Cigar Ratings & Reviews

IPCPR New Orleans 2009 Wrap-Up

Working in the business has been a joyride, but meeting these manufacturers face-to-face is easily among my favorite all-time cigar experiences.

Most of these guys are the salt of the earth; I am humbled by their graciousness, both with their time and their cigars. Perhaps most evident is the universal passion they share.

I made note of a few facts along the way, which I will now share with you. Enjoy!

Fact: NOTHING inspires camaraderie like good food, a stiff drink, and fine cigars.

Fact: I stand 6′ 2″, and I am seriously dwarfed by Dion Giolito of Illusione cigars.

Fact: Sam Leccia of NUB cigars (and soon Cain cigars) fame is among the most innovative people I’ve ever met in this business, or any.

Fact: Kinky Friedman and Little Jewford are funny as all hell.

Fact: Don Jose Pepin Garcia’s eyes light up like Christmas trees when you ask him about tobacco.

Fact: Jose Oliva and Nick Perdomo’s business acumen is surpassed only by their dedication to quality tobacco and craftsmanship.

Fact: Besides making wonderful cigars, Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley cigars is impossibly charismatic.

Fact: Abe Flores and Juan Rodriguez of Pinar del Rio cigars know how to throw a party.

Fact: The fine folks of Rocky Patel cigars, Drew Estate cigars, and Flor de Gonzalez cigars understand that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Fact: Eddie Ortega and Erik Espinosa of EO Brands (601 cigars, Cubao cigars) are more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Fact: Nestor Miranda could well be the world’s most interesting man.

Fact: Even if one does not have time to smoke a full sized premium over coffee before the show opens, it’s easy to sneak in a quick smoke (like a Garcia y Vega) on the walk from the breakfast buffet to the trade show floor.

These are the facts, and they cannot be disputed.

By Hayward Tenney

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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