More than 600 folks came to the 2015 5th Annual West Coast Cigar & Spirits Tasting Event
By Benjamin Winokur
Friday May 22nd the year of 2015 marked the 5th Annual West Coast Cigar & Spirits Tasting Event hosted by Cigar & Spirits Magazine in beautiful Newport Beach, California.
Starting out in the early evening, attendees were given the red-carpet treatment as they walked the entrance and enjoyed a professional photographer to snap their picture in front of the Cigar & Spirits Magazine backdrop. Once inside, we discovered the expansive lineup of spirits and cigars manufacturers awaiting us. Swag bags and punch cards in-hand, we lined up to collect our bounty of premium cigars, and other goodies that were handed out along the way.
My first stop for the evening was at Ventura Cigar Company and picked up a Project805 to start my evening. Kevin from VCC was having a grand old time taking pictures and cracking jokes.
From there, I traveled along touching base with the fine folks from La Palina Cigars, Drew Estate, Gurkha, Wilson Adams, Rocky Patel, King of Kings, Veritas, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Cesar Cigars, Nat Cicco, and Villiger Cigar Co.
There was something for everyone at this year’s event, including a motorcycle display presented by Indian Motorcycles of Orange and Lamborghini of Newport Beach, one of my personal favorites (To my editor and to Lamborghini, if you’re reading this, I think a Cars & Cigars issue is in order).
To look around, it was an amazing sight to behold as hundreds of folks from all walks of life enjoyed their cigars while talking shop, meeting new faces, and connecting with old friends. The representatives from the cigar manufacturers were beyond anything I have witnessed at a cigar event as they engaged in thoughtful conversation with all who wished to bend an ear, talking at length about their products, the industry, and the delicious spirits being served that evening.
With the night wearing on, our good friend Jeremy McDonald from Caldwell Cigar Co. made a cameo appearance to hang out and talk shop for a few minutes.
As the aroma of premium cigars drifted into the warm evening air carried by elegant trails of smoke up into the sky, the party continued. Soulful music poured out of the spirits tasting room, followed by gorgeous dancers offering a sophisticated level of background entertainment that perfectly complimented the atmosphere.
Inside the spirits tasting room, there was even more to take in- an entire ballroom full of fine spirits just waiting to be tasted. I spent the majority of my time wandering from one manufacturer to the next listening to the presentations about their products and sampling the available offerings. After making the rounds and sampling the exceptional spirits available, it was time to light up another cigar and take in more of the atmosphere.
It wasn’t more than few steps before I found myself face to face with group after group of smiling and laughing cigar smokers. Everyone wanted to have their picture taken, everyone wanted to talk cigars, and no one had a care in the world.
Across the courtyard, the roar of a V-Twin engine cut through the crowd noise as the Indian Motorcycles rose to life, perhaps a new motorcycle rider was being born?
As night grew darker and longer, it was time for the show to pack up- but it wasn’t the end of the night as the dancers continued on inside the ballroom with the music pumping. As the dancing and music wound down, the raffle kicked underway as Cigar & Spirits gave away boxes of cigars, magazine subscriptions, and enough swag fill a Lamborghini.
If you missed out on the 5th Annual Cigar & Spirits Tasting Event, you missed one hell of a party . . . not to mention the great cigars, or the delicious spirits, or the hors d’oeuvres.
I believe I speak for everyone when I say this event was top notch, and exceeded everyones expectations. When it rolls around again next year, make sure to put it on your calendar- this is soon to become the penultimate West Coast cigar event of the year.
Until next time, Cheers!