Golden age of cigars: what do you think?


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I've been reading about the so-called "golden age" of cigars and I'm wondering what this forum thinks, or rather, WHEN this occurred. Most of us can only read about the past as having not experienced much in the way of the pre and post-revolution production period for cigars, so some may be of the opinion that the golden age is now as Cuba has been producing some amazing cigars last year, and it's my opinion that 2019 will rival 2018. 

So what is your opinion when this occurred or is it occurring now?

Pre-Revolution?

Post-Revolution?

I'm a huge history buff, so naturally I'm very curious about this topic and I'm ready to learn more.

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I've heard the term 'golden age' before but I think that can be interpreted a lot of different ways. I've only been into cigars for about 12 years and CC for about half that time, so I can only speak from a fairly recent sample.

It seems like the has been growth every year in terms of revenue and market growth. Anyone out there please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Sure it's a lot of in your face fat regional editions, limitadas, and loud packaging/rebranding, but people everywhere are still buying and smoking them. And as much as I hate to admit it, some of the shiny new gigantic stuff is still pretty damn good (magnum 54 I'm talking about you). In that sense, maybe one could consider this part of a golden age.

From a worldwide political standpoint, tobacco products are the enemy. Nothing will stop the anti smoking agenda, and they are prepared to do whatever possible to make it difficult for smokers to relax and enjoy their hobby.  In that sense, definitely not the golden age.

My 2 cents. Probably not worth 2 cents lol!

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Pre-Revolution would be my pick.  Larger consumer base and more interesting catalog.  Cigars were stronger and more flavorful back then.  Mid 1990's is the gradual decline IMO.  Cigars like most consumer items caters to the what the consumer is looking for at that time.  Could be the cigars are better now due to technology, but the flavors Habanos fans crave are most reflected in cigars of "yester-year".

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1 hour ago, FatherOfPugs said:

Pretty much that. Not sure how we could be in a 'golden age' when everywhere you turn, there is someone looking down on you for smoking a cigar. Weed, they're fine with, a cigar, God forbid it! 

...

Just blow a smoke ring in their direction and watch them run to their safe spaces with arms flailing.  Tobacco smoke is millennial SJW repellent.  You're a terrorist.  :thumbsup:

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2008-2011 was a really special time, some incredible ELs, regular production seemed generally very consistent and the quality of tobacco was incredible. RyJ came back to life, Upmann, RA, Partagas, Trinidad, Cohiba,Hoyo, JL all pulled out some incredible runs.

  It was a sweet spot with the ending of the plugged cigar and before the age of the windtunnel. The massive price hikes hadn't kicked in hard, you could still get a lot of the now deleted classics. Bling cigars were mostly a trial program. BHK launched and we initially decently priced and incredible quality.

  I don't think we'll see a combination of the above again 

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7 hours ago, RijkdeGooier said:

Late eighties, early nineties produced spectacular cigars. 

Based on what I've read and heard the period of 85-95 was indeed a high water mark for CCs, at least post-Rev. 

Obviously, there were some incredible cigars made from 61-84. Don Candido, Don Alfredo etc. were evidently always great from 35-82. 

If I had to pick an era, I would probably pick late pre-Rev, say 55-61. The variety and private production with the use of the old Criollo & Corojo would probably result in some incredible and unique cigars. 

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1 hour ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Based on what I've read and heard the period of 85-95 was indeed a high water mark for CCs, at least post-Rev. 

Obviously, there were some incredible cigars made from 61-84. Don Candido, Don Alfredo etc. were evidently always great from 35-82. 

If I had to pick an era, I would probably pick late pre-Rev, say 55-61. The variety and private production with the use of the old Criollo & Corojo would probably result in some incredible and unique cigars. 

I am lucky enough that I actually get to smoke from both periods. 

The Pre-Rev I’ve smoked range from still remarkbly strong Maduro type to lighter tea. 

The 80’s - 90’s are still fantastic, full flavored old tobacco sticks. 

Which reminds me to dip into my Hoyo DC stock ?

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4 hours ago, aphexafx said:

Just blow a smoke ring in their direction and watch them run to their safe spaces with arms flailing.  Tobacco smoke is millennial SJW repellent.  You're a terrorist.  :thumbsup:

I find this highly offensive and feel I've been violated akin to battery! I don't know whether to violently protest in the streets or color a book in a quiet space in my parents basement where I reside but rest assured one of the two will happen...most likely the latter...

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I havent smoked Cubans for long enough to comment with any personal knowledge on years prior to '08. Ive smoked plenty of cigars from the 80s and some as far back as the early 50s, but nowhwere near enough of them to make a legitimate comparison between those cigars and what we have today. 

Ignoring all the distractions of laws, marcas, el/re, and the general bullsh*t thats over taken the industry in the last 15 years or so, I cant ask for more. 

If quality goes up from here I'll be a very happy camper. The only thing I consistanly have issue with is the huge variation of production quality. But thats been, to some extent, an issue with CCs forever. Are we in a "golden age" right now? I would say no, but I dont see it improving markedly in my lifetime. 

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I don't think anyone ever recognizes they're living in a "Golden Age" of anything until it's far behind them. Who knows? In a few decades some might look back say this IS the golden age of cigars.

Regardless of the issues we complain about here such as QC, discontinuation of beloved marca/vitola, jaw breaker ring guages, etc, I think we've got it pretty good!

Maybe it's my nature but I can think of a lot a ways that the wheels could come off. And I'm glad they haven't!

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2 hours ago, SenorPerfecto said:

September 2015-November 2015.

there was this amazing period around this time - at least the stuff i was smoking

my mistake = thinking things were always gonna be this way and not stocking up :(

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6 hours ago, RijkdeGooier said:

Late eighties, early ninties produced spectacular cigars. 

I have to agree here in terms of enjoyment. 

From a buying perspective  late 90's....to round 2006. The internet kicked in. Stock almost everywhere was available to purchase for peanuts. Customs in most countries hadn't caught on. Wild times in the cigar world. 

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I am most likely ignorant since I only started in 2004 in the states but now has been sweet.  Online is the safest, cheapest and least risk of fakes.  Decent box of 20+ non cuban is at least 5 bucks a stick and runs much higher so it's  still very competitive with local options.  Post cuba semi embargo loosening allows an alibi for my stock as it could have been brought in via vacation customs limits as opposed to hiding and hoarding a monte 2 like contraband.  The anti smoking culture is rough but also i get it for those who want nothing to do with it.  It makes the lounges, back bar patios, house and yard set ups, and camping trips that much more magical.

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From a historical perspective, I’m certain the “golden age” was some point in the past when quality cigars were readily available, and smoking them wasn’t as frowned upon. The era of Sir Winston Churchill comes to mind.

But for me personally...the Golden Age is most certainly right here, right now. I’ve only been into cigars for about 6 years now, and if you tried to tell me 6 years ago how many boxes of top quality and tasty CC’s I’d have today, all perfectly stored in cedar-lined humidors for both immediate and long-term use, I would have shite me pants laughing hysterically at you. I mean c’mon, CC’s are the forbidden fruit. And according to the internet, I’m more likely than not to be purchasing fakes.

Yep, life is pretty damn good if you ask me.

 

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11 minutes ago, PapaDisco said:

574e49e19c27a_AirlineStogie.jpg.99d62b168ee55ca1b4007abb89ddfd6d.jpg

 

 

 

No, that’s the golden age of women...back when they cheerfully lit men's cigars AND presented them with gifts. :ph34r:

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8 hours ago, SenorPerfecto said:

September 2015-November 2015.

Interesting. First time hearing this. I've heard around 2008-10, but never heard anyone be this specific about it. I will keep this in mind and look for some boxes to sample. I know I have at least a half dozen boxes from this time period, but haven't sampled anything as of yet. I may have up to a dozen. I need to re-inventory sometime this year

Cuba has seen a lot of turmoil, wars, and revolutions in the last 100 years or so, and the periods for me that I would love to have been there to sample cigars would be mid-19th century, 1960s, and the late 80s, possibly very early 90s.

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58 minutes ago, PapaDisco said:

574e49e19c27a_AirlineStogie.jpg.99d62b168ee55ca1b4007abb89ddfd6d.jpg

 

 

 

    * :surprised:  LOOK!!!   KNEE  ROOM!!! :coverears: *gasp*

 

 

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I'd have to say the golden age of cigars started to happen with the advent of the internet, but could have started as early as the 1960s when President Kennedy generously decided to stop taxing cuban exports. ??

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If we look at it solely based on production numbers, we learn the following:

mid-19th century- U.S. alone consumed some 3xx million cigars from Cuba

Ulysses S. Grant apparently smoked so many cigars per day that he developed throat cancer, which lead to his death

Sigmund Freud smoked 20 cigars per day, which I believe led to his death as a result as well (?)

 According to Jean Stubbs in her book Tobacco on the Periphery: A Case Study in Cuban Labour History, 1860-1958, "The cigar export industry had been particularly badly hit by the US embargo, given that (on 1958 figures) over two-thirds of the volume of leaf exports [and] half the volume of cigar exports—even higher proportions in terms of values—were accounted by the US market."

Cigar exports were about 79 million in 1958 and dropped to about 55 million in 1970 before increasing to about 120 million by 1976.

Cigar exports stayed at about the 120 million level until the end of the 1970s, when an attack of blue mold decimated the entire 1979-80 crop, and Cubatabaco reduced exports to compensate for the shortfall in tobacco. A wet harvest in 1981-82 only added to the woes of the country, although the blue mold was controlled with antifungal chemicals.

Cuban exports dropped to about 50 million cigars by the mid-1980s.

"From about 1998 to 2001, the country produced close to 160 million cigars annually for export and many were of inferior quality." 

2016 - allegedly around 400 million cigars made in total

 

So as you can see, we can pull the numbers and narrow it down based off of that. We can at least agree on the years that produced an inferior product.

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