I can’t believe July is here already. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were up to our ears (almost literally) in snow, and here we are in the middle of summer. Anyway, we are in the midst of Vegas de Santiago week here at Cigarcraig.com and last night I smoked a cigar from their “VDS originales” line. This particular cigar has a little history behind it. In 2004 my wife and I hosted the first of two cigar events at the Freehold Raceway in Freehold, NJ. We rented the “luxury box” at the top of the grandstand, which included food, beverages and our own parimutuel teller. It was a great event with about 20 folks from as far away as British Columbia and Alaska. One of the sponsors of the event was Vegas de Santiago, who sent 25 of these cigars in beautiful wooden tubes. I have saved this cigar in the depths of the coolerdor for the last 6 years, and I figured this was as good a time to open it up and set fire to it as any. The cigar measured 6″ x 48, which is is not listed on their website, so is ether no longer in production, or magically changed ring gauge over time. The wrapper was a nice milk chocolate brown, but wasn’t entirely consistent in color. It lit and burned nicely as a cigar that’s had some time to rest should. It was a medium bodied cigar and the flavors were nice, not as rich as the Secretos de Maestro, but not grassy, like I found the Chaman to be. Overall I think this is a nice cigar. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of these to include in the contest prize pack, but there will be several of the Secretos and a couple Chamans. Remember to go back a couple posts and enter the contest which ends Saturday.
In the news
It looks like we’ve dodged another bullet here in the state of Pennsylvania as the proposed cigar and “other tobacco products” have again been excluded from being taxed in the proposed budget. This leaves PA as the only state that doesn’t tax smokeless and pipe tobacco and one of two states without a cigar tax. Obviously this is very good for us consumers, and quite nice for the cigar stores in PA that will get to continue doing business and employing taxpaying citizens. You can read more about this in the CRA’s news alert here. I am amused by the reaction of the acting CEO of the American Lung Association, Deborah Brown. She says: “I can’t believe they left this money on the table and they’d rather see people laid off from their jobs than to tax these products”. I suppose that if there was a tax on cigars, nobody would lose their jobs when cigar stores closed and business moved to Florida taking their business and payroll taxes with them? Sorry to say, tobacco employs hundreds of people in PA and companies like Cigars International and Famous pay millions in taxes. I know tobacco isn’t good for you, and it’s a fashionable target for the pleasure police, but let’s figure out why destroying an industry is preferable to streamlining state government or paying for prisons and welfare? Rant over, I’m sure we’ll see PA try to tax tobacco again next year. Support Cigar Rights of America!
That’s about it for now! Until the next time,