A cigar is characterized as a roll of tobacco encased in leaf tobacco or in a material that contains tobacco. The past six months have seen hundreds of new smokers into the shop, along with those who may have cut back in years gone by but are now enjoying more cigars as they contemplate a new norm. Several manufacturers deal with tobacco, but only a few manufacturers provide quality tobacco in Toronto and other parts of the country. Many of these smokers, curious as they are, ask the question, “what are better quality premium cigars, Cuban or non-Cuban.” Today’s pairs session takes a crack at that question.

It’s our view, you can only use two criteria to judge the quality of a cigar, and those are the objective qualities of construction and consistency. Taste, strength, and flavor preferences are much too subjective measurement criteria to assess quality. You might want full flavor, long finish, someone else like smooth/light, someone else spice, and another that subtle sweetness of sweet Maduro. Whatever. But notwithstanding differences of opinion on taste, strength, and flavor, we could all agree that a cigar is drawing and burning perfectly, or it’s not.

So here’s my view; premium non-Cuban cigars are rarely plugged and rarely burn unevenly, and every cigar in a box looks like it neighbor. Not always, but rarely. I wish I could say the same thing about Cuban cigars, but I can’t. Even the staunchest Cuban fans who tout “Cubans make the best” are typically influenced by the subjective measures of taste, strength, and flavor, not the objective standard of construction and consistency as they look past a cigar not burning evenly or draws poorly. I am the first to prop a great smoking Bolivar Royal Corona, a Ramon Allones Specialty Selected, or a Partagas D 4, and when they are good, they can be spectacular, and I have smoked hundreds of each. All I am saying is that sometimes they are not acceptable; if I have to even out an uneven burn with my torch, it is more likely I need to do it on a Cuban cigar; if I have to try and roll out a knot/plug-in a cigar, it’s rarely on a non- Cuban.

We could debate why this happens and then go into the issues around CA Magazine and Cigar Journal ratings. But that’s editorial for a future post. Meanwhile, please send us your thoughts on Cuban versus non-Cuban cigars. You could also check out a wide range of cigar collections and cigar accessories like a humidor, portable air cleaner, and pipes in Toronto- Cigar Studio.

Contact Cigar Studio on jerryh@cigarstudio.com or call on 416 237 9470 to know more about Cuban versus non- Cuban cigars.