After registering, I saw Michael Giannini from El Credito cigars, who literally gave me the Macanudo lanyard off his neck to clip on to my registration ID. So much better than the cheap rubber band that comes with the pass. What a guy! From there we bumped into some other execs from General Cigar, including Keith Sparacio, Seeana Tobin, and Dan Carr. From that impromptu meeting, I lassoed one of their new offerings, a La Gloria Cubana Serie R No.3 – a 4 1/2 by 56 Rothschild.
Here’s the thing: it seems that almost every year, my first cigar of the show is a cigar from General. I don’t plan this; it just seems to work out this way. Anyhow, it was a terrific smoke. Very smooth, perfectly balanced, robust, but not overpowering. Strong flavors of charred wood with earthy undertones, some spice, and a pleasant river of sweetness running through it. Smoked it to the bone.
Out on the street, we ran into Mike Chiusano and J.T. from Cusano Cigars. J.T. offered some Cusanos; I chose my current fave, their Rare Cameroon ’59. Also present was Michael Herklots from the Davidoff cigar store on Madison Avenue in NYC. There was talk about this year’s show attendance. Someone mentioned that they were expecting about 700 exhibitors this year.
From there, we headed for the Hilton where IPCPR was having their convention eve retailers party. On our way over their ran into Nestor and Nestor Jr. Plasencia, who joined us at the party. Lots of great food, and by this time we were really hungry.
Some of the people we ran into there were Abe Flores of Pinar Del Rio Cigars, Arthur Kemper of Perdomo cigars, Mitch Kogen from Exclusive Cigars (Kristoff cigars), and Glenn Gutin from CigarTV.com
The overall vibe was pretty good tonight. I’ll take that as a positive sign. Tomorrow the show begins in earnest, and I hope that vibe continues.
More to come…