Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 09 March 2013

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Are Your Cigars Stuffed with—Kitty Litter?

Back before the 2009 tax increase on small cigars, 22 companies were manufacturing the miniature stogies. Since then, 12 of them have avoided the federal excise tax hike by simply making their cigars heavier. Unfortunately, some of the means used to add heft might come as a surprise to their customers who actually smoke the cigars.



According to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a dozen tobacco companies have been adding weight to their products using fillers like the clay used in kitty litter. (Cat owners, try to get that litter box image out of your mind.)

Danny McGoldrick, vice president of research at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, told a reporter, “It shows what length the tobacco companies will go to avoid taxes and regulation that were designed to improve public health without regard to their customers. They should equalize the tax to stop the shenanigans.”

On January 31, Illinois democratic Senator Dick Durbin introduced legislation to close this loophole—and hopefully, get that yucky kitty litter out of our cigars.

Pedro Martin Cigars Announces Additions to the Family

Fans of the Pedro Martin family of cigars will have more to love this spring, as the brand debuts two new smokes.



The Pedro Martin Limited Edition will be a Nicaraguan puro with a seven-year-old Corojo wrapper. It will come in just one size, the 6” x 52 ring Toro, and be priced at $14.50 each.

Next up will be the Pedro Martin Casa Martin, which uses Nicaraguan tobacco encased in a dark Mexican San Andres wrapper. The Casa Martin will come in four sizes including the 7” x 70 ring Grandisimo, the 6” x 60 Grande, the 6” x 52 Toro and the 4 ½” x 48 Robusto. These cigars will sell for $7.30 to $9.00 each.

Rush Limbaugh Plugs the Opus X

Love him or hate him, no one can deny that radio pundit Rush Limbaugh knows his cigars. That’s why we took notice when he gave his personal advice to a caller who was looking for a cigar that matched the quality of the illegal Cuban cigar he had grown fond of. Here’s the Rushmeister’s advice:



“So you want a cigar that will remind you of the Cuban that you smoked, and I'm gonna tell you something. The place in Cuba where the premium cigars come from is a place called the Vuelta Abajo, and it's near a little town called Pinar Del Rio. Just like Bordeaux in France, it happens to be the one place on earth that God made perfect for growing all three elements of the cigar:  the binder, the filler, and the wrapper tobacco.  It's the only place in the world where all three types are grown in the same place.  Now, the Fuente family has managed to do that in the Dominican Republic, and that is the Opus X.  If you can, get hold of any size of Fuente Fuente Opus X.

“Opus X, it's got a beautiful band.  It's a strong cigar, as Cubans are.  But it's tough.  You say, ‘Can you name for me a Cabernet Sauvignon from California that will taste like a Chateau Petrus from France?’ No, that's why Cabernet Sauvignon is what it is or Chateau Petrus is what it is.  

“But the Dominican cigars and the domestic cigars are good in and of themselves for different ways.  The Cuban cigars are unique, and they're not as good they used to be, by the way, because the Cubans lost their subsidy from the Soviets, which was $5 billion a year.

“The cigar fad hit back in the nineties, and the Cubans started mass producing to keep up with demand around the world.  They stopped the aging process. They hired young kids to be rollers that weren't as good.  For a long time people who bought Cubans said that they were too tight to draw, you'd get a hernia trying to smoke one because they were too tightly packed.  They've gone back and forth on the quality control.  So it depends on what year you get a Cuban from what I'm told.”

While many of us can argue with Limbaugh over politics, we have to admit that his taste in cigars is impeccable.

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