Originally Posted by dkzzzz
Cuban cigars are the best. You just need to know which one to buy and how to age them. Just like with wine there are better years and worse.
To each their own but you'd better throw out a disclaimer with a statement like that. Cuban consistency/quality has greatly gone down in the last 20 some-odd years while the myth and lure has remained steady.
What's better than a cigar? An "off-limits" cigar.
Everyone has their own taste preferences and I'm not saying that you don't know your stuff, but "Cuban" doesn't denote quality, it denotes country. And just like wine, one can't say that French is better than American simply because of France's well-established wine tradition.
You look at any cigar magazine such as Cigar Afficionado, Smoke, etc. and you'll note that countries such as DR and Nicaragua consistently score better than Cubans while being at times half the cost and claiming a wider variety of shapes and flavors.
I tend to smoke Cuban R&J's when I'm out of the US not really out of preference (although I can't complain about the taste) but because of a lack of availability of other brands/countries which I attribute to living in a tourist-centric environment that buys into Cuba's myth.
Do I enjoy that R&J as much as a Nicaraguan CAO? Sure. I just get a little peeved when I hear people throw out a blanket statement like "Cubans are the best" when all they have to base that on is the legend...and the embargo.