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Do you ever enjoy a fine cigar?
Yes
58%
 58%  [ 7 ]
No
41%
 41%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 12

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peter
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you get these cigars Don? They have the sound of pretty expensive ones available only by the case (box?). Storage (not to mention cost) would be a prohibiting factor for many people who would like to try some of the more high end examples, unless there was a reliable scource where individual cigars could be purchased. In the UK the sale of tobacco is becoming ever more difficult and there are very few specialist 'tobacconist' shops (if any) now to be found.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I joined a cigar forum and they have a program where FOGs (friggin old guy) take a noob under their wing and sell him a sampler based on his preferences. I don't know what it's like in the UK but most of the cigars I listed can be bought individually, though sometimes at a significant markup. The price I paid for the sampler was at least $50 less than street value so it's a quite nice program, especially for someone that knows next to nothing about premium cigars such as myself. They really turned me on to some nice sticks.

I know that a lot of these cigar communities have people in the UK participating, I think maybe we can get NCs (and even CCs) much more cheaply than are available for retail over there. Perhaps they are doing lots of trades and getting care packages from the US at large discounts? To be honest I'm not really sure.

PM me if you want more information.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a ridiculous mark up in tax on all tobacco related items in this country [20 Marlborough Red say cost £8.50 ($12 ish)]. This would probably put acess to most good cigars out of my reach - but I'll check it out from this end and see whats out there to be had. I hate the idea that something good in life may be slipping past without my noticeing!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't call myself a cigar aficionado, but I do enjoy them. I'm a big fan of the Man 'O War series, particularly the Ruination and the Special Edition. The Cohiba Puro Dominicana is awesome as well. I generally pair them with an Islay single-malt, or a good Kentucky bourbon (something like Eagle Rare). I also keep a stash of Macanudo Cafe Hyde Park for my morning coffee.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
We have a ridiculous mark up in tax on all tobacco related items in this country [20 Marlborough Red say cost £8.50 ($12 ish)]. This would probably put acess to most good cigars out of my reach - but I'll check it out from this end and see whats out there to be had. I hate the idea that something good in life may be slipping past without my noticeing!


Heh...NYS is about that. Right around 10 a pack. There used to be all kinds of different rules depending on product [roll you own tobacco, cigars, cigs, pipe tobacco an such taxed differently. I think it's more consistent now? Definitely much higher. Haven't really been paying attention. Other places not so much...Minnesota is around 5. I suspect other states are that low or lower. California is probably expensive...they were at the top of the range when I lived there. [and in certain parts of NY, if you're near a reservation, you can get smokes damn cheap...but there's a clusterfuck of litigation going on about it]
But when I was in the Army, and we got smokes and booze on base tax free, Marb's were something like 3. a CARTON. [I don't think the military does that anymore...at least not for tobacco. Maybe still does for booze, don't know.]

My wife would murder me if I took up tobacco in any way again...
But DAMN if Cail's post doesn't make me want a pipe and a bottle in the worst way. [the worst way is standing up in a hammock, if anyone was wondering.]

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standing up in a hammock... I LOL'd.

Vraith, I think problems of that kind are common with the fair sex. Lord knows my wife is downright hostile towards the hobby.

pete, mayhap we can send ye a care package eventually, if it can be slipped past the Tax Man George Harrison was so concerned about.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing I did a bit of research on UK suppliers yesterday and there are a few that I saw that did an introductory 'sampler' pack that came in around £50 (for about 6 cigars) [$76 ish]. I'm not sure about the quality of the actual cigars; judging from the names they 'talk the talk', but whether they 'walk the walk' is another matter. They weren't 'whoppers' in respect of size [but I'm ok with that]. I'm still stuck in the rut of thinking that all good cigars have to come from Cuba [also that all good single malt must come from Scotland], but I'm guessing this is somewhat changing now. One supplier company [C. Gars Ltd - terrible name, how could you trust them?] produces it's own cigar range in Peru - the aptly called 'Inca Cigar'; I've seen them in airport's before but they look so - well - tacky, that I've never been tempted. [In fairness they may be really good but the packaging just ree's of tourist tat - like a stick of rock with Blackpool through the center!] No - I'm going to select a 'starter pack' from a well established supplier then badger my family to lash out at Christmas for me. This is the way forward. Who knows - I may hit the jackpot and get a bottle of Courvoisier XO Imperial to complete the set! Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter, there has been a significant increase in the quality of non Cuban (NC) cigars over the past 20 years, along with a decrease in quality of CC's due to the loss of several years crop in recent hurricanes. Indeed, there is a rumor afoot that Cubatobacco was forced to import Nicaraguan leaf from Padron (considered the most similar leaf to Cuban / Pinar del Rio style) to meet their quotas. Of course that would be scandalous if it was openly admitted since Habanos have always been Cuban puros from the very beginning.

In any case, my offer is genuine if you change your mind, although I don't know exactly when I could follow through with it. I think you will find that the very best Nicaraguan and Dominican cigars stack up nicely alongside the best Cubans, and have nothing to be ashamed of. I tend to stay with established brands such as Fuente and Padron, but a lot of newer manufacturers and boutique makers have a significant buzz about them: Tatuaje, Illusione, My Father / Flor de las Antillas, Avo, CAO, Room 101, Padilla, Ashton, Aging Room, 601, Alec Bradley, Don Pepin Garcia, La Riqueza, Headley Grange, LFD, etc. You may also be unaware that Davidoff is no longer produced in Cuba or with Cuban tobacco due to problems they had with production in Cuba, they shifted to Domincan exclusively some time ago but have recently come out with a Nicaraguan line.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sincere thanks for the offer Don. I won't say yes just yet - our boys are mighty hot on things coming through the post at present [for obvious reasons] and I suspect the penalty for infringement at this end would mightily outweigh the trivial nature of the 'offence'.

The sites I viewed yesterday did however give me hope that I might try at least a few half decent examples without going into bankruptcy. In the case of wine [another of my favorite subjects, suprise suprise!] new world examples of very high quality can be purchased at lower cost than their continental counterparts purely on the basis of their lower *cachet* . It's a good way of sampling high grade wines without springing an arm and a leg. Perhaps the same pertains in the cigar world in relation to the lesser known producing countries, and might be worth looking into.

[Quick aside on wine; in the 1960's apparently, many of Frances oldest established vine types were transported to Australia and became the bedrock upon which the rapidly growing Australian wine indutry was founded. Subsequent disease problems in france have since destroyed many of the oldest vines, resulting in much re-planting, to the extent where the new world wines are now far more representative of the 'old style' than their much younger French cousins. How true this is I don't know for sure but french 'terroir' is a force to be reckoned with!]
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
[Quick aside on wine; in the 1960's apparently, many of Frances oldest established vine types were transported to Australia and became the bedrock upon which the rapidly growing Australian wine indutry was founded. Subsequent disease problems in france have since destroyed many of the oldest vines, resulting in much re-planting, to the extent where the new world wines are now far more representative of the 'old style' than their much younger French cousins. How true this is I don't know for sure but french 'terroir' is a force to be reckoned with!]

I know I heard something about French root stock being replaced with imported at some point, and I think it may have been with California vines. But details of when, why, and how escape me...
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Menolly wrote:
peter wrote:
[Quick aside on wine; in the 1960's apparently, many of Frances oldest established vine types were transported to Australia and became the bedrock upon which the rapidly growing Australian wine indutry was founded. Subsequent disease problems in france have since destroyed many of the oldest vines, resulting in much re-planting, to the extent where the new world wines are now far more representative of the 'old style' than their much younger French cousins. How true this is I don't know for sure but french 'terroir' is a force to be reckoned with!]

I know I heard something about French root stock being replaced with imported at some point, and I think it may have been with California vines. But details of when, why, and how escape me...


This is true Menolly, I think it was in the late 1800s due to a blight that affected European vines but not American.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - it could well have Californian vines as opposed to Australian. I read of this in the wine section of a magazine and the details escape me. The particular topography and geology of the french wine producing regions do however result in this multitude of subtle tastes and flavours that make it hard to compete with even by the best non-french producers.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stick almost exclusively to local wines myself. Of course we're lucky enough to have some pretty good local wines.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
I stick almost exclusively to local wines myself. Of course we're lucky enough to have some pretty good local wines.

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Is South Africa more comparable to Spain, France, or Italy in terms of climate?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely agreed re SA wines - we get some cracking ones find their way onto the shelves over here in the UK, but stangely enough, on the one occasion I stayed in the heart of SA's wine producing region [The Lanzerac Manor, Stellenbosch] the wines we were given at both the table and at tastings were not [or did not seem] of the same quality. I could never understand this exept for thinking that perhaps the palate is more.....say, 'habit forming' than we give it credit for. Perhaps we just form an 'expectation' that influences how we taste things, and if confronted with something that confounds that expectation we cannot 'bridge' the gap. [nb I've heard that the best dtrinking tea stays in India, the best Guiness in Ireland, the best beaujolais in France etc, and it is the lower grades of produce that are exported {and why not?} so maybe the same applies to wines in SA]. There is another explanation - The Lanzarac [while I was there at least] sold only wines from it's own vinyards both at tastings and the table and [hate to say it] perhaps they were just not that good!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had some nice cabernets and syrahs from SA over the years. Trying to remember if I've had a pinot noir from there. Syrah is my favorite varietal, followed closely with pinot noir.

I never knew until recently that the production processes of cigars were adapted from that of wine.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don Exnihilote wrote:
Is South Africa more comparable to Spain, France, or Italy in terms of climate?


Most comparable to Italy and Provence.

We call Syrah Shiraz here, but I'm a Cabernet Sauvignon guy myself.

peter wrote:
The Lanzarac sold only wines from it's own vinyards both at tastings and the table and [hate to say it] perhaps they were just not that good!


Not even nearly one of my favourite cellars I'm afraid, so for my taste, I would say you'd be right. Wink (Although they are known mainly for their Rosι which I almost never drink.)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No - I'm not a Rose [still can't do that thing over the e there!] fan either. Strangely, just about the best I've tried is the old chestnut 'Mateus Rose'. Really well chilled as an aperitif it does ok, but beyond a single glass it soon looses it. [Vague recollections of a Rose dessert wine I had someplace that was nice, but what, where or when eludes me.]
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use alt+138 to get θ, then my browser corrects it to the right accent. (Can't find the other accent in ascii.)

I don't do dessert wines either. Sweet and wine don't do it for me. For preference, I don't drink white either, but I'll do a Sauv Blanc or a Chenin Blanc if there's no alternative.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet I could pour you a white that would knock your socks off, Av.
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