From the Ninja's Desk - Summer 2016
So, summer is finally here and in full swing and your orders coming through our queue certainly indicates that. I took a short vacation to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN to spend time with 37 of my family members in a gigantic 13-master bedroomed cabin. Normally my 12 hour drive to and from that locale would be enjoyed to the max with the windows down and numerous cigars smoked. However, as my car has over 200,000 miles on it, my father was being the ever protective Daddy that he is and loaned me his car, with the stipulation that I not smoke in it…DRATS. I did, of course, bring a humidor and some bourbon to enjoy with my cousins on the balcony overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. I even brought an Ashton VSG so that my nephew, well really my cousin’s kid, but still, could see the cigar that had his name on it.
What else do you do in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee except for sip on some moonshine and sip on some moonshine I did. Trust me I hit all the distilleries on the strip and these folks were hands down not only the best but also my favorite. Doc Collier Moonshine is known for being the only Gatlinburg’s Only Certified Craft Distillery, which means they use only natural ingredients, no artificial flavors, colors, dyes, etc. in their products and the water they use is 100% English Mountain Spring Water. They do a free sampling of 8 of their flavors every 15-20 minutes or so for those guests aged 21 and over. There is a 2nd premium sampling of 4 additional shines and brandies that will cost you $5 but it comes with a souvenir Doc Collier’s shot glass, so really the booze is free! The only downside to these folks is they only sell at their location in Gatlinburg and they don’t ship but trust me they are absolutely worth the trip. I picked up a jar of their Traverse City, MI *Shined Cherries and a jar of their “125” which is 62.5% alcohol and as they describe it ““straight off the still” high proof moonshine product. No filtering, no gimmicks, just the real deal.”
Walking around town that day, I lit up an old faithful for me, a Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial and just was grateful to be in a state and municipality that had not yet outlawed smoking in public places. Or at least if they had, hadn’t caught me doing it yet. The police were out in force as people were grabbing spaces with their camp chairs for the July 4th parade that started at midnight. As I walked around the chocolate, mocha, nuts and undertones of spiciness of my cigar left me craving some coffee so I swung into Burg Coffees for what I was told would be right up my alley. Being someone that usually drinks a 5 or 6 shot mocha from Starbucks, this coffee shop has an Espresso Special just for me, it’s called the Cowboy Shot and it has 8 Shots of Espresso and I couldn’t tell you what else but it was delicious. They also make a chocolate chip cookie with bacon that is simply fantastic. After walking around a bit more, stopping into the tobacconist in town to pick up some local pipe tobacco and finding myself a silver charm for my charm bracelet, it was time for me to run to the grocery store for more beer and then head back to the cabin. I picked up a 12 pack of the garbage cheap beer my relatives liked and grabbed a 12 pack sampler from nearby Asheville, NC, Highland Brewing Company.
It turns out that my Dad’s cousins went to Ole Smoky Moonshine and picked up a bottle of their Tennessee Mud and a jar of their Shine Cherries and they were the cousins that had to fly home so they weren’t planning on bringing their booze home with them. So, they did what any good cousins would do, they shared with us! We busted those bottles open and we sat around as a family and played a rousing 20+ person game of Left, Center, Right. This game is totally fun because you’re never really out of it, oh and my family of course plays for real money; we’re a family of gamblers.
I left Gatlinburg mid-day on the 4th of July and swung into nearby Asheville, NC to see an old family friend. She’s the kind of woman that was present with my parents in the hospital the day I was born and has taken me drinking in bars as an adult. And now I’ve had the opportunity to take her kids drinking in bars as adults when they came to town to deal with their dad’s medical issues, so things have kind of come full circle. We had lunch, did some shopping and they took me across the street to another tobacconist shop for some more pipe tobacco. It always amuses me to see what various shops carry in terms of cigars. The one in Gatlinburg was on the main strip and as such carried the old standbys for tourists along with a few of the newer name brands from Drew Estate and Oliva, namely MUWATS, Undercrowns and Nubs. This one here in Asheville was a local neighborhood shop so they carried a few more of the newer boutique brand offerings including a line that we’re excited to be expanding our offerings of, WARPED cigars. Be on the lookout for more WARPED cigars in the next month or so.
So, I’ve returned to work and we’ve run some pretty insane specials since we’ve been back most notably the winding down and selection of the winners from our Cigars for a Year Contest. It’s always an exciting time choosing those winners. There’s so much that goes into that process as we have to combine the entries from all of our orders from the contest period with the entries from our contest widget and find a fair and reputable way of selecting a winner. Now, we didn’t go as crazy as last time, with a big video production shoot, some hot babe, a long range rifle, a big balloon with tons of tiny pieces of paper and a shot glass, but we chose winners just the same. I’ll be announcing them at the end of the blog here so, pay attention just a little while longer. This year’s contest was a resounding success with more entries for the contest this year than we’ve ever had before. I have to say, with this year as my first at the helm of the Marketing Department, this contest caused me some serious anxiety and quite a few new grey hairs.
Our 5-Pack Feeding Frenzy has some of you going nuts and buying up 5-packs left and right. Also, our Retail Price Rebellion last week had many of you cursing us, breaking your buying freezes and stocking up for the remainder of summer and for your freezing cold winters. Then we kicked off Monday of this week with an Early Bird Shipping Special to show you that the deals just don’t stop here at CigarPlace.biz. We know your significant others and wallets don’t like us much but we know that deep down you really love us. We've got lots more specials lined up for you coming in August starting with of course our famous First of the Month $1 Shipping Special, but without further ado, I am pleased to announce the winners of our Cigars for a Year 2016 contest.
They are as follows:
Grand Prize: $1500 Gift Certificate - Emmett M.
Second Prize: $500 Gift Certificate - Rene R.
Third Prize: $100 Gift Certificate - John C.
Third Prize: $100 Gift Certificate - Dave L.
Third Prize: $100 Gift Certificate - James T.
Third Prize: $100 Gift Certificate - Bill B.
Third Prize: $100 Gift Certificate - William D.
Many Thanks to all whom entered and congratulations to our winners.