75 - October
often asked why, with..the
strengthening rand, the prices of cigars haven't
One of the basic reasons was forcibly brought home to me last
month when the fob value of a shipment of cheroots I imported
had reduced by nearly 16%, but the duty had increased by 40% from
the last budget. It is now over R1000 per kilo!
Other reasons are that the increased value of the rand is often
eroded by increased prices from suppliers abroad, or negated by
the landed cost of the stock being averaged with earlier stock
landed at higher costs.
there is always light around - our specials every 4 weeks offer
you the opportunity to try different brands at prices more than
25% less than the normal price. And right now we have a bargain
range of lesser known brands or sizes at over 20% below normal
I'd give you a run-through by sizes to introduce the bargains
on offer to the end of December (or until they sell out):
(Length 178mm x Ringsize 47) & bigger
Headed by the legendary Montecristo A (Length 235mm) these
three are all "Big Smokes". Both San Cristobal
(El Moro with a slightly thicker Ringsize 49) and Quai D'Orsay
(Imperiales) are new brands building good reputations. Don't be
afraid of the size of the cigar provide you allow yourself enough
time to smoke it. On a cigar weekend away the whole group, including
my wife, finished and thoroughly enjoyed Montecristo A cigars
while watching a Springbok / All Blacks Rugby game.
Grande (Length 170mm x Ringsize 43)
The prestigious Cohiba Siglo V offers another smoke on
a grand scale. So too does the La Gloria Cubana Med D'Or No.2
- lesser known possibly because it is made in very limited quantities.
Extra (Length 143mm x Ringsize 44)
The Corona Extra is a convenient size, fitting in timewise
between the very thick Robusto and the very long Churchill.
The Bolivar Corona Extra is probably the best known name
in this group together with the popular Romeo y Julieta.
But the tastes of Saint Luis Rey and Juan Lopez
pleasantly surprised many people who tried them in our specials.
Rafael Gonzalez, manufactured from a secret blend of Vuelta
Abajo tobaccos selected the Marquez Rafael Gonzalez (Grandee of
Spain), is no longer being produced - so this may be your last
chance to enjoy this special brand.
("High quality tobacco, with distinctive honey flavours"
- Theo Rudman, 3rd Edition)
Corona (Length 165mm x Ringsize 42)
Vegas Robaina is the newest marque in this group. Launched
in 1997 it was rated "superior" and it is. The Romeo
y Julieta Cedros de luxe No.1 in its cedar wrapping is a very
elegant and satisfying cigar as is the Rafael Gonzalez
which will fast be disappearing from the market.
(Length 142mm x Ringsize 42)
Neither the Bolivar Tubos No.1 nor the Romeo y Julieta
No.2 deluxe should be confused with the general run of cigars
in aluminium tubes. They are both fully handmade (not machine
bunched) - high quality cigars, ideal for travelling.
(Length 156mm x Ringsize 52)
Diplomaticos is an underestimated brand, and if a pyramid
is a favourite size of yours, as it is of mine, these are well
(Length 127mm x Ringsize 48)
During the disruption in Cuban supplies to South Africa we introduced
El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme after seeing it in
Gerard's shop in Geneva. It is a little known Robusto, the same
size as Upmann Connoisseur No.1. It was a hit then and offers
a most enjoyable smoke now.
(Lengths 152 & 192mm x Ringsize 38)
These 2 Montecristos were the models for the original Cohibas,
and were very much sought after by cigar connoisseurs. They are
still great cigars rolled by some of the finest torcedores - they
respond best to a gentle draw so as not to overheat and destroy
the fine flavour.
Corona (Length 129mm x Ringsize 42)
The most popular size after Robusto, should take 30 to 40 minutes
to smoke. Bolivar, Ramon Allones and Juan Lopez
are all fully handmade, quality brands -really worthwhile additions
to your humidor.
(Length 102mm x Ringsize 40)
The ideal size for after lunch or before dinner. The Romeo
y Julieta is a delightful little cigar, and the lesser known,
slightly longer Sancho Panza is very good value.
The Bolivar is handmade from the old school, whereas the
cigarillos are thanks to the new
machinery in Cuba.
we're looking forward to another bargain - our Cigar Dinner at
the Grillhouse. We're expecting excellent food in an exceptional
venue with 3 great cigars.
I look forward to seeing some of you there.
October 23 to November 5, 2003
PS If you can't make the dinner you can enjoy the
cigars from October 30 at only R185.00 for the pack of 3.
(Normal price R266.00)
You can read
previous articles from "Across the Counter" in The