Now I really don’t want to give too much away about the workshop because I think it is best experienced individually. However, I do think I should give you a very general recap of this fantastic event.
First off, this was my first experience with Butthead’s and as soon as I walked through the door I was immediately impressed. The entire store is one gigantic walk in humidor. There are over 2300 open boxes on the shelves with a HUGE selection of sticks both common and hard to find. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and ready to help. Not only that but they have their cigars behind cases or tables on shelves that the staff accesses for you. This is so you know the cigars you select have not been squeezed or run under the nostrils of some misguided smoker with a cold. (You know how I feel about booger infused cigars.)
For they workshop they had tables and chairs set up with several cameras up so the online viewers could see wherever our speakers were in the room. They had a selection of drinks as well as almonds on each of the tables and club soda was provided to cleanse our palates for the main event. I mean it, I was so impressed with how organized everything was.
Buttheads, CigarEvents, YourCigarNews and I had shamelessly tweeted, retweeted and retweeted for about two weeks before the event, if not longer. I think it is safe to say we were all pumped. I was very excited to meet Kevin and Peter from Butthead’s. They were incredibly event hosts and were running around when I arrived, tying up loose ends to make sure the event ran seamlessly.
I arrived about 3 hours in advance so I could “help”, which mostly meant taking up space in the way of where Kevin or Peter needed to be. (I really don’t know how that always happens!!) I had the pleasure of meeting a few twitter followers and getting to chat with them until the start of the event. I even got to pick on two of them and make them my guinea pigs for the hybrid I was going to do live. Kevin kindly gave me about 30 minutes of air time to explain my hybrids, how I got started, why I do it, what I have discovered, all while unwrapping and rewrapping the Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 and the Drew Estates My Uzi Weighs A Ton. I did two of each which I handed off to my new friends Peter and Brian. They have promised to give me their feedback when they have smoked them.
Next we all got organized with our event cigar, club soda, lighters and cutters and were ready for Jose Blanco. Now this part of the event is going to be kept Top Secret for the most part. I will say though that is was such a wonderful experience and I learned so much. Jose gave us all a lot to ponder as we drove away. One thing that I loved the most about the workshop was how interactive it was. Jose asked each of us questions about each section of the cigar we encountered, asking us to guess what the wrapper was, country of origin and even notes that our individual palate picked up, which was wonderful to hear everyone’s thoughts.
Jose said two things that I do want to mention. The first he opened up the workshop by saying:
There are no right answers and there are no wrong answers. Everyone’s palate and experience is different.
I think that is pretty self explanatory. It is just something to keep in mind when you are discussing your personal takes on cigars in the future.
The second thing he mentioned is that when you are picking out a cigar to think about the time you have available to smoke it! Be sure you have plenty of time to actually enjoy the entire cigar. Don’t light up a Churchill when you only have an hour and change to smoke, reach for a robusto instead. Also, don’t smoke that Churchill in an hour, please. Like I said, take your time and enjoy it. If you smoke it too fast you’ll get some nasty resin building up and that will also effect your palate. I know Jose would back me up on that one too.
Oh there is one other thing, but I am going to follow up this post with it as a “Smoking Sin”.
I want to thank the guys and gals at Butthead’s for everything. You organized and executed such a successful and memorable event that is going down in history books. Thank you Jose Blanco for sharing your time with all of us as we pursue our passion for cigars. Thank you Mike from Cigar Events for driving two hours to come and visit, please stay longer next time! Thank you Irving for taking your time and doing an interview, I can’t wait to see your plans for YourCigarNews to come to fruition.
Also, Butthead’s is doing something great for you all that couldn’t watch or attend. They are putting together a DVD of the workshop with that special event cigar included. I will keep you posted on the details when it comes available!!