As you’ve probably heard, the U.S. and Cuba are friends again. Well sort of.
Travelers will be able to bring back $100 worth of Cuban cigars, which is pretty cool. But, what’s so special about Cuban cigars?
First off, as Vox reports, they’re just better. Some say that cigars made in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua are better. But in Cigar Aficionado polls, a cigar produced by Habanos, the cigar arm of Cuba’s government-owned tobacco company, was picked as the No. 1 cigar in the magazine’s yearly Top 25 in 2013.
Experts also say that Cuban cigars just taste better. “Columbia professor and Cuba expert Alan Dye tells Fox that Cuba’s soil is uniquely well-suited to tobacco cultivation, in particular tobacco used for cigar wrappers, the component responsible for much of a cigar’s flavor,” reported Vox.
But that superior taste and quality will cost you. Yes, travelers can bring home $100 worth of cigars, but that won’t get you much. One cigar can cost up to $25, reported NPR.
All of this excitement was lulled by an article in the Washington Post, which countered that Cuban cigars aren’t really that special.
“Just because a cigar is Cuban doesn’t mean it will be a high-quality cigar,” David Savona, executive editor of Cigar Aficionado said to the Post. “There are good cigars and bad cigars from Cuba, as with other cigar producing countries.”
So is the mystique surrounding Cuban cigars was because of the ban?
“The reason people want Cuban cigars is because they’re looked upon as a forbidden fruit,” said Eric Newman, president of J.C. Newmand Cigar Company, the oldest cigar company in the U.S.
David Zeplowitz, aka Cigar Dave, made a good point on Twitter this week. “Now is a good time to reiterate that Cubans do make the best #cigars—the Cubans that now live in the DR, Nicaragua, Honduras and the USA,” he noted.
Now is a good time to reiterate that Cubans do make the best #cigars—the Cubans that now live in the DR, Nicaragua, Honduras and the USA.
— Cigar Dave (@CigarDaveShow) December 17, 2014
Despite what experts say, smoking a Cuban for the first is a subjective experience.
I confess I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these fantastic sticks. Maybe even enjoy some real Cuban rum for the first time too…