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I want cigars to be acknowledged as a vegetable and included as a dietary supplement in the sustenance of all the old men in assisted living

Robert Fulghum



While Covid delayed new blogs

Over the last 8 weeks, while waiting for the refurbished estate pipes to be ready, and while Covid finished its incursion into our webmaster’s office, I have received (and enjoyed) nearly 30 cigar-related articles in my IN BOX, plus emails from the preceding 3 months that I hadn’t had time to read.
Amongst them were some items I found interesting, items that I thought worth passing on.

Are you planning to visit Zermatt in the coming skiing season.
You may like to consider the Schweizerhof Hotel which caters for smokers in a big way. It offers a large Smoking Room “Le Fumoir” with semi-private options, and an open lounge including a pool table. The menu format follows the cigar theme, and the tables have a button to call the waiter.
Not only that – every room has a private balcony complete with ashtrays and matches.
There was no indication of prices in the Cigar Aficionado article, but I’m sure we can guess.

Extract from Famous Smoke (I receive Cigar Advisor emails regularly, but have trouble accessing their website.)
Labour day tips for a cigar smoking barbecue – good for a South African summer late afternoon braai – with many guests.:

  1. Have a good variety of cigars on hand for guests
    Even if you love your cigars “well-done,” some of your cigar smoking guests may not. So, make sure they’re provided with cigars that are suitable to their individual experience (mellow, medium, and full-bodied choices).
  2. Don’t forget to accessorize
    Pick up a couple ‘el cheapo’ guillotine cutters, torch lighters, and ashtrays. You know, the kind of lighters and cutters that you wouldn’t mind losing.
  3. Beer’s good, but whiskey’s better
    A lot of cigars go well with a fine lager or IPA, but various bourbons, rums, and single malt whiskeys are made for pairing with cigars. You don’t need a luxury hotel’s worth of booze on hand, but a modest selection will make your Labor Day that more special.
  4. Flavor is your friend
    Level up by grabbing a couple of infused cigars for guests that want to try a cigar for the first time. (We offer Acid cigars)
  5. Have a designated smoking area
    Let’s face it, not everyone is enamored with cigar smoke. More for us, right?! It’s a good idea to have a cigar smoking area to keep your non-smoking guests happy too!

27/9/2022 About 4.30am, Hurricane Ian, with sustained winds of more than 200km per hour, hit the western end of Cuba island.
It destroyed houses and barns in the Pinar del Río area and brought flooding of up to 30cm in the fields.
Planting had for the most part not yet started in this most important area for cigar plantations, but tobacco cannot be harvested unless barns are available.
Cigar Aficionado has the story with some pictures of the destruction caused on one of the farms.
Together with the problems caused by the Covid pandemic, the shortage of Cuban cigars will continue for some time it seems.
Fortunately there are “New World” cigars available to us. We have a very nice array available now.

Jul 5, 2022 | By David Savona (I only saw it in September.)

Federal Judge Issues Opinion In Favor Of Cigar Industry
Supports Cigar Industry In Fight Against FDA Regulation; Final Action Still To Come
“Judge Amit P. Mehta issued his opinion on the lawsuit between the Food & Drug Administration and the three main cigar industry organizations. The judge sided largely in favor of the cigar groups, calling the FDA’s move to regulate premium cigars “arbitrary and capricious,” while inviting additional briefing from both sides before he issues his final judgement.”

OCTOBER (This was a very interesting month)
We’ve gradually grown accustomed to seeing the cricketers wearing Pink to draw attention to breast cancer research – but Cigars?

The Rare Pink line was created by Carlos Fuente Jr in late 2020.
This is a project to benefit breast cancer research, a $13 donation from the sale of every box.
The idea is for his daughter who mourns the loss of her grandmother and aunt due to breast cancer.

Carlos Fuente Jr. said during a video call with Cigar Aficionado. “The boxes are so unique. It’s a gift for my daughter, and my mother, and my sister, and all the women in my life.”
The Rare Pink is a line of Perfecto shapes with Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, Dominican binder, and dark Ecuadorian wrappers.
And interesting names: Short Story (as in the Hemingway series), Signature, Work of Art, Happy Ending,
Queen of Hearts, and Sophisticated Hooker (named after a fishing boat, but with a double meaning).
Not just pretty names – they rated 92 to 93 points in their debut Cigar Insider vertical brand tasting and Sophisticated Hooker was placed No.10 in Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 cigars of 2022.

But this wasn’t the whole story. I often click on links to learn more, and this time I found a mine of interesting information….
Rare Pink line – why, how, and with many further links.
Ecuadoran wrappers – the volcanoes, the clouds, the fields, the Oliva family and the Rosado wrappers.
Cameroon wrappers – CETAC S.A, a private company with local shareholders inspired and guided by Rick Meerapfel of the Swiss based company, has brought the Central African tobacco industry from near-extinction to producing some of the finest Colorado leaf outside of Cuba. I liked the comment: “Central Africans use the phrase “C’est l’Afrique” to explain anything from poor weather to a coup d’etat, but it still seems the best way to describe the magnificent view of the rain forest and tobacco plants.”
Carlos Fuente Jr. – a look into the history of the Fuente family, the times in which they lived, and the passion and inspiration that has turned ideas into great cigars.
The family business – a parallel look at the history of the Fuente family and associates, filling many gaps.

If you have time to spare over the holidays immerse yourself in the world of cigar tobacco and cigars.

By the way –


S T DuPont have designed a Casino Pocket Complication Cigar Lighter
with Las Vegas in mind.
It features a working roulette wheel, and 26 Rubies are incorporated into its design.
Small enough to fit into a pocket.


Nov 4, 2022 | By Gregory Mottola
Habanos Festival 2023
After 2 years, the Habanos Festival will be held again in 2023, February 27 to March 3.
For some history see our blog on http://www.wesleys.co.za/archives48a.html#484

Scrolling aimlessly through older emails from Cigar Aficionado, you know how one does, I found links to 2 very interesting sets of “facts”:
Cohiba – 15 fascinating facts https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/cohiba-15-fascinating-facts-about-cuba-s-most-famous-brand

Montecristo – 9 things you need to know https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-montecristo

And I read about the new Montecristo Wide Edmundohttps://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/cuba-has-a-new-montecristo-wide-edmundo-premiers-in-spain
I suppose it will be some time before we see it in real life.

Then there was the news from David Savona Nov 11, 2022
Imports of handmade cigars into the United State continue to grow, with Nicaragua leading the field.
We can test the quality here, some excellent New World cigars in our humidor right now.

Cigar Aficionado magazine’s 30th Anniversary.
The magazine includes an exclusive interview between David Savona and the founder Marvin R Shanken. The magazine certainly encouraged the cigar boom.
Colin and I were in Cincinnati in 1995 for a RTDA convention at the height of the cigar boom – an amazing experience.

More – “Els for Autism” Pro-Am golf tournament raised nearly a million dollars. Co-founded by Marvin Shanken, the founder of Cigar Aficionado, this was the 14th year.

Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 cigars of 2022. Nos.1-10 were released daily from December 12 with the full 25 on screen on December 16. https://www.cigaraficionado.com/top25/2022

December also means the Christmas holiday season – and a time when we need to consider gifts.
You know, Wesley’s is not just a good Tobacconist – it also concentrates on other gifts for men – it is in fact a One-stop Man’s Gift Shop. (Some gifts are for women too.)
See the ideas on http://www.wesleys.co.za/gifts.htm.
Choose for yourself, or direct the person who says, “I don’t know what to get you for Christmas”.
Just one idea – have you ever tried Shaving Creams from Taylors of Old Bond Street?
Colin really appreciated his Sandalwood shaving cream. Pure luxury!

I mentioned earlier that we had a good array of New World cigars available right now – great cigars from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Honduras. A fine gift for any cigar smoker to taste while relaxing during the holidays.
I do like the quote from Cigar Aficionado
“Cuban cigars are great, but they are not alone in their greatness.”
(My family can now complete the quote once I say the first 4 words.)

And it is just as well – since Cuban cigars are in short supply.

Whether the cigar is classic Cuban or ‘great’ New World, what every smoker of a hand-rolled cigar needs is a sharp cutter to open the head of the cigar.
Cutters that may be lost, broken, blunted, or left behind!
A cigar cutter will always make an ideal Christmas present – a simple cutter as a stocking filler, or a top quality precision instrument when appropriate.

To encourage this thought, we offer our full range of cigar cutters for your choice.

From December 22, 2022 for a limited period
All Cigar Cutters less 25%
Prices from R70.00
Excluding Sale items.
Only from Wesley’s Shops and Online

You can still enjoy a rich flavourful cigar, even when Cuban cigars aren’t available.
Add a couple to your humidor

Gillian Wesley
No.526 December 22, 2022

PS If you can’t visit a Wesley’s Bricks and Mortar, remember that if you’re not completely happy with your Internet choice, you can always return it for a full refund.

Stay at home, stay safe – we can come to you.

By law, no South African citizen, living in South Africa can buy a tobacco product via the internet or postal system. In fact, you may not receive a tobacco product through the post.
In addition we may not receive payment through the internet for tobacco products.
We may only supply tobacco products within the trade – not to private individuals. The fine is substantial
Contact us for help in getting tobacco to your area.

Visit The Library to read archived blogs from “Across the Counter”.