Originally Posted by polishshooter
Talking about "Gas Station" cigars...years ago in and shortly after college I couldn't "afford" REAL cigars but my love was either Garcia y Vegas or Antonio and Cleopatra Grenadiers...
I Liked the G y Vs better, but the A &Cs were about as good, and 6 for the same price as 5....LOL
Hey I used to smoke those green AC Grenediers when I was in college too!
And those "Hav-a-Tampas" with the wood cigar holders on them, plus those Tiparillo cigars with the plastic tips.
Believe it or not before the embargo 90% of US smokers smoked green or greenish cigars.
The brown tobaccos were sent primarily to Europe and were stamped "EMS", European Market Selection for Spain, England and those markets...and it stuck right up to today!
After the embargo the US tastes shifted toward the darker -and- better tobaccos which also is true today.
Another thing happened, the Cigar Aficionado magazine came out in 1992 (from memory) issue #1 was with Churchill on the cover was a complete sellout, I got #2 and every issue for the next 10 years, read them cover to cover.
It really changed the US and other countries outlook and tastes on cigars. The ratings systems took hold and demand went way up leading to the 1992-1996 cigar boom which also was happening along with the 1990s stock market boom.
Pre boom the world wide premium output was about 300,000,000 per year, that shot up to 600,000,000 in a flash...with some BAD implications. The birth of the "junk market" in cigars was on. A shortage of good tobacco and
qualified rollers caused big supply and demand problem. It takes years for top quality tobacco to be properly grown and cured so some real junk was flooding the market with big prices. Some junk boxes were going for $100+ and the cigar BUST was on it's way.
For example Autuo Fuente aged it's tobacco for 4 years not 9 or 12 months like some fly by night companies were cranking out with poorly trained rollers. Companies slapped any label on a box of junk and new smokers were buying them up! Bidding wars with huge sign on bonuses for qualified rollers was on.
Well it all went bust and production went back down, you could buy a former $120 box of junk cigars for $19.95 and they were dreadful!
So now we're pretty much back to normal, good new cigar factoies and fields were now in the DR, Hondurus, Nicaragua and other countries to fill the new normal today.
That's enough for now, more on the pre demand, boom, bust other and other details later. Enjoy!