Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Raquel Welch, Jul/Aug 01
(continued from page 2)
Enjoyed the write-up on Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and his liaison with Mafia chieftain Meyer Lansky [June 2001]. With this strange courtship between dictator and Mafia, it was only logical that the Cuban populace would be outraged due to the money they were bringing in for the rich and neglecting to distribute to the poor. It was a crook's paradise, since venture capitalists need not comply with a background check. The sad truth was that the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. Things became ripe for Fidel Castro to take over. Even though Castro had a communist regime, it was beneficial for the poor. This is why he received so much support. Lansky is lucky he left Cuba when he did, because I wouldn't have any doubt that Castro would have executed him. Castro flexed his muscle to the Mafia and won out and showed his bravado by closing the casinos in 1960.
Nannette "Nan" Wahleithner
As a guy who doesn't buy exotic cars, million-dollar boats, or has someone who buys my wardrobe for me, I look to your publication for information about cigars. Your June issue had a lot of info about Cuban cigars and I really enjoyed it.
I smoked my first Cohiba, a gift from my dad, when I finished grad school. It was a mindblower. Once I had one, I never could smoke anything else. Even today, I still enjoy a Coronas Especiales, and I've smoked every brand of Cuban cigar since then; but the quality has changed. I have about 30 boxes of Cubans in my humidor, some from the late 1980s to mid-'90s and some newer ones. The difference between the older ones and the newer ones is huge! The article about the quality of the current Cuban products is correct. Although brands such as Cohiba, Montecristo and Partagas are nicely constructed and burn beautifully, the newer ones all smoke the same. They are good, at best. Even the Cohiba Esplendido, a cigar by which all others were compared, has changed. I smoke at least 15 cigars per week, some of them Cubans, yet my favorite is the Nicaraguan Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro Torpedo.
I have experienced the difficult draw, the ammonia odor and the bland taste in the past few years with some Cuban purchases that I've made. My cigars with five to 10 years of box age are noticeably better. With all of the fakes out there, I wonder if today's Cuban cigar is really worth the hassle. I have several boxes of the new Edicion Limitadas and the cigars are good smokes, but hopefully will get much better with several years of aging. The jury is out on Cuban cigars, in my opinion. I look to your publication to continue to lead the way with advice, reviews and suggestions regarding enjoying the ever-changing world of fine cigars.