James Suckling

James Suckling
See Also:

Vamos a Varadero

Posted: Feb 11, 2009 9:03am ET
I just got back from Varadero yesterday afternoon after spending a couple of nights there with my 14-year-old son Jack. We drove to the beach in my friend’s old Toyota, and despite the bad road from Havana, we made it there and back. It’s about a two-hour drive.

Cigar Centro

Posted: Feb 9, 2009 9:23am ET
I went to a wine dinner on Saturday night at Club Havana for the introduction of wines from Tuscany’s Castello Banfi to the Cuban market. The multi-course meal was full of Havana’s sommeliers as well as diplomats, actors and other celebrities from the island. I said a few words in my bad Spanish about Tuscany, Banfi and Brunello di Montalcino as well as how the various wines went with each course. Believe it or not, there is a small but serious food and wine culture in Cuba, and I am sure it will only grow as relations normalize with the United States.

Cuba and Our New President

Posted: Feb 6, 2009 12:28pm ET
President Obama seems to be one of the most popular subjects of the conversations I’m having in Cuba. The general impression is very, very positive with the average man and woman on the street, from taxi driver to politician, and all of them have high hopes for our new president. I even noticed that Hiroshi Robaina, the well-known tobacco grower, was wearing an Obama wristwatch when I visited him earlier in this week in Pinar del Río. Check out the photo.

Happiness Is A Dark Wrapper Called Edición Limitada

Posted: Feb 5, 2009 4:22pm ET
I have been smoking a number of Edición Limitadas since arriving in Cuba more than a week ago. I am a big fan of the cigars. I can’t say that I have collected, or bought, every edition, but I have most likely smoked them all one time or another in my career.

The Montecristo Generation

Posted: Feb 4, 2009 12:08pm ET
Habanos S.A., the global distribution and marketing company for Cuban cigars, has been trying to keep a large number of new cigar releases under wraps for this month’s Habanos Festival, including a line extension for the Montecristo brand and a new size for Trinidad.  But it’s failed after some obscure websites reported on a number of the novelties.

Tobacco Road Trip

Posted: Feb 3, 2009 2:52pm ET

I drove out to Pinar del Río yesterday with a couple of Cuban friends, including the great ballet dancer Carlos Acosta. We drove an old and battered Kia four-wheel drive down the main autopista from Havana to the town of Pinar del Río and then to near the village of San Luis. The latter is the Holy Grail, as you know, for wrapper tobacco, or la capa.

America’s Insatiable Taste for Cuban Cigars

Posted: Feb 2, 2009 9:55am ET
We smoke a lot more Cuban cigars than you think we do. For years, I have been telling people – including CNN and other news organizations in interviews– that Americans illegally buy about 8 million to 10 million Cuban sticks a year. But I am way off.

When Is It Too Many in La Habana?

Posted: Jan 30, 2009 3:05pm ET
How many cigars are too many in a day in Havana?  My girlfriend asked me not to smoke too many while I was in Cuba. Also, she was worried I might drink too much in the island’s fair capital!

I only smoked three cigars yesterday. Come on. Is that really too many?  I could have smoked all day! I had no rums either. I might even email my mother and tell her my accomplishment.

Good Morning from Cuba

Posted: Jan 29, 2009 9:36am ET
I just woke up with my first cortadito, which may be the best espresso and warm milk made in the world. Forget your Starbucks or Coffee Bean. It is a very condensed, reduced espresso with rich, sweet milk. Italians would call it a macchiato, but it’s better than what I get in Italy.

Credit Crunch on the Way to Havana

Posted: Jan 28, 2009 12:13pm ET
I am sitting in the Virgin Atlantic Lounge waiting for my flight to Havana. It’s already an hour late, and I guess it will be later. Travel to Cuba is always a calamity, which I will go into tomorrow following my flight. I have plenty of stories of amusing flights – which is a nice way of phrasing it. Some of you may remember my flight last year from Havana to Cancún on Cubana, the Cuban national carrier. I nearly had to change my underwear on that flight. Check out my old blog on that one.

Ratings & Reviews

Search our database of more than 17,000 cigar tasting notes by score, brand, country, size, price range, year, wrapper and more, plus add your favorites to your Personal Humidor.