Yello to Mello wrote:Frodo, do you buy any in Canada? If so, who are good tobacconists?
OK - long answer here.
1) When I bought singles at Tobacconists in Toronto I bought from Hinds (in Yorkville), Cassablanca (King/Yonge) or a place at the Atrium on Bay. There are other reputable tobacconists but alot of them you'd pay more. It is important to stay away from corner stores that sell Cubans as (A) they wouldn't know a fake from the real thing, and (B) probably wouldn't know much about keeping cigars at the proper humidity.
2) No, I don't buy in Canada except through private sales from folks I know on-line. Cuban sticks go for $5-10 in Cuba - double that for Coheibas. The price starts at 2.5x that in Canada. You can get a bit of a deal if you buy bulk purchases on-line from CigarChief but thats about it.
Non-Cubans (NCs) go for >$2 US for yard 'gars, $5-8 for mid-shelfers and $12-$20 for the top shelfers depending on which states (and tax regimes) you're dealing with. I bought a $20 Rocky Patel 1992 up here and I found out later that they cost perhaps $8 US at a US Tobacconist, or $2 less than that if it was bought on-line. As a result, I tend to ask friends comming up from the US to bring me cigars and if familly vacations in Cuba I will ask them as well.
My current stash is about 200 NCs and 35 CC (Cuban Cigars). Interesting that most US friends that come up here want at my CC stash and shake their heads that I value what they bring so much. I will say that NCs tend to have more aged tobaccos in the sticks and have had to be more inventive in development such as more interesting wrappers than CCs. This often translates into smoking better without aging in my (limited) opinion. And although the price comparison between NC mid-shelfers bought in the US and most CCs bought in Cuba is comparable, I know less folks who go to Cuba than I do folks who go to the US. The pleasure I get from both of those are comparable although I do get a kick out of trying efforts that are happening in a very dynamic time for the US market with NCs.
My advice to you is to start buying singles and if you want to keep smoking but don't want to pay the prices, think about building a tupperdore, follow cigar forums and ask a friend comming up here to mule some up for you.