The Partagas Salomones is a gorgeous cigar, a mastercraft of cigar rolling skill. I’ve never smoked one before, but its one of those cigars whose reputation precedes it; and even if it didn’t, the shape and the sheer impressiveness of the vitola would make it an attractive cigar to smoke.

But unlike other cigars, the current production of Salomones from Partagas has a story behind it, one that deserves many tellings. An adventurous young man from Germany, in 1996, Christoph Wolters, had an idea, took a chance and had the bravado to pull it off when the odds seemed stacked against him.

When my Italian friend Massimo de Giovanni called and asked me if I would like to write down the full story of the Partagas Especialidades 1996 I agreed within a minute. Not a bad idea to preserve a cigar story from the wild days in Cuba.

It was early 1996 when the idea came up. As a total newbie to the cigar world I enjoyed smoking Cuban cigars in Havana, felt in love with the people, the music and the country itself. Just to remind you about the recent historic frame let me express that in those days the Soviet Union just collapsed, Fidel Castro was very present and kept telling the Cubans all will be better soon and Bill Clinton was US president, doing the same in his country.

A superb read. The LCDH in Hamburg, Germany, is also one of the few LCDHs to have an online presence, and their stock looks remarkable. Including the best prices for Behikes anywhere on the Net (and in stock!), and some incredible vintage cigars and humidors.