The Cigar Snob magazine Cigar Marathon took to the streets of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Cave Creek on Saturday for an all-day event that took over a dozen cigar enthusiasts to six of the top retailers in the Valley.
The marathon made six stops at cigar stores in the Phoenix area: Cigar King, Stag Tobacconist in Scottsdale, Mojito Cigar Lounge, Ambassador Fine Cigars, Churchill’s (44th St. location) and 21 Degrees Cigar & Accessories. The thirteen participants were chauffeured between stops on a private tour bus, giving them the chance to meet and mingle, as well as compare notes on the cigars between stops.
At each stop, participants were given an unbanded cigar from a particular manufacturer, and after examining and smoking it, were invited to guess from six choices which cigar they had just smoked.
Marathoners were given cigars from Alec Bradley, La Aurora, Altadis, My Father Cigars, Camacho and Rocky Patel.
While no one in the group guessed all six cigars correctly, a trio of friends did get four of the six correct. Cigar Snob publisher and editor Erik Calviño decided a dance-off was the best way to settle the tie, with Andrew Knight taking home the grand prize of a box of each of the six cigars smoked during the event.
Raffles were also held at each stop, with prizes that included custom guayaberas from The Guayabera Lady, cigars, ashtrays, lighters, cutters, hats, apparel, rum and more.
Spirits for the day’s event were provided by Diageo, with Calviño picking up a selection of microbrews as well. Lunch and dinner were also provided at two stops during the marathon.
A marathon kick-off party was held Friday night at Cigar King in Scottsdale, with Studio Tobac providing cigars for the marathoners.
This was the fifth city that Cigar Snob has brought the marathon to; Miami, Tampa, Broward County (Florida) and Atlanta hosted the first four.
While neither confirming or denying a repeat visit to the Phoenix area, Calviño seemed to think the marathon will return to the Valley next year.
Stay up to date on what’s happening with cigars by following Patrick on Twitter – @PHXCigarGuy – or by subscribing to the column via e-mail or adding it to your RSS reader. You can also read more in his National Cigar Examiner column.