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Pre-Weekend Roundup: Altadis U.S.A., Big Smoke, and Sir Jimmy Savile

I’ve got a confession to make—for the last week, I’ve been lying to you. But no, it’s not as serious as it sounds. What I mean by “lying” is that I haven’t been posting the blogs—I wrote them all last week and set them up to post automatically since last Friday. What the hell have I been doing with my time, you might ask? Hanging out in England and Scotland and smoking fistfuls of Habanos, that’s what! But I’ll have to explain that later, because it’s been too damn long since I’ve put together a good-old-fashioned news roundup.

First off, since last week, Cigar Aficionado’s 16th annual Big Smoke Las Vegas Weekend went off without a hitch. At the massive event were many discussions with panelists like Mike Giannini from La Gloria Cubana, Litto Gomez from La Flor Dominicana, Rocky Patel from Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, and countless others. No, I wasn’t there, but I was in Dundee, Scotland enjoying a couple of Montecristo Petit Edmundos with my brother (and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that particular cigar as one of Jonny Hetherington of Art of Dying’s favorites).

Anyway, the panels at this year’s Big Smoke Las Vegas Weekend covered topics such as cigar size, hybrid tobaccos, vintage Cubans, cognac, and many more. Also discussed were the top three non-Cuban cigars of 2010—the Viaje Oro VOR No. 5 Reserva, the Fuente Fuente OpusX XXX Belicoso, and the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural, all but one of which we carry (we still have a ton of other Viaje Oro sizes!). If you missed the Las Vegas event and still want to get in on the awesomeness, you can catch Big Smoke New York City, which is set to take place on November 30, 2011 at Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue in Manhattan, that is, if you can still get tickets.

Next up we have some good news from Altadis USA. The company, which produces such American-market brands as Montecristo, H. Upmann, Don Diego, and Romeo y Julieta, not only joined Cigar Rights of America recently, according to Cigar Aficionado, but they also made a sizable contribution to the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, according to a press release on Digital Journal. If making a ton of tasty smokes wasn’t enough already, this duo-fold effort makes them pretty solid guys in my book.

Finally, we have some sad news (well, mostly sad news) from the UK, which I couldn’t help hearing about considering the omnipresence of the BBC over there. The sad part is that Sir Jimmy Savile, English DJ and TV personality, passed away this past weekend of pneumonia, which he had been fighting for quite some time, according to a post on puffingcigars.com. The slightly-less-sad and slightly-more-awesome part is what he was buried with—not only was he dressed in his favorite blue tracksuit, but he was also buried with pink sunglasses, a mess of jewelry, and, you guessed it, his favorite cigar. As you might have guessed, I combed Google trying to find out what cigar it was, but I couldn’t find any such information. Regardless, here’s to the guy who drove a Rolls-Royce and still managed to raise over £40,000,000 GBP ($64,000,000 USD!) for charity in his lifetime.

And this concludes this week’s news roundup. As always, if you think I’ve missed anything, feel free to post it in a comment!