Recently I enjoyed my first cigar in ages, some no name stick I had on New Years Day. The men were talking up the fact that it wasn’t a Cuban and the ladies were purring at their knowledge. That is where I cleared my throat and started to school people on why their theories on Cuban cigars is a crock.
The art of smoking is lost on our generation but the belief in a Cuban always being the superior product is not. Why? For people who know nothing about cigars I suppose there is some nostalgia associated with Cubans along with their inaccessible nature. “Ooh babe, it’s not a Cuban? Is it good?”
Here are the facts. Back in the day when the whole shebang nearly went down and the world blinked tobacconists had the presence of mind to harvest some of their seeds and move them to countries where there was much less static. It was there that they planted and grew all of the cigars we are able to get today – Patron, Joya de Montery, Romeo y Julieta, etc. Not only did they transplant the exact same seeds but they did so in nearly the same soil in nearly the same climate and so the tobacco that was harvested was nearly the same… and it still is.
If you look at a good stick, some things should always ring true. The stick should smoke evenly, meaning one side doesn’t burn more than the other and it doesn’t tunnel. The stick should not have cracks if it was kept in the proper manner – that means a humidor, not a refrigerator or baggie with a small humidification device. It should hold onto its ash. The cigar should look at nice, or nicer, than it tastes.
After educating people on what a cigar should look like it was time to chat about their taste and smell. Look, some blends are mild and smooth while others are spicy and bitter. At the end of the day, a cigar is like beer and wine and pasta and chewing gum. You like what you like and it doesn’t matter what people say. It’s your money so smoke what you like when you like. Just don’t judge a smoke right off the bat because it’s not a Cuban.
And do not dip it in brandy. And don’t be too aggressive with your cutter. And don’t use a punch on a torpedo.