The article on the five small farms of Cuba was quite refreshing [“Cuba’s Best Cigar Tobacco Farms,” November/December 2018]. Although you will never hear Montecristo or the other big names say: “Oh, by the way, our No. 1 cigar was grown by someone else,” at least when it comes to business, the Cubans know diversity can produce a better product. It’s too bad ol’ Fidel didn’t apply this to politics. You also didn’t mention if the farmers even own this land after generations of farming it. Eking out a living as a small tobacco farmer in Cuba can’t be all that bad.
Editors’ Response: While the specific situation of each farmer may vary, two of the most prominent Cuban farmers we spoke to—Hector Luís Prieto and Hirochi Robaina—own their respective fincas. The government still commands control over their production, but they are the owners of their properties.
Your article on the best Cuban tobacco farms should be a special edition. Well played.
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Dear Marvin, I have enjoyed your magazine for years and love the cigar rating and review sections. Will you be rating and reviewing infused or flavored cigars sometime? I normally choose mild to medium-strength cigars.
Citrus Springs, Florida
Editors’ Response: We don’t rate flavored cigars in Cigar Aficionado magazine, for several reasons. Flavored cigars are made in a manner quite different from that of the handmade, premium cigars that we cover, which are made only with tobacco, water and time. Flavored cigars can’t be stored next to traditional, handmade cigars because the flavorings and infusions may taint the unflavored cigars. Frankly, we don’t understand or appreciate adding flavors to a cigar. The cigars we smoke don’t need flavoring. Call us purists.
Your research on Bob Cousy’s final game is flawed [“Fantastic Finishes,” November/December 2018]. While you do recount his final game as a Celtic, that was not the end of his playing career. Couz was later a player/coach for the Cincinnati Royals, coaching Oscar Robertson, among other greats. Cousy’s final game came at the age of 41, as he inserted himself during the final seconds of a game only to lead to turnovers, which blew a lead and cost them the game. Not quite the glorious story you have told.
Editors’ Response: Cousy played 13 seasons (and more than 900 games) as a Boston Celtic. You’re correct in that he did play after the Celtics; after taking six years off from the NBA, he played seven games of the 1969-1970 season. But Cousy’s final game with Boston was a glorious exit from a brilliant career with that team, and one we felt worthy of inclusion in our story. He will forever be linked with that storied franchise.
Your recent anniversary issue has got me thinking about your magazine and the role that it has played in my own cigar hobby. In particular, your “Good Life for Men” approach and what it means to me as a watch-the-budget, middle-class father of three has been at the forefront of my thinking lately. The lifestyle that you profile in your magazine seems hopelessly beyond my comprehension and offers a glimpse into a lifestyle that only previously existed for me in movies and obnoxious TV shows in which celebrities give tours of their homes. The idea of spending a mortgage payment (or even the cost of my entire home) on a wristwatch seems as attainable as deciding to declare for the forthcoming NFL draft as a second career. In fact, the “Good Life” in your magazine seems to be a study in contrasts with my own day-to-day existence. Your luxury sports cars and sedans (my minivan), exotic golf excursions (my local public course on half-price tee days) and custom tailored clothing (me buying off-season clearance at the nearest department store) appeal to me much the same way as African animal documentaries I see on TV from time to time—interesting windows into a world I most likely will never experience. So what then is the appeal of your magazine to a guy like me? The cigar. Even though I cannot afford even the most modestly priced “Good Life” accessories you frequently profile, I can scrounge up 10 to 20 bucks to enjoy a premium smoke, and this is what I see as the universal appeal of your publication. A cigar is a great equalizer. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much you make, what you are wearing or what you drove up in. When you are smoking a great cigar, everyone is equal. That is a piece of “The Good Life” that everyone can enjoy and it is one that I am happy to share with the rest of your readers.