Can Cuba Meet the Demand?
Can you help us please and take a moment to answer a couple of questions about Cuban cigars?
For more than 50 years, no actual cigars from Cuba have legally been sold here due to the embargo on all Cuban goods. So like everything else, the grass has looked pretty green in Cuba from here. Certainly those cigars have got to be great, right?
As the end of that embargo inches closer to reality, we’d like to know what it will really mean to you.
Our first question is not “if Cuban cigars were available for sale today in the US, would you smoke them?” We feel pretty certain every serious cigar lover out there is going to want to at least give them a try.
So the question really is “if Cuban cigars were available for sale today in the US, how long would you wait on a list to receive one?” Or perhaps it should be “how much would you pay to jump to the head of that line?”
Unfortunately, those could both be real questions aficionados will face as the readiness of the Cuban tobacco growers to meet US demand becomes clearer. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it’s not a pretty picture. The bottom line is that Cuba exported 91 million cigars in 2014, down 58% from 2006.
To put that into further perspective, according to statisticians at Maxwell JC. the Maxwell Report, about 13 billion cigars, including 12.4 billion large cigars and cigarillos and 0.6 little cigars were sold in the US in 2014. That’s billion with a b.
So while Cuba is ramping up production in hopes of meeting some of the expected demand, we don’t want to be left wondering what you plan to do. Here at Thompson, we want to be ready to serve our customers no matter where the market leads us.
So we’re asking.
Have you ever smoked a real Cuban cigar?
Do you think you’d switch from your current cigar preferences to exclusively smoking Cubans?
Will you try a couple and then make up your mind? If so, which ones do you want to smoke first?
You could enjoy a good Cuban after dinner tonight if you are willing to fly to Havana to buy one and smoke it there. However, even with the cheapest air tickets, and no plans to spend the night, you’d have to expect to pay several hundred dollars for that smoke.
To be honest, we don’t think you should have to pay that. Also, we’ve seen some exceptionally good cigars grow out of the seeds carried from Cuba to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and elsewhere. So we can’t help but wonder…
Just how badly do you want to be one of the first Americans to legally smoke a Cuban cigar in your own home?
Do you think the new/old Cuban favorites stand a chance of living up to all the hype in the US?