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Issue 18 - Swapping the Bentley for a BMW

Whisky Magazine Issue 18
September 2001


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Swapping the Bentley for a BMW

If you don't have the money to burn on the Bentley of cigars, the Cuban, there is always the chance to find a cheaper alternative. Chris Orr offers the less financially well endowed the chance to test drive the 7-series BMW or S-Class Mercedes of fine tobacco – rather than a Morris Minor

There's nothing like tobacco: it is the passion of all decent people; someone who lives without tobacco does not deserve to live” (Molière, 1622-73, Don Juan, I.i)

Frankly, as usual, Molière was talking out of his fancy French derrière when he penned the above definition of smokers. But it's a good line to use when you sit back in the comfort of an expensive restaurant, light a nice big cigar, blow your blue smoke in the air and simply await the inevitable little cretin who can't wait to complain bitterly that you're exasperating his asthma. Which – in my opinion – is what the fine art of cigar smoking is all about: the principle that you gain the maximum amount of pleasure annoying the maximum amount of people.

It works a treat in America but it's beginning to become increasingly enjoyable over in good old blighty. The problem is, it's also becoming increasingly expensive – particularly if you have a penchant for Cubans. They may be at the top of the cigar tree, the daddy of the cigar world in commercial terms (which is wonderfully ironic of course, given their country of origin) but they're also horrifyingly expensive. With a Cuban you are rejoicing in the ability to burn money without a care.

But what if you have to be a little bit more economic? Does it mean you have to take a downturn in quality terms? Does it mean you have to settle for second rate just because your wallet won't stretch that far? Well, I know you want me to say no, but I'd be talking out ...

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