Celebrities

My Favorite Cigar

Cigar aficionados describe their smoke of choice
| By CA Editors | From Dan Aykroyd, May/June 2021
My Favorite Cigar
Photo/Greg Gorman

Andy Garcia • actor
Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Personal Reserve

When Carlos Fuente Sr. passed a bundle of his Private Reserve cigars to Andy Garcia, he didn’t realize just what it would mean to the Cuban-born actor. “It was the connection he made with that gesture,” Garcia, 65, recalls. “It was as if he was saying, ‘Smoke this. This is me.’ And it was a great smoke. I still smoke them.”

The Oscar-nominated Garcia jumpstarted his career in the late 1980s, with stand-out roles in such film as The Untouchables. Today, he acts, produces and is involved in music projects that began with his love for jazz musician Cachao. But he still takes the time for fine cigars, and can’t find any that match the satisfaction he gets from one first given to him by Fuente, who died in 2016. 

“There’s a smoothness to it that lets you smoke it late at night or early in the morning,” Garcia says. “Some cigars you can’t smoke in the morning because they’re too strong or heavy. But these are cigars that can be smoked at all times. It’s not one of those cigars that makes your head spin.”

—Marshall Fine

Kevin Lilesmusic mogul
H. Upmann Magnum 56 EL 2015

When Kevin Liles goes somewhere, his Xikar Cigar Travel Case is never far behind. The black box holds 30 cigars, grouped by strength, with Humidipaks at each level. It never stays full for long. “I carry it with me wherever I go,” says Liles, chairman and CEO of independent record label 300 Entertainment. “I smoke four, five a day. If I’m playing 18, I might get up to six or seven. It’s my relaxation, to keep my mind off things.”

He puffs in increasing order of strength. “I start off light and I end up with something that’s a little bit heavier at the end of the night.” During an early evening interview, he’s puffing a Cohiba. Cubans make up most of his smokes. Liles, 53, has been working in the music industry for his entire career, with stops at Def Jam and Warner Music Group. In 2017, he co-founded 300 Entertainment, a music company with an edge. As a younger man, a producer stole his work, leaving him with a lifelong passion for protecting the artists he works with. “These artists are trusting me with their life. My job is to protect the truth.”

—David Savona

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