THE PERFECT DRINK FOR THE PERFECT CIGAR
There is no replacing the first step into a cigar shop when you are hit with the delicate aromas of cedar, vanilla, and a throwback to sophistication and rigidity that invites your soul to a history that is obscured but never completely left behind.
Lucas Pipe and Tobacco has been an institution in the city of Las Cruces for more than 30 years. Hidden inside the Ramada Inn on the corner of University and Valley, this specialty store’s sustainability in this community directly correlates to owner/operator Lucas P. Catoggio’s experience in his industry and dedication to his clients.
The time I spent in the boutique shop, I learned more about, not only the products he sells, (which are exclusive and rare), but also about the level of service he offers to everyone that frequents this Cruces gem. Lucas took his time educating me on a subject I have very little experience in, and for the regular customers, he took just as much time and care showing them new products and discussing different ways to make sure the cigars or tobacco maintain quality once they leave the store. Lucas Pipe and Tobacco is an institution in this town, because Lucas cares about his business, his product, and his customers, “I have clients who travel from other states like Texas and Arizona quite frequently, and others that come from even farther a few times a year because of the rare cigars I can obtain,” Lucas says.
Lucas is a lifelong Las Crucen who attended both Mayfield and New Mexico State University, and was doing some accounting work, when he decided one day there was nothing else he’d rather do than hang a shingle and open his own business. “I know it’s a cliché, but if you do something you enjoy, you never seem to be working at all,” he notes.
Don’t let the shop’s small size fool you, there is an eclectic and extensive selection of cigars and tobacco inside. In addition to the larger, well-known brands like Fuente, Macanudo, and Romeo and Julieta, Lucas has relationships with cigar suppliers and he can score highly-sought-after small batch sticks that aficionados seek out.
TRY IT – THREE PAIRINGS TO TRY
Here are some of the more interesting cigars that Lucas pointed out to me during my visit, along with my picks for the perfect liquor to fill your high ball glass with while puffing away.
The Chogui brand was created by Victor Nicolas out of the Dominican Republic from the Top Secret Nest. Working with Chico Rivas, Victor is constantly striving to be the best of the best. Chogui Cigars embrace the spirit of boutique cigar-making, producing small batch cigars with a quality control being at the center of their focus. This isn’t a brand that will stay in stock year-round because there just isn’t enough supply to keep up with the demand.
Recommended Spirit: Kirk and Sweeney 23-year-old Dominican Rum.
FLOR Y NATA
If Flor y Nata were a three-course meal, it would be one with an outstanding appetizer, a remarkable main course, and a tantalizing dessert. According to Lucas, this is a very different spin on Dominican cigars, as the Flor y Nata is very bold, whereas Dominican cigars are usually mild. Recommended Spirit: Russel’s Reserve Single Barrel Whiskey.
BLACK IRISH BY ROMA
The Black Irish is a work of art, with the strips of Candela contrasting with the broadleaf Maduro in stunning fashion. The wrapper resembles a barbershop pole. The aroma before lighting the cigar has notes of mocha and fresh cut grass. The tastes of green tea and pepper are also present. The last time it was produced was over three years ago.
Recommended Spirit: Green Chartreuse Single Barrel Whiskey.