The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

muy, muy robusto
In anticipation of my friend Tom's bachelor party this coming Saturday (which I previously alluded to, briefly), I took a stroll from my office over to a cigar shop here in downtown St. Pete. By special request, I picked out a half-dozen Cuesta-Rey Pyramid No. 9 cigars. At right is a life-sized picture of one of these babies. I actually cleaned the store out of all they had on display!

Notice the descriptive language applied to this quality smoke:

The No. 9 treated my taste buds to a polished symphony of flavors: mocha, woods, and cream. The smoke is thick yet remains mild without any of the expected sour grassy flavors I typically associate with shade wrapped Dominican cigars.

Muy terrifico.

I am by no means a cigar afficionado. I enjoy a good stogie, but I doubt I partake more than four or five times a year; and most of those times are special occasions like weddings, births, New Year's Eve, etc. And while I enjoy them, I'm not at all into making a hobby out of them. Despite the actual ups and downs of the habit, I still kind of think of cigar-smoking as a bit too trendy to take seriously. The infrequent puff and savored aroma is more than enough for me. It's almost akin to becoming a "beer buff".

One interesting thing about the cigar shop I went to just now. They had on display something they called "legal Cuban cigars", for only $6 a pop. Since, last time I checked, the Cuban embargo was still in effect, I asked the clerk there what the deal was. I half-expected there to be some catch to it, like the cigar paper was from Cuba, but the cigars themselves were made in Tampa. As it turns out, they were pre-embargo cigars, meaning they were 40-plus years old. But if they were so aged, why were they so cheap (as a point of contrast, another set of pre-embargo Cubans, only a couple of shelves over, were selling for minimum $60 each)? The clerk explained that the six-buck ones were all no-name brands, and thus were available for relative peanuts. I was tempted to pick up a couple, but declined. Maybe next visit.