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708 Reasons To A Cigar Pairing Event

The world of cigars and rum is one that is steeped in tradition and elegance, with a rich history that has been enjoyed by enthusiasts for centuries.

708 Reasons To A Cigar Pairing Event

"Experiencing the World of Cigars and Rum In Chicago”
An SGM Evening in Sensory Pairings

The world of cigars and rum is one that is steeped in tradition and elegance, with a rich history that has been enjoyed by enthusiasts for centuries. At the heart of this community is the cigar lounge, a place where aficionadas and aficionados can gather, share stories, and indulge in their favorite pastime. And there are few places in the world that embody this spirit and romance more than Iwan Ries, the second oldest cigar lounge in the world, located in the heart of Chicago.

On a recent evening, the doors of Iwan Ries were opened to a special event, a SOTL Global Movement networking gathering that brought together cigar and rum lovers from all over the city, organized during the Chicago Rum Festival. The event was a celebration of one of SOTL Global Movement’s educational goals… – cigar pairings – and it was an opportunity for guests to enjoy the finest offerings that Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi, Lefty Karropoulos, Takis Karropoulos and Cynthia Gonzalez from the Puerto Rico Cigar Festival had prepared for them. Cigars and rum. With 708 cigars, one of SGM’s cigar partners, on display, and an array of premium rums from Ruhm Barbancourt, a personal choice of RumLab Founder Federico Hernandez, the night promised to be one to remember.

The atmosphere inside Iwan Ries has always been one of quiet sophistication, with leather armchairs, wood paneling, and a sense of history that permeates the room. The lounge has been in operation since 1857, making it the 2nd oldest cigar lounge in the world, and it has a reputation that is unmatched in the industry. As guests arrived, they were greeted by the SGM’s management team with a smile and their choice of two cigars.

The Event
A SOTL Global Movement event, opening the Chicago Rum Festival, was a fantastic opportunity for aficionadas and aficionados to connect, share ideas, and build relationships in a fun and relaxed environment. Attendees from a range of industries mingled, exchanged business cards, and discussed their work over cigars and drinks. The ambiance added to the excitement, with lounge music and vibrant decor creating a dynamic backdrop for conversations. The event was well-organized and provided ample opportunities for attendees to interact and engage in meaningful conversations. From entrepreneurs to executives, the event drew a diverse crowd that made for a truly unique and memorable networking experience. Attendees seemed energized and inspired all night long.

The Pairing
Cigar pairing with rum is a timeless classic that has been enjoyed by aficionadas and aficionados for centuries. The sweet, complex flavors of rum complement the bold, earthy notes of a fine cigar, creating a truly memorable experience. When selecting a rum to pair with your cigar, consider the strength and flavor profile of both the cigar and the rum. The key is to find a balance between the two so that neither the cigar nor the rum overpowers the other. With the right pairing, you can elevate your cigar-smoking experience to new heights and savor the flavors and aromas of both the cigar and the rum.
And that’s exactly what Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi and Lefty Karropoulos offered to all the guests.
All the guests received 2 cigars, masterfully blended by the founder of 708 cigars Zaid Eid. First, they all got to try a 708 Three Tone which is a slightly sweet-capped cigar, medium body, creamy and nutty with a smooth finish.

The second choice was the newly released 708 box-pressed Barber Pole which is a slightly sweet-capped medium body cigar, creamy and nutty with an earthy finish.
Now pair those two cigar gems with Barbancourt 8-Year and 12-year, an Agricole-style rum made from fresh sugar cane juice (not molasses), double distilled in copper pots, that spends 8 years in French oak before bottling. Can you feel the romance already?

Event Extraordinaire
Throughout the evening, a sense of community surrounded everyone. Cigars had brought everyone together, and it was clear that all attendees shared a passion for the leaf that transcended borders and cultures. It was a reminder that cigars are more than just a smoking experience; they are a way of life that connects us to a rich cultural heritage and a global community of enthusiasts. And the cigar community was present. Stoney Gillespie from Chicago Cigar Week, William Egbert from Blue Label Cigar Club, Mel Whitfield from Chicago Smoke And Sail, Tameka Treadwell from T2 Custom Designs, Misty Jackson from Ed Frank’s Mobile Cigar Lounge, James Griffin head of TSA at O’Hare Airport, Brandi Wheat from HerCigarCloset …and the list goes on and on.

As the night went on, you could notice that people were still engaged and enthusiastic. Nobody seemed to be in a rush to leave, and conversations continued late into the night. It was clear that everyone was enjoying themselves and making the most of the opportunity to connect with others.
Attending networking events such as this one reminds people that networking doesn't have to be boring or stuffy. When done right, it can be a fun and enjoyable experience that leaves everyone feeling energized and inspired. By creating a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, the SGM helped people let their guard down and form genuine connections with others.
As the night ended, we all found ourselves reluctant to leave. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, and the pairings were nothing short of extraordinary. It was an experience that no one will ever forget and one that would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys cigars and rum.

Time to Reflect
As we look back on the events of the evening, it becomes apparent that the cigar community is unlike any other. We come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds, beliefs, and values. Yet, despite our differences, we are bound together by a deep appreciation for the art of smoking cigars. It's a love that knows no boundaries and unites us in a magical way.

Being part of the cigar community means sharing a common passion and having a unique sense of camaraderie that is often hard to find elsewhere. We all come together to enjoy the same pleasures, savor the rich aromas and flavors of different tobacco blends, and revel in the social atmosphere that is created when like-minded people come together.

Whether we are meeting at a local lounge or at an international cigar festival, we are all proud to be part of this exceptional community. We are a diverse group of individuals who have found a common bond that brings us together, and we are grateful for the friendships and connections that we have formed along the way.

In the end, it's not just about the cigars themselves, but about the people who share this passion with us. It's about the memories that we create, the experiences that we have, and the joy that we bring to each other's lives. As we reflect on the evening, we are reminded once again of how lucky we are to be part of such a unique and extraordinary community.

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