Big Smoke Las Vegas 2016

punk_lawyer

Habeas Punkus
Gentlemen, are any of you going to attend Cigar Aficionado's Big Smoke Las Vegas in November? Tickets went on sale a few days ago. I was already set to be in Las Vegas that weekend so I am going to grab a ticket for Friday evening. The price of admission ain't cheap but considering what I would probably be losing in the casino during that same time period it's the deal of a lifetime!
 

Scap

Well-Known Member
Gentlemen, are any of you going to attend Cigar Aficionado's Big Smoke Las Vegas in November? Tickets went on sale a few days ago. I was already set to be in Las Vegas that weekend so I am going to grab a ticket for Friday evening. The price of admission ain't cheap but considering what I would probably be losing in the casino during that same time period it's the deal of a lifetime!
Plus, I hear the goodie bags are well worth it. :D
 

Cigar Chris

New Member
I'm going this year. Due to the expense, I've been going every other year for the past seveeral years so this will by my 3rd time attending. I go with a group of friends and have enjoyed myself each time. During the Friday or Saturday evenings you will get between 40-45 cigars. If you also go to the seminars you will get another 10-15 sticks.
 

Puros Locos

Permanent FNG
I've never been as it is always the same weekend of opening season for pheasant. I've always wanted to see what the Big Smoke is all about and since I can't go hunting this year due to an injury, I may have to check it out. For those who have been, is it really worth the trip?
 

punk_lawyer

Habeas Punkus
I will be attending the Friday night session. I know that I can add the seminars but I haven't decided on that one. I have other obligations that are taking me to Las Vegas that weekend so that may prevent the seminars from happening for me. The list of sponsors looks impressive!
 

punk_lawyer

Habeas Punkus
The Friday night session was a great time. I smoked a few cigars while there and still made it back to the room with 40+ quality sticks. A few observations for those that may attend in the future:

1) I admired the fact that Rocky Patel was graciously meeting everyone that came through the line. I have not been a big fan of his cigars in the past but he knows that his customers are important and he made a point of showing his appreciation. He was on his feet walking and talking with people all night long. He impressed me. Kudos to him;
2) David Savona and Gordon Mott are nice guys and are very approachable. Gordon Mott is the most outgoing of the two;
3) It seemed to me that Don Pepin Garcia is a humble kind of man who would rather be working in his business than meeting people. Don't get me wrong, he was nice enough but he is a cigar maker, not a showman;
4) The Fuentes also showed up in force but I did not make it over to check them out. They also draw a big crowd and I wanted to spend time doing other things rather than waiting in their line. (As a side note, Casa Fuente was packed as of 10:30 am on Friday. If you want to get a drink and a cigar on Big Smoke weekend, you had better get there early...which I did);
5) The girls working the Guinness booth were the best marketers on the floor. They were handing out every variety that Guinness sells and handing out Smithwicks. It's hard to argue with Guinness as an all-you-can-drink option;
6) Johnnie Walker did well by the group in putting out their Red, Black, Green, Gold, and Platinum blends all night. I don't see much point in the Red or Black but the others are smooth blends;
7) The Tin Cup whiskey guy really believed in his product...very gung-ho Tin Cup, yay ra ra...but the product is ho-hum in my opinion. My advice is to grab a drink and go, otherwise you will be sitting there listening him roll through the virtues of mountain fresh water and mountain fresh everything else;
8) The Diplomatico Rum folks were doing a great job with their great product;
9) Diageo had their classic malts rolling...the only one I just don't like is Oban. That booth stayed crowded all night but the girls handling the bottles were very good at keeping things moving;
10) After I finished that much I can't seem to recall which liquor company was putting out mojitos and some other stuff. There was a vodka there but the night was getting double hazy by that point for me;
11) Tabacalera Artista had their Big Papi cigars on hand and they were staffed by the most scantily clad sales girls. (That does not mean they were particularly attractive). Honorable mention on that point goes to Diageo for the girls staffing the Scotch station.
12) Daniel Marshall (humidors) had the most outrageous set of 'models' who, even by Las Vegas standards, were a little bit much. One of those girls was at least 6'5" with those heels! That kind of made me wonder if she was born female. I didn't ask.
13) All of the cigar vendors were very pleasant to deal with. Let's face it, they have no reason to be mean to their target audience but they were really doing all that they could to make the event a good one for every one there.
14) If you don't like walking and standing then you should scope out and get a table as soon as you walk in the door. There are limited amounts of seating so plan accordingly.
15) The food is good. Would I call it great? No. Would I call it good? Yes. You have pretty much your pick of everything from hot dogs to roast beef carving stations to Italian (I skipped that one MadMonk) to desserts. Is it elegant dining? No. But it certainly is on the higher end of banquet style food presentation.
16) I will definitely be returning to the event in the future. It's a great time.

From a strategy point, many of the folks that have been there before split up their cigar coupons and, therefore, split up where they go in order to complete the cigar acquisition process as fast as possible. I can see the charm in that approach if you are with a group of guys that likes to look at each other for long periods of time. Personally, I liked going around to the various booths checking out what was going on with each individual manufacturer. For me, and I recognize this is a personal preference, I can buy cigars at a local shop any day of the week, I cannot talk to representatives from these places every day. That was a cool part of the experience for me. Going from the Fuentes to the Padrons to the Garcias to the Patels is a good way to spend an evening.

So, my thanks to Cigar Aficionado for putting on a nice event.
 

MadMonk

Well-Known Member
Great read Stu. I'd love to go. If we ever do meet up there, be forewarned, my main mission will be to see you eat Spaghetti. :D
 
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