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James Suckling

James Suckling
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Que Rico To Smoke in the José Martí Airport

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 4:41pm ET
I sat in the VIP lounge at Havana's José Martí Airport for about an hour waiting for my bags. Everyone was super friendly, super chilled. I made some jokes in my bad Spanish and just hung and smoked my Trinidad Fundadore. Is it just me or does this awesome cigar taste better now that I am in Cuba? I think it likes being back home and it will stay here in the form of ash.

The Right Smoke for Cuba

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 4:48pm ET
What would you bring to Cuba for your first smoke? I always have that “problem” when I go to cigar smokers’ paradise. I like to light a cigar as soon as I arrive on the island, and that normally means at the VIP lounge in the José Martí Airport as I am waiting for my luggage.

Driving the Dream

Posted: May 30, 2008 9:32am ET
I have to admit that I was a little nervous. Look at my face in the video before I drove the car. I think I look a little pale, even ashen. But it all went well, and after four laps around the track, I began to feel confident.

It was all part of a morning at the Fiorano racetrack near Modena, Italy. The track is the official track for Ferrari, both for testing their

London Smoking

Posted: May 16, 2008 10:26am ET
I froze my ass off last night in London just to smoke a cigar with my good friends Jemma Freeman and Simon Chase, both of Hunters & Frankau, the British importers of fine Cuban cigars. We smoked a number of aged cigars that they are currently putting on the market, including a delicious 1998 Romeo y Julieta Churchill. The long smoke delivered plenty of cocoa and coffee character as well as a medium body, and a flavorful finish. 91 points, non blind, I say.

Cuban Cigar Sting in L.A.

Posted: May 7, 2008 11:49am ET
It is surprisingly easy to get Cuban cigars on the West Coast, especially Los Angeles. I was jonesing for a Cuban the other night in Los Angeles and a buddy of mine turned me on to a Partagas Serie D No. 4 straight from a nearby convenience store on Sunset Boulevard. I think most cigar and smoke shops in West Hollywood have Cubans under their counters. I imagine it is the same in many places in Southern California. Whether they are real or not is another matter!

Breakfast of Champions

Posted: Apr 29, 2008 12:16pm ET
“Does it taste like 100 points?” asked David Savona, web tsar and senior editor of Cigar Aficionado.

“Good question,” I responded as I smoked in his office in New York. I wasn’t prepared to give my hand away.

The Questionable Process of Purging Your Cigar

Posted: Apr 24, 2008 9:54am ET
I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t know what the hell purging a cigar was until recently. I am only using “hell” because my editors would cut the proper four-letter word for this column.

I guess I never thought about purging my cigar. It sounds sort of nasty. I only purge smelly or bad things. That normally means dumping, flushing or burying things that I purge. And, thank God, my cigars do not fit into that category unless something has gone very, very wrong.

Living My Fantasy

Posted: Apr 15, 2008 12:15pm ET
I am going to let you in on a little secret. I have always fantasized about working in a cigar factory in Havana. There is something so seductive about the idea. Sure, it can be hard work, even monotonous labor. And the pay certainly is not much. But the thought of smelling, smoking and touching great Cuban leaf every day turns me on.

Wrappers and Bimbos

Posted: Mar 27, 2008 11:25am ET
I have noticed some conversation in CA’s online forums, as well as other places, about the quality of wrapper recently in Cuba, and I am not sure whether they are talking about the past, present or future. All I can tell you is that I am always concerned about the leaf. Wrapper, the leaf used on the outside of the cigar, is always the Achilles’ heel of Cuban cigar production.

Finding the Genie in Hollywood

Posted: Mar 12, 2008 3:17pm ET
My buddy and I were dying for a smoke. And I was empty handed. We had just finished dinner at Father’s Office in Santa Monica and we were full of burgers, sweet potato fries, and various other delicacies, besides sharing a bottle of 2001 Cote Rotie Rene Rostang and 1979 Ridge Petite Sirah. A smoke would help digest it all!

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