You bet your robusto, and that could mean only one thing...The Blowin' Smoke Podcast Big Ass 7th Birthday Show live from Slippery Rock Cigars!
Armed with multiple mystery Cigars of the Day, home brew, pulled pork sammiches, and a great crowd, we celebrated another fun-filled year of good friends and great herfin'.
We also talked to Chris Kelly of Crossfire Cigars and Lou Rodriguez Cigars about these new and very enjoyable boutique brands. Plus, even a birthday party wouldn't be complete without a new report on what the chicks are reading, a new 5 Things, and lots more to satisfy your herf cravings.
As I sit here tonight, recovering from a long short week at work, I realize how lucky we, the Brothers and Sisters of the Leaf, are right now to be living in Pittsburgh. We may not be the biggest city in the country, but we have a thriving cigar community that I will put up against any other.
I wish there was enough time in the day to attend all three events, but I was only able to make it to Leaf and Bean. Enrique was a gracious host, eager to not only tell you about his cigars, but to become your friend in the process. He took the time to explain each blend in detail, as well as why he chose specific tobacco for each one. His passion for the leaf was on display throughout the conversation.
For those of you who have never been to Pittsburgh, allow me to tell you a little bit about these three shops. They are each different in their own way, but they all have one thing in common, a true love for the leaf.
I'll start with Allegheny Smokeworks, located in a little town called Blawnox. To me, this shop reminds me of a classic cigar shop. It's got all the working class attitude that is often associated with Pittsburgh. It has a well stocked humidor with all the standards, as well as some hidden gems scattered throughout. It also has a great selection of pipes and pipe tobacco.
Next up is Smoke Cigar Shop and Lounge in Collier Township. This is the newest addition to our wealth of cigar shops. Mame Kendall has put together a nice selection of boutique cigars that really stands out to me. Her shop has a couple of nice seating areas along with several large screen TV's, making it very easy to relax away a Saturday or any afternoon.
Last, but not least, is Leaf and Bean. Located in the Strip District, it is the most eclectic of the bunch. No matching chairs here folks. If you're lucky, you'll be able to grab one of the barber chairs in the back corner. It definitely has the most character, and is run by the biggest character of them all, Jim Robinson. With a full coffee bar and live music on the weekends, it is a place for both smokers and non-smokers alike. It's also the only one with outdoor seating to take full advantage of beautiful summer days or fall nights.
Keep in mind, when I said we have a thriving cigar community, I meant it. These are only a few of the many shops that are scattered around Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities. From Slippery Rock Cigars to Leaning House, from Bloom's to Ichabod's, to Penn-Ohio Cigars, and more, they come in all shapes and sizes. You're sure to find one that fits your bill. And if you're really lucky, you just might catch Klafter's / Cigar Express Warehouse during the hours that they are open to the public. You never know what is buried in their humidors.
Speaking of Slippery Rock Cigars, those of you in the know will recognize them as a sponsor of the Blowin Smoke Podcast, as well as the host shop for the Annual Big Ass Birthday Party. Joe Durso opens his doors to us once a year. Why? We may never know. But then again, maybe there is a reason it's only once a year. From mainstream cigars to the boutiques, Joe's got a great selection, so you're sure to find something to please your palate. And if you hang around long enough, you just might spot a Cretin or two coming through the door. Of course, that may be enough reason to grab your cigars and run.
One thing to remember about all of these shops, you'll never be a stranger in any of them. From the owners to the clientele, you're always welcomed and treated like an old friend. Of course, if you know Pittsburgh at all, we're all that way. So if you're ever in town, look these shops up, or better yet, contact me. I'll be happy to meet up with you and show you around.
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~ Kevin S. is a regular Cretin on the Blowin' Smoke Podcast. An admitted "boutique slut," he enjoys sunsets, long walks on the beach, and curling up with the latest issue of Cosmo...or not. Follow Kevin on Twitter HERE.
Post-turkey day herfing in the Havana Room means a cigar break from leftovers and Blowin' Smoke #169!
As snowflakes covered the well-fertilized lawn outside herf central, the Cretins sparked up a new Cigar of the Day, and welcomed @DoctorVoiceover - Warren back to spotlight our 7 lucky contest winners and their Blowin' Smoke bumper entries from the birthday show. We also talked to some listeners about their post-turkey cigars and even gave away a couple more prizes.
Along with a new 5 Things and a new installment of what the chicks are reading, we also talked about a new "theme park" in the UK, the annual Turkey Testicle Festival, and a handful of stories with a common element. Hey, we don't make the news, we just scour it for filth and present it to you with commentary.
So, prepare a dipping sauce...ranch or maybe a sweet and sour...light up a fine cigar, and join the herf. It's Blowin' Smoke #169!