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From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Pipes Digest #119 - November 24, 1993

		Pipes Digest #119 - November 24, 1993

Welcome to new members:

	Michael Donnelly	(???????????????????????)
	Chris Goellner		(????????????????????????????????)

Administrative notes: I've updated the Resource Guide to reflect
suggestions and reports from the last few months of the Digest. If
you'd like an updated copy, please mail me. Also, some members on
Bitnet may have missed some issues of the Digest, which bounced due to
mailer bugs. Again, contact me if you'd like copies of the missed
issues.

And now, on the day before U.S. Thanksgiving when no one is really
working anyway, light up with us as we discuss the connections between
Cuba and Canada, hygrometers and refrigerators, and Latakia and
camels...


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From: Jeff Pitblado <?????????????????????>
Subject: Cigars and getting sick

First off, let me say that I love this mailing list.  I was
disappointed that the tobacco group didn't pass (next time, though).
Now for my problem.  A few weeks ago, I sat down with a book and a Te
Amo Meditation.  After about an hour, I had finished the cigar and
went to go do some school work.  When I got up, I felt as if I were
drunk (physically, not mentally).  I thought this was a bad sign so I
[went?] to go lay down.  While on myway to the bedroom, I felt very
ill and went into the bathroom and threw up.  Has this happened to
anyone else (or is it just me)?  This is the first time it has
happened to me and has made me somewhat hesitant to smoke again.  Any
help would be appreciated.  Thanks

Jeff

[Sounds like you might have swallowed a bit of cigar juice, Jeff! My
advice is to try to keep your mouth dry and avoid chewing on your
cigar. Any other comments? -S.]


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From: Andrew Lewis Tepper <[email protected]>
To: ??????????????????????
Subject: SMOKE REPORT: Cohiba Robustos
Status: R

I had posted this to alt.smokers and forgotten to also send it to the
Pipes group... (Is everyone else getting as annoyed as I am about the
content of that group? Steve, I've got to admit that you were 100% right
about rec.tobacco being moderated.)

I finally got to try a famous Cohiba Robusto, the so-called benchmark
for the Robusto size. For the money ($20 each), I was a disappointed:
construction was uneven, with soft spots along the cigar. It was
certainly a powerful smoke (this was, afterall, a Cuban cigar), but not
particularly distinctive. I certainly didn't get any "chocolate" flavors
as were mentioned in CA, but did get rather intense leather and spice.
Don't get me wrong: if this had been a $3 (or $5) Dominican Republic
cigar I would have been blown away, but I expected more from a Cuban.
(See my previous smoke report of the fantastic Romeo & Julietta
Churchills!)

Andy

[ Thanks for the smoke report, Andy! Always enjoy 'em. -S. ]


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From: Gregory Pease <????????????>
Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #118 - November 19, 1993 

In message <???????????????????????????????????????>  you wrote:
>
>Unlike wine or scotch, I have not found that cigars store well for
>any period of time.  Someone mentioned, though, that under the 
>proper conditions they can last quite a while.  Short of building
>my own fully-enclosed hermetically-sealed walk-in humidor, what 
>conditions will keep a cigar fresh for more than a month?  It had
>been my impression that all tobacco products were best used fresh.

Cigars and pipe-tobacco age beautifully, but must be kept under proper
conditions; for cigars, this is at a temperature of about 70F and a
relative humidity of about 68%.  One of the finest smokes I've ever 
had was a pre-embargo Bolivar!  Another cigar of note was a Royal
Jamaica Park Lane, which had been carefully aged for 11 years.  I can
still almost taste that beauty...and the aroma!  Sublime!

Unless you have purchased a cigar from the chap who rolled it, you have
likely never had a "fresh" cigar.  Cigars are rolled quite wet, and after 
manufacture, they must be aged for a minimum of 6 weeks to allow the 
moisture level to come down to the correct level for smoking, and to 
allow the flavours of the various tobaccos in the blend to "marry."  
A truly "fresh" ("green" in the trade) cigar can be quite dreadful.  
Though some rollers know how to make a "green" cigar that can taste 
quite good, these are not the cigars you would buy by the box.  A friend
who represents one of the major Dominican manufacturers once brought me
a few "green" cigars of a quality brand I routinely smoke.  They were
HORRID!  Harsh, difficult to draw, and just plain nasty.  I put the rest
away for a few weeks, and voila!  

>From the time a cigar is normally purchased, assuming good inventory
turnover at the retailer, it will undergo its most significant change 
in the first 8-15 months, going through a sort of "growing pain" period 
at somewhere between 6 and 10 months, and then mellowing.  After a couple 
of years, the change is much more gradual.  The spice of some tobaccos 
becomes more tightly integrated with the other flavours, and the overall 
complexity increases, though the cigars often become more subtle.  Cigars
with darker wrappers, as a rule of thumb, age better than cigars with 
claro wrappers, as do cigars with more oily wrappers.  In order for them
to age well, they should be removed from their cello sleeves, and packed
loosely in cedar boxes, and kept in the proper temperature/humidity.

***

I have built a most cost-effective humidor.  Some years ago, my mum was
getting rid of her old freezer, which had been out of sorts.  When I
discovered that the cost of parts to repair was nearly that of a new
freezer, I opted to put it to *better* use!  A few cedar sheets from the
inside of cigar boxes, a small hygrometer and a sponge allowed me to 
convert a scrap into a first-rate humidor!  Each time I go for a cigar,
I am rewarded by a magnificent aroma, and the joy of knowing that I 
can smoke any one of a variety of cigars, at any one of a variety of
ages!  I now can have the "right" cigar available for almost any occasion!

***

As an aside, my favourite pipe tobacco hasn't even been made for over
twenty years.  I was able to acquire about 100 tins of it when the shop
which had it commissioned went out of business.  (I was barely out of
diapers when this stuff was made!)  Anyone with whom I have shared this
delight has commenced aging their tobaccos!  Virginias and Turkish
tobaccos age gracefully.  Latakia loses some of its piquancy, but develops
a richness that is indescribable!


>-- 
>Jon Baker
>???????????????
>
>[ Actually, I've heard that the quality of the Cubans has gone down in
>recent years, due to the sad state of the economy... can someone
>verify or refute this? -S. ]

Cuban cigars are still unequalled.  Though there are excellent cigars
made in the Dominican Republic, the Honduras, the Canary Islands and
even Miami, *nothing* tastes like a Cuban cigar!  The quality largely
depends upon which factory they come from; even a Montecristo isn't 
always a Montecristo, as they come out of several different factories!
The best ones are shipped to the markets which the Cuban government deems
most worthy, so you can always find the best ones in Switzerland and Spain.
>From other markets, they are quite inconsistent.  It really is sad that
politics and pleasure are so inextricably linked when it comes to cigars!

I`ve had some unbelieveable Montecristos, Romeo & Juliettas, H. Upmanns,
Cohibas and Hoyo de Monterreys lately; as good as ever.  It all depends 
uoon where they were made (which factory) and how they were stored.

Happy smoking!
Gregory Pease
????????????

[ Thanks, Gregory! BTW, your message got me interested in how to build
a cost-effective humidor. The fridge seems like a novel idea, though
I'm sure that a one could build a more elegant one... perhaps a
veteran woodsmith could provide a reference to a plan?  (Or, as Norm
Abram says, a "measured drawring and a materials list" :-)

BTW, I think one could make a very inexpensive humidor for a few
cigars or just a little tobak, from a Rubbermaid or similar box, a
sponge-type humidifier, and a hygrometer. The hygrometer is available
from:

		Edmund Scientific
		101 E. Gloucester Pike 			
		Barrington NJ 08007-1380
		609-573-6250 		(orders)
		609-573-6858/6859 	(catalog requests)

I've ordered their catalog and will probably try this in the near
future. If anyone else has built their own humidor, please write in! -S. ]


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From: ????????????????????????? (Aryk Nusbacher)
Subject: Re:  Pipes Digest #118 - November 19, 1993
	
	
A few comments on digest 118:	
	
	Yes.  The importation of any Cuban products/services into the U.S.
	via any means is strictly forbidden, as is the export of products
	from the U.S. to Cuba, via any route.
	
I, as a Canadian, can bring Cuban cigars into the United States for my
own personal use.  It is only illegal if I sell them or give them to
somebody else.  That's why they sell them in the Duty Free.
	
	     Now that you are going to post a moderated pipe mailgroup, I
	would like to know how pipe tobacco is processed.  

According to my old tobacconist in Pittsburgh (Ivan at Continental), 
Latakia is processed over fires of dried camel dung.  Any tobacco
experts out there care to comment?

	Also I want to know about the quality of
	the mega expensive pipes like Charatan, Davidoff, and Duhill.

I am told that the only difference between a $100 GBD and a $300
Dunhill is the label:  they come from the same factory.  I have 
seen some recent Dunhills that make my flesh crawl _before_ looking
at the price tag.  It's not like the old days, when Dunhill pipes
were notably light and graceful right down to the bottom of the 
line.

Charatan makes some excellent pipes that are realtively inexpensive.
Right now I'm smoking a Charatan (3102DC) for which I paid C$60 on
sale.  Not in the same league as Dunhill (which, last time I was in
their New York blazer shoppe and pipe showroom, started at $250 for
a cheesy clunker).  Buying a pipe from an excellent cigar roller
like Davidoff seems pointless.

If you're going to blow lots of oof on a pipe, you might consider
a decent Stanwell, Comoy, Ben Wade or Charatan -- you could buy two
for the price of one Dunhill dental appliance.

	...  Someday some of the
	fraternity brothers are going to take some Southern Indiana tobacco
	and try to make it into long filler cigars, the way the Dominicans do
	it.
	
This weekend past, I had the opportunity to pull some Virginia leaf
off of a drying rack, rub it up, and smoke it; both in a clay pipe
and in my big Ben Wade.  It was really quite nice -- I might start 
keeping some plain Virginia around the apartment to match the plain
Latakia I occasionally buy for outdoors smoking.

Later,

Aryk Nusbacher

[ Plain Latakia? You're a stronger man than I am, Aryk! :-) And thanks
for the info on Dunhill vs. GBD; I agree that Dunhills aren't really
worth the price difference. -S. ]


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From: Andrew Lewis Tepper <[email protected]>
To: ??????????????????????
Subject: Cuban cigars & other thoughts
Status: R

Excerpts from internet.other.pipes: 19-Nov-93 Pipes Digest #118 -
Novembe.. by Steve ?????????????????? 
> [ Actually, I've heard that the quality of the Cubans has gone down in
> recent years, due to the sad state of the economy... can someone
> verify or refute this? -S. ]
> 
While I've heard the same thing, I'd say that the quality of Cuban
cigars is inconsistant. I have had _3_ different Cuban cigars over the
last few weeks (a little bragging here :) and of those, one was
absolutely fantastic (Romeo & Julietta Churchill), one was better than
any non-Cuban I've ever had (La Flor del Fino Short Churchill; actually
a Robusto size), and one was good but disappointing given it's
reputation (Cohiba Robusto). I've had other Cubans over the last year
that were strong/harsh, but not particularly interesting: Partagas
(Corona size?), Montecristo (Corona size?). I have tried a handfull of
others, but those were before I had smoked a wide enough variety to know
what my tastes are. If you're inclined to spend alot of money you can
buy pre-embargo and even pre-Castro Cubans. CA had a fascinating article
on this subject in the last issue. From what I could gather, these
cigars go for $50+ each. A friend went to an auction recently and bought
one for $120 and smoked it immediately; He said it was the best cigar
he's ever had.

Andy


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 )				       *   *				  )
( Pipe smokers will rule the world!      *   ??????????????????????	 (
 ) (if they don't run out of matches...) *   Steve Masticola, moderator	  )
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #119 - November 24, 1993
  2. Subject: Cigars and getting sick
  3. Subject: SMOKE REPORT: Cohiba Robustos
  4. Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #118 - November 19, 1993
  5. Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #118 - November 19, 1993
  6. Subject: Cuban cigars & other thoughts
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