photos by Joe Urcioli

I again had the pleasure of covering The Big Smoke Las Vegas event for The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional, attending on the evening of Friday, November 9. The three-day event included two Big Smoke evenings, and exciting daytime seminars. Held at The Mirage Events Center, and hosted by Cigar Aficionado magazine, this event was attended by hundreds of cigar smokers from all parts of the US. The cost (per Big Smoke Evening) was $375 for VIP early admission and $325 for general admission. All Access Packages (Friday 11/9-Sunday 11/11) included Daytime Seminars Saturday and Sunday and 2 Big Smoke evenings (VIP) $875, or 1 Big Smoke evening (VIP) $675.  Seminars included: Top 3 cigars of 2017, The New King Nicaragua, Cult Cigars, The State of Cuban Cigars, Luncheon presented by Micallef Cigar, Cigar Lovers Breakfast and Roll Your Own Cigar.

Cigars was the name of the game on this night. Guests received 36 cigars, a canvas tote bag to hold all the goodies in and a Boveda event humidor bag.

CIGARS:

The premium cigars given to the guests included: Casa Fernandez Aganorsa, Aging Room, Alec Bradley Tempus, A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserve, Cohiba, Carrillo New Wave, Diamond Crown Maximus, Oliva, Hamlet Liberation, Joya Silver, La Aroma de Cuba, La Aurora ADN, La Flor Dominica,  La Palina Classic Maduro, Macanudo Inspirado, Mbombay, Micallef Herencia, Monte by Montecristo, Nat Cicco Liga #4, NUB , Padron,  Plasencia Reserve Original, Rocky Patel Maduro, Romeo by Romeo y Julieta, Balmoral Anejo XO, San Lotano, Casa Turrent Series 1901, Archetype Crystals, My Father’s Cigars La Antiguedad, Herrera Estel by Drew Estate, Oscar Valladares 201, Fume en Nicaragua, La Mission L’Atelier, H.Upmann the Banker and 2 from Cimarron. 

Once again, the longest lines were at the Rocky Patel cigars where Rocky Patel was autographing RP caps and taking pictures with patrons and Alec Bradley. A great smoke was Archetype Crystals Robusto; the cigar has a rich earthy core backed by flavors of leather, espresso and caramel, outstanding construction and a crisp slow burn.

FOOD

Once again, this year the food was 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 Rigatoni Pomodoro (vegetarian), Gemelli Smoked Chicken Breast, Artichoke Portobello Mushrooms & Madeira Cream, Carne Asada, Al Pastor Pork Adobo & Pineapple, Grilled Mahi Mahi and Baron of Beef. There were also numerous desserts to choose from.

LIBATIONS

There were plenty of drinks for all to imbibe. Pouring were: Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select Single Barrel Selection, D’usse Cognac VSOP & XO, John Dewer & Sons Scotch Whiskey, Glengoyne Scotch Whiskey, Hennessy VSOP & XO, Westland American Single Malt Whiskey, Chartreuse and Guinness Draught Stout, Blonde American Lager and Extra Stout beer. If you couldn’t find something to like on this list then you probably don’t like to drink. 

All seemed to have a great time. Not surprisingly, there were smiles, laughter and the bouquet of premium cigars 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.