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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Denzel Washington, Jan/Feb 98

(continued from page 15)

***

Dear Marvin,

I am now convinced that I can truly relax with a good cigar. It happened while I was waiting for a bachelor party to begin at the Grand Wailea Resort in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii. I didn't know many people, so I planned to show up fashionably late.

I walked through the plush grounds down to a bench overlooking a perfect beach and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The sun had set about 10 minutes earlier, so there was a still pinkish-orange glow on the distant horizon. After taking my seat, I took out a Joya de Nicaragua corona I brought from Denver. It was in perfect shape, thanks to the tropical humidity on Maui.

There on the bench, I cut my cigar that had survived so many thousands of miles. The evening was perfect, and despite being just 100 yards from the crashing surf, it took only one match to get the cigar going. Soon the air was filled with not only the great smell of the ocean, but that great smell we all love: the just-lit cigar.

The island of Kaho'olawe was right in front of me, right across the channel, and the island of Lana'i was somewhere off the right of me. The sounds of the surf provided the sound track, palm trees with young coconuts swayed overhead, and a few hundred yards down the beach, dancers took part in the early stages of a luau.

The cigar was smooth and mellow, with tastes of oak and butter and hints of spice. This was probably the first time I was actually able to distinguish different tastes--the setting probably helped.

About 25 minutes into my memorable smoke, the stars came out: thousands of them, stretching from the horizon to infinity. I watched the smoke curl its way towards the heavens, and realized how great the time was.

After the cigar was down to the stage we all dread, I soaked up the final moments of the experience and then headed through the meticulous grounds and pools of the resort and met up with the bachelor party group. They were smoking cigars, but there's such a difference between just smoking one and enjoying one.

The next day, when I told my wife about the night, I explained that I had likely one of the best cigar-smoking experiences I would ever have.


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