I smoked a Montecristo #4 tonight, one of my all-time favourite cigars. The burn was terrible (poor construction?), the ash was a dirty dark grey (immature tobacco), and it burned fast and hot (the binder was too loose?). And yet, it remains a firm favourite not just of mine, but of many cigar aficionados i personally know.

Why?

Its taste is undoubtedly superior to the discerning palate — spicy smooth throughout, in a way that only Cuban tobacco can deliver. Non-Cubans have been trying for years to emulate this taste factor, but only very few have come close.

All Cuban cigars come from the same tobacco fields. You may be smoking a Cohiba, a Monte, an El Rey del Mundo, San Cristobal, Trinidad: it really doesn’t matter, the tobacco comes primarily from the same famed Vueltabajo valley. And, to be honest, that’s the key to the success of the Cuban cigar. The soil, the acidity levels, the weather — this tiny valley in this tiny island state is unique. Cuban seed (criollo, Habano2000, corojo) has proliferated across all the major tobacco growing countries, but no one has been able to transplant the uniqueness of this valley.

Its just different. Its uncopyable, unreplicable and special.