Out of the Humidor, April 2018

Dear Marvin,

I just finished reading your Editors’ Note entitled “Shame on Apple” [February 2018]. As a subscriber, I was shocked to see that Apple had banned your Where to Smoke app from the Apple Store.  

I too was surprised to learn that if one performs a search on the App Store on the word “cigar” at least eight apps that promote the use of tobacco are available for download on the iPad, and at least five for the iPhone.  I was even more surprised by the number of apps that promote the use of cannabis products. The last time I checked, the use of cannabis is illegal at the federal level.  As you pointed out in your Editors’ Note, cigars are legal on both the state and federal level.

It is a shame that you were unsuccessful in applying reason in your dispute with Apple. 

Apple’s hypocrisy apparently knows no bounds. When you are the third-largest company in the United States, it appears that you get to write your own rules.  

David Frances

Albany, Oregon

Dear Marvin, 

As prior correspondence of mine in years past is evidence, I have been a reader of Cigar Aficionado since its first edition. Although I must add, I really do feel that you have relegated covering cigars and elegant mens-wear and accessories to a publication about golfing and gambling, evidenced by your relegating the word “cigar” to much smaller print in your publication’s banner. 

Nevertheless, with that said, I am absolutely outraged that Apple would remove your very useful Where to Smoke app! 

I am not, nor shall I ever be, an Apple customer as a result thereof and, moreover, I shall make this known to my friends and colleagues. 

I guess that Apple forgot that one can easily access where to drink a beer, where to sip a Scotch and where to find an escort. 

Robert L. Geltzer 

New York, New York

Dear Marvin,

Your cover story on one of film’s classic comedies, National Lampoon’s Animal House [“The House That Roared,” February 2018] had me laughing from the first paragraph. Not only is the movie worth our laughter, but it also opened the door for the multitude of great comedies. It pleases all those who cherish the memories of when and where we were when we first laughed at Otter’s suave antics, Boon and Katie’s collegiate romance, and Brother Blutarsky’s classic counsel to pledge Flounder: “my advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”

However, I need to point out one factual error in the article: incorrectly referencing Chris Miller’s fraternity at Dartmouth. Chris is a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity, not Alpha Delta Chi. AD Chi is actually a sorority founded at UCLA in 1925. Alpha Delta Phi, Chris’s and my fraternity, was founded by 19th century philosopher Samuel Eells in 1832 at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.  

As an alumnus and emeritus president of the Alpha Delta Phi International, I wanted to correct the error and commend you for the celebratory article. Brother Miller is one of many in our fraternity’s history whose post-college career exemplifies Alpha Delta Phi’s longstanding literary heritage. 

Stephen W. Starnes Sr.

President Emeritus
The Alpha Delta Phi International

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dear Marvin,

Your editorial sickened me. It put the final touch on wanting to rid myself of Apple and go to Android, which I did yesterday. Apple has brainwashed Americans for years to actually even have idiots sleeping outside stores just to be the first ones to buy the newest version. Apple was smart enough to manufacture every version, every size, every color, etc. and idiot Americans fell for it all. On top of that, they’ve had the most security issues over the past two years than ever before. 

Not this guy. I’m done with Apple, and so should every cigar smoker out there. 

Tony Cavalli

Trumbull, Connecticut

Dear Marvin,

Thank you for producing one of the only magazines that I look forward to. I was disappointed to hear that Apple blocked the Where To Smoke app. The glaring hypocrisy concerning the availability of marijuana apps is frustrating, but California is  Apple’s homeland, so I can’t really feign disbelief.

However, there is a workaround: on your Apple device, in Safari, go to wts.cigaraficionado.com. Once there, this can be saved to your home screen, creating a direct link. It even has a default icon of your “cigar guy.”

Sean Laurie

Santa Rosa, California

Dear Marvin,

I could not agree more with your editorial in the last Cigar Aficionado [“Shame on Apple.”] Apple’s decision, if it cannot be classified as ridiculous, is at least contradictory with its equal rights concepts. A company that supports race equality, freedom of sexual preferences and the use of spirits and drugs like marijuana is being hypocritical at the minimum.

The argument that smoking damages health is unacceptable in Apple’s case, and certainly reflects the personal preferences of Mr. Cook. Perhaps he should be spending his time rethinking the company that he runs, since it is already behind many others that have not only caught up to Apple but are also leading the market.

This kind of decision (and this is certainly my case) stimulates consumers to rethink their position relating to such a prejudiced company.

Vladimir Ranevsky

São Paulo, Brazil

Dear Marvin,

I found Apple’s decision to drop your Where To Smoke app appalling. I’m someone who has never used tobacco products and never will, but tobacco is a legal product that should at least be held to the same rights as marijuana. 

As a nonsmoker, why would I subscribe to Cigar Aficionado? You consistently have very good content and it’s an interesting read. This latest issue is yet another fine example, with the piece on safaris and the long-form Animal House feature. Keep on smokin’!

Rob Nance

Westerville, Ohio

Dear Marvin,

I am a cigar smoker and a believer in the First Amendment. I don’t own an iPhone. But your editors are wrong when they state that cigar smokers’ First Amendment rights are being denied by Apple. Those rights are guaranteed to us by the Constitution and prevent the government from trampling on them. Private individuals and companies can deny free speech to others with relative impunity and the First Amendment is not violated. 

Just as Cigar Aficionado can print whatever it likes, Apple can sell whatever apps it chooses and ban whichever apps it doesn’t like. First Amendment notwithstanding.

Kerry Montgomery

Portland, Oregon

Dear Marvin,

I’ve been a reader of Cigar Aficionado since the first issue. One of my favorite sections is the Connoisseur’s Corner that explores some of the best examples ever produced. Most, if not all, of the smokes reviewed are selections from the Holy Grail echelon of cigars. It sure would be nice to see what they look like.

Randy Venier

Encinitas, California

Editors’ Response: We’ve never photographed the cigars for that section due to their age, and the fact that we sometimes have only one. But this is a great idea. We have found a way to show you some of the cigars in that particular section—and they look great. 

Dear Marvin,

As someone who has been in magazine publishing for more than 25 years, I can appreciate all that you have accomplished. I know how much work goes on behind the scenes to create a great magazine. But in your case, you succeeded beyond your wildest dreams. Congratulations on not only a job well done, but on creating an incredible magazine.

 I feel like a newbie to cigars, having started only in 2000 when a friend who was celebrating the birth of his granddaughter gave me a Romeo y Julieta. I thanked him and then set it on my desk wondering what to do with it. You see I had purchased a box of El Productos when my first daughter was born more than a decade earlier and they made me turn green. So I wasn’t exactly a cigar fan. But a week later my friend was at the house for a party so I decided to give it a try. I was in shock. I’d never had a good cigar.

 The next day I went down to my local tobacconist and asked for a mild cigar. He sold me four Don Tomás. It was a great start. It took me two years to finally find the cigar of my dreams—Padrón naturals, 1964s and 1926s. I have been a loyal Padrón smoker ever since (so I am doubly saddened to read of José Orlando Padrón’s recent death). I’m always gratified to see your editors agree with my taste (or more accurately, I agree with theirs!) having made Padrón “Cigar of the Year” three times—more than any other brand. Your editors’ opinions assured me I made the right choice. That is what a great magazine is supposed to do—guide your readers in the right direction.

I picked up my first copy of Cigar Aficionado back when Hemingway was on the cover [July/August 1999]. We look alike and the clerk asked me if that was me on the cover. So I was reading you long before I ever fell in love with cigars. It says a lot about your magazine when the quality of your publication attracts readers who aren’t even smokers (yet). I’m also a novelist and you’ve inspired me to include Padrón cigars in my novels.

 I have been a longtime subscriber and fan, and thought after reading your 25th anniversary edition I had to let you and your readers know that from one publishing professional to the other, you and your crew have created a truly magnificent magazine.

Rick Pullen

Editor In Chief, Leaders’ Edge Magazine

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Dear Marvin,

First of all I would like to tell you how much I enjoy reading your magazine. I started to read it when I was a student in London. 

A few years ago I found a box of Partagás that belonged to my grandpa, who had passed away. As soon as I opened the box the aroma came right to my face and I was transported back with my grandpa in his private library. Much of who I am nowadays
is thanks to him, and having a cigar is like being able to be with him again. 

Marzio Mari Ahrens

Gothenburg, Sweden

Correction: The table on page 61 of the Jan/Feb issue listed the wrong country of origin for the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Churchill. The cigar is made in Honduras, not Nicaragua.