Cuba is the Mecca of all tobacco and the birthplace of the modern cigar. Every cigar smoker dreams about getting his or her hands on a great Cuban cigar to savor on a special day such as a wedding, a day they got promoted, or even the day they retire. Every cigar we smoke comes from the traditions Cuba has put in place to create the ultimate form of relaxation, giving us cause to honor the time honored traditions Cuba has bestowed upon the industry.
But in a nation where an embargo blocks modern day Cuban cigars to America, the market is now flooded with so many fakes, it is almost impossible to get your hands on an actual Cuban. Let’s face the facts: over 95% of the Cuban cigars that are smuggled into America each year are fakes. In Canada over 85% are fakes, whether you buy from a store in the Great White North or your friend that “knows a guy.” Chances are, you’re smoking a fake if it has a modern band.
So after years of having the same dream but fearing that once I light up a SWAT team will bust through my windows and take me down, or I’ll get a hefty fine, I finally achieved my goal today. I really couldn’t care less if the NSA gets a hold of my admission because the cigar that I am smoking is a pre-embargo Cuban cigar. 100% legal in America and covered in plum from being stored in proper conditions for 50+ years. It was made as a double claro, the traditional and most popular way to roll a cigar in Havana with a small pigtail triple cap, also keeping with tradition.
The double claro had faded to an earthy greenish-brown instead of vibrant green that comes with modern day claros, showing the true age of the cigar. When I removed the cigar from the cellophane, it literally sparkled like it had metallic paint on it, making it look twice as appealing. It cut very easily and was very easy to light up. The first few draws were a little questionable and tasted very grassy, but that was to be expected from a claro, but then it transformed into a mild and well flavored cigar. Every draw was creamy and sweet which put my mind at ease for smoking something more than twice my age.
At the end of the day, this cigar was nothing short of great. I guess this piece really is nothing more than something for you to live vicariously through me while I enjoy a legal Cuban cigar. But if I’m being honest, this is more to give you a little insight on what a Cuban cigar was. Every time we smoke a cigar, we should always remember where the cigar was absolutely perfected and pay tribute to the region where blending and construction became vital in creating the perfect accompaniment to any relaxing evening. So next time you pick up a cigar and light up, remember where the modern cigar came from. I know every time I smoke a cigar I’ll remember the one I just smoked, made half a century ago, and think back to how much Cuba has done to make the cigar what it is today.