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About MontrealRon

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  • Birthday 05/27/1951

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  • Location
    Montreal, Quebec
  • Interests
    World history, current events, ancient coins, health and nutrition, classic science-fiction, music - jazz/blues/early reggae/salsa, etc., fine wine, and CUBAN CIGARS!

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  1. Hi there - “brands” of peso cigars vary by region. Wherever you are, there will normally be only one available, according to whichever factory is closest. in Varadero, you will normally find Relobas. Quality seems to vary mostly by chance. Have fun.
  2. The cello wrapped cigars are machine made. These boxes are usually marked "cello" or "cellophane", on the name label, but never "machine-made". The others are machine bunched and hand-wrapped; and the boxes are usually stamped "Totalmente a mano" on the bottom, though this is at best a half truth. There were no fully hand made Montecarlos before c.2002, when the cigar-rolling machines were finally abandoned. Those previously machine made cigars that survived the big change-over were reborn as fully hand made, though generally using the same tobaccos that were used in their former inca
  3. Impossible to choose among so many great smokes, all excellent. My all time favorites, though, are all discontinued - LGC #3, and Partagas SDC #1 and #2. Fortunately, I still have a good stock.
  4. Partagas Piramides, bought in Cayo Coco hotel shop by friends in 2001, CUC 132.50 IIRC, same price as Monte 2's. Bloody brilliant, probably my favorite box ever. Still have more than half, only smoke them on special occasions. Every one has been a 95+. P2s a big disapointment, never came close. No experience, nor interest, in the other releases.
  5. Thanks for a great review, Ray! Happened to be smoking a ERDM Gran Coronas from around the same period as I read it, and as I write this. A single, bought way back when, so no precise date... While quite enjoyable, it also seems to be lacking something... Perhaps these cigars are indeed best in that 10-15 year window. I wholely concur as to the RGCE, also one of my all time favorites. '02s and '03s have hit that sweet spot; '07s not there yet. '08s and '09s still sleeping...
  6. A little story, to further confuse the issue of "left and right" ( as is my habit ) : Around 15 years ago, my wife and I took our first trip to Cuba together, She is a cigarette smoker. As we got off the plane and headed directly into the airport, waiting in line to go through passport control, she was dying for a smoke. I approached a soldier, who was lounging about, looking bored, and asked "Is there anywhere around here to have a smoke?" His reply, "You are in Cuba now. This is a free country. Smoke where you like!" Granted, times have changed since then, and at the same time that
  7. Somewhat less than 10%, and those are pyramides and DCs. Maybe 1% 50 RG parejos, balance of old stock, certainly none purchased in the last 5 years.
  8. Nice! I guess "in vino veritas" applies to whiskey as well... My first box of DCs was a '01 Punch, bought fresh in Cuba. Good young, better later, superb now. Still have most of the box; smoke 1 or two per year. Great score, brother!
  9. To speak of Cubans earning 20 CUC / month is not an accurate reflection of their reality. Cubans are paid in CUP (national pesos), not CUC (convertible pesos), generally around 550-600 pesos / month. Since Cuba is not within the international exchange system, their exchange rates are arbitrary, and have validity only internally. The CUC is used only for transactions involving foreigners or for goods that are imported and paid for in foreign currency. A more clearly defined question would be "How do Cubans live on what they earn?" Better than some, worse than others, I would say. We mus
  10. A BAM MAR '13 smoked last Sunday was, without contest, the best cigar I have smoked in ages. A solid 97, with the potential to reach 99-100!
  11. You can order singles directly from our host through *****INT aka INT store, or by simply emailing Diana. Prices are very reasonable, and you are sure to receive top quality smokes. Obviously, they are not available from US based sources, as the embargo on Cuban goods is still very much in force.
  12. Yeah, I guess that working your slaves to death does not count as first degree murder, but rather manslaugter... But then, how about the intentional distribution of smallpox infected blankets, or the wholesale destruction of food supplies, leading to widespread starvation, followed by the corralling of the survivors onto barren lands... Let`s not call it genocide... we can call it ``ethnic cleansing``...
  13. I`ll let you in on a secret, brother. Please don`t tell anyone! It seems you and I have a lot more in common than either of us imagined. I too believe deeply in right and wrong, good and evil. It is just that in so many things in life, there are elements of both. As to which may predominate in any particular situation, it is usually a judgement call. We all try our best to not screw up that call too often. And then, as you said, there is good and evi in their pure form. As far as i know, I have only encountered pure good in the presence (in spite of a huge crowd) of the Dalai Lama. P
  14. Hi again, Ray - First of all, your apology is accepted, without reservation. No need to delete your post. We all, at times, allow our emotions to get the better of us; none of us are from the planet Vulcan... Human beings are exceedingly complex, even contradictory creatures, and so with human societies. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and very little is all black or all white. I have been a serious student of history all my life, and I have learned that there are at least two sides to every story, and that no one has a monopoly on the truth. History is usually written by the

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