The lineup: what to expect from cigars at Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest 2022


Photo/Zak Bennett

Nevada’s Braeden Evenden, Scott Hurlburt, Ernie Gonzalez and Sean Evenden enjoy the night at the first-ever Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest. The event returns to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida on May 28.

The second Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest, to be held in Hollywood, Florida on May 28, is fast approaching and, after last year, the anticipation is high. There will be plenty of drinks to enjoy, but it wouldn’t be cigar lover sans cigars and we’ve decided to give our readers a taste of the many smokes attendees can expect to receive at this year’s event, as well as some of the personalities you’ll meet.

Cigar smoking will be permitted not only on the lounge floor inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, but also outside.

Note that this is a partial list and other companies (with more cigars) should be added later.

Alec Bradley:
Alan, Alec & Bradley Rubin, the trio behind Alec Bradley Cigars, will be at the show sipping Alec & Bradley Kintsugi Rubustos. They will also be on stage earlier in the morning to participate in a seminar on working as a family. Seminar guests will also receive the Alec & Bradley Kintsugi Corona Gorda, cigar lover Cigar No. 25 of 2021.

Altadis United States:
Altadis is a massive presence in the cigar market and several cigars are ready for the Big Smoke, including the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Toro, Montecristo White Rothchilde, Aging Room Bin No. 2 C Major and Henry Clay War Hawk Toro . For the morning seminars, Rafael Nodal, Product Capability Manager for Tabacalera USA, will not only discuss the world of Montecristo, but also distribute the #2 cigar of 2021, the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua No. 2.

Arthur Fuente:
It will be a big event for Fuente as brand owner Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr. will be there with his daughter Liana and US Sales Manager Tommy Curtis. A special, event-only Fuente cigar will be given to attendees, although the company has not disclosed any information about this, such as the name or blend of this cigar, only that it measures 6 3/4 inches by 50 rings.

Fuente Jr. will also be on stage during the morning seminars, in a panel to discuss Nicaragua and the new factory he is setting up there.

Carlos Fuente Jr.

A grateful fan meets star cigar maker Carlos Fuente Jr. of Arturo Fuente on the floor of the first Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest. (Photo/Zak Bennett)

Ashton Distributors:
Philadelphia Ashton distributors will be on hand with La Aroma de Cuba cigars, which are rolled in Nicaragua.

EP Carrillo:
Industry veteran and 2020 Cigar of the Year maker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo will be manning the Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest booth, along with his daughter Lissette, handing out the Carrillo Encore Celestial EP.

General Cigar Co.:
General Cigar will distribute two cigars from its portfolio.

JC Newman:
JC Newman, who has been in the cigar business since 1895, will be at the Big Smoke with his Diamond Crown Black Diamond cigars. Look for the booth which is a replica of the company’s historic factory in Ybor City, Florida. Eric and Bobby Newman should be present.

Dawn :
La Auora, the oldest cigar maker in the Dominican Republic, will be at the Big Smoke, distributing cigars from its 107 line.

The Dominican Flor:
This Dominican Republic-based company will distribute cigars from its La Flor Dominicana Ligero line. Attending will be Tony Gomez, Litto Gomez Jr. and Vice President of Sales Jonathan Carney.

The Palina:
Co-Chairs Sam Phillips and Clay Roberts will man the La Palina booth along with East Coast Manager Patrick Vivalo and Accutron/Bulova Country Manager Michael Benavente. The company will introduce the new White Label range, which includes the exclusive La Palina White Label TAA.

My father cigars:
José Ortega, vice president of sales and Yusef Joudeh, also a member of the sales team, will present Fonseca from My Father Robustos. The cigar was rated 90 points in both cigar lover and Cigar initiate.

Oliva Cigars:
Oliva Cigars will be at the show, but the cigar they distribute has yet to be determined.

The Padrón booth is usually manned by members of this Miami family. Jorge Padrón will be on stage during the morning seminar, closing the show with a tasting of his Cigar of the Year, the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo, but it’s unclear which cigar will be handed out at the Big Smoke party.

The Plasencia stand will be supplied with Plasencia Reserva Original Robustos.

Rocky Patel:
Rocky Patel, his brother Nish, his cousin Nimish Desai and Hamlet Paredes will be on hand to welcome attendees. The company will distribute two cigars from its library of brands.

Rocky Patel

Rocky Patel, seen here in the tobacco fields of Central America, will be one of many stars at the Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest. (Photo/Richard Leonardi)

Attending will be brand founder and owner Tony Serino and his brother Paul, who is also responsible for the company’s operations. The company will distribute Serino Royale Connecticut Robusto and Serino Royale Maduro XX Robusto Extra.

Pete Johnson, the owner of Tatuaje, will be at the Big Smoke (he speaks on stage during the morning seminars). The cigar he chose to distribute for the evening show has yet to be announced.

Warped brand owner Kyle Gellis will be at the Big Smoke handing out La Hacienda Gran Robustos, a cigar that scored 90 points in the August 2016 issue of cigar lover.

For more information on Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest, or to purchase tickets, Click here.


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