We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I don't violate the ban at all - at no time will you ever find me smoking a Quintero Y Hno Nacionales, Rafael González Panetela or Vegueros Especiales No.1. Nope - not me - uh uh - no way man - not going to violate that stupid and completely incomprehensible ban on Cuban cigars. Ain't gonna happen. Just because they are readily available through a number of sources at a decent price does not mean that I would violate the ban on Cuban cigars. Just for the record.
I agree with you - not that you would smoke a Cuban and violate the ban - a rather mundane choice although I do smoke that style from time-to-time - and not Cubans - I don't smoke Cubans as I said.
Although I love cigars from other Latin American/Caribbean countries, I like the taste of Cubans the best. Something about the taste of the terrier of Cuba is smoother and more complex. I believe the free market of the rest of the world has sorted this out an agrees with my assessment as non-Cuban cigars barely register economically.
True, the quality of regular production Cubans (as compared to special editions) can be a bit less than desirable, but then anything handmade is going have variations.
The ratings that TopCubans.com reflect the most popular marcas (brands) in those sizes. Excellent all but there are a lot of marcas and sizes that are truly spectacular but somehow or another less popular.
On another note, even if the embargo were lifted this very minute many of the most popular brands will be caught up in trademark litigation between General Cigar (which owns the trademark rights of the NON-CUBAN brands) and Habanos SA (the state owned Cuban cigar company). Global brands like Montecristo, Hoyo de Monterrey, Cohiba, Partagas, Bolivar are all both Cuban brands and non-Cuban brands and would be caught up in litigation.
PS - I agree with the #4's. Ring gauge of 42 is about right for me. Why is it that whenever I see a bald man holding an 8" Churchill (Gauge 47), or larger, in his mouth (which I never, never do), I immediately think of a candied apple (round object, long stick). Perverse, I guess...
Cubans, are they really now what they once were?
Even if they are close, I prefer not to lend assistance to Castro.
I am hard pressed to pass by a Dominican Partagas Limited Reserve Dacades no.4 for a cuban roll of similar status.
Partagas moved to the DR, the old Cuban factory simply uses their name.
They took the seeds with them when they left and have over the years adjusted them to the soil.