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A Great Collector

A 30-year-old Hong Kong businessman could have the greatest cigar collection in the world
James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Richard Branson, Sept/Oct 2007

(continued from page 9)

Wong: Recently, I found that cigars from 1998 are smoking fabulous now. Really good. I didn't buy anything after that until recently. There were too many problems with construction. They didn't draw.

CA: Do you buy cigars on the Internet or from merchants you know?

Wong: I only buy from merchants I know. It just so happens that some of the merchants sell on the Internet. But I don't buy on the Internet. You have to buy from somebody you definitely trust. There are so many fake cigars around.

CA: Have you had any problems with fakes?

Wong: Well, I have had a couple of boxes. Cohiba Espléndidos mainly. Ah, but you know, actually they are not hard to spot. As soon as you smoke one, you know.

CA: Do you keep all your cigars in your walk-in humidor or do you also use small humidors that hold a few hundred cigars?

Wong: I keep most of the cigars, almost 95 percent of the cigars, in [the walk-in]. I keep some at home. Some in the office for everyday smoking. I like the condition to be constant so I can see how they are developing. I think you can get a lot of fulfillment aging your own cigars, if you age them properly.

CA: What do you think of pre-revolution cigars? Is the hype over cigars from the 1950s and older true?

Wong: I think in general you can find some good pre-revolution cigars. Sometimes it is about picking the right box. I mean, it is hard because the cigar has been around for so long. For me, pre-revolution cigars are more of a collector's item. Sometimes you do get a lot of enjoyment smoking them. But it is just something to have.

CA: Why are the Chinese some of the biggest cigar collectors today? Is it something unique to the Chinese mentality for finer things in life?

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