Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Where in the world is Dave Blanco?

by Gary Korb

When my wife and I were in Nicaragua last December, we met a young gentleman by the name of Dave Blanco. Dave is the producer and distributor of Los Blancos cigars, a boutique premium cigar brand that was introduced by Cesar and David Blanco 1998.

Dave is a fascinating guy with an intriguing family history, too. The Blanco's have roots in the tobacco industry that go back to Cuba's Pinar del Rio province, and their cousins are the prominent Plasencia family who blend and manufacture Los Blancos cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua. (Dave is also related to the renowned Oliva Cigar Family of Nicaragua.)

Dave has served in the Armed Forces in Afghanistan. He's also been a first-responder, as both a fireman and an EMT. Now he's concentrating his efforts full-time on making darn good premium cigars.

We spent the last night of our trip in the hotel bar with Dave and his girlfriend over drinks, and Dave offered me a private Los Blancos cigar that he personally blended for himself. The cigar had a Maduro wrapper and smoked with a well-balanced, earthy, medium-bodied flavor that I found very enjoyable.

Los Blancos offers four handmade selections, each with their own unique mild, medium or full-bodied blend. The blends are created using Piloto Cuban-seed, Nicaraguan, Honduran and Indonesian tobaccos, and the selections are presented in Sumatra, Maduro, Connecticut Shade, or Criollo wrappers.

Several weeks after we returned home, I tried to contact Dave at his office in Chicago. He wasn't in but I spoke to his father. He was very gracious and said he'd pass along my message to Dave who was back in Nicaragua at the time.

So far, I haven't heard from Dave. I don't take it personally. He's probably very busy gearing up for this year's RTDA in Houston, and I know I'm going to hear from him eventually. But if anyone out there reading this happens to run into him, please tell him that Gary from Famous Smoke Shop said "hello."

Los Blancos premium cigars can be found at local cigar stores and other fine tobacconists. For more information visit www.losblancos.com.

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