Saturday’s cigar adventure took us north to Bethlehem, PA to the Cigars International Super Store. They were holding an event featuring Alec Bradley Cigars, Alan Ruben, George Sosa and Jonathan Lipson were in attendance. My wife came along for the ride, so it made for a nice date (for me more than her, I suppose). I had missed meeting Alan at the IPCPR show last year, their booth was so stinkin’ busy it wasn’t funny. Every time I stopped by there were tons of folks there doing business. Alan greeted me at the door and introductions were made. I made my way through the store and grabbed a handful of Alec Bradley American Classic Blend Gordos, received a Black Market with my purchase, and set fire to one of the Gordos. I really enjoy the flavor of this cigar. It’s not too heavy with some fairly “bright” flavors, and the price point is very friendly at about $5.50 for the 6″x60 size. I’ve always liked coronas and robustos, as well as the rest of the traditional sizes, but I have to admit the larger ring cigars are a little bit of a guilty pleasure lately, not sure why that is. I find the band to be visually appealing as well, although I usually don’t concern myself with such things. While I was enjoying my cigar, I spent a little time talking with Jonathan, who is new to Alec Bradley, but not to the industry, George Sosa, who my wife and I had met at the 2008 IPCPR show, and Alan. We also roamed around the expansive store, checking out the other merchandise and lounge areas. If you are within a few hours drive of Bethlehem, PA, you should check this place out. It’s like a supermarket of cigars, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
A question I had for Alan was in reference to one of my favorite cigars from days gone by, their Trilogy line. These were a triangular pressed cigar, which was unique, that came in three sizes (Churchill, Robusto and Torpedo) as well as three wrappers (Authentic Corojo, Exotic Maduro, and Native Cameroon). This was the company’s first really big hit, and was an outstanding cigar, whatever you may think of the odd shape. I enjoyed the line so much that I bought a box once to hand out at a cigar event, because I wanted everyone to try it. Anyway, I asked what happened to that line, and Alan answered that they had a hard time getting retailers to carry all nine facings, and the sales were sporadic, one month the Maduro would sell like crazy, the next Corojo, and so on. They eventually discontinued it as they were bringing items like Tempus and other marques that were easier to market. He also alluded to the fact that he gets this question a lot and they still have the special molds, so there’s a possibility something like the Trilogy may make a reappearance. I know I’ll be keeping an eye open for that! A quick search shows me that there are a couple online retailers that may have stocks of what I can only assume are the round versions of the Trilogy
. Might be worth exploring for old time’s sake.
As we were leaving, we were talking to Alan about kids, since our boys like cigars, and his company is named after his boys, one of which is now over 18, and going to cigar events and apparently amassing a pretty good collection of cigars. Alan related a story about his son keeping three humidors, one that he puts cigars that his dad can take, one that if his dad takes cigars from, he’d rather he didn’t, but he’d me OK with, and a third that he keeps hidden! I thought this was pretty funny. My eldest son has his own humidors and I don’t worry about him, and I told my youngest son, who has recently taken to cigars, to make sure to ask me before he goes into my humidors. I know he’s done a pretty good job of going through my coolers based on some of the cigars he’s inquired about, but as long as he asks, I’m happy to share. It was a nice day out. Maybe I’m a little nuts to drive an hour and a half to go to a cigar shop and hang out for a smoke, but I am a little bit of a cigar geek I suppose (ya think?) It’s never disappointing to meet and talk to people in the cigar industry and smoke a great cigar!
Here’s a little public service announcement, my wife ran across this on Twitter and it’s pretty funny: http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/
Until the next time,