Cuban Cigars are in our Future as Relations are Restored

President John F. Kennedy Smoking Cuban CigarsIn 1962, right before United States President John F. Kennedy signed the trade embargo against Cuba, he asked his Media Director Pierre Salinger to get him all the Cuban cigars that were available in town. He wanted at least “1,000 Petit Upmanns.” Salinger came back with 1,200 of them. Kennedy then signed the embargo making the importation of Cuban Cigars into the United States illegal. He tried to exempt cigars from the embargo but was warned that it would be a political mistake. Since then about 90% of the Cuban cigars you get in the United States are fakes.

On July 20, 2015 the United States and Cuba restored their diplomatic relations. President Barack Obama and Raul Castro, at the behest of Pope Francis who served as mediator during 18 months of secret negotiations that led to the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries, entered into a formal agreement by which the United States officially recognizes Cuba. As a result, many expect the embargo Barack Obama with Cuban Cigarsto eventually be lifted or that President Obama will use his Executive powers to exclude hand made cigars from the embargo. He can do that simply by including Cuban Cigars within the definition of handcrafted works of art, already exempt from the embargo. However, it is unclear if there are any imminent changes to the rules regarding Cuban Cigars and their legal importation.

Thus far the U.S. government hasn’t come up with policies or regulations allowing the importation of cigars from Cuba. At least publicly. Currently only tourists to the island are allowed to bring back $100 worth of Cuban Cigars. At today’s prices, that just a handful.

Historically the United States has had many of high profile celebrities and government officials who have continued to President Bill Clinton Smoking Cigarsmoke Cuban cigars, even with an embargo in place. Ted Kennedy was a main example. He never stopped smoking the cigars that his brother outlawed. Another is Bill Clinton, who smoked them while being President. We do, however, recognize that Bill Clinton smokes many non-Cubans and actually prefers them to Cubans. One of his favorites is the Berger & Argenti Entubar Quad Maduro. Barack Obama is another avid smoker, though he claims to have stopped. Obama led the successful charge to raise the tax on cigars by over 800%, the biggest tax increase on cigars in this country’s history.

Marco Rubio with Cigars and with talk-show host Rusty HumphriesFuture Presidents also likes cigars. Senator Marco Rubio, the first Cuban-American to ever run for President, is an avid cigar smoker. He enjoys them regularly. Marco Rubio occasionally enjoys a Don Kiki Red Label but his fave is the Montecristo White Label. He prefers non-Cubans and supports the current embargo until Cuba ceases its violations of human rights. Other Presidential candidates also smoke cigars, but not on a regular basis.

Among the celebrities who enjoy Cuban cigars on a regular basis are Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Bill Cosby, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, John Travolta and many others. Many also prefer non-Cubans.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Smoking CigarsIt’s been around 54 years since the embargo against Cuba was signed into law and throughout that time many U.S. cigar companies have been evolving. The cigar industry in the United States has been booming with cigars from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and other countries. These cigar companies are making cigars for a market that has long forgotten what Cuban cigars taste like. In addition, the quality of the cigars from Cuba have diminished as Communism creates a system where there’s no incentive for anyone to excel. Many former Cuban cigar smokers have since switched to non-Cubans.

Cuban CigarsWith the renewed relations between the U.S. and Cuba, will Cuban cigars be available in the United States soon? That’s a question that only deep insiders in Washington, D.C. can answer. One thing is for sure. When it does happen it will create the biggest cigar boom the world has ever seen. Another thing that’s for sure is that many avid smokers who have never smoked Cubans will be in for a big disappointment as some of the Nicaragua, Honduran and Dominican cigars are now considered better than the Cubans. In time, as Communism and what it has created dwindles away, the quality of Cuban cigars will once again be what is imagined by the aficionados.

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Fatso Cigars are Once Again Available…While Supplies Last

Fatso CigarsThe Berger and Argenti Fatso Cigar is once again available, but only while supplies last. We just received all the remaining Fatso cigars that were made. It’s only a few boxes but if you act quickly, you’ll get one of those precious boxes and see for yourself why every real aficionado wanted them when they were available.

Fatso was an extremely limited production cigar with an exceptionally delicious taste. Its shape is an almost-flat one of a kind, and its fascinating taste offers heaps of smooth full-bodied complex flavors. It begins with a slight pepper fieriness that is offset by a sweet earthiness. You can taste the sweet heartiness, woods, some pepper and rich flavors that incorporate espresso, cocoa, calfskin and caramel. Fatso has a long heavenly finish that will make you want another.

Here’s the reason the Fatso has not been accessible for some time. It was skillfully handcrafted in Nicaragua by the quickly growing Berger and Argenti organization. They are known for their Entubar and Clasico super-premium cigars. The Entubar likewise had a box-pressed shape, as the Fatso does, with a rounded bunch of ligero tobacco standing out at the foot. Entubar was pretty much a cigar inside of a cigar. It got top reviews from everybody in the industry, with Cigar Aficionado giving it a 91 rating. Entubar had different lines within the line, including the Quad Maduro, the V32 and the CRV (Connecticut River Valley) cigars, with the Entubar Quad Maduro the strongest and the CRV cigars the mildest.

Another of Berger and Argenti’s victories was the Cuban style Clasico. The Robb Report honored it as the “Best of the Best” for the year. Most reviews gave it strong 90+ evaluations. After two fruitful lines the Fatso was developed and released. Serious enthusiasts through the world needed to try it. Once they did they wanted more and more. It sold out quickly and back orders started piling up at Berger and Argenti.

So what was the deal? Fundamentally, the matured Cuban-seed tobacco needed to keep making these awesome cigars was not promptly accessible so production was halted. The people at Berger and Argenti declined to trade off quality by using tobacco from other areas than those that the cigar demanded. There were cigars aging, heaps of requests for them but no cigars to ship. Rather than cutting operating costs until the tobacco became accessible, business proceeded full steam ahead. Some call it poor management while others believe that it’s the only way to make great cigars. Tragically the organization came up short on cash while waiting for the tobacco. Employees had to be fired and the gifted cigar rollers went to roll somewhere else. It was over for the once prestigious creator of astounding cigars. Berger and Argenti Fatso Cigars

Cuban Crafters Cigars was able to get the aged Fatso cigars that were kept in the aging room after the company closed down, and now you get to smoke these outstanding Puros. There are 4 large ring sizes, and a sampler pack of each of the four sizes. The Berger and Argenti Fatso Butterball is 6 inches in length with a colossal 70 ring; the Fatso Bufflehead is 5 1/2 inches by 68; the Fatso Puddin cigar is 4 1/2 inches X 64; and the Fatso Dipper is 4 X 62. 16 are packaged in a Cedar box that is as unusual as the cigar itself. It’s handcrafted and has gaps that permit air to enter so that the cigars age while they’re in storage. It’s an extended aging process that was perfected by the Berger and Argenti team. There’s nothing conventional about them.

We do need to caution you. They ought to be smoked after a supper or large meal, as they’re powerful and not for the beginner. Likewise, while smoking them you may appreciate the experience so much that you’ll need to purchase each and every box we have in stock. With a specific goal of allowing as many cigar aficionados as possible to try them, we’ve restricted order to two boxes per client. The fortunate thing about that is that at Cuban Crafters Cigars you get an extra 10% markdown for purchasing two of the same item. Every cloud of smoke has a silver lining.

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Medina 1959 Miami Edition Cigars for the New Year!

New Years 2013 MEDINA 1959 New Year Edition

Lights! Camera! Action! Take your New Year’s Eve celebration to the max and celebrate with MEDINA 1959 MIAMI EDITION.  Now this is it what you call 100% Times Square       New Year’s Eve at its ultimate best!

MEDINA 1959 MIAMI EDITION CORONA GORDA will redefine Times Square New Year’s Eve revelry.  Step out of the cold into the dazzling mega- watt celebration with a Cuban Crafters Cigar, undoubtedly like no other has ever seen!

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Dallas Mavericks Win Cigars for Mayor

Dallas MavericksWhen the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship by beating the Miami Heat, the Mayor of Dallas, Texas got more than a national championship team in his city.  Mayor Dwaine Caraway of Dallas had made a bet with Miami-Dade County’s Commission Chairman Joe Martinez and Commissioner Martinez paid up.Dallas Texas Mayor Dwaine Caraway Won Cigars Included were Miami hand-rolled cigars from Cuban Crafters, Stone Crabs and Cuban pastries.

Miami Heat’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks won the Mayor Miami’s staples. Which cigars did Dallas’ Mayor enjoy? Cuban Crafters Medina 1959 Miami Edition Churchills, of course.  Mayor Dwaine Caraway gloated that passers-by at City Hall will find him and city staff outside the building, feasting on stone crabs and later smoking Medina 1959 Miami Edition hand-rolled cigars. Due to city ordinances, the Mayor and his staff enjoyed the cigars 25 feet away from the entrance of City Hall, under a shade tree.

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Xikar Cigar Cutter and More

Xikar Cigar CutterCuban Crafters Cigars is internationally known as the boutique premium cigars and cigar accessories leader, all of which are made by Cuban Crafters. The web site is proud to announce that it will now sell Xikar cigar cutters. It’s the first time that cigar cutters made by another company are sold on the website.

Most Xikar cigar cutters have the iconic tear shape design and carry a lifetime guarantee. While Cuban Crafters’ lifetime guaranteed cigar cutter line is extremely popular and their patented Perfect cutter is the only one that cuts the exact amount of tobacco from a cigar’s head without any guesswork, customers now have an option when shopping for a cigar cutter at Cuban Crafters. As authorized Xikar distributors, Cuban Crafters is offering a special promotion, in addition to their “lowest price on Xikar cigar cutters” guarantee. Buy any Xikar cutter from Cuban Crafters and in addition to the lowest price, you get a free Medina 1959 Miami Edition cigar. There’s no better deal on the Internet!

Medina 1959 Miami Edition cigars are handmade by highly skilled Cuban cigar rollers in their Miami, Florida factory. The Miami cigar factory is overseen by cigar legend Manuel Medina, the former Master cigar maker at Cuba’s H. Uppman and Davidoff cigar factories. Every roller at the factory was personally trained by Medina, and most in Cuba. That’s how many years they have been rolling fine cigars.

Additional brands and products are expected at Cuban Crafters’ website in the near future. And as always, every product is back by their full satisfaction money-back guarantee.

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OneOff Cigars Offer a Unique Smoking Experience

OneOff Cigar Doble Capa SalomonOneOff cigars have always been hailed for their uniqueness and naturally good taste. The latest release is the OneOff Doble Capa, and it’s destined to be a classic. It’s hand made by Cuban Crafters in Nicaragua with aged Cuban-seed long-filler tobacco. These unique cigars have two different wrappers on the same cigar, each providing a distinct taste and smoking experience. The first part of the cigar has a mild Connecticut shade-grown leaf and the last part has a stronger Cuban-seed sun-grown Habano leaf. Smoking a OneOff Doble Capa is compared to eating a delightful dinner and finishing it off with an amazing dessert.

OneOff Doble Capa cigars start off mild and then build up to medium-bodied. While most super premium cigars have tobacco that goes through two fermentations, OneOff’s tobacco goes through a third fermentation, which gives the cigar extraordinarily smooth character. The taste is complex as only a Nicaraguan long-filler tobacco puro provides. The Ligero is from Esteli, the Viso is from Condega and the Seco is from the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua. This blend, along with the two different wrappers in the same cigar provide extremely smooth tastes of cedar and woods with nutmeg undertones. Breezes of cocoa, vanilla and cream come in the fold as you get to the Habano tobacco wrapper. Its complex finish brings the pure and natural relaxation that only a super-premium cigar of this caliber can provide.

ONEOFF Cigar SizesOneOff is defined as something that only happens once and is not repeated or reproduced. OneOff cigars were first introduced in 2001 to high praise and ratings in Cigar Aficionado and other national and international cigar publications. With Cigar Aficionado ratings of very high 80’s and even a 91, the buzz was on and many Internet review sites gave OneOff cigars 9.5 points out of 10, some of the highest ratings for non-Cuban cigars. They were also very highly priced, upwards of $350 a box, and since they were made in limited production were always sold-out.

While still handmade in limited amounts, Cuban Crafters Cigars decided to make OneOff affordable to all cigar smokers. Everything from the quality, construction and taste was kept the same as the originals. The only change was removing the pig tail cap and lowering the price. The first limited production lot quickly sold out.  Cuban Crafters Cigars is now releasing the Doble Capa, which adds to the complexity of the taste while maintaining the smoothness they are known for. 6 large sizes (Chairman, Churchill, Gran Torpedo, Salomon, Toro & Torpedo) are available in hand crafted cedar boxes of 20 cigars each.

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Another Reason Not to Smoke a Cheap Cigar

Cheap Cigar Starts Fire in a CarHere’s yet another reason NOT to smoke a cheap cigar while you’re driving a car. In Madison, New Jersey an intersection was closed down for more than a half an hour while the Madison Fire Department extinguished a car fire.

The Fire Chief said the interior of the silver Nissan was in flames when the department arrived. He said the operator of car was an elderly man who told them how he believed the fire began.

he was smoking a cigar…and the head of his cigar came off in the car and got the interior of the car going…

Cheap Cigar Fire in Car Was Put Out by FirefightersThe fire was extinguished in a few minutes, no one was injured and the cleanup for the incident was minimal. The Chief said the fire was contained to the driver’s compartment and that the car needed to be towed away. He said he was fairly certain the car would need to be totaled.

This would have never happened with a Boutique Premium Cigar from Cuban Crafters.

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Florida’s Governor Rick Scott and His Victory Cigar

Governor Rick Scott at Cuban CraftersRick Scott officially won the election and is Florida’s next Governor. It was a long campaign that included a stop at Cuban Crafters Cigars factory and store in Miami, Florida. The election was close and yes, it included a celebratory Victory Cigar! While Governor elect Rick Scott waited for the final results, he held a victory cigar in his hand. It wasn’t just a regular cigar, it was a Medina 1959 Miami Edition Churchill that legendary cigar maker Manuel Medina personally hand made for him. The cigar had a cigar band with his campaign’s logo.

Election night started with Rick Scott in the lead. As the precincts started reporting the numbers between him and his Democrat opponent narrowed. Towards the end of the night it was a nail biter. Governor Rick Scott’s campaign workers and volunteers Rick Scott With A Victory Cigarwaited nervously until all the votes were counted. Finally Rick Scott claimed victory. Almost immediately the Medina 1959 Miami made cigars were lit up by the campaign staff. An emotional moment that will be remembered for years to come.

Those who know Rick Scott well will tell you that he is a brilliant and deliberative leader, who is as humble and nice as they come. He’s an occasional cigar smoker who’s new home will be the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee, Florida. It has a great backyard that’s perfect for cigar smoking.

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Cigar Store Indian

Cigar Store IndianThe cigar store Indian has an interesting history. Wooden Indians have been displayed at tobacco shops for centuries and depict the Native Indians who introduced tobacco to the rest of the world.

The tradition started during a time when store signs were pictorial because many customers could not read. By the 1800’s the wooden cigar-store Indian figure was kept on the street to lure customers inside a tobacconist’s store.

Vintage Cigar Store Indian Hand Made of Carved WoodHistorically, the wooden cigar store Indians were carved from a single log. They were painted by hand and usually held a bundle of tobacco leaves or cigars in their hand. It is estimated that more than 100,000 carved cigar store Indians were in use by 1900.

A carved Indian became less common at cigar stores during the 20th century for many different reasons. Sidewalk-obstruction laws, high manufacturing costs, restrictions on tobacco advertising and increased racial sensitivity by shops caused them to be removed. Most of the original vintage figures were destroyed. As a result a well preserved antique Indian figure sells for thousands of dollars.

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What Cigar Size Are You?

I recently read an article in Cigarcyclopedia about how men select the size of their cigars based on their own height and weight. While at first blush it might make sense, in practice it doesn’t. I know many tall men who enjoy Corona  and Robusto cigars, and many short ones that smoke long and fat Churchill and Double Corona cigars.

Here’s their cigar size recommendations based on your height and weight:

Cigar Size Chart

Perfecto Cigar Size from 1905Historically European cigar smokers prefer smaller ring gauge cigars while American cigar smokers tend to go for the larger ring cigar sizes. This may have more to do with tradition than the overall size of the smoker.

Cigar smoking started in Spain after Christopher Columbus brought back tobacco leaves from the Caribbean. It quickly spread throughout Europe. At that time cigar sizes were smaller as they were totally made by hand and it was easier to form the smaller sizes by hand. Common sizes were Corona and the Perfecto, a smaller ring gauge cigar with both sides tapered in. To the left is a 1905 cigar box from our own museum. These Perfectos were hand made in the United States with Cuban tobacco.

This continued throughout the 1940’s, when molds were invented. After the 1940’s cigars were handmade with the use of a mold. This made it easier to make the larger cigar sizes. Little by little American cigar smokers have accepted and demanded larger ring sizes and longer cigars, without regards to the smoker’s height and weight. In fact, sales figures suggest that during cold-weather months shorter cigars sell better, and in hot months the longer cigars sell best. This obviously has to do with the ability to smoke the cigar in the outdoors.

So what cigar size are you? Do you believe that men select cigar sizes based on their own physical features? Let us know what you think.

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