Hey Cigar Pals, welcome to another Alabama Adventure. Today I am going to be sharing with you a cigar lounge that I had the good fortune to discover here in Dothan, Alabama.
We met Humberto and Daphne Berrios, who are the proprietors at the Havana Breeze Cigar Lounge here in Dothan. Humberto prefers to be called Butch, so for the duration of this post, I will be referring to him by that moniker.
What I Find Special About Havana Breeze
When Deb and I first arrived at the Breeze, we were greeted by Butch and I went through my speech ” Hi I’m Chuck Wimer with Cigar Pals and I travel around the country on my Harley having cigar adventures and I write about it in my blog” and handed him my card and he immediately became enthusiastic, which is my cue that this will probably be another awesome adventure.
Right away, I recognized a kindred spirit in Butch, because he is very passionate about cigars and that is something that really gets me going and makes conversation easy.
His wife Daphne is very involved in the shop and quite knowledgeable herself. She also smokes cigars and I got a kick out of the way Butch lets her try a cigar when he gets excited about one. I do that with Deb all the time.
Here’s Their Story
Havana Breeze is very young. They opened their doors in November of 2019, so they were only open for a few months when Covid hit and they had to figure out a way to survive, when they could not open their lounge to the public.
The way they handled the crisis, was pretty much like what I have heard from many of the shops, I have talked to since things opened back up.
The would let people come in to the humidor with masks, one at a time. Some were not comfortable coming in, so Butch would get their cigars for them and take their card and then take the cigars out to their car.
During that time the lounge had to stay closed.
Even now, that things have relaxed the lounges are still a bit slow due to people not being comfortable in an indoor environment.
I Keep Coming Back
As I am writing this post, I am at the Breeze mooching off their WiFi and enjoying a nice EP Carrillo Oscuro, which I reviewed when I did E P Carrillo, Five Days Of Flavorful Pleasure last month, I really like this stick.
I think this is my 4th visit to the Breeze, which in itself says a lot about how I feel about this lounge.
One of the things that keeps me coming back is Butch’s enthusiasm and passion. I told him about Cattle Baron Cigars when I first came in and on my second visit, he told me that he had reached out to Bryan Mussard and was excited that he would be getting some of his cigars at the shop.
I just happened to have a Cattle Baron Cigar in my pocket, so I gave it to him and really enjoyed watching him smoke it, I believe he was impressed!
Butch goes out of his way to cater to the local clientele and get the cigars that they like and at the same time encourages them to get out of their comfort zone occasionally and try something different.
He really enjoys introducing new smokers to the cigar world and brings them along, starting mild and moving to the more full body sticks, while showing them how to truly experience their cigar and know how to smoke and what to look for in a fine premium cigar.
I have to tell you a side story here, on my way over today, I stopped to get a hair cut and mentioned to the girl Rochelle Robinson that I am a blogger and she got excite and asked if I was going to put her in my blog, so I go t pic of her and told her I would, so here ya go Rochelle, you’re a star now!
By the way, Rochelle’s father won’t let her cut his hair and when she offers to, he calls her Dellilah, like Samson and Delilah from the Bible story!
What’s The Breeze Like
So when ya walk in, the first thing you see is the counter to the right and the humidor is straight ahead. They have the traditional accessories that you see in most shops, lighters, cutters, fuel, humidors, etc…
They also sell the traditional Scandinavian, British, Danish and Virginia pipe tobacco.
The Breeze is a member of the Limited Cigar Association (LCA) and they get cigar that are blended specifically for members. Each month member receive a selection and in addition to the regular members, they have started granting exclusive membership to brick and mortar shops, so that they can share them with their customers.
Some of the artwork in the lounge is done by a local artist Joel Goldsby and lends a Cubanesque feel to the place.
Butch has lockers available for the regulars that he charges $180 a year, where they can keep their cigars and paraphernalia. This is not a membership as such, but he does give those who have lockers a free stick when he has events.
They have a nice humidor with a nice selection of cigars, including Perdomo, Fuente and GTO to name a few. Butch also turned me on to a cigar I wasn’t familiar with called El Septimo (the 7th). I tried one, and have another on that I am going to review and I look forward to smoking that one.
The thing that makes El Septimo unique is that they are a Costa Ricca Puro. The tobacco is aged 6 to 10 years. I don’t recall smoking Costa Riccan tobacco before, but as I say, I liked the first one and you don’t want to miss my review of this stick.
A Fine Time Was Had By All
I have had a blast every time I come into this lounge. Even now I am visiting with Butch as I write this post and having a hard time finishing this up, but I will preserver and get er done!
So next time you’re down south and looking for an Alabama Adventure, be sure to stop in at Havana Breeze Cigars in Dothan and tell em Cigar Pals sent you.
Be sure to check them out online at havanabreezecigarlounge.com
Till next time Cigar Pals