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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Claudia Schiffer, Jul/Aug 97

(continued from page 6)

The industry says that there are a lot of dollars chasing a more and more limited supply of cigar tobacco. I don't discount this. It has also not escaped my attention that there has been an almost exponential proliferation of cigar retailers lately. Since I don't believe that these nouveau dealers are in the business for altruistic reasons, I'll have to conclude that there are some fairly decent bucks assured to go into this specialized retailing. Conclusion: runaway cigar prices are largely dealer driven, not driven by supply of raw materials.

I've done the bundle-shopping drill, trying to find an at-least-reasonable value cigar as an alternative to my preferred but no longer affordable brands. A lot of others have probably done the same. The remaining options are to smoke a preferred brand, but in greatly reduced numbers, or to just withdraw my lifelong patronage of the cigar industry as others such as I will undoubtedly do. Maybe this vacuum in the market will be taken up by the new, occasional cigar smokers--women, yuppies, etc--and maybe not.

It would give me the greatest pleasure to enjoy on a regular basis the fine cigars that are so prevalently pictured in the hands of celebrities on the covers and feature articles of publications, or at least to enjoy cigars of the quality that I have smoked in my lifetime before this aberrant market. But, since this is not likely, I'll continue to smoke within the limits of my options. I smoke for pleasure, not to make a statement. It doesn't matter what band is on the cigar when there's no one around to impress. When my options can no longer provide a cigar that provides simply a pleasurably personal smoke, then maybe I'll do my bit to relieve stress on the tobacco supply by making my share available to someone else.

Michael Shaw
Vienna, Virginia

*

Dear Marvin,

I am a 23-year-old novice cigar aficionado who has been smoking cigars for about a year. During the last four months I have done extensive research into cigars and have acquired a great love for the art of smoking them. I recently had an experience that I feel is worthy of your "Out of the Humidor" column, so I have decided to share it with you.

One late Thursday night my girlfriend and I decided that we would go on a little road trip to get away from the everyday run-and-gun lifestyle of our city. On instinct we decided that we would spend our Friday afternoon traveling to see Graceland. We live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Memphis is about two and a half hours from where we live. After deciding that, I immediately went home and signed on to Cigar Aficionado On-Line to check for cigar stores in the Memphis area. Needless to say I found many shops!

The next day we were on the road by 9 a.m. Upon arriving in Memphis I immediately drove to the closest cigar store. Entering the store I found treasure, the Fuente Fuente Opus X. I was overwhelmed with joy since I had read so much about these precious smokes. After buying as many as I could afford (they are not cheap) and hitting a couple of other stores, we were on our way to see the King!

We spent hours wandering through the grounds of Graceland and had a wonderful time together. It was definitely an experience to remember! We left Memphis around 5:30 p.m. and arrived in Little Rock around 8 p.m. Although we were both tired, we took my cigars to my humidor at our local cigar shop and kept one out for later that evening. We drove around that evening for about an hour looking for the perfect spot to enjoy my Opus X. Finally, around 11 p.m. we arrived at a small, intimate pond where I could enjoy every second of the smoke. It was very dark and all you could see was the reflection of the moon on the pond and the fountain in the middle of the pond gently spraying water.


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