David Savona, The Real Cigar Aficianado

As an esteemed contributor to Cigar Public, I’ve observed how cigar journalism remains perennially influenced by a singular towering figure: David Savona. The contemporary generation of cigar aficionados may perceive Cigar Aficionado with a less reverent gaze than their predecessors, but it’s important to retrace our steps back to an era brimming with exuberance for the cigar industry.

Picture a time when celebrities were rarely spotted without a cigar, when queues snaked around cigar shops, and the thrill of the late ’90s cigar boom pulsed through the air. Amidst this frenzy, only a handful of writers – perhaps, a scarce three to five – dared to venture to obscure regions like Jalapa. These were landscapes untouched by modernity, home to some of the most fervent tobacco growers and cigar manufacturers nestled within the jungles of South and Central America.

David Savona was one of these few trailblazers. His ability to document, decode, and convey information was unparalleled. He provided insights, now widely accepted as standard cigar education, with utmost finesse and a unique depth of understanding.

As a fellow enthusiast and, now, in some sense, a colleague, I’ve always aspired to contribute to the exploration and documentation of this intriguing and still somewhat primitive industry, alongside stalwarts like David and Cigar Aficionado. Regrettably, our recent efforts have yet to resonate with or pique the interest of the industry’s seasoned veterans, who once pursued similar quests without the benefit of modern technology such as video cameras.

Through this article, I aim to commemorate an invaluable contributor to cigar culture. It is essential to remember that David Savona, representing Cigar Aficionado, tirelessly laid the groundwork for what Americans today comprehend about cigars. Let us not forget the legacy he has left behind.

David Savona is a true pillar of the cigar industry, best known for his role as the executive editor of “Cigar Aficionado,” a preeminent magazine dedicated to the celebration of cigar culture and lifestyle. Under his astute leadership, the magazine became an industry trailblazer, not merely chronicling the happenings within the world of cigars, but actively shaping the dialogue around them.

Born in the United States, Savona developed an affinity for the rich and complex world of cigars early on in his life. This passion led him to a career in journalism, providing him with a platform to share his extensive knowledge and appreciation for the craft of cigar making.

Savona’s journey with “Cigar Aficionado” started in 1997. His deep understanding of the product, as well as his unique ability to weave engaging narratives, quickly elevated him within the organization. Savona’s work has been characterized by the belief that cigar smoking isn’t just about the product, but also the people, places, and culture that surround it.

One of Savona’s most impressive accomplishments at the magazine has been the annual release of the “Top 25 Cigars” list, which has become a highly anticipated event for cigar aficionados around the world. Savona personally participates in the exhaustive blind tastings that determine the rankings, ensuring the list’s credibility and standing in the community.

Savona’s expertise extends beyond just enjoying and evaluating cigars. His research on the intricacies of cigar manufacturing, in particular, has been a highlight of his career. His groundbreaking series on the processes of growing, fermenting, and rolling tobacco into a perfect cigar provided readers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the labor and artistry involved in creating premium cigars.

Notable among his research projects is the in-depth study of the Cuban cigar industry, where he spent substantial time understanding the nuances and traditions of Cuban cigar-making techniques. Savona’s report on the impact of the U.S. embargo on the Cuban cigar industry and its global implications is considered a cornerstone work, enlightening readers on the intricate geopolitics entwined with the pleasure of a good smoke.

Savona’s impact on the cigar industry extends beyond his articles. His active involvement in cigar events and seminars, coupled with his strong presence on social media, has allowed him to connect with readers and enthusiasts on a deeper level, fostering a community united by a shared passion for cigars.

In honoring David Savona’s remarkable career, one must note his unwavering commitment to promoting and preserving the rich heritage of the cigar industry. His tireless work has not only educated enthusiasts around the world, but also highlighted the human element behind every cigar, from the tobacco farmer to the skilled roller.

Through his efforts, David Savona has helped to demystify the world of cigars and make it accessible to a wider audience, contributing in no small measure to the thriving global community of cigar enthusiasts. His work will forever be etched in the annals of the cigar industry, a testament to his passion and dedication.