I’m quite impressed with the new Edmundo Dantes Conde 54, a Regional Edition Cuban cigar designed only for sale in Mexico. It’s not a big surprise. When the Edmundo Dantes Conde 109 came out in 2007, it was utterly amazing, so when we heard of a new Edmundo Dantes we had high hopes indeed. So far, in non-blind tastings, the cigar has lived up to its expectations. You can read about how good it is in Gordon Mott’s blog from earlier this week.
quite horrified, however, with the cigar’s packaging. It’s not the box
itself—a lovely boite nature box, with an ornate brooch clasp and
dovetailed corners, and a simple but stately pair of triangles making up
the Edmudo Dantes logo—but what has been done to it. More than half of
it is covered in unsightly warnings.
On the top is a seven-by-three-inch photograph of a little girl crying over what appears to be a dead body. The bottom is plastered with a black sticker with bright yellow type. I shot a video so you can see—take a look farther down the page.
This is something new and troubling for those who buy cigars in Mexico. Any box of cigars sold in that country must now be covered in a series of warnings that take up 60 percent of the surface area of the box.
The photo on the top is not always the same. In addition to the crying girl, there’s also a dead rat and a photograph of quite unseemly teeth.
As bad as the top image is, the bottom bothers me even more. The sticker covers everything, including the Cuban date and factory codes.
Cigar boxes are pieces of art, prized by collectors. They also contain essential information that helps people determine what is fake and what is real. Stickers such as these not only are unseemly, they make it difficult for collectors to get the most out of their cigars.
warnings are extreme, and remind me of the short-lived campaign by New
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to put graphic images of diseased lungs,
rotted teeth and other shocking images in cigar shops. A judge ruled in
late 2010 that the warnings had to come down, and so they did.
“Our customers are elated that they no longer have to be subjected to these horrific images when purchasing a legal product,” said New York City cigar retailer Michael Herklots at the time.
Let’s hope these warning labels in Mexico are temporary as well.