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Q&A: The Silent Legend

An Interview with Alfons Mayer, the globe-travelling tobacco buyer for General Cigar Co.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Morgan Freeman, Mar/Apr 2005

(continued from page 2)

Q: Have you been to all these countries where tobacco is grown?

A: Every one of them.

Q: I'm going to throw out names of tobaccos, and I'd like your impression of each one, all right? Let's start with Jamaican.

A: Flavorful, little grassy, nothing to compare with. Medium quality. It was used mostly politically because of England.

Q: Piloto Cubano from the Dominican Republic.

A: In my time, the best tobacco out of Cuba when well handled.

Q: Nicaragua.

A: Extremely strong. Too much of it gives you very few clients.

Q: Honduras.

A: I got familiar with Honduran tobacco in the later years after we bought Villazon. It was suitable.

Q: Cameroon.

A: The best wrapper—but not enough of it.

Q: Mexican.

A: Second quality. Cuba No. 1, Mexico No. 2. Always has been famous. From the San Andreas Tuxla area only.

Q: Connecticut shade.

A: Tops, if well aged.

Q: Indonesian.

A: It all should go to Europe, for that is its climate condition.

Q: Candela.

A: It's good, you want one?

Q: You like candela?

A: It depends how old it is. [Leaves his chair, comes back shortly with two candela cigars with more than 20 years of age.]

Q: Thank you…let's continue. Ecuador?

A: A good replacer for people who need wrappers.

Q: Connecticut broadleaf.

A: Strong and too native. Raw, ordinary, very difficult to have a bundle of cigars made from the same broadleaf.

Q: Dominican olor.

A: Smells like rotten eggs—and I am being nice about it.

Q: Peru.

A: Tumbe doesn't burn so it has to be Terra Poto. Great for short-filler cigars and an insult to premium.

Q: Philippines.

A: Excellent for short-filler cigars.

Q: Panama.

A: It was a disaster.

Q: Costa Rica.

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