I can't wait to get my hands on the new Partagas Culebras. The hand-made cigars are arriving from Cuba in the market in the next few weeks. And they are completely hand-made. In the past, they were made with short filler tobacco and partially machine made. But the Cubans have upgraded them. Check out the photo below.I haven't smoked a culebra in a long, long time, but I still remember the one of the first times I did. It was with Eric de Rothschild at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild in the mid-1980s. Rothschild, who oversees the first growth Bordeaux, was a keen cigar smoker at the time and had stocks of cigars aging in London at Robert Lewis Cigar Merchants.
I picked up some of the new Edición Limitada 2007s last week while I was in Hong Kong celebrating a good friend’s 50th birthday – God forbid the day comes. I was in Central and I noticed the Davidoff shop in the corner of a big retail complex, so I popped in the door. Cool… Romeo y Julieta Esucdos (50 by 51/2 inches) and the Hoyo de Monterrey Regalos (46 by 4 1/3 inches). They were $35 each. Not cheap. They still didn’t have the third limitada: Trinidad Ingenious (42 by 6 ½ inches).
The first time was when I was smoking a Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Monarca sitting outside Punta Ala harbor in Tuscany on my friend’s boat. I thought the elegant yet rich smoke showed wonderful balance and perfumes with loads of flavor. He said that the Monarca had no flavor. I was ready to throw him overboard! I tried to explain to him in Italian that power is not necessarily flavor. I guess he is too used to his Partagas Serie D No. 4s.
“F.. them,” said one of the cigar merchants at the outdoor cigar fest in the middle of the West End of London last night. ‘This will show them that they can’t stop us.”
He looked defiant and sure of himself. May be it was the mojito talking or the buzz of the Cohiba Maduro 5 he was smoking? But he was pissed off. And I don’t blame him. It seems strange not to be able to smoke in London, where many consider to be the world’s cigar Mecca. Since July 1, smoking has been prohibited in all public places, even in private public places like gentlemen’s clubs and country clubs.
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