Shit Happens Luck – is Fickle

Reading Time: 3 minutes Luck is a funny thing – some people have it, some don't, some make their own. But no matter how hard you try, says Erik Espinosa, you have to be “all in.” Leave it to Erik to meet Lady Luck at the World Series of Poker – but not in a way he would expect. Remember, though – it never would have happened at all if he wasn't all-in, with everything he does.

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Keys to the City Miami

Reading Time: 7 minutes Though it’s always been popular for tourism, Miami has also been enjoying a wonderful revival. Hotels and businesses that were once deteriorating have been reborn, offering some of the best service, food, and nightlife you’ll find anywhere. Even the pastel colors of Miami can be seen in many of the latest fashions. Whatever “scene” you’re looking for, this edition of Keys to the City will introduce you to Miami’s most vibrant, as well as its most intimate places to stay, dine, and party.

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Following in the Footsteps of Hemingway: From Key West to Africa

Reading Time: 7 minutes Coincidence or fate? That is the question Rafael Nodal raises in his article “Following the Footsteps of Ernest Hemingway from Key West to Africa.” Nodal, founder of Boutique Brands cigars, has traveled all over the world. Though he was a big fan of the author, Nodal writes, “…without any conscious planning, I have pretty much followed the steps of Ernest Hemingway.” Not surprisingly, many of the places Nodal discovered during his travels were the bars Hemingway frequented. Additionally, readers will get a glimpse of the history surrounding these intriguing locations.

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Tobacco Farming Part 6: Leaf Classification, Stripping, Drying and Baling

Reading Time: 5 minutes This month Nick Perdomo takes us a few steps closer to making consistently flavorful cigars as he describes how the tobacco is graded, classified, selected, and stripped before baling. The leaf classification process is among the most important stages, because it’s the only way to ensure that every Perdomo blend is made with the exact same tobaccos every time. Classification includes the leaf size, type, and quality. The leaves are then ready for the stripping process (removal of the central vein), followed by drying, then placed into bales under pressure where they will continue to age.

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Making the Case: The Cigar Boom and Bust of the 1990’s

Reading Time: 5 minutes Back in the 1970s and 80s, cigar smoking was something your grandfather did. But then seemingly overnight, the “face of the industry” literally changed. And yet while the image of cigar smokers was changing drastically, the sheer number of cigars being imported and sold was even more mind-boggling.
And then, almost overnight, the boom was over.
The fascinating thing about operating in a business boom cycle is that you are constantly kidding yourself about how long it will last. But in this cycle lay the seeds for a real cigar market that would take us into the 21st century.

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Confessions of a Tobacco Broker: Damien Bishcoff of Grand Island Group S.A.

Reading Time: 8 minutes Headquartered in Santiago, The Dominican Republic, Grand Island Group S.A. is headed by tobacco broker, Damien Bischoff.

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Substance and Style: Why Miami?

Reading Time: 3 minutes When you think “cigar factory,” it’s easy to think of the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, and even Cuba. What you may not know is that the United States once was the cigar-making capital of the world.
Today, America’s premium cigar rolling business is but a shadow of its former self. So why do we make cigars here? Why make Padilla Miami 8&11 right at the corner of 8th St. and 11th Ave., right in the heart of one of the most expensive cities in America?

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Tobacco Farming Part 5: The Art of Natural Fermentation

Reading Time: 5 minutes In this chapter, we’ll move on to the next stage where we slowly ferment the tobaccos using a process called “natural fermentation.”

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Keys to the City: Las Vegas

Reading Time: 5 minutes “I just love the energy of Las Vegas,” says Rocky Patel in this month’s Keys to the City. Join Rocky for a virtual tour of “Sin City,” where there’s a lot more to do than give your money away to croupiers and strippers. From the aquatic ballet of The Bellagio’s dancing fountains, to the succulent Lobster Thermador at Andre’s, to a ” Ménage á Trois” at Tryst in The Wynn, these are few of the venues you’ll want to add to your Las Vegas itinerary.

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Making the Case – Why the Embargo Against Cuba Should Rightly Continue

Reading Time: 6 minutes Members of Charlie Toraño’s family were imprisoned by the Cuban revolutionary regime, the fathers of his friends were jailed as part of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and most of his family and friends lost everything and had to begin a new life in a different country. So when it comes to Cuba and the U.S. embargo against her, you're damn right it's personal.

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