During the Olympics, the Canadian women's hockey team got chastised by the media for celebrating their gold medals with cigars and beer. I was truly offended that the media indicated that these women somehow shamed their country. The only thing I was upset about was that it wasn't our women out there smoking cigars and having a few cold ones. Personally, I celebrated most of my major achievements in life with the smoking of a fine cigar, and I sure didn't feel obligated to hide it from anyone, as the media suggested would have been more appropriate. I believe these women have been unfairly criticized and we should, as fellow cigar smokers, support their decision to celebrate one of their greatest moments of their lives with a good cigar.
Editor's Note: Check out the editorial page. We agree with you.
I am listening to you guys because I have been smoking cigars since I was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1945. If you don't think that I have been smoking cigars for all these years, I will give you a little proof. Way back before the Cuban embargo I was smoking Cuban cigars. One of my favorite cigars was a brand called Mario Palomino. Do you remember that cigar? I am now 87 years young and the latest X-ray of my lungs were negative. No problems. I get X-rayed every two years and they are always negative. So what does that say to you? To me it says that smoking cigars is not as bad as they say. To me, smoking a cigar is like taking a Valium or something to relax. When I am a little stressed out I go out on my patio and smoke a Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur and I feel at peace with the world. Health wise, smoking a cigar is definitely safer than smoking cigarettes. Let those doom-and-gloom reports come at us, but we will still enjoy the pleasure of smoking a good cigar and drinking a glass of wine.
Just to let you know, I have been one of your readers since the magazine started but I am not affluent. As a matter of fact I live on $10,512 dollars a year, though I have enjoyed smoking cigars for 50 years. As I sit here writing this letter I am almost finished with my Victor Sinclair Toro, a cigar I can afford. So you see, you do not have to be rich to enjoy Cigar Aficionado. I will never get to a Big Smoke but that's life-a life I enjoy here in Los Angeles with your six issues a year.
Los Angeles, California
I just wanted to write and say "Thanks" for the terrific recommendation of The Garden Room at the Lanesborough Hotel, London, in the Good Life Guide a few issues back.
My wife and I recently traveled to London and we were able to enjoy this very special venue. We were not guests of the hotel and, frankly, it's incredibly posh setting initially took us aback and made us wonder whether "commoners" like us might be welcome in such a high- end place. Once we were escorted downstairs, the entire Garden Room staff put us completely at ease and made us feel as at home in that place as anyone else in the room.
From there, it was a night of 30-year-old Laphroaig, Bollinger Champagne and an absolutely perfect H. Upmann Magnum 50. Giuseppe Ruo himself oversaw our service personally, attending to our needs perfectly. At one point in the evening, he even arranged for my wife and I to be moved to the best seat in the house (right next to the fireplace pictured in your article)-which we hadn't even asked for.
Giuseppe and his very professional staff treated the two of us like royalty, even though I'm sure there were others in that room spending 10 times as much as we were. It was a highlight of our trip to London and an unforgettable experience we would not have had if we had not first read about it in the pages of Cigar Aficionado.
Thank you very much for providing the inspiration for a very special night.
SIGAR (the Yale Cigar Club) would like to thank Cigar Aficionado. This publication has helped spark interest in cigars on our campus and beyond, as we expand to other schools. Can't wait for the next issue!
Michael Knowles, The Yale Cigar Club
New Haven, Connecticut