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Last night I had a chance to meet, and share smokes with Tampa1257 (Chuck) and Professor Twain (Bill) at a local (for them) Sports Bar. What a great night.

Bill has kindly answered a number of questions that I've had since joining the fine group, and he invited me to join them for one of their frequent Thursday get-togethers. The Sports Bar is about an hour from my house, but it took me almost 90 minutes to find the place. At one point I was about the give up, but gave it one more shot, and managed to stumble on Norton's Sports Bar. Bill had said they'd probably be the only two guys smoking cigars, and sure enough they were. I introduced myself, sat down, and my education began.

I've only been smoking cigars for about 2 years now, and have never had the opportunity to share with others, let alone two as knowledgeable as these guys.

As soon as I sat down chuck opened his cigar caddy and handed me a fine, 7 year old Monte #3. What a sweet cigar, smooth as only a properly aged CC can be, and while my palate is not very refined, it was very, very tasteful.

I soon wished I'd been taking notes. At 65 my memory is all but shot. And there was so much wonderful information, it's hard to relay, or even remember much of it. But some things stuck, like the joy of thin ring gauge cigars. Chuck has made me a believer in the superiority of thin ring gauges, and the Monte he'd given me proved it beyond a doubt. I'm not ready to throw out my Robustos, but I will certainly look harder at the thinner cigars from here on out.

Two hours just flew by, and since I had about an hours drive to get home, I had to leave. Bill handed me an 03 RyJ Cazador and a nice un-banded cigar, the name of which eludes me (see, notes are important at my age ;-) ). He then warned me about the RyJ being a very strong cigar and to only attempt it after a large meal). Chuck, after having given me the Monte, handed me a gold wrapped Bolivar, which he said was only available through one source, whose name I also forget. But these are very special smokes, and I really appreciate their immense generosity to someone they'd never met. I guess all they needed to know was that I was a member of FOH.

Thanks for a great night guys. :ok:


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» Sounds like a great time! Wait until you've been on a diet of thinner rings

» for a while, then go back

» to a robusto girth :-)

I love to hear these sorts of stories of introduction and education.

There are some truly well educated smokers on this site.

I probably have a thing or two to learn from the smaller ring gauge smokers. I am a **** for thick gauge cigars!

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Looks like you had a good time. Chuck has invited me to join them but I have about the same ride as you and it has been dificult to make it on a Thursday. However, with recent changes at my job I now have Fridays off for a 3 day weekend, I'm going to have to drop in for a visit now that I don't have to get up at 3:30 AM on Friday mornings.:-)

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Chuck and Bill are great company and you couldn't find any better mentoring than Chuck and Bill is coming along.:-P

Hopefully you can join us in November when I am out there.

Enjoy the Boli gold Medal.

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Mike it was great to have you. That little unbanded cigar is a 2005 Trinidad Reyes, you should get a lot of flavor out of it. Oh and do watch out for that Cazadores. If you search this site you will find a blind review that Chuck arranged for some of us featuring Cazadores! It kicked my ass but is an experience worth having.

Any of you who are in the Tampa Bay area or traveling through, let us know, we have some other local guys who join us. Thursday evenings work best for now because of Chuck's work schedule.

All of us have been the beneficiaries of others who have shared what they know in this great cigar hobby, Mike I am sure that you will be generous in passing along your own knowledge as you get pulled deeper and deeper into this thing...

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It was great meeting you the other evening. First, the cigar you smoked was a Montecristo No.1 from 2001 and they are a beautiful cigar that are smoking wonderful now with medium full to full flavor coco, mocha, coffee, nuttiness, earth and leather. I am glad that you enjoyed the cigar.

It is a pleasure to meet new people that have a sincere desire to learn and gain knowledge. You have found a forum that is ripe (I will not call us Maduro:-P ) with information. I encourage you to ask any and all your questions, as it helps everyone here. Your questions may be the one that triggers someone else's passion for this great hobby we all share.

Hope you join us again and any others in the Tampa Bay area are invited to join us on Thursday evenings as well. Just let me or Bill know if you need directions.


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Thanks Tampa, and Prof. I hope to join you again, and sooner rather than later. You are the first guys I've met who have and share a passion for fine cigars, and I walked away from our meeting overwhelmed. I hope someday to contribute something to the conversation, but for now please don't mind my sitting back and rapidly scribbling notes as I try to learn about these great sticks.


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