AS ever, the human capacity to adapt and press on never fails to amaze.
We’ve come a long way in the last few months and no doubt we have a way to go yet, but the streets are (very) slowly picking up some life once more and people are getting out and about again, as they have to do if we are to fire up our country’s wheezing economy.
So far so good on the virus front, with the majority of people being sensible and playing by the rules. And it’s been interesting to see how people’s cigar fancies have shifted at this time, too.
They have, in general, smoked a lot more cigars. Smaller cigars, perhaps, and also those they might not have ordinarily thought of trying. Sautter, for example, now has an extensive range of New World cigars going live on its website – not something many of us would have predicted a few short months ago. Times have changed.
Laurence Davis has put up some specials to keep humidors topped up; many a Montecristo 3, 4 or 5 has been shipped in recent weeks and one of the bonuses of the remarkable turn of events this year is perhaps that older, forgotten blends, brands and sizes are getting their time in the sun again.
If you’ve never tried a cigar from the Dominican Republic, Mexico or the volcano-driven heartlands of Estelí, Nicaragua, then there’s never been a better time to broaden your horizons. Regular contributor Nick Hammond and importer of many of the UK’s best-known New World sticks, Scott Vines, will be appearing on our Zoom channel to host a New World Cigars training session on Friday July 31.
If you are a little puzzled by, unsure of, or simply unaware of the massive strides these non-Cuban cigars have made in the world cigar market in recent years, this could by your golden ticket. Nick and Scott will discuss a variety of cigars from a number of countries and regions and as part of your ticket price, attendees have been sent three excellent cigars to accompany the discussions. The price of the cigar package alone is £65, yet the ticket price is just £50 – and a fiver from each ticket is also going to the Fe y Alegria charities Belen School in Nicaragua, where Scott and Nick have witnessed the life-changing work that goes on to make young lives better.
The store at Mount Street continues to supply cigar lovers old and new with their much-needed sticks. The outdoor seating in front of the shop provides some extra assistance, weather permitting, and while stocks of Cuban cigars remain perilously low, due to Covid and the fact a container ship full of them has been slowly steaming the oceans to these shores, the coffee is hot, Magali is thrilled to be back at her London ‘home’ and all is well behind those famous old windows opposite the Connaught Hotel.