Cuban Cigars: Everything You Need to Know about the Truth Behind the Legend

first_imgIf you haven’t already heard, which would be nuts since everyone has been talking about them for decades, Cuban cigars are a hot commodity. And getting your hands on them can prove to be a bit tricky since the sale of Cuban cigars in the United States remains illegal (thanks a lot, JFK) — the Cuban Trade Embargo is still in effect and there are no plans to lift it (at least not during this current presidency).Cuban Cigars: Legal or Illegal?Yamil Lage/Getty ImageThe previous administration (thanks, Obama) did lift several travel and financial restrictions for U.S. citizens. Americans can now bring back Cuban cigars from Cuba or from other third-party countries, although the cigars that come back are for personal consumption or gifts only and cannot be resold. Oddly enough, there is no dollar limit on how many cigars you can bring back, so make sure to pack an extra suitcase the next time you head to Cuba, but be prepared to declare them upon arrival back on U.S. soil.How Cuban Cigars Are MadeCuba’s production of cigars can be compared to Napa Valley’s wine culture; it’s taken extremely serious and also draws in tourists from all over the world. Cuban cigars are generally made just like any other cigar. Tobacco plants are planted late in the year and grown for three months before farmers pick them, leaf by leaf. Next, the fresh leaves are taken to the drying room where the leaves are hung to dry in a process of curing, which can take up to three months. Once the leaves are cured, the cigar is ready to be rolled. How each cigar is rolled can influence the quality of the cigar so it’s imperative that the cigar is rolled with all the leaves wrapped in the same direction, leaving a smooth and shiny wrapping. Rolling a perfect cigar is a skill and takes years to master.What Makes Them Cuban Getty ImagesSo what differentiates a Cuban cigar from another cigar not made on the Communist island? Basically, it’s all in the Ligero, which are the top leaves of the tobacco plant. And what makes these leaves any different from other leaves? Just like with any agricultural product like grapes, the quality of tobacco leaves and the final Cuban cigar depend on many aspects that include climate, temperature range, the rains, the wind, the soil, and even the human hand. Even within the region of Pinar del Rio, the premier Cuban tobacco region, there are differences in the quality of some growers compared to their neighbors. Although there are outstanding tobacco farms in other parts of the world, the fact is that tobacco leaves from the Pinar de Rio region in Cuba reign among cigar aficionados around the world, mostly because they consistently put out good quality tobacco leaves.Why Cuban Cigars Are So SpecialIt’s all about the strength and flavor of the tobacco. For those who love to indulge with a cigar, Cuban cigars represent the ultimate experience, known for their strength and flavor; they typically offer spicy, woody and earthy tones that blend beautifully to create a unique experience. Although there are milder brands and others that offer herbal notes, the bulk majority of Cuban cigars offer that more intense flavor. It’s really all about the strength and complexity, something a novice cigar smoker most likely wouldn’t be able to describe or detect.Silas Zindel/Getty ImagesAre Cuban Cigars Worth the Hype?Yes. Absolutely, 100 percent, fly to Cuba right now and buy a box or two. It’s true that some Cuban cigars can cost three times as much as any other cigar, but at the end of the day, the difference in cost will offer something totally unique, more intense, and something that is more robust in flavor. There’s a reason why Cuban cigars are so famed beyond the embargo, which has only helped propel them into such a coveted luxury. So treat yourself next time you are in Cuba or a reputable cigar shop overseas. Beware of imitations and fakes (oh hello, Mexico) because you’ll be duped into paying top dollar for a basic cigar with a fancy fake label on it. Try pairing your deliciously expensive Cuban cigar with your favorite cognac, brandy, scotch or port wine. How to Get Rid of Cigar Breath, Smell, and Smoke 11 Best Gins for a Refreshing Gin and Tonic Helpful Wine Terminology So You Sound Like You Know What You’re Talking Aboutcenter_img Get to Know Alto Adige, the Northern Italian Wine Region Editors’ Recommendations Cigar Humidors 101: What They Are, How They Work, and the Best Picks last_img read more

UPDATE Rider without registration plates found with unlicenced gun in custody

Police say their mobile patrol ranks on Friday, around 20:00h intercepted a motorcycle without registration plates on the Cummings Lodge, Public Road, East Coast Demerara; and a search of a bag the rider was carrying, revealed an unlicenced semi-automatic pistol.According to the police, the weapon which had no ammunition or magazine and the motorcycle were lodged while the 24-year-old suspect of Murphy Street, Sisters Village, West Bank Demerara was taken into custody.Investigations are ongoing.Keon BrewsterThe rider who has since been identified as Keon Brewster was charged with the illegal possession of cocaine, to which he pleaded guilty and was subsequently sentenced to four years imprisonment in 2015.Details surrounding the case stated that on May 29 at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, (CJIA), Brewster had in his possession 6.304 kilogrammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.Brewster was charged jointly with two air conditioning technicians attached to the airport. He had initially pleaded not guilty.Based on footage from the video surveillance, investigators believe that the transaction took place in one of the washrooms at the airport.Anti Narcotics Police said they recognized that the rum appeared unusually thick and so they decided to test and weigh it.Brewster was also fined $17.2 million.Of recent there have been a string of robberies being committed by armed bandits on motorcycles.The most recent robbery occurred on Wednesday last when two bandits on a motorcycle attacked a welder on Princes and Chapel Streets, Georgetown and robbed him of US$5000.Richard Shaw, 26, of Albouystown, Georgetown was driving his motorcar, PHH 9410, at around 21:15h when he slowed down while proceeding east on Chapel Street to negotiate a speed bump.In doing so, the two perpetrators rode up alongside him on a white XR motorcycle and pointed a gun in his direction.Fearing for his life, Shaw stopped his car and was then ordered to hand over his wallet, to which he complied.The pillion rider of the motorcycle dismounted and further commanded the victim to hand over a black plastic bag which was in the back seat of his car.After receiving same, they hopped back unto the motorcycle and quickly escaped south on Princes Street.A report was made at the East La Penitence Police Station and a hunt has since been launched for the perpetrators. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related4 years jail, $17.2M fine for man caught with cocaine in rumJune 29, 2015In “Crime”Sting operation busts father trying to bribe officers with $500,000 to release his sonMay 13, 2017In “Crime”Airport employees, passenger charged with cocaine in rumJune 2, 2015In “Crime” read more