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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Catherine Zeta-Jones, September/October 2009

Dear Marvin,
A parallel from Adrian Greniers's quote from your article "Boys of Summer" of "Entourage." He mentions that he thought "Holy shit," Obama enjoys the show and "he embodies the spirit the show represents." I couldn't agree with him more! "The message 'Entourage' sends about fame is that it moves quickly, burns hot, and is easily upended."

Obama is a superstar who pushes his agenda, quickly I may add, to jeopardize our freedoms and liberty! His fame will "burn" sooner than he thinks.

Alfredo Saurini
Springfield, New Jersey

Dear Marvin,
Being a subscriber of Cigar Aficionado since the first publication, I have had the pleasure of reading every reader's letter that you have ever published in your magazine. Over these many years I have agreed with most of them and in my mind quietly taken issue with some, but never have I been so agitated as I was when I read Mr. Brennan's letter in the August issue.

I would like to advise Mr. Brennan that the U.S. Government is not as he states "using Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to incarcerate people who have been kidnapped from foreign lands" but is using it as a POW camp for enemy combatants who have been captured on the battle field of terrorism. It is no different than our camps from WWII, except that then the enemy wore a uniform and these "soldiers" are treated far better. And wake up Mr. Brennan, we are not "using this American naval base for the purposes of torture and humiliation." Our interrogation methods at Guantanamo Bay have the purpose of providing the government with information that has saved the lives of untold numbers of American citizens both here in this country and those serving to protect us in foreign lands. The purpose is not to torture and humiliate but to save American lives, and that includes yours too, Mr. Brennan.

No, Castro, the dictatorial leader of Cuba for nearly five decades, is not "better than we." The U.S. does not have political prisoners from its own citizenry because they disagree with our president. The U.S. did not take land and businesses from their lawful owners in order to nationalize it for all. And we do not have U.S. citizens fleeing from our shores in makeshift boats in fear for their lives. What an asinine statement to make.

My recommendation to Mr. Brennan is to relax, light up a fine cigar, and let the truth filter into your head.

John D. Irvin
Cooperstown, New York

Dear Marvin,
Please tell me where you shop!

I love your magazine and read every issue cover to cover, as I have for years. I just finished the latest issue and was very happy to see you rated my favorite cigar, the Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona. I would have rated it higher than the 90 you gave it, but I laughed out loud at the price you quoted—$16.00 per stick!?

At Fuente's own store, Casa Fuente in Las Vegas, they sell it for $40.00 per stick. Here on Long Island, you can buy them for $25.00 each (when they are in stock, which is rare), but even then my cigar shop only allows me to buy no more than two at a time. Where do you shop? At $16.00 each, I'll take two boxes right now.

Eric S. Rosenblum
Levittown, New York

Editor's Note: Eric, the prices we list are manufacturer's suggested retail. Prices vary from state to state because of local taxes and other variables, including a retailer's decision to charge a markup premium. But the facts are the facts.

Dear Marvin,
Last month I had asked if it would be possible for you to commission a listing of cigars by worldwide sales volumes to confirm the Montecristo No. 4 is the best-selling cigar in the world. Was I out of line in making such a request to you? I tried to be cordial.

I really don't understand your ranking system. If something is the best, what do arbitrary scores of flavor, color and texture have to do with the determination that demand for anything is dictated by money spent in pursuit of it? That being said, would you please publish the listing of cigars by worldwide sales conversions to British Pound or Swiss Franc?

For a cigar, the worldwide sales (currency amount) should dictate the ranking system for global cigar demand. This ensures the most sought after cigar is published as the most purchased by currency amount spent on that particular cigar in comparison to all other cigars available in the world.

The $700.00 cigar that sells at auction wouldn't even rank in your listing of 10,000 due to the fact it only sells a few times a year. Montecristo No. 4 will rank at the top because nearly $1 billion is spent per year purchasing that particular cigar, distributing approximately 150 boxes of it weekly to a little more than 100 countries (except to the United States).

Rob Scott
Houston, Texas

Editor's Note: Uhh, we don't know what to say. In our analysis, the biggest selling cigar is always the one that sells the most units. Price, in that comparison, is irrelevant. As for currency conversions, we suggest you find a currency converter online.

Dear Marvin,
I'm a relatively novice cigar smoker, and this is my first year of subscribing to Cigar Aficionado. The latest issue kept me riveted during my long flight to and from Moscow, so many thanks. I tried to use the ratings as a guide for deciding on cigars for my wife's and my 40th birthday celebration.

Unfortunately, I didn't find any of the specific cigars at the local shop, but the guide helped me settle on coronas. Previous to reading your magazine, I didn't even know the names for different sizes.

Keep those issues coming!

Mark Scheuer
Vienna, Virginia

Dear Marvin,
I'm 20 years old and pay for school and cigars primarily through online poker. Anyhow, a couple of buddies and I went out to buy some cigars. After seeing the prices, a price-savvy first-time smoker in our group proudly declared that you can get five cigars for the price of one at a gas station down the road.

Not wanting to ruin his savings (we are in a recession after all) we did not argue. He proceeded to purchase some good ol' Dutch Masters. When we went to smoke later that night after a poker game, he began to cut his already precut 89 cent stick, light it with a Bic, and inhale all of that uniquely trademarked Dutch Masters smoke.

Moral of the story: thank you Cigar Aficionado for making me "not that guy."

Nick C. Unser
St. Louis, Missouri
(Submitted via Cigar Aficionado's Facebook page)

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