Lunch with the Experts
The audience was split into tables of 10, most of which were hosted by a member of the cigar industry, who shared his or her cigars with the other tablemates during the meal. It's a great way for a cigarmaker to get to know the audience, and a memorable experience for the consumer to get to know a Carlos Fuente Jr., Litto Gomez, Tim Ozgener or Ernie Carrillo on a much more personal level than most ever can.
|Kiki Berger of Cuban Crafters explains the ins and outs of cigars to his guests.|
One of the panelists from James Suckling's Collecting Cuban Cigars seminar, Thomas Bohrer, brought pre-Castro Cuban cigars with him from Hong Kong. He had hoped to bring enough for the entire crowd, but he just couldn't fit that many cigars in his luggage. He did manage to bring about 100, most of which he generously passed out to each editor.
|James Suckling enjoys a pre-Castro Cuban cigar with a tablemate.|
"Guys," I said to my tablemates, "today's your lucky day. We're going to smoke pre-Castro Cuban cigars."
|Cynthia Fuente-Suarez shares Arturo Fuente cigars with her appreciative fellow diners.|
The meal was tasty, but I think everyone was really looking forward to the smoke. We lit up even before our coffee reached the table. The cigar had that dusty, slightly musky taste at first, a signature of very old cigars, and when it began to warm up it took on nutty, woody notes. It was rich and surprisingly strong for such an old smoke -- a true pleasure.
We all marveled at how well the cigar tasted after four decades. Not a bad way to end a great morning.
Photos by Camilla Sjodin Hadowanetz
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