The Big Smoke Las Vegas 2016
I had the pleasure of covering the Big Smoke Las Vegas event for The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional, attending on the evening of Saturday, November 12. Held at The Mirage Events Center, and hosted by Cigar Aficionado magazine, this event was attended by about 1,700 cigar smokers from all parts of the US. The cost was $325 per person, with a portion of the net proceeds donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Cigars was the name of the game on this night. Guests received a book with 37 coupons to exchange for cigars and were also given a canvas tote bag to hold all the goodies they received. When all was said and done, guests had collected 42 cigars, cigar cutters, a humidor humidity control sample, a Macanudo flash drive and the latest copy of Cigar Aficionado magazine.
Here is a listing of the premium cigars given to the guests: Aging Room, Alec Bradley, Arturo Fuente, CAO Flathead, Casa Turreno, Cornelius & Anthony, Diamond Crown, E.P. Carrillo, El Arista Big Papi and Pulita, El Galar, Esoinosa, Foundry, H. Upmann Yarguera, Herrara Esteli, Joya de Nicaragua, La Aroma de Cuba, La Flor Dominica, La Galera, La Gloria Cubana, La Palina, Macanudo, Mbombay Gaaja, My Father Cigars - Don Pepin, Nat Sherman, Norteño, NUB Connecticut 460, Oliva Serie O, Padron, Plasencia, Por Larrañaga, Que Sada, Rockey Patel premium, Tatuaje, Ventura, Victor Calvo, Zander-Greg, A.J. Fernandez. The longest line was at the Rocky Patel station where Rocky and Nish Patel were autographing and taking pictures with patrons.
In prior years the food was from various named restaurants in Las Vegas. This year the food was all catered by The Mirage, and there was no shortage of it! There were a number of carving stations and various other culinary delights to select from, including Turkey Sliders, Pulled BBQ Pork Sliders, Chicken Waffle Sliders, Grilled Portobello Sliders, Beef Hot Dog Sliders, Focaccia Bread, Tricolored Cheese Tortellini and Penne Pasta. There were also numerous desserts to choose from.
There were plenty of drinks for all to imbibe. Pouring were: Crown Royal Black, Vanilla, Deluxe and Cornerstone, Ketel One Oranje, Jack Daniels Sinatra Select single barrel selection, Diplomatic Rum, Tincup Mountain Whiskey, Bushmills single malt Irish Whiskey aged 10 years, Casa Noble Tequila, Clarendelle Bordeaux, Guiness and Smithwick’s beer, Taylor Fladgate 20 year port, Fonseca Porto Bin’27, Johnny Walker Red, Black, Green and Gold Label Reserve and Talisker 10 single malt Scotch whiskey aged 10 years. If you couldn’t find something to like on this list then you probably don’t like to drink.
All in all everyone seemed to have a great time. Not surprisingly, there were smiles and laughter throughout the center. Considering the amount of cigars one received, along with the outstanding food and libations provided to guests, the cost of admission is well worth it. If you are serious about enjoying cigars, this is one event you will not want to miss next time around.