Is it a concern or a party?
Recently, we have been seeing many articles published related to the recent decision by the Obama Administration to lift the trade embargo with Cuba. For some, this is an opportunity to celebrate however for others it's an opportunity to be concerned. There's no doubt that the cigar industry here in the United States will be impacted both positively and negatively. The article below suggests that now that the embargo has been lifted Cuban cigars can now be brought into the United States tax-free. The article goes on to highlight how this will negatively affect the small boutiques in the United States. The thought is that due to the lack of taxation on Cuban cigars and strong demand the American boutique cigar makers will suffer. While this point does have merit, here at Tabanero we see an opportunity.
Opportunity to Smoke a Cuban Cigar
More recently, at our Tabanero Factory in Ybor City, Tampa, FL we have been fielding a lot of questions from our customers with respect to the impact the lifting of the embargo will actually have. As we mentioned above we believe there will be challenges, however, we also believe there's a great opportunity. For many cigar smokers, those that are new to cigar smoking and those that are seasoned cigar smokers, this will be the first opportunity to get to smoke a Cuban cigar. Why is this important? For many this will be the first time cigar smokers have an opportunity to compare their favorite cigar they have been smoking for years made with Nicaraguan or Dominican tobacco (among others ) with a Cuban.
Why We See This as an Opportunity
We believe most cigar smokers will find the quality of the cigars they have been smoking in the past will measure up to the Cuban. Many might also find that they not only measure up but that they prefer them over a Cuban. What many cigar smokers don't realize is that the quality of tobacco that is grown in Central and South America among other countries is very high. The characteristics (flavor, strength, and aroma) of this tobacco is very similar to that of tobacco grown in Cuba.
At Tabanero we hand roll our cigars using very high-quality tobacco from Central and South America. We believe very strongly that cigar smokers will find that our cigar is every bit as good if not better than a cigar made using Cuban tobacco. It's also worth mentioning that the cigar smoking experience goes beyond the quality of the tobacco itself. How a cigar is constructed or rolled is a significant quality component of the cigar. A poorly constructed cigar will result in a poor cigar smoking experience. Here at Tabanero we believe we have the best of both worlds. We have access to some of the best tobacco in the world and the best Cuban Artisan rollers. All of our rollers here in our factory in Ybor City are immigrants from Cuba many of which hand rolled cigars for some of Cuba's most famous cigar manufacturers.
We Are Excited!
We recognize there will be some challenges for the American boutique cigar manufacturers now that the embargo has lifted however we are more excited about the opportunity that it presents. We strongly believe that once the American cigar smoker has an opportunity to compare a Cuban side by side with the cigars they have been smoking for years they will find that they haven't been missing a thing!