Close the book, the 2019 Smoke Inn Great Smoke is officially complete and once again Abe Dababneh has put on a stupendous event. I have said it before and will say it again. The Great Smoke is, by far, the best cigar event in the state of Florida.
Prior to the main event, there was a dinner hosted by La Flor Dominicana and the Red Meat Lovers Club, which is a members only meat eaters club founded in 2017 in South Florida. Tickets to the dinner were $150.00 and were limited and sold out fast. I personally did not attend the dinner, but from what I saw in some Facebook feeds, it was a success. If you are interested in the club, their website notes:
The RMLC is based out of sunny South Florida with its eye on establishing chapters where groups of “Steaksmen” have a thirst for old brown spirts, a yearn for the glorious beast, and the want to establish strong personal and business bonds with each other.
For the second year in a row, the main event was held at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, Florida on a beautiful Florida day with perfect temperature and blue skies. Entry to the Great Smoke came in two groups; the VIP ticket and the Base Ticket. The difference between the two was early entry along with upgraded food, drinks, and table service for the VIP ticket holders. Both tickets got you 46 premium cigars, whiskey and rum tastings, beer, wine, soft drinks, and food. The base ticket was $150.00 and the VIP cost you $225.00.
This year Abe brought back the band instead of a DJ. I always like live music at these events, so this was an added bonus. There were numerous vendors set up that were selling everything from golf cigar holders, to room and car de-oderizers, to the best cigar paraphernalia you can find. I had the opportunity to sit with Keven Shahan, owner of Cigar Prop and man that could fill in for ZZ-Top’s Billy Gibbons, to talk about his growing company.
Fun of Course
The Great Smoke 2019 was as heavily attended as any in the past and the food, entertainment, beverages, and cigars was worth every cent you spent on the ticket. I was able to meet up with some old friends and make a few new ones. This is an event where you can meet and talk to a number of brand owners that produce some of your favorite blends and mingle for hours.
Of course a cigar event would not be an event without cigars and cigar enthusiasts. The Great Smoke 2019 did not disappoint. There was a total of 46 cigars handed out during the event and everyone seemed to be enjoying what they received and what they brought. Here a slide show that shows the many satisfied faces of those in attendance.
Oh the Whiskey, Rum, and Vodka!
Speaking of beverages, let me take you on a stroll of the Whiskey Row here at the Great Smoke 2019. Follow along and drink with me as I savor some name brands and some spectacular craft distillery spirits. Remember, all this was included in the base ticket price!
So the book is closed, but wait there was a little more….I can’t show the photos from Spearmint Rhino because you can’t take pictures in there, so I will leave that to your imagination. After the the Rhino, we headed over to the Smoke Inn West Palm Beach for some Hiram & Solomon fun and night caps. The highlight of that event was most certainly the Hiram & Solomon Heather Twins.
Hiram & Solomon Event
OK that’s a wrap. Oh, but wait, there is more. There was a special Sunday Brunch held at the Smoke Inn Boynton Beach from 12-3PM. I was not able to attend this year, but I did go to it in years past and I have to say for $35.00 you get your money’s worth with cigar samples from the host sponsor, bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, and an all your can eat food spread that is to die for. This years sponsor was Montecristo Cigars.
OK, seriously, that’s it. I hope to see you all in 2020. Remember it’s a Stogie Press – highly recommended – no brainier. Even you don’t drink, or partake in any food, the price alone is worth it just for the cigars.