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Out of the Humidor

By CA Readers | From The Brains Behind Homeland, May/June 2012

Dear Marvin,

I’m the owner of a private restaurant in Havana, Cuba, and I received your magazine from the hands of an American tourist who lives in Key Biscayne, Florida. I’m not subscribed to your magazine but I will be soon. As of now, I make my friends send it to me from Miami because I like it a lot and want to have it in my place. My restaurant is located in Old Havana and we have had private restaurants for more than 15 years. In fact, we just opened a new one recently!! I’ll send you some pictures of it.

Congratulations for having such an excellent magazine and for having Cuba and the Cubans in all of your issues!!

Best regards,
Idian Leon
Havana, Cuba

Dear Marvin,

In the last issue of the magazine, you wrote an article showing how recently produced Cuban cigars have been outperforming their non-Cuban counterparts and the Cuban cigars of 10 years ago.  I recently sampled a Romeo Churchill from January 2011 that rated 91 points by your tasting panel, but was disappointed. The cigar was fantastic, certainly meriting a 91.

However, it didn’t taste like a Romeo Churchill (nor did the reviews really describe the flavors of a Romeo Churchill), but more like a generic Cuban cigar blended to emulate a Romeo y Julieta cigar. As a consumer of cigars, I don’t smoke them blind.  To the contrary, if I buy Romeo, I’m looking for it to taste like Romeo (and to be great of course). Yet my own palate tells me that Habanos has made enormous strides in making great cigars, but has in large part abandoned the distinctiveness of the blends that were personal expressions of the individuals who created these brands 100 years ago. It would be interesting to learn if in any of the editors’ recent trips to Cuba, you have been able to learn what attention is paid to preserving the blend for cigars.

Edward Wipper
New York, New York

Editor’s Note: Even the Cubans acknowledge that they are sometimes using different tobacco strains than in the past. They are working hard to create the old blends and flavors, but they will never be the same—just different.

Dear Marvin:

I really enjoy your magazine. The articles are informative and interesting and I enjoy all the information on cigars. But I was disappointed with an advertisement for San Lotano Best Stick of the Day in your last issue. I thought it was in very poor taste for the quality of your magazine. If a cigar must be sold by provocative appeal and not on its own merit then it has no place in your magazine.

Dennis Arndt
Ellwood City, Pennsylvania

Dear Marvin,

I just had to write to say thanks for the fantastic cover story in the February 2012 issue. The trials and tribulations faced by the Fuente family over the last century would have dampened, or drowned, the spirits of just about anybody else. The story itself was amazing,  but it was  David Savona’s powerful  prose that made it a real page-turner. I only wish Fuente cigars were available here so we could join in the 100-year celebration.

Alan Cassidy
Buckingham, England

Dear Marvin,

I was wondering how much time you guys get to enjoy your own cigars. With over 70 cigars rated per issue, that works out to 35 cigars a month just for tasting notes. I wasn’t sure how much time (or desire) you guys would have to smoke for pleasure if you’re rating more than one cigar a day. Does smoking another un-banded cigar sometimes feel like a bit of a chore?

I know there are days when I just don’t feel like a smoke, so I can imagine that if I had to smoke at least 35 cigars a month it could get a little bit old.

Submitted via
Northern Territory, Australia

Editor’s Note: There are times when we wish we had more time to smoke what we want, rather than what we must.