When Will I Be Able to Smoke a Cuban?

And how much coin are we talkin’ here?

By The Editors
September 4, 2015 9:00 am

President Kennedy loved smoking Cubans so much he stocked his private humidor with 1,200 Petit Upmanns prior to enacting the trade embargo against Cuba in 1962.

The rest of us have been waiting a long time to smoke a Cuban … legally. And with the Obama administration’s relaxation on trade restrictions, they’re no longer on par with unicorn tears. You can now tote $100 worth of Cubans back to the U.S. … assuming you can afford a ticket (around $1,700 if you wanted to leave tomorrow) and have good cause for a visit.

A pretty penny for a Perfecto.

Which begs the question: when will I be allowed to have them delivered to my door?

Cuban cigar-makers Habanos S.A. are optimistic about the trade and travel barriers falling away. They’re also ready to sell between 70 million and 90 million cigars annually if the embargo lifts.

How will this affect cost? One school of thought: Cubans will become a commodified norm, thereby losing their high price (think Russian vodka after the wall came down). Conversely, because they’re known for their hand-rolling and aging process, the demand could overwhelm the market and drive the cost of that stogie higher than its current rate (think oil). 

Regardless, they’ll be well worth the price of admission. A Cuban is a toby like no other. Like a good wine, they owe their supremacy to terroir, or the combined effects of geography, soil characteristics and climate. Says Stephen Yocco, the cigar buyer for Leavitt & Pierce Tobacco: “Sometimes a little strong: not for everybody and not on an empty stomach, for sure.”

h/t: Travel & Leisure


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