Well my friends we have come to the conclusion of the Cigar Expo 2010 coverage and I hope you have enjoyed reading and watching as much as I enjoyed being there.
I will warn you now, I am resized my pictures to the size of the page, so this may be a pretty long article. I will try and keep the writing down to a minimum to compensate. Since I can not write as well as Brian or Walt, please forgive me.
After a horrible journey up Route 222 in Pennsylvania I arrived at the hotel just as the shuttle was getting ready to leave. I had time to check in, set up some stuff and make myself presentable, as much as I can, to get the weekends festivities underway. I was waiting for Chris and Brian from Nice Tight Ash also, since we were sharing the room. I just could not wait and headed over on the next shuttle.
I have to say, the shuttle/trolley ride was an experience. Wooden seats with no seatbelts that took me back to some of my younger years riding the school bus. It was a blast.
After arriving at Famous Smoke Shop, I decided to snap a few pictures for Twitter and go inside to see what the store was like. I have to say, I thought it would be bigger. I heard this comment over and over throughout the weekend from people, but you could still order anything from the catalog and have it brought right out front for you. Upon entering the store I was greeted by the staff, some manufacturers, reps, and some great BOTL’s. See if you can figure out who they are from the pictures.
Next up I had to stop in and see the huge cigar from Gran Habano which was named “gigante”. I have to say, this thing is enormous! Size listed online is, 18.9 feet long and 3.3 feet wide. This cigar is actually smokable! They have a piece which fits over the end of the cigar that will hold 200 hookah hoses and allow people to smoke the cigar. I have no idea how they would light it other than a blowtorch or flamethrower, but it would be fun to see. This is an actual Gran Habano No. 5 Corojo and is available for order. I have not been able to find a price online though, but I doubt it will be within reach of most of us.
and here is how they transport the cigar in its custom made enclosure.
After that I decided to go to the food tent and grab a seat for the dinner and show Famous offered for it’s VIP ticket holders. Food was brought to your table, which I really wish they would have done on Saturday also, but I digress, and it was a family style setting where you would pass bowls of food around just like a family get together. I really liked this idea and hope they expand on it for next year. After I filled my belly it was time for 2 comics, decent but not overwhelming and of course the hypnotist, who stole the show. All the while there were girls wandering around with free beer to make sure you never got thirsty. I will note, they also had buckets of water and soda in case you did not want to drink.
Here we go with some of the food served at Cigar Expo 2010.
and the breweries handing out the free beer.
After the Friday activities we went back to the hotel and partook of the smoking area they had outside as you were not allowed to smoke anywhere in the hotel. It was great to see so many manufacturers and BOTL’s hanging out enjoying some great cigars and libations away from the hustle and bustle of the event itself.
On side note, I really wish Famous would find some other hotels that would allow smoking in the rooms as it is a cigar event. With the smoking laws going the way they are, there may be nothing that can be done though.
Saturday rolls around, Brian puts his underwear on backwards and the event was a very nice success.
I was amazed at how nicely everyone got through the tents to claim their cigars and with the manufacturers and reps taking time to speak with people, sign autographs and shake hands.
Here is a shot of a BOTL’s collection after going through the tent. I believe it was around 60 cigars for normal entry and 80-85 for VIP’s. Plus that included a Xikar Incline lighter also!
Being the new guy, I was very hesitant to try and pry manufacturers away from the people they were there to hand samples to, but I did get to talk to a few and most were very outgoing and welcoming, even though I was “press”. Maybe next year I can try to do a better job at getting some interviews. I did hear some people talking about IPCPR being so close and they wanted to make sure the cigars were going to be ready before they announced some things. We shall see what comes about when Walt, Jerry, and Brian are in New Orleans.
I did receive a few cigars that I can not wait to try and report on for you. One of them is an AVO Heritage that will be coming out at IPCPR and I am eager to give it a try. I also just received one of each of the Xikar HC 6×60 cigars that you will hear and read about in the coming weeks.
I hope you enjoyed some of my coverage and I hope to see more of you there next year.
I will not name everyone I met as I am forgetful with names and there are so many of you, I do not want anyone to be left out. You know who you are and it was a real pleasure in meeting you!
Almost forgot. We recorded a first night video but it went way off topic and people just would not have wanted to watch it. Plus there was alcohol involved and 3 guys on a sofa bed, don’t ask.