Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Le fouin, le divin, le purin

That's how the French describe the three parts of a cigar. If I had to translate I'd say "the grass, the divine, and the... shit". Kind of accurate, isn't it ?


Friday, February 17, 2006

My love/hate relationship with Partagas D4

In my endless quest for the best robusto (part 1 & part 2), I have to admit that I have a very special relationship with the Partagas D4. I very often find it too strong. For instance, I cannot stand it in the afternoon.
I often argue that the D4 is the most expectable cigar, and lacks subtlety. Actually many people who do not know anything about cigars love the D4, because it somehow embodies the cliché of the Havanos : strong smell, strong taste, thick gauge, etc.
But every once in a while, after a solid dinner, and while sipping a good glass of Rhum (like this evening), I end up ordering a D4... Precisely for the same reasons why I criticized this cigar ! I love and hate the D4 because it is so rich and powerful. The same cigar gave me some of my worst experiences, and probably some of my best...
I do not see our relationship changing in the future... No way I can deal with a cigar that arrogant !


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Temasek (a.k.a. Singapore) and Thailand

Temasek strikes again ! Remember my post on the mega-holding Temasek, the financial arm of the Singaporean government ? Well Temasek (and other Singaporean investors) just invested 1.87 Bn USD into Shin Corps, to acquire 49.6% of its capital. To whom Temasek bought those shares? From Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, prime minister of Thailand.

Well, well, well... actually Thaksin does not own the shares, he had to transfer them to his family when he became prime minister (Thai's regulation), anyway. When you know the rivalry between Singapore & Thailand (Chinese vs. Thai), you cannot not think that it was a bold political move from the Singaporean government.

To be continued...


Monday, February 13, 2006

The Decline of Cuban Cigars ?

Everybody is talking about it ! Quality control in Cuba is not what it once was, and it feels like everybody is complaining. I myself wrote a couple of posts about consistency issues here and there.

Nonetheless, I was a little bit shocked to discover this article, by Marvin Shanken, in the respectable Cigar Aficionado : The Decline of Cuban Cigars. What is it about ?
  • Lack of consistency;
  • Quality control is poor;
  • Increasing of the production to meet the growing demand led to lower quality;
  • Cubans are not what they used to be.
Well... is that so surprising from Cuba ? I mean look at the country itself : Cuba is a communist country (a), led by a fierce, yet weakened, dictator (b), haunted by corruption (c), with almost no private sector (d), and a struggling economy (e).

If I may say so : what did you really expect Marvin ?

Comment from 2014: reading this post again 8 years later... I realize I have probably been too harsh with Cuba and with Mr Castro as well... A country that produces the best cigar on earth cannot be all wrong...