If the winning times of the US Cigar Smoking World Championship qualifications were modest, it was probably because the winners were saving the best for last, or at least the penultimate considering there’s a grand final in Croatia coming up.
Anyway, Mose Ramieh’s 2 hours and 42 was more than an hour and a half better than his time in the Atlanta qualifier and the 10th best time of the season, yet it wasn’t enough to secure a win. In fact, it wasn’t even enough for second place. Instead the fight for the US title came down to the Pittsburgh champion and last year’s winner Drew Emch and the Indianapolis champion, Barrett Johnson.
The final was held at BURN by Rocky Patel in Atlanta, Georgia, and three minutes after Ramieh was out Johnson had to pack in. Yet another minute later Emch let his cigar burn out as well, sending a message of confidence to the rest of the CSWC world.
“He said that he stopped on purpose, not to reveal what he’s got in store for the grand final,” CSWC founder Marko Bilic says.
Emch has definitely made an impact on the slow smoking scene since he surprisingly took home the title last year. He’s now nick-named “The Silent Hunter” and The CSWC organization places him among the very best.
“We’re undoubtedly seeing a new CSWC mega star here, possibly one of the best ever,” Bilic says. “Time will tell, but he surely has it all; courage, patience, skill, talent and not to mention an incredible competitive spirit.”
With three names in the top 20 of the season, the US will be a force to be reckoned with, for sure. At least if we see all of them in the final. And “The Silent Hunter” could be the one leading the way.
“The anticipation for the CSWC grand final has reached a fever pitch,” Bilic concludes. “The Apex Cigar Lounge, the nurturing ground for Drew’s talent and passion, deserves hearty congratulations for fostering a champion of such caliber. As the CSWC community eagerly awaits the ultimate showdown, one cannot help but wonder if Drew Emch is destined to etch his name in history as world champion, solidifying his status as the best slow smoker the US has ever produced.”
1. Drew Emch 2:47:31
2. Barrett Johnson 2:45:47
3. Mose Ramieh 2:42:30