The second big smoke meets WhiskyFest


Premium cigars, exceptional spirits, quality cuisine and lively conversations were part of the second Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest, held May 28 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. VIP attendees lined the halls of the hotel ballroom well before the 5:30 a.m. start time, eager to get inside, and everyone was eager to meet the biggest names in the cigar industry in a friendly atmosphere. Each guest received a tote bag with the image of the event cigar lover ready to be filled with craft smokes.

People came from all over the United States for the second Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest, tasting fine cigars and spirits.

As guests entered the Main Ballroom, they were greeted with a festive atmosphere. The biggest brands in the cigar and spirits industries filled the room with eye-catching setups, none more elaborate than JC Newman’s towering replica factory display. As they moved around the ballroom, attendees could be seen with piles of cigars – often with one of them lit – handed to them directly by the cigar makers themselves, as well as a fine drink and savory dishes from one of the many stations around the room. The energy was high as a band played in the background, often playing covers of classic bands such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Journey. Smiles and stimulating conversations abounded throughout the ballroom as like-minded cigar and whiskey aficionados mingled.

Big Smoke meets WhiskyFest

Get a useful light at a cigar stand on Saturday night.

At one table sat a group of friends, donning matching shirts, emptying their bags of full Boveda cigars, showing off their selection and swapping with each other, just like children after a night full of tricks or treats. There were more than enough quality smokes for everyone: Aging Room, AJ Fernandez, Alec Bradley, Arturo Fuente, EP Carrillo, Hamlet, Henry Clay, JC Newman, Joya de Nicaragua, La Aroma de Cuba, La Aurora , La Flor Dominicana, La Palina, Montecristo, My Father, Nub, Oliva, Padrón, Partagas, Plasencia, Punch, Rocky Patel, Romeo y Julieta, Serino, Tatuaje, Undercrown and Warped were all present. Many brand owners and cigar industry stars were there, posing for photos, including Carlos Fuente Jr., Jorge Padrón, Rocky Patel, Pete Johnson, Alan Rubin, Lissette Perez-Carrillo, Rafael Nodal, Sammy Phillips, Clay Roberts, Tony Gomez, Bobby Newman and Kyle Gellis. Accutron watches were on display, humidifier manufacturer Daniel Marshall was there, as was the team for Boveda humidification systems, NewAir humidifiers and IntegraBoost humidification systems.

Big Smoke meets WhiskyFest

Arturo Fuente maker Carlos Fuente Jr. at the show, lighting one of his Fuente Fuente OpusX cigars.

Attendees had the option of pairing their cigars with a number of fine spirits and beverages, primarily premium whiskeys, but also tequilas, cognacs, wine, and even beer and cocktails. Companies and brands that sank were Aberfeldy, Bacardi, Balcones Distilling, Bardstown Bourbon Co., Bearface, Belfour Spirits, Benriach, Bird Dog, Blade and Bow, Brenne, Bulleit, Buchanan’s, Calumet Bourbon, Cardenal Mendoza, Cincoro Tequila, Crown Royal. , Dewar’s, Diplomatico Rum, D’USSE, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, FEW, Flora Fine Foods & Orvino Wine Imports, Fósforo Mezcal, George Dickel, Glen Moray, Glendalough, Glengoyne, Hard Truth Distilling, Hatuey, Heaven Hill, Henry McKenna , IW Harper, Jack Daniel’s, Johnnie Walker, Kikori Whiskey, Larceny, Middle West Spirits, Mortlach, Old Fitzgerald, Ole Smoky, Oyo, Parker’s Heritage Collection Wheat, Pyrat XO, Roe & Co., Santa Teresa, Talisker, Tamdhu, Uncle Closest, Vim & Petal Gin, Virginia Distillery Co., and Widow Jane. No one was thirsty during this event.

Big Smoke meets WhiskyFest

Elijah Craig, 18, was one of many good Bourbons poured out at the Saturday night event.

Tim Stroud, who made the trip from small town North Carolina, attended a Big Smoke event for the first time with a smile brimming over his face. Tim credits Rocky Patel for making him a cigar lover, but he struggles to connect with like-minded people in his town, which made the event all the more rewarding for him. “How can you not be happy with all the great people and great culture here?” said Tim.

Matt and Melissa Hayes from Chicago were there for the second time, having taken part in the first Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest last November. The pair are a walking embodiment of the event, as Melissa considers herself a whiskey enthusiast, while Matt is the cigar aficionado. However, both share an equal passion for good pairings, making this event a must for them. Matt and Melissa beamed with excitement on Saturday night as they viewed the event as another exciting step in their journey into the world of fine smokes and spirits.

Big Smoke meets WhiskyFest

Saturday night was cigar and whiskey night at the Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest.

Overall, attendees to the second Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest varied widely in background, with husbands and wives, groups of friends and individual guests coming together from across the country to share their passion for cigars and top spirits. of range.

cigar lover will be back this year with the Big Smoke event in Las Vegas on November 11-12; Click here for more information.

Tomorrow we’ll have coverage of the Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest seminars, which took place on Saturday morning.


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