E #0010 <(O)>
"Life has many pleasures, but none so noteworthy as that of a great cigar."Llord Nakcor