La Tradicion Perdomo Reserve - Cameroon
President Bush Vetoes Children’s Health Bill, Including Big Cigar Taxes
In early August (see the Bullz-eye archives), I wrote about a federal bill that proposed a hefty increase in tobacco taxes, which happened to have an alarming and extremely high increase designed for hand-rolled cigars. The tax revenues raised via this bill were intended to support “needy” children with health issues. Again, as I have said in this column before, I am unequivocally supportive of children and their need for affordable health care. Hell, I have three kids myself and I cannot imagine the stress and strain of not being able to provide adequate health care for them. However, I disagree with the method proposed for paying for this program. In this case, the bill’s supporters were asking a minority of the population to be saddled with an unfair and unprecedented tax increase that would harm a relatively modest industry – the cigar industry. So in a rare moment of support for this administration, I applaud President Bush’s veto of the bill.
Sure, the folks who have “made it” in the business of cigars are wealthy individuals and families, but virtually all of them have gotten there with some mix of entrepreneurship, courage, endurance, hard work and sacrifice – all of which are characteristics that have built our fine country for 230+ years. I’ve profiled some of these folks in these articles and have even discussed the treacherous nature and history of this industry. Even most of the bigger companies that are primarily in the cigar business are not that big, and won’t be found on the Fortune 500 list. I would argue that these often-entrepreneurial companies, families and individuals have a lot of other business challenges to face than that of the U.S. government dumping an unfair tax burden on them.
More importantly, they are providing many legal jobs to very modest hard-working individuals who in turn have families of their own to support. Granted these jobs are often, but not always, outside of the U.S. in countries like Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. In this age of the global economy, these folks risk displacement and then severe poverty should these jobs go away as a result of these taxes. These same folks ironically have children, who -- even with these jobs intact -- face medical hardship, too. My fear – if this tax had gone into effect – cigar sales in the U.S. (where the lion’s share of the revenue is generated) would drop significantly, and so would the tax revenues projected. In turn, the displaced labor force is driven into more lucrative occupations in the illegal drug trade or an illegal migration to the U.S., just to survive. Thus, exacerbating other big issues we have here in the good ol’ US of A.
Come on Congress, let’s pick up a fine, hand rolled cigar, and get smokin’ and spend some time coming up with some better ways of funding health care for our underprivileged children. To get your voice heard, go to http://rtda.org/legislation.html and find out how your elected officials voted, and through this site and a couple of finger movements on the keyboard, let them know how you feel about it! Though Bush vetoed the bill, it is not quite dead (in its current form) yet.
La Tradicion Perdomo Reserve - Cameroon
Size: Belicoso (6 inches long, 54 ring gauge)
Price: $7.50 to $9 range
I reviewed a cigar from one of the finest lines from Nick Perdomo and his family, one of the independent cigar manufacturers out there. This line is recognized by the industry, including a “92” rating by Cigar Aficionado magazine.
- Wrapper: Africa (Cameroon)
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
I purchased this smoke as part of a Perdomo “sampler” pack. Though this line is aged for quite a long time before being sold on the retail market, I aged it for almost another year before smoking.
Look and feel
The cigar is gorgeous and generously packed, rolled to perfection. Its most striking feature is its silky wrapper. There is no doubt that the smoker is about to enjoy a premium cigar. The band on the cigar was not overly done, but was certainly classy.
Aroma and Taste
I smoked two of these cigars over a two-week period, and I could not tell the two apart as far as taste and quality go, speaking favorably to the line’s consistency. The burn was consistent and even. This cigar was very balanced in its flavor, tending to be medium-bodied throughout. The last half of the cigar, and the most memorable portion, reminded me of fresh baked sourdough bread dipped in one of those olive oil and fresh ground black pepper mixes that you sometimes get at the opening of a good meal at a fine restaurant. The peppery flavor complemented the bread flavor, but it never overpowered the balanced nature of this ‘gar. I don’t recall ever having to relight it; it just kept its nice even burn.
RATING: 9.2 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
A highly recommended cigar offered from one of the true hard-working entrepreneurs in the business. Perdomo is based in Miami – the good ol’ USA.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke every last one of 'em." – Ron White