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Smoking Summer Nights : A taste of Miami in PDX

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The summer has hit its stride in Portland, and the locals couldn't be happier about it. The warm weather is consistent, the sky bright and the allergens are finally starting to subside. We are all feeling the emotional upside of a considerable increase in sunlight and vitamin D, and as if that wasn't enough, Miami Cigar just served up one hell of an event in collaboration with the fine people at 82nd Ave. Tobacco and Pipe. The summer has reached - dare I say it - perfection.

82nd Ave. Tobacco and Pipe was the perfect locale for this bash. The unveiling of the new Nestor Miranda collection by Miami Cigar was a smashing success and I was happy to have been part of it. Admittedly the only disappointment of the evening was the absence of Nestor himself, who had to forego the travels to the West Coast due to the health of his mother. My –and the rest of the Portland Cigar’s community’s - best thoughts go out to him. He would have been more than ecstatic to see how his team executed this event. Jason Wood, VP and son-in-law of Nestor Miranda was present and charming the pants off of anyone fortunate enough to shake the man's hand. Ed - Portland's talented Miami Cigar rep - was full of information and quips to keep patrons on their toes at all times, lest we forget the great deals on both the new Nestor Miranda line and the extensive collection of La Aurora sticks, including some rare smokes you can't find outside of special events such as this. In addition to Miami's own presence, the 82nd team - with owner Greg at the helm and Shaun Fogarty playing the roll of "MC" - were out in numbers and all had brought their "A-game".

The new Nestor line is a phenomenal line of cigars available in three wrappers. The beautiful Connecticut, the rich Habano wrapper and the dark and spicy Maduro. I was fortunate enough to get my mitts on a couple sticks, and from the first draw to final puff on the nub, I was both impressed and delighted in the construction, flavor profile and execution of this stick. It doesn't hurt that the new band is downright sexy. Rightfully so as the same designers in charge of Camacho's new look were the ones to take the lead on this stick's band.

The other quality I took away from this event was the reiteration that this shop is more than a counter and register. It is the members and the atmosphere that create a safe haven for those who enjoy this ancient pastime. I have come to understand that 82nd Ave. has regulars and club members from as far away as Longview, WA that make their way to the shop on a normal basis. That kind of commitment speaks volumes of the quality of operation Greg and his team has here at 82nd Ave. Tobacco and Pipe.

The event had everything you needed for a successful get-together. The weather was perfect, the grill was fired up, the conversations flowing, and the sticks bountiful. Patrons were even treated to a raffle that landed copious amounts of complimentary Nestor Miranda gear in the hands of the lucky winners. This event had the feeling of a reunion of friends, though I had never met any of them prior to this. That's when you know you've stumbled onto something very special. I am already waiting in anticipation of 82nd Pipe & Tobacco's August event as well as the next chance to procure more of Nestor's newest rolled gold.

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