Well,I finally made it to Vegas as you have all seen from some social media posts. After a long drawn out registration process and a long hotel check in line I made it to my room, freshened up and got my bearings. I was going to attend the business meetings but by the time I got all checked in, time was not on that side. So I proceeded to find my way down to the casino and bar of the Westgate Resort and Casino.
I met up with the good folks from Ambassador Cigars and Spirits lounge and thanked them for the prize from my March Madness 2nd place win. Everyone seemed pretty wiped up either from the flight in, or the fact that the brand owners have been slaving feverishly in the heat to set up the event floor.
My next stop was to the En Fuego Cigar Lounge just about 6 min or less from the hotel. A very nice shop if you have never been there. It very inviting and it was certainly a meeting point for the show attendees beside the usual circle bar at Venetian; which of course is still thriving as a meeting spot.
Making it back to the hotel from En Fuego, it was time to kick things into gear for this years IPCPR – the Opening reception.
This years General Cigars sponsored the reception and they pulled out all the stops. They weren’t messing around, The food was top-notch with prime rib,turkey, asian, and Mexican dishes, not to mention the desserts. Yea they were awesome. General is heavily marketing the new Macanudu Inspirado. This I will tell you, is a big shift in the Macanudo Line. The few samples I have smoked so far, have a spicer bolder flavor but still keeping it to the spirit of the Macanundo. We will have more on this cigar when we get back to home base.
The team from General Cigars not only fed us well with fine food and libations, but they also were generous with the cigar sample and even told the story fo the Inspirado blend by providing individual rolled leafs of the wrapper, binder, and filler so you can experience what the blender experienced as they crafted this new cigar.
So after reception, I made it over the Veritas Cigars.Annual Hangover party in Caesar Palace. This is the second year that Chris Weber from Veritas has hosted the party, and quite the party it was! Word seemed to slip out, as you would expect in a close band of brothers and sisters and definitely more people than last years total appeared to experience the Veritas hangover. Veritas is sporting a new look this year and they have started a collaboration with James Brown, from BLK WKS, to manufacture the product. The blends of the Vertias line are essentially the same, but the craftsmanship of James Brown shows across the line. There will me more on this story later.
The party ended abruptly when the smoke go to be too much for the hotel and security came to ask us all to leave. Hey, in defense of Chris, it was a “Smoking Room” ,I guess they just didn’t expect a real party in the Hangover Suite. Anyway, it was time to head back to the hotel as it was getting late and the first official day begins in just a few hours.
First up was heading down for breakfast. I learned my lesson, as last year I got in late to breakfast and I got a half piece of bacon and crumbles biscuit. I felt like I scavenging in an alley way looking for food. Not this year! I got my full helping of bacon and eggs and pastries and I was good for the day.
The breakfast went through the traditional opening comments, minutes were agreed to, and the main speaker was introduced – his Honor – Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
As speeches go, this was an ok speech. He hit the points but I personally would like to have heard him speak more about what he could do for our industry, But I am sure somebody in the ranks of the Association are working that. I just felt the speech was a bit to political.
Now that breakfast was complete, my belly was full. it was time to hit the show floor. The first stop was El Yayabo cigars to present to them a plaque for the Stogie Press #1 Boutique Cigar of the Year – the Cirion. I think Diany and Alex were pleased, they placed it in the show case withe Cirion Cigar display. Well deserved “Team Yayabo”. I have said this before and will repeat again, every person I shared the Cirion with wanted to know where they can purchase it. It was a lock for #1.
Speaking of El Yayabo, they have a new blend out this year known as the Admiral. It is a bolder cigar that will take you on a journey for sure. Well placed leaf in this blend ignites across the palate and provides a nice kick near the end. I look forward to reviewing this when I get home give them time to rest.
After leaving Diany and Alex I started my journey which you can follow through the slide show.
This is only a fraction of the manufacturers I have seen, and I will be seeing more throughout the week. I am looking forward to bring you all the latest in 2017 as the rest of the year progresses. Some the cigars of interest in the fist day were the
- Oscar Valaderos
- Jeremy Jack
- Warped Black Honey
- Yayabo Admiral
- DBL Amarillo
- Macanudu Inspirado
Of course there are plenty of reviews coming from this years show from Stogie Press, so stay tuned as the week draws on.
We have plenty of live interviews with brand owner, some of which we have shared on social media with more to come, So if you could not make it to Vegas, check out the interviews and look for more updates in the next couple of days.