[UPDATE: This contest is closed, but a new cigar giveaway contest is now open here!]
Even though I made a point of saying I wouldn’t last week, somehow I still left home on Saturday without my camera. So I have no proof of the things I’m about to say. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
On Saturday I smoked the Oliva Serie V Double Robusto (5 x 54) with Jose Oliva. I’m tempted to lie and say he flew in to Atlanta specifically to thank me for my favorable review on CigarBeat, but even I don’t have delusions of grandeur that large. The truth is that was in town for the final Serie V event before RTDA at Tobacco World here in the Atlanta area. And let me tell you, the event was awesome. Probably the liveliest cigar event I’ve been to yet.
Jose Oliva brought with him an entire entourage of Oliva representatives from around the south as well a catering crew serving up hot pasta. (Oh the irony! To quote myself in my Serie V review: “This is not a post-pasta cigar!” But oddly, it did go nicely with the cannolis.) And of course there was a generous helping of store regulars there, happy to help Mr. Oliva burn through that box of free double robustos. The air was thick and hazy with the rich Serie V smoke and there was a lively game of dominoes at a packed table in one corner.
I found myself spending a lot of time talking with the Florida Oliva Rep Burt. The guy is quite a character, and has been with the Olivas since the beginning. He’s been such a part of the Oliva’s success that Jose said of him “he is more Oliva than I am”, and he proudly sports a Rolex that was part of his lifetime achievement award. Burt is the definition of a proud company man, and a skilled salesman. Without even trying, he talked me into picking up a couple Oliva 2006 Master Blends and a couple Padron 1964′s for cigar versus cigar comparison. (I’ll admit, I’m not a very hard sell when it comes to cigars.) So I walked away happy with a fistful of cigars, a Serie V buzz and a lighter wallet.
So after this event and my great experience at the recent CAO event, I’ve decided to make a point to attend more cigar events in the future. (Including RTDA!) But the question is, how do you find out about cigar events in your area? Sure, you can sign up for email updates from your local tobacconist, but that won’t keep you in the know on what’s happening down the road at another shop! And not all the cigar manufacturers’ websites include event information. (So manufacturers don’t even have websites!)
Have no fear, I have the answer for you: Cigar Cyclopedia. This website is a gold mine of useful cigar information. And one of the largest gleaming nuggets is their U.S. Cigar Promotions and Special Events Calendar, which is conveniently broken down by state and in chronological order. (A big thanks to the guys at Dog Watch Social Club for mentioning this in one of their recent shows.)
“That’s great, Brian. But what about this free cigar you mention in the title?” You ask. Wouldn’t it be funny if I never got to that? No? OK. Here’s the deal. Recently Cigar Jack had a contest on his blog for a free t-shirt, and I really like the way he set that up. I’ve been thinking about having one of my own for a while now. But instead of giving away a t-shirt, I’m going to give away a cigar. And not just any cigar! Something that’ll really be a treat.
And, as luck would have it, I had the opportunity to buy a few of the Oliva Serie V Double Robustos at this event. As much as I enjoy these cigars, I think it’d be even more fun to share them. So I’m going to send one of these still unreleased cigars to a lucky reader!
So here’s the Oliva Serie V Giveaway rules:
- You are allowed two entries to this giveaway. Please note you must be 18 or older to enter. (Sorry, I don’t make the laws, I just try to follow them!)
- Your first entry is commenting on this post. Please include the text in your comment “I am 18 or older.”
- You may enter a second time by posting a link to this contest on your blog that pingback/trackbacks to this post.
- The winner will be drawn August 10th, 2007. (Or whenever entries slow down enough that making everyone wait becomes a pointless exercise. Totally my discretion here.)
Good luck! If you’re not sure whether or not to enter, I encourage you to read my review of the larger figurado and churchill sizes over on Cigar Beat. While these are smooth and tasty full-bodied cigars, they may be a bit potent (especially at the end) for a newbie!