Cuban cigars really are better (on average) than cigars from nearby islands and elsewhere. But expect a flood of fakes to hit the market for the next few years until distribution channels are established.
I’m not a smoker, but a friend who’d been to Guatemala snuck a few Cuban cigars through customs and shared them with me. Yeah, I could see what the big deal was. I was actually glad they were banned, because I can resist everything except temptation.
Adm. Randolph: Try one of these Jamaican cigars, Ambassador. They’re pretty good.
Ambassador de Sadesky: Thank you, no. I do not support the work of imperialist stooges.
Adm. Randolph: Oh, only commie stooges, huh?
-from Dr. Strangelove
Finally! I’ll take up smoking!
The irony is that the people who have traditionally been able to get Cuban cigars tend to be the same kinds of rich, powerful, conservative blowhards who supported the embargo in the first place.
Agreed. And the price will be inflated for genuine cigars, for two reasons. As it stands, Americans will be allowed to bring $100 worth of tobacco back from Cuba, which is hardly enough to formalize distribution to the country’s tobacco retailers–there will have to be a separate law for that. And the novelty factor will increase demand as it will for tourism.
That said, while there are some Cuban cigars that are clearly better than non-Cuban brands, the industry has expanded enough in the past couple of decades that one does not need spend the extra money to be happy. The Cuban version of a Montecristo No. 2 is better than the Dominican No. 2, but not better enough to justify paying several times the price. With one or two exceptions, I’d spend the extra money for something from the Graycliff brand (which are fantastic).
Anyhow, I’m glad the ban was rescinded!
I’m not. Worried that the price will increase and the quality decrease to cope with the expanded market.
Not that I’ll be likely to notice much with my 3 cigars a year habit.
Edit: OTOH, with smoking in decline, it might actually increase supply and quality, so there’s that.
That would definitely impact my 50+/year habit.
I am not an expert, but I do not think that the cigar industry will be greatly affected. Americans smoke a lot of cigars and the industry has really expanded to serve the market. There are so many highly-regarded brands and blends that I haven’t tried yet, which IMHO is testament to the fact that the market has exploded.
Side note, gosh I hope this becomes a cigar open thread for happy mutants.
Last cigar (today!): Romeo y Julieta (Cuban), Coronitas en Cedro
Last great non-Cuban: Los Hermanos Robusto
“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
OMFG! Communist cigars give you cancer! Ask anybody!
I’m not sure how much room for sudden expansion there is within Cuba. It’s a huge market in the US and I can see smaller markets (like here) initially losing out until extra capacity comes online.
For the next 5 days, at least.
Nice. My last smoke was a Monte #2 from 2003, courtesy of my wife. That’ll be it until my birthday now.
I don’t really smoke any cigars that aren’t Cuban and hand-made. Not for snobbery, but switching to cigars is how I quit a 60-a-day ciggie habit and I had to make some rules to keep me in line and prevent me it from becoming a cigar habit instead.
I just sold my humidor and nearly all my cigars to a friend a few months ago. It may have had a few from Cuba…
Understand completely re: your personal embargo,
I told my wife that if she quit her cigarette habit I would give up cigars in solidarity. But man, that would be a difficult transition for both of us. I’ve grown to appreciate the craft of cigars, to say nothing of the complexity of flavor (and nicotine hit), but I got into cigars because smoking one forced me to sit still for roughly an hour and enjoy what I had in front of me. I think they helped me to become a better person.
You get much classier tumors with Cubans.
…becoming a sixty cigars a day habit? Churchill would be jealous!
Is there any clause that would prohibit you from switching to a pipe?
It would feel like cheating to me, exchanging one form of tobacco for another. That said, in the last year I have grown more interested in pipe smoking because I’ve seen a lot of good-looking pipes in shop windows and I enjoy the smell of pipe smoke. The only thing keeping me from trying is the initial cost of a pipe (I’d want to be serious enough to invest in one) and I am hesitant to get into both habits as I’ve already got a decent collection going in the humidor.
Do you smoke a pipe? Do you enjoy it?
I don’t. But pipe smokers tend to be a pleasant-smelling peaceful company.
I got turned on to cigars all the way back in Dec 2013, so the interminable wait for cubans to become legal has been… awful.
Spoiled in more ways than one. I believe my very first was a Cuban Montecristo, although I couldn’t tell you any more than that, the tequila was flowing. Ok, so it was flowing and spilling but it was also being drunk with rapidity.