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Cigar Diary: Mexico's Cigar King

Max Gutmann is one of the world's great collectors of Cuban cigars as well as Mexico's official Cuban cigar agent.
James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Armand Assante, Mar/Apr 2008

(continued from page 2)

Gutmann: Maybe we will do a different cigar or a different brand in the future. Maybe a robusto. Maybe a torpedo.

CA: Are you happy with the blend?

Gutmann: It's very, very nice. It's a delicate cigar. It is not a very strong cigar. It is a very comfortable cigar. It is very well balanced with a good draw. It gives you a good aftertaste. As you smoke it from the beginning to the end, it is the same. It doesn't get bitter at the end, like many cigars.

CA: How many Cuban cigars overall are sold now per year in Mexico?

Gutmann: In 2007, we expected to import about 3.5 million cigars.

CA: It's been like that for a while.

Gutmann: It may have been a little higher a few years ago. We have changed sales from a lot of machine-made cigars to hand-rolled ones, high-end cigars. So that is better.

CA: So what is the best-selling brand?

Gutmann: Cohiba. Then Montecristo, Romeo & Julieta and then Partagas.

CA: Does that mean you have a very high average price per Cuban cigar sold in Mexico?

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