Last Tuesday was a day we had been looking forward to for some time. We, once again, had the honor and privilege of being on the guest list for a New York City Dinner Cruise hosted by our friend Mitchell Orchant of C-Gars Ltd. Mitchell is an old friend. We first “met” through an e-mail and continued through the alt.smokers.cigars usenet group back in the ’90s. We met face to face at a little herf in Vegas in 1999 known amongst those in the usenet world as “Boondoggle III“, which was held at the MGM Grand over a 3 day span. This event comprised about 300 people who only knew one another through the wild west of the internet, an oddity at the time! Anyway, we’ve been to Mitchell and his wife’s wedding in London, we’ve taken them sight-seeing in NYC, and been friends for a long time. Mitchell has taken to hosting this dinner cruise every year, which I reported on last year, which spends a couple hours cruising around Manhattan, with beautiful views of the skyline, the bridges, and the Statue of Liberty. I thought it would be appropriate to enjoy an Alec Bradley New York Robusto, which I had picked up at De La Concha on my last visit to the city. This is a very nice cigar! This was created for the ridiculously highly taxed New York State shops, designed to give the local tobacconists a little more margins in hopes that they can stay open!! Anyway, it’s a good cigar, pick some up if you see them in New York and support the oppressed businesses in the state.
Back to the event. In attendance were Marc Aub and Mike DaVersa of Brothers of the Leaf, LLC, makers of Palio cutters and Esencia cigars, whom I had met last year and seen at the IPCPR show last July. Always a pleasure to chat with Marc, who’s as passionate as they come about his products. Mitchell is the UK distributor for Palio Cutters, and just became the UK distributor for Arturo Fuente cigars, so, in addition to the fine Bolivar Belicoso Finos in the goody bag, there was a Fuente Hemingway Signature as well. These happen to be 2 of my all time favorite cigars that I rarely get to enjoy.We also got to catch up with some other old friends, Karen from Albany, George from South Jersey and even Barry from California. I finished the night off with a Partagas Petit Coronas Expeciale from a box I had been waiting to arrive at cruise time last year. I’ve really been digging these cigars and hope that the exchange rate comes down a little in the future so that I can get another box one day! I was even able to gift Mitchell a cigar, something that’s pretty rare as he always declines. I had an extra Partagas Serie P No.2 that I got at his wedding coming up on 5 years ago. The Hunters and Frankau rep was handing these out at the reception, and Mitchell’s dad insisted I get an extra to take home. I figured this would be a fitting “thank you” for the nice things he does for us. At the end of the night Mitchell opened a box of Opus X Perfecxion X and passed it around, to cap off the evening.
One of the neat items in the goody bags, was a ring gauge guide. I managed to score a couple spares and will send one to a random reader who leaves a comment. Heck, these will be cheap to mail, make that two! So leave a comment to enter and see the rules on the winners and rules page, and I’ll make this one a short one and announce a winner on Wednesday if all goes to plan. Give Mitchell’s site a visit when you get a chance and see all the neat stuff he’s got. Also look for a mention of his book in the latest Smoke Magazine!
LAst night I selected a Fuente Anejo 50 that had been kicking around the box for a while now, maybe 4 years. It was the first of this line that I’ve smoked and boy was it tasty. It started a little slow, but it built into just the kind of cigar I like. It had the nice, dark flavors I like and just the right level of nicotine. Goes with out saying that it was well made, as it’s a Fuente. I know these are pricey and availability is spotty, but if you have the chance, smoke one, I don’t think you’ll have any regrets. I selected this in honor of Mitchell’s a fore mentioned acquisition of the Fuente distributorship in the UK.
That’s it for now! We have an update from Tommy Berry coming up next time, so until then,