A tour bus, celebrity cigarmakers, 10 great cigars and a weekend in Amsterdam – what’s not to like?
Big Smoke 2017 took place in the Dutch city over the weekend, with 150 cigar lovers taking advantage of an incredible deal – 85 Euros bought them 10 cigars and a free bus around the city’s must-see cigar stop offs.
Led by Sasja van Horssen, owner of the mighty Cigaragua store, which hosts hundreds upon hundreds of Nicaraguan-only cigars, the tour stopped off at the beautiful old Hajenius building; at the quite stunning Casa Del Habano in Almere; Davidoff’s smart little store in the city centre; and Van Lookeren, where PDR Cigars owner Abe Flores was handing out a monster 7×70 El Criollito to guests.
At Cigaragua, Juan Martinez of Joya de Nicaragua was present to personally hand over the new Antaño Gran Reserva – a superlative cigar thanks to the extra aged Nicaraguan tobacco used. Riste Risteski, owner of boutique brand Jas Sum Kral was also in the store to explain the unique philosophy behind his carefully crafted sticks; Alex Svenson of Cigars International handed out the Man O War Virtue and Tom Mulder of La Sagrada Familia took the opportunity to meet cigar lovers and pass out a pre-release version of a sweet and bold new blend he will be releasing later in the year.
At Davidoff, guests enjoyed the 702 Serie 2000; at Hajenius, the CAO Torpedo Pilón; and at the Casa Del Habano in Almere – incidentally, shortlisted for the Cigar Journal Lounge of the Year Award – both a La Gloria Cubana Platinum Edition and a Por Larranaga Panatela awaited the next busload of cigar lovers.
“It was a tremendous weekend of fun and meeting old friends and new,” commented van Horssen. “The Big Smoke continues to grow and evolve each year.”