Gentlemen, gentlemen! Calm, if you will.
Must we bicker so regarding the status of international relationships, when we are here to discuss our preferences in cigars, fine or otherwise? Nay I say to thee! Let us correct our course and resume discussion in the finest of tobacco luxuries.
I myself was introduced to cigars by a friend whose family was the proprietor of a now-shuttered cigar company. Pacific Cigars, if you are curious. Once, they delivered cigars to the wealthy and powerful, including none other than William J. Clinton during his term as President of the United States. Ah, but that time has gone, as the plantations have been sold, and the warehouses slowly empty their remaining stock.
If any of you gentlemen happen upon a Pacific Cigar, I would highly recommend procuring it, and ensuring that it is stored at proper temperature and humidity for a few months, so as to regain its former splendor. When properly stored, these cigars will deliver a strong, full-bodied flavor yet smoke with with the smoothness of much lighter cigars. Happy hunting, chaps.
In regards to brands not defunct or difficult to obtain, I have sampled many cigars over the years. Many of them have been quite enjoyable and memorable. Macanudo, Romeo Y Julieta, Partagas, Room 101, Kristoff, Chohiba, Davidoff. These are but a few of the cigars that I have imbibed in my travels. Acid is an acceptable brand many choose to smoke, though I personally feel that adding flavors to a cigar detracts from the enjoyment of the natural state of tobacco. Each manufacturer puts out cigars worthy of praise and repeat smokings. There have been two however that stand out above the rest in my opinion, those being Padron and Bolivar.
My current favorites are the Padron 1964 Anniversary Series "A", for a long, smooth, pleasant smoke, and the Bolivar Petit Corona for a relatively brief, but flavorful and altogether pleasant experience.
I have had my hands on several Cuban cigars over the years, and each of them was a disappointment, although this was not because they were cigars of poor or questionable quality, you understand. Rather, this was because I had heard tales of the superior quality and craftsmanship of Cuban cigars, and these were but average offerings. Acceptable, but utterly forgettable. Bolivar was my first exposure to Cuban cigars that opened my eyes to the potential of Cuban tobacco.
Politics aside, Cuban cigars are only as good as those that farm, age, and roll the tobacco from which they are crafted. I have smoked Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf that was superior in every respect to Cuban, and yet in the right hands, Cuban leaf can indeed be greater than any other.