The Cuban Embargo remains a hot button with many Americans, particularly Cuban-Americans who emigrated to the U.S. shortly after the 1959 Revolution. So the question remains: Should the United States’ embargo with Cuba finally be repealed? Many Cubans who have come to the U.S. in recent years have a more open-minded attitude. In our January issue, Boutique Brands founder, Rafael Nodal, shares his view on how he sees the future of the relationship between the two countries.
Entrepreneur, master cigar blender, and world traveler, Rafael Nodal writes about what he discovered on his visits to Prague and Moscow during the past five years. The two Eastern European cities that have largely sold Cuban cigars, have opened their eyes (and mouths) to cigars sold in the United States. To find out why Cuba is losing its market share to cigars from The Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Coincidence or fate? That is the question Rafael Nodal raises in his article “Following the Footsteps of Ernest Hemingway from Key West to Africa.” Nodal, founder of Boutique Brands cigars, has traveled all over the world. Though he was a big fan of the author, Nodal writes, “…without any conscious planning, I have pretty much followed the steps of Ernest Hemingway.” Not surprisingly, many of the places Nodal discovered during his travels were the bars Hemingway frequented. Additionally, readers will get a glimpse of the history surrounding these intriguing locations.
Small batch cigars have become one of the most popular interests among cigar smokers for their use of rare and vintage tobaccos. As a result, many manufacturers have jumped on the small batch bandwagon. “In this time of ‘one size fits all,’ it’s good to know that there are cigars that are not mass-produced by big corporations, where the quantity is often more important than the quality,” says Boutique Blends President, Rafael Nodal, who explains why these unique cigars are well worth having in your humidor.
Want to know what it’s like to attend the GrammyAwards? Boutique Blends president, Rafael Nodal does. In 2009, his stepson, Marco (better known as “INFAMOUS”), received three nominations and won a Grammy for producing Lil' Wayne's Rap Album of the Year: “Mr. Carter.” Having attended the ceremonies that year with his wife Alina, Rafael describes, with deep parental pride, what he calls “a night to remember.”
When we talk about premium cigars, we think of good times, good friends, good food and even good drinks, but an American story? Not really, but the history of premium cigars in America is full of stories about the American Dream. Moreover, there are very few industries that illustrate the American spirit as well as the Premium Cigar Industry…