Cigar Aficionado

I love a good cigar.  I am, by definition, a cigar aficionado.  I smoked my first cigar when I was a 19-year old Marine Sergeant in Vietnam—made me look tough (yeah, right).  I love the taste, I love the smell, I love the ritual. It’s mostly (but not exclusively) a guy thing.  There is nothing quite as sexy as a woman who knows how to prepare a man’s cigar (oh for crying out loud, get your mind out of the gutter).  The clipping or punching the foot just right, the proper charring of the head (preferably with a wooden match), the rotating of the stick to achieve an even light.  It’s a sophisticated thing to know girls.  But, reconsidering a bit,  I guess it is a little psycho-sexual after all.

In the past really great cigars came from Cuba.  When Fidel and Raul took over, most of the cigar folks left for more hospitable environs.  Now really great cigars come from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras—and mostly use piloto seed tobacco from Cuba.  But the local soil has a lot to do with the final flavor of the tobacco leaf itself, and ultimately the cigar.

When the cigar company owner’s fled Cuba in the 1960’s they took their best cigar rollers with them (they are artists).  And in America the fine Cuban cigars of the past faded into fond memory as the enforced embargo shut the door to import.

Where there is a will there is a way.  You can still buy Cuban cigars abroad, but you have to be on the lookout for fakes (especially here in Mexico).  Tourist:  Caveat Emptor.  Back when I had money, and had a desperate need to smoke Cuban, I had a source in Canada that would smuggle them into the lower 48 for me.  EXPENSIVE.  I can remember paying upwards of $25-30USD for a single stick.

Now I live in Merida, Yucatan (damn close to Cuba).  And I smoke a Cuban cigar almost everyday while drinking my espresso on the sidewalks of Paseo Montejo.  These are not fakes.  Trust me, if you’ve EVER smoked a Cuban (cigar, I don’t mean shooting a Cuban) you will ALWAYS remember and know the difference going forward.

To my cigar buddies back in the States (Mark, Clyde, Wayne, Chuck and others) this was my mission this morning:  After smoking my last cigar I hopped on the Scoot, took a ride up to Gran Plaza to see my little cigar lady, and bought an entire box (25 cigars) of Romeo & Julietta “Churchill-size” Limited Edition.  The price was $1,600MXN/$121.98USD=$4.88USD per stick.  Remember those $30USD Cuban’s I used to get from Canada?

6 responses to “Cigar Aficionado

  1. Are you in need of a humidor or do you use them too quickly to need a humidor? We sell them at Bevmo and there are two that may work for you. A 4x10x2 aluminum with latches, a soft poly protector inside or another the same size that is black leather, both are reasonably priced less my 10% discount! Both have a small humidifier about 2 inches diameter inside. Let me know, I would love to gift one to you both to share. speaking of which, do you need a cutter ( scissors type ) or a punch. Just say the word and I can send them to the next USA/Canada visitor to visit you.
    Jim Sprague

  2. I envy your lifefstyle my friend, savoring a an intoxicating Cuban cigar, while slowly sipping your espresso! Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through your exploits, it is one of my new sins! Enjoy buddy you have earned it (many, many times over).

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