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Out of the Humidor

| By CA Readers | From Jeff Bridges, July/August 2013

Dear Marvin,

I’ve been a subscriber to Cigar Aficionado magazine for many years. It is simply a great publication. My wife subscribes to Wine Spectator and finds it to be amazing as well. You print a terrific product with profoundly interesting articles.

Your editorial in the last issue was exceptional. The last three paragraphs were incredible and the words were so on the mark. The lighting and smoking of “a good stick” is so much more than the actual activity involved. I find the camaraderie and the social graces of lighting up a cigar and having a great drink and discussing the day’s events to be one of the great pleasures of life. The cigar is so important to the situation. The way you expressed this in your eloquent editorial was pure poetry. I will always look forward to the next issue and sincerely wish it was monthly.

In these days, when it is getting harder to find a place to smoke, I appreciate all that you do on our behalf.

Richard Stain,
North Woodmere, New York

Dear Marvin,

I have a question about the Cuban cigar industry and hope to settle an ongoing debate between a friend and me. Question: What kind of selection process do Cuban cigars go through prior to winding up on the shelves of various retailers?

I have heard from reliable sources that there is no intentional shipping of lesser-quality cigars to certain markets, or preferential treatment to other markets regarding the quality of cigars they receive. What is unclear is whether or not there are “seconds,” or over-runs, or if there are quantities of Habanos sold to wholesale operations prior to being banded and boxed. Is every cigar produced by the Cuban cigar industry banded, boxed, stamped and sealed at the factory before ever being released for sale?

If you can settle this debate without giving away any industry secrets I would be grateful.

Peter Worsham
Bellevue, Washington

Editor’s Reply: From what we have seen on the ground, there is no selection based on foreign markets. But the rumor persists. We doubt it.

Dear Marvin,

I still remember the day I discovered and bought my very first issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine. It was the Autumn 1994 issue featuring Bill Cosby on the cover.  I was 20 years old and I had just been introduced to the world of fine cigars by a family member who gave me a cigar when his son was born.

Since that day, I have been a devoted subscriber and collector of your magazine. Little did I know at the time how much your magazine’s features and stories over the years would influence my life and shape my personal style.

While I have treasured and preserved each issue since 1994, I always regretted not having known about Cigar Aficionado from the beginning, with the first eight issues being a void in my collection.

As you undoubtedly know, the early issues of your magazine are hard to find and are collectible among fellow aficionados. It’s always been on my lifetime “bucket list” to get those first issues to complete my collection of your magazine. I’m glad to report that I recently stumbled on an opportunity to obtain those first several issues, and my wonderful wife purchased them for me to complete my collection!

As I write this, it is my birthday and I’m sitting on my patio on a sunny and mild spring afternoon, looking through past issues of Cigar Aficionado and enjoying a Padrón Serie 1926 40th Anniversary cigar. As I reflect on my life so far, I realize how blessed we are in America to enjoy the freedoms we have, and to enjoy “the good life.”

Thank you for producing a great magazine that has provided and inspired so many great moments in my life.

Jerry Morris
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Dear Marvin,

Enjoying the hell out of my subscription. Your Jeremy Irons feature was informative, humor-filled and brought us inside, albeit in a small way, his methods and train of thought.

Irons’ second-to-last sentence in paragraph five made my smoking buddies and I burst out laughing over our Cubans. God bless a person who can just say what is on their mind regardless of what social norms are.

I think this is the base of where great artists, politicians and leaders come from. Kudos for keeping the independent spirit alive and showcasing some of the greatest talents, minds and personalities in our age.

Warmest regards,
Keith Tramer
Stoughton, Saskatchewan, Canada