"Both longtime residents and newcomers will come together to enjoy a fun filled evening with blazers, bourbon and cigars. This event was established to provide a premier Gentlemen’s only evening in Annapolis with wonderful food, drinks, cigars and clothiers, from both local and afar. It is a gathering of the “who’s who” in Annapolis, including local residents, as well as those traveling from surrounding areas such as Washington, Baltimore, and the Eastern Shore."


One week ago, I attended the Bourbon, Blazers and Cigar event at the William Paca House and Garden whose profits directly benefit Historic Annapolis, a local non-profit dedicated to the preservation and history of our beautiful town of Annapolis, Maryland. After being politely greeted into this Gentlemen’s only event in the heart of Historic Annapolis, I walked to the back of the William Paca House and was met with a beautiful Porsche, Kens Creative Kitchen, Caroline’s Cakes, Galway Bay and many more, an oyster shucking station and hundreds of men in tailored blazers. Cigar smoke filled the air and just about everyone was accompanied by a glass of bourbon, whiskey or scotch—Makers Mark, Sagamore, Jameson, The Glenlivet, custom bourbon cocktails by Level Small Plates Lounge! Take your pick!


My first encounter and conversation of the night was with a kind man who, upon seeing me, immediately came over to shake my hand. “You are one of the few women here and I just wanted to shake your hand and say hello,” he said, cigar in one hand and bourbon in the other. We spoke about the event, the amazing layout of food (he pointed me toward the brownies) and of course the beautiful Porsches displayed in almost every corner of the event. After running into a few familiar faces, I joined the party!


One question came up throughout the night: “Why aren’t women invited?” Being one of the few women there and kind of an outsider looking in, I was never bothered by the fact that this was a Gentlemen’s only event. I actually thought it was pretty cool! The Bourbon, Blazers and Cigar event turned out to be a night of camaraderie, something I feel we should all have every now and then.


With the backdrop of the William Paca Garden, I felt like I was leaving my imprint in history as many have before us. The two jukeboxes in the corner filled the air with classics from Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Conversations of favorite tailors, cars and watches were had. Toasts were made, cigars were smoked and photos were taken. Everyone was kind and the bourbon flowed all night long.


Maybe I can get another press pass next year!


Photos courtesy of Darin Gilliam, @klinestein9, and @mikepearson6