Yesterday was The Wooden Indian‘s annual Drew Estate event with auctions benefiting TECHO, who helps build affordable housing in Esteli, Nicaragua. Chris Stone and Pedro Gomez of Drew Estate were there as well as the local Xikar rep, Rich. Both companies contributed many items for the raffle, which, according to Chris Stone, raised $5000. This kind of money can build houses for three families in Nicaragua! For those who don’t know Pedro Gomez, he has been working at Drew Estate for seven years, and running the Cigar Safari for the last five years. Pedro knows everyone in Esteli, keeps the tours running smoothly and serves as the translator and tour guide. Pedro recently moved to the US to do events as the Drew Estate Factory Spokesman. It’s an opportunity that only a few folks from Esteli get, and he’s dedicated to bringing the same professionalism to the events in the US that he brings to the Cigar Safari. Fortunately for Cigar Safari attendees, he will be back in Nicaragua for the three months a year that the run the tours! I’m not sure if the Safari would be the same without Pedro’s expert guidance!
In addition to the company reps, this event brought people from far and wide. There were Drew Estate Ambassadors, several members of the Facebook C.A.T.S. (Cigar Aficionado Trades and Sales) group and others. As I said before, they raised $5000, and the two big ticket items were a custom Humidor finished by Jessi Flores, the creative director at Subculture Studios at the Drew Estate Factory in Esteli,and a basket loaded with rare and unusual Liga Privada cigars. The Humidor went home with our local Cigar Rights of America ambassador (and Emilio Cigars rep) Alan Price. There was a group who conspired to win the basket, four gentlemen from the C.A.T.S. group who called themselves The A-Team, complete with t-shirts! They were smoking Liga Privada A’s at the event (which were eventually replaced by more when the won. They had a bundle of No. 9 Tubos (these were Steve Saka’s pocket cigars from what I know, so I guess they didn’t need them anymore!), a bundle of Velvet Rats and various other rare and unusual Ligas. Quite a score, and I hope they didn’t have any fights over anything there was fewer than four of! Congrats to all the winners, and a job well done to Dave Mayer and his Crew at the Indian, the folks at Drew Estate and Xikar.
While I was at the event I picked up a few more Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Lanceros and smoked on while there. This is a sentimental favorite as it will forever remind me of my first trip to Cigar Safari, as Jonathan passed around a bundle on the bus before they were released, and we watched them rolling them at the Joya de Nicaragua factory. It’s also a darned fine smoke suitable for any time of day and should appeal to a wide range of tastes. Later that evening I pulled out a Herrera Esteli Lonsdale which was equally as fabulous as the Cabinetta. This burned perfectly and was sweet and smooth and delicious. This is another cigar that’s appropriate at any time. Loaded with flavor! As I write this I’m working on an Undercrown Corona Doble. Certainly larger than I usually smoke, but great for a gorgeous Sunday afternoon on the deck typing away. Whereas the JdN Cabinetta and the Herrera Esteli are loaded with complexity and subtlety, the Undercrown is dark, rich and bold. All great cigars!
Don’t forget to go back to Friday, August 9th’s post and enter to win a box of La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age Toros courtesy of Famous Smoke Shop! There’s only another 5 days to enter, and I know this is longer than most of my contests, but I wanted to give plenty of people a chance to enter.
That’s all I have for today, until the next time,