Poolside Puffs

Lazy Weekend on the Spanish Coast

I asked the helpful lady at the Spanish tobacconists for cigars that would work well as a post-prandial puff with brandy and coffee whilst sitting at the poolside before my afternoon nap. This was a brief window of opportunity, so they had to last less than twenty minutes. They also had to be hand-rolled, but not necessarily Cuban. And they had to be an easy draw (laziness) and induce a contented reverie where all appeared to be well with the world.

It wasn't a simple brief, but she came up with three suitable options in no time. All happened to be Cuban by happenstance.

Rafael Gonzalez

We have the mild Rafael Gonzalez Cuban Petit Corona (seen below with Chucs dog-patterned swimming shorts), which burned well and had a nice honey flavour that went well with the brandy, my chlorine-stained notes tell me. Rafael Gonzalez is a pre-revolution cigar brand established in the roaring '20s for the British market.


Next up was a Petit Figurado from a post-revolution brand, Vegueros. Vegueros was established in 1961 and exported in the '90s. Filled entirely with leaves from the Vuelta Abajo, the best tobacco-growing region of Cuba, this is a spicy medium-strength cigar. Very nice and with an attractive brand label. Nice shape too, Freud fans.


Finally, we have the Quinteras Favorito - the dominant fat robusto-style cigar in the top picture. Quinteras cigars are all made with tripa corta or short filler. This can be the cigar equivalent of a tea bag hiding poor quality tea dust and sweepings that don't make the grade as loose leaf tea. But it wasn't half bad and — so the lady told me — it's very popular in Spain.


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