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Something Special

James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, July/Aug 03

(continued from page 2)

For example, the first post came from Shann: "I LOVE what they are doing with the ELs [edición limitadas]. In fact the EL's were my main purchases last year, and I am anticipating the same for this year. The reasons are: 1. I love the flavor profiles offered. 2. Which is as important as #1, if not more so, is my opinion that you know for SURE what you're getting with the ELs in the quality department. 3. Some of the El profile blends should age especially well."

ryj7x47, one of the most prolific posters on the site and a top Habanos expert, opined: "I really like the line...they're fantastic cigars, and I like them more than the regular line. The flavor is there, the strength is there, the finesse is there, the body is there, the character is there, the construction is there, and the appearance is there...these cigars have it all."

Some of the comments did express concern, such as those from TraderNick: "Let me start by saying that I love the E's I've smoked, particularly the PSD3s [Partagas Serie D No. 3s] and RyJ [Romeo y Julieta] Robustos. That said, what I would really like to see is a dialing down of new issues and instead a renewed commitment on the part of Habanos S.A. to ensure that the "classic" cigars of Havana lore are restored to their former glory."

I have voiced similar concerns to officials at Habanos, the global marketing and distribution company of Cuban cigars. They assure me that quality is improving across the board, not only with the new specialty smokes. As I have written in past columns, I have seen the improvements with my own eyes, both in the factories as well as with new cigars coming to market.

Limitadas, and other novelties, should not just be viewed as the cream on top of the milk, because all Cuban cigars are starting to look like cream. Those that don't meet those higher quality standards are becoming the exception.

Maybe Mr. Coin, another longtime poster on the Cuban forum, has it right? "James -- You can never have too much of a good thing, as long as it remains a GOOD thing."

Those are words that I hope the Cuban cigar executives are listening to, and hearing.

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