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Out of the Humidor, October 2018

| By CA Editors | From Alex Rodriguez, September/October 2018

Dear Marvin,

As a longtime cigar enthusiast, but more recent reader of your magazine, I was delighted with the latest issue featuring the masterfully cool Matthew McConaughey [“Alright, Alright, Alright,” August 2018]. In my pursuit of becoming an esteemed gentleman in my own right, I have thus far found your sophisticated yet playful publication to be the perfect primer for cultivating a gentlemanly lifestyle.

The recent issue also featured genuine war hero Richard Overton [“112 And Feeling Fine”], who I believe serves as a shining example to young men everywhere and not just due to his loyal affection for a daily stogie. Men like him don’t seem to be manufactured anymore. I like to believe that true gents are conditioned, not unlike newly arrived dry tobacco from storage needing a little activation. They start off dry, unrefined, and closed off, only to be reinvigorated with a touch of genteel flare. After which point they can become a quality finished product full of refinement and depth. Cigar Aficionado provides the essential information for every fun-loving, high-minded individual. Keep up the fantastic work!

E.M. Lannan

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Dear Marvin,

I have been a subscriber to Cigar Aficionado for a few years and really enjoy perusing the articles and the adverts. However, your May/June edition excelled itself. As a longtime fan of the great Sir Winston, your articles about his life (Jon Meacham’s book Franklin And Winston is terrific), separating fact from fiction and the movie Darkest Hour, was fantastic and highlighted to fellow readers of the magazine some of the personality and sheer brilliance of one of the 20th century’s greatest and most important figures.

Talking of fact or fiction, it seems appropriate to share my favorite Churchill quotation, which one only hopes is true. There is a government position in the U.K. called the “Lord Privy Seal” and Sir Winston was not a big fan of the incumbent. One morning, when he was still Prime Minister, Churchill’s secretary knocked on the bathroom door and said, “Sir Winston, the Privy Seal is on the telephone.” Sir Winston replied “Please tell the Privy Seal that I am sealed to the privy, and I can only deal with one shit at a time!” There really wasn’t anyone like him.

Martyn Fisher

London, United Kingdom

Dear Marvin,

You came out forcefully against Altria’s position against FDA exemption for premium cigars [“America’s Largest Cigarette Company Comes Out Against FDA Exemption For Handmade Cigars,” July 31, 2018,]. Will that forcefulness translate into not testing Nat Sherman cigars or accepting advertisements in Cigar Aficionado for that company’s cigars? Will it mean no advertisements in Wine Spectator for Ste. Michelle winery? As you pointed out, both are owned by Altria.

James Wilkinson

Sarasota, Florida

Editors’ Response: Cigar Aficionado will continue to test and rate Nat Sherman cigars just as before, as our editors deem appropriate. As for advertisements in Cigar Aficionado and Wine Spectator, we shall leave that decision up to the companies that advertise. Whether they do—or do not—advertise has no influence on the ratings they receive in our blind tastings in Cigar Aficionado, and the same holds true for wines reviewed in Wine Spectator, and all M. Shanken Communications publications.

Dear Marvin,

I have really enjoyed reading your magazine. As a lifelong learner, I feel there is always something new you can learn that will make you appreciate even more things in life, especially those things you enjoy.  Your magazines have done a tremendous job of growing my appreciation for my favored diversions of wine, Bourbon and cigars.

Your “2017 In Review” [February 2018] was a mind-blowing font of information, breaking down the many factors of creating great cigars. There is one thing that I found curious. Besides discussing origin and brand of cigars, you also discussed size of cigars. You wrote in your article: “lonsdales—another size that is fading.” Why do you think that is occurring? Though I am not committed to one cigar or size, I have always felt the lonsdale to be a happy medium, and tend to shy away from sizes that go north of 48 ring gauge. What do you feel are the pros and cons of a lonsdale?

Jay Goad

Franklin, Indiana

Editors’ Response: The lonsdale is a relatively slim and rather elegant size that once was considered among the most popular in the land. The Cuban standard is 6 1/2 inches long, with a ring gauge of 42, and perhaps the most famous example is the Cuban Montecristo No. 1. Lonsdales have been pushed aside by robustos, which are shorter (usually five inches or so long) and fatter (a ring gauge of 50), as people have gravitated toward fatter, shorter smokes. Nowadays people are looking for fatter smokes still, with the 60 ring gauge smoke becoming a top seller. We enjoy lonsdales on occasion. For pros, they don’t take an enormous amount of time to smoke. For cons, they don’t often have the depth of flavor that you’ll find in a fatter smoke, such as a robusto. Our advice? If you enjoy them, stick with them.