Cigar Aficionado

Out of the Humidor, December 2017

Dear Marvin,

I just finished reading the October issue today. I have been reading Cigar Aficionado for several years now and the October issue is one of your best football issues ever. The article on NFL history was great. I also enjoyed “Ten Things Every Cigar Smoker Should Know.” I have enjoyed cigars for only about six or seven years now and always relish any new information about cigars and the enjoyment of them. I appreciated that this article was written for both new and longtime cigar smokers. Please bring more of these informative articles to us on a regular basis. I devoured the Cigar 101 section on your website. 

I first heard about your magazine while listening to Rush Limbaugh, even before I started enjoying cigars. I had my first cigar at my daughter’s wedding reception and have enjoyed them ever since. Off and on, I bought a few copies of the magazine from a magazine rack and then my wife gave me a subscription as a Christmas present a few years ago. I’ve been hooked ever since. I find few things more pleasurable than enjoying a cigar on my patio while reading Cigar Aficionado magazine.

Just this past Wednesday I took the opportunity to try the La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull. I have frequently enjoyed most of LFD’s cigar line, particularly their Double Ligero Chisel, but the Andalusian Bull I found to be one of the best cigars I’ve ever tried. It is absolutely worth every bit of the 96 rating and the Cigar of the Year ranking. The flavor and aroma are fabulous. It holds an ash very well, draws superbly, smokes very smooth and the size is nice and large. I loved it so much that I ordered two boxes that night. Thank you for enlightening us about this wonderful cigar.

Alexander Piek Jr.

New Lenox, Illinois

Dear Marvin,

Congratulations on a great latest issue—particularly all the NFL items. Terrific articles. I also enjoyed the article by Jeff Williams, “Golf’s Top 10 Final Rounds” but have to question how he could omit Johnny Miller’s final round 63 at Oakmont in 1973 to win the U.S. Open. In that round, Miller came from six shots back and only four golfers shot in the 60s that day. I believe this is considered by many to be one of, if not the, best final rounds in golf history so I was surprised that Mr. Williams did not include it in his top 10.

Bill Rankin

Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

Dear Marvin,

I am a 30-year smoker of cigars and a long-time Cigar Aficionado reader. Please do not make any more special issues that are not about cigars. I realize that sports and cigars can go well together. However, not all smokers care about sports. I, and I’m sure many others, stopped caring what those overpaid people do after grade school. Your magazine has always been about the “classy cigar lifestyle” and should stay focused on that. 

Dr. Larry Lior

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dear Marvin,

I have been smoking cigars for over 25 years, and the article in your October issue by Gregory Mottola [“10 Things Every Cigar Smoker Should Know”] was, in my opinion, the best written article for the person who only smokes occasionally as well as the avid daily smoker. Hats off to Greg for his ability to wordsmith a great piece of writing about essential cigar knowledge.

Todd Golin

Chicago, Illinois

Dear Marvin,

My compliments on such a beautifully produced magazine. I received my subscription as a gift from my daughter. “10 Things Every Cigar Smoker Should Know” was excellent.

David Szakacs

Warren, Ohio

Dear Marvin,

Your “10 Things” piece seemed to leave a few gaps. For example, your “Cubans Aren’t Always the Best” seemed redundant to your otherwise good advice. The “sangria effect” was also a puzzle. In 50-plus years of enjoying cigars (even on six nuclear submarine patrols as one of “Rickover’s finest”), it has never occurred to me to inhale, whether in or out of training for the Ironman or the Boston Marathon. A good cigar has always seemed to me a low-cal “dessert” with a pleasant and calming effect—no coughing or light-headedness. As for “label envy,” I am taking your practical advice to not risk a tear and find that a suitably curved index finger achieves the same result of modesty. Also, ring gauge (undefined) and “firmness” affect burn rate, ceteris paribus. Finally, would you suggest a humidity range for home storage?

Ed H. Trottier

Aiken, South Carolina

Editors’ Repsonse: Whether or not Cubans are the best is one of the most frequently asked questions by beginners and one of the most debated subjects by connoisseurs. Our position on the matter needed to be addressed. Hopefully, if Cubans ever become legally sold in the U.S., more Americans will be able to make the decision themselves. To answer your question about humidity, we recommend keeping cigars at no less than 65 percent relative humidity and no more than 70 for the best results. 

Dear Marvin,

We just completed our second trip to Cuba in two months. The first was very disappointing because we scheduled all of our tours through the cruise line. The highlight was meeting our tour guide Reiner, a professor of American Studies at the University of Havana. We stayed in touch through email and when we returned we had our own personal guide, a pink 1953 Chevrolet convertible, and the June 2015 Cigar Aficionado as our guide. We hit all the top cigar shops on the way to Santy for lunch. You were not kidding when you said it was off the beaten path—it took some effort but we ended up at a blue door and were buzzed into a wonderful dining experience. Dinner that night was El Aljibe and just as predicted it was more than we could eat.

I left my Cigar Aficionado with my new friend and we are already planning a trip in March. Hopefully the new rules from Washington will not do away with people-to-people visas. The only ones who would be hurt are the Cuban people. They are kind, friendly and resourceful. You have my thanks for saving our Cuban experience and making it a trip to remember for a lifetime.

Craig Smith

Odessa, Texas

Dear Marvin,

The tobacco industry’s approach to the revival of older varieties could prove as a model for industrial crops facing natural threats [“Heirloom Seeds,” August 2017]. Coffee seeks heirloom varieties for survival. As far as major crops go, arabica coffee’s genetic gene pool is one of the world’s least diverse; making it highly susceptible to disease, pests and drought. The more varieties in existence, the more diverse the gene pool. A diverse gene pool provides a toolbox of DNA to tackle the ever-evolving threats to an agricultural crop. The coffee industry has tackled these threats with research being funded mainly by those within the industry.

Tobacco on the other hand, appears to be tackling gene diversity with its marketing departments; leveraging the consumer’s hedonic interest in heirloom varieties. Creating demand from the consumer is not only a more robust and viable way to fund industry research, but a win-win for the consumer and the industry.

It appears the coffee industry can take a cue from tobacco.

Michael Giudice

Monroe Township, New Jersey

Dear Marvin,

I love reading Cigar Aficionado and the diversity of articles you publish. The magazine is great from cover to cover and I can’t wait to submit a picture of my wedding (with lots of cigars of course) to the Moments to Remember section. It is also nice to know that we have a strong force fighting the over-regulators in Washington, trying to keep the innovation in the cigar industry alive.

As a novice I still don’t have a great grasp on size/wrapper/brand considerations. It would be great for you to run a detailed beginners guide to cigars and explain how wrapper, size, filler, country of origin and brand can all make the cigar.  When I walk into my local cigar store, I would love to have more confidence in picking out a cigar for the occasion and being able to point friends and family in the right direction.

Thanks for producing such a great magazine.

Daniel Miller

Chicago, Illinois

Editors’ Response: Thanks for the comments, and welcome to the wonderful world of cigars. Visit our Cigar 101 section at the newly redesigned It has all the information you need to educate yourself on the details of cigar smoking.