Rocky Patel Premium Cigars is expanding its Hamlet 25th Year line with a Salomon size, crafted by Cuban cigar blender and master roller Hamlet Paredes, and which just hit store shelves in late October. It joins the brand’s Robusto, Toro, and Sixty lineup that debuted late last year. Based on those prior successes, Paredes decided to take his medium bodied blend and roll it into a distinctive Cuban shape. The result is a 7 5/8 inch pointed figurado that swells to a maximum ring gauge of 58 at the bulb one that honors Paredes’s quarter century of achievements in the premium cigar industry, including his numerous years at the Partagas factory in Havana. $11.00 each.

Playing Hamlet

Those with a taste for delicious fillers, wrappers, and binders as well as philanthropy will find that stars align on November 26, when Patrizia’s of Long Island hosts its third annual Joe Cotrone Cigar Dinner and Evening of Entertainment, to benefit those suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. No cure for ALS is known, but research is ongoing and a variety of treatments can slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life. The evening will combine, as its host restaurant reports, “food, friends, cigars, family, and fantastic entertainment,” with a goal of giving five families affected by ALS access to support services like transportation to and from hospitals and doctor visits, medical supplies, wheelchairs, as well as their own holiday dinners. There will also be free door prizes, a full bar, and raffles. Attendees can contribute from $150 to $2,000 per person.

4913 Merrick Road, 27A, Massapequa Park, NY,,

Light up for a Cause

Tampa’s Ybor City, a National Historic Landmark District and once considered the cigar capital of the world, was founded in 1886 by Vicente Martinez Ybor when he moved his cigar factory from Key West to Tampa. The neighborhood has diminished appreciably in importance since the early 20th century, when it was home to more than 150 factories employing better than 10,000 people, but it’s still a magic place to buy, puff, and generally bliss out. And now, there’s additional reason to venture to Ybor City during December’s chill, because on the second of that month, it hosts the Cigar Heritage Festival. The free event features, among other draws, hand rolled magic from some of the most famous makers in the world (and courtesy of the state’s fi nest retailers). There will also be a variety of food trucks, rolling demonstrations, cigar art, custom jewelry, and guest appearances by Carlito, Cynthia, and Liana Fuente of Arturo Fuente Cigar Company, and brothers Bobby and Eric Newman of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company. 1800 E 8th Avenue, Tampa, FL,


The Brotherhood of Ybor

A mix take
Brandy is famously paired with sticks, as we all know, but whither goest the (arguably) more adventurous among us who prefer a cocktail with their smoke? And what if you just can’t bear one without the other? Those were the questions asked and answered by Please Don’t Tell bartender Jeff Bell and NoMad Wine Director Thomas Pastuszak (both businesses in Manhattan) when they developed their easy drinking brandy, Bertoux, that’s made for cocktails. It’s a mix a variety of pot still brandies blended to create what the makers describe as “a mellow spirit with dried fruit overtones,” in pursuit of nothing less than “changing the order of cocktail culture” It’s available for $45 (750 milliliters) from, but can also be had in drinks from The Aviary in the Time Warner Center, Katana Kitten in the West Village, and Dead Rabbit in the Financial District, among other swanky city joints.