That's right, non Cubans, the cigars that seem to be instantly penalized by many, solely on the basis that they're from a different part of the world. Among the many lists and reviews of "the best cigars", there doesn't seem to be much thought as to what else the cigar world has to offer. Sure the idea of these elite cigars is enticing, the average American smoker knows that vacations to neighboring countries could be their only chance to try a Cuban. But what about the rest of the time? Are we really subjected to a subpar cigar offering? Are we missing out?
What's so special about Cuban Cigars?
Is there really some magical combination that Cuba and her cigar rollers possess? Some people think that it's the common consensus that Cuban cigars are "the best in the world" but cigar insiders and enthusiasts know that a quality cigar can be made elsewhere. So why are Cubans held with such high regard? Tobacco has been grown on Cuban soil for literally hundreds of years, not to mention Cuba's virtually perfect climate for growing and fermenting tobacco leafs. But there's more to it than that; in the early 1960's, the USA instituted a trade embargo against Cuba as they had been overrun by Communism. Half a century with no Cuban cigars? Do they even exist?… Of course they do, problem is, the "elusive Cuban" has been so built-up in everyone's minds that the actual product often leaves one… wanting something more. Don't get me wrong, I believe 100% that the best cigar(s) money can buy are in fact Cuban cigars. Cohiba (Cuban cigar manufacturer) currently produces a stick called the Behike, a $40 smoke that is widely thought to be the finest cigar in the world. And hey, if you've got the money and the means to buy yourself a piece of history, there are Cuban cigars in the 35-50 year range that will probably change your life forever.
Now lets get back to reality, the majority of us cigar-lovin' dudes want to keep three styles of cigars in the old humidor: the day-to-day $3 - $8 smoke, the bottom shelf "give to friends" cigars, and of course, the creme de la creme, top shelf, "special occasion" type stick. Well let me reassure you that this is possible even with the old embargo. The Cubans were no dummies, when Communist government seized their farms, they didn't all sit back and take it. Original Cuban tobacco seeds were smuggled out of the country and into neighboring regions such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, the United States, and others. Nearly every cigar rolled today comes from these Cuban-transplanted tobacco seeds, pretty impressive.
What to look for in a good cigar