Photo: Camacho Cigars
Finally, LeBron James helped his team win a title.And the cigar industry, where Miami serves as the home for the majority of the industry’s U.S. distribution are ready to help them celebrate all weekend.
A couple already call Heat players their customers, but most were thinking the same thing: I wonder if they will reach for my cigars when they need to celebrate.
This became a bigger reality on Monday when the Heat went up 3-1 and a former Dade County employee was captured by ABC’s cameras chomping on an unlit cigar in the closing minutes of Game 4. For many in Miami, memories of Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban smoking a cigar next to the championship trophy a on the plane ride home after the Heat last year were evoked.
Many athletes enjoy a fine cigar, but basketball perhaps features the most famous in Michael Jordan and the Heat are no exception with noted cigar smokers in Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
The Cuban cigar conglomerate Habanos S.A. introduced the BHK Behike as the flagship line for the famed Cohiba brand in 2010 and the cigar remains among the most sought after cigars on the market today. With prices starting at around $25 for the smallest size, the BHK isn't cheap, but for many this would be the cigar to celebrate with.
There is one problem, the whole embargo thing.
The Honduran cigar company is now under the arm of the Swiss Oettinger Davidoff Group and is a favourite with Chris Bosh and a lot of Hollywood celebs. Camacho is known for bringing the Corojo wrapper back into popularity with the Camacho Corojo.
However, it's a championship -- the ultra rare Camacho Super Limitado in its famed 11/18 Perfecto format was only released to a few retailers last year and requires a special screwdriver to open the box.
In 2008, Casa Magna shocked the world by being named Cigar Aficionado's cigar of the year, beating out a highly-favoured Padrón that is six times price, and since then the partnership between the Quesada family in the Dominican Republic and the Plasencias in Nicaragua has continued to produce popular cigars. It's rumoured Wade has been known to enjoy Quesadas, so the limited edition Domus Magnus line seems like a logical choice.
The square-shaped box-pressed cigars were introduced last year to a lot of fanfare and quickly sold out. The 7 x 56 Praetores size is the definition of 'big fat cigar.'
The most interesting name on the list is that of Erik Espinosa. Sources told BI former NBA player and current Heat assistant coach, Keith Askins (he's the one with tinted blue glasses and a bow tie) is a fan of Espinosa's cigars. Espinosa is most noted for being the E in EO Brands, but recently announced his own venture, Espinosa Cigars, which launched last month at The Club @ Renaissance in Miami.
Those who were around for the cigar boom of the 1990s are quite familiar with the legendary brand from the Dominican Republic and Fuente's masterpiece still causes hysteria a decade and a half after it first debuted. The cigars are favourites for athletes like Dan Marino, who had special football cigars made for him, and Sammy Sosa, who had cigars shaped like baseball bats made in his honour.
There are lot of different OpusXs, the Forbidden X-banded BBMF is probably the best way to go if you are the Heat, it stands for big bad mother f***** and the Opus band is done in special livery of black and red, the same colours as the Heat.
Popular with a host of athletes including Carmelo Anthony, Graycliff's Bahamas factory was led by the late Avelino Lara, the man responsible for the creation of Fidel Castro's personal brand, Cohiba. A little known fact is that Graycliff was actually make any of their blends in just about any size you want for prices similar to their regular lines.
In its popular Espresso line, Graycliff makes a 7 x 48 Churchill called the President, which would seem to be the Graycliff you'd reach for when celebrating.
No one has ever heard of this brand, we know. The (almost) unheard of Nicaraguan cigar is made in the town of Granada, outside of the capital Managua. This runs contrary to almost every other Nicaraguan cigar, which is made in Estelí. Mombacho is only on this list for one reason, it's what Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban smoked when he beat the Heat last year.
Nothing tastes sweeter than revenge, right?
If you are looking for highly-respected no nonsense, it's the Padróns. Their retail shop is a must visit for any cigar-lover visiting Miami. It's family business with tons of heritage and really good cigars. Padrón has won Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of the Year award more than any other brand.
Any of Padrón's Family Reserve would be a good choice for a celebration, the unique box-pressed Perfecto of the Padrón 80th is the top of the line offering.
If Dwayne Wade called the patriarch of the Air Jordan brand and the greatest to ever play and ask him what his favourite cigar is -- the answer would most certainly be something Cuban. Michael Jordan is a noted cigar smoker and was even rumoured to smoke before each game as part of his pre-game ritual. In 2005, he told Marvin Shanken his favourite cigar was now the Partagas Lusitanias a monster 7 5/8 x 49 Double Corona retailing for over $400 a box. If you can find it, Jordan also liked the Partagas Serie D No.4, the Reserva (pictured) is an even more exclusive version of the popular Cuban.
Once again, the whole embargo thing is kind of an issue.
It's Spanish for tattoo and has been one of the hottest brands since launching almost 10 years ago. The original Brown Label also has one big thing going for it, it's rolled in Miami. Even if the Heat might be the exact opposite of home-grown talent, but it's never too late to start.
The Tatuaje Reserva SW is another Churchill, with SW standing for Sir Winston.
The Toraños are one of many Cubans who left during the revolution only to return to the cigar business a few years later. Toraño is a favourite for Dwayne Wade, so it only seems logical the Heat's most-tenured leader might have some say in selecting the cigar for the championship.
Toraño Exodus 1959 Gold is probably the Heat's best bet here.
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