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An Interview with Benjamin Menendez

Speaking with Benjamin Menendez, senior vice president of General Cigar Co., the maker of Macanudo, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana and many more cigars.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Chris Noth, May/June 2010

(continued from page 4)

Q: What do you think the cigar world looks like after the embargo is lifted?
A: Fifteen years ago you couldn’t sell a Dominican or a Nicaraguan or a Honduran cigar in Europe. Today I won’t say it’s an open door, but there’s a window of opportunity. The cigars from these countries are getting better and better.  Cuba has a powerful name, very powerful. The day the embargo is lifted, and Cuban cigars come into the United States, the first week there is going to be a line around the block to buy Cuban cigars. By the second or the third week, that line is going to be very, very short. Because they will see that they have been smoking cigars from all these different countries that they have been enjoying, and this is a different palate. I’m a Scotch drinker. You might like rum. If you’re a rum drinker and I give you Scotch, 18-year-old Scotch, you’ll say “I don’t like it. I like rum.” But because you have heard so much about how good Cuban cigars are, you’re going to try that cigar. And a lot of them are going to be disappointed.

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