Being in the CI retail stores for many years now, I noticed that I get a lot of requests for specific styles of cigars & one of the most popular requests in general is for “Good, BIG, mellow, cheap cigars that are reasonably priced.” Some of these guys don’t want to pay much more than a Buck-a-Stick for anything 8” or bigger, but then again they’re probably not smoking for the taste & pleasure that so many fine, lesser expensive cigars can bring. So I’m focusing on one of the best cigars to fit that bill (while still being priced at a helluva value) that I’ve seen come along in a long time – Mark Twain cigars.
Rich B, of Bethlehem, PA was one of the very first customers that walked through our doors over 10 years ago and he is still coming in to this day. A true-grit type of guy. He’s a decorated WWII veteran, father of many, & grandfather to even more (there's a small town in Florida comprised solely of his progeny). He’s been everywhere & done everything & he’s not easily impressed. But I digress. He has always been very specific about what he wanted from when I first met him, and that’s still exactly what he’s looking for in the 10+ years that I’ve know him. Great, BIG, MELLOW cigars that are around $3.00 each. I’ve delighted him with so many treasures over the years (and some clunkers too) but all-in-all I have become his go-to guy when he comes in and wants to try something new. On his last visit in we were just then getting the Mark Twains into the store for the very fist time so as I opened up a box of the Churchill size No. 1. Now 7”x50 surely is one of the larger vitolas of cigars on the market, “But wait,” I said, “There’s more. And you’re going to LOVE these cigars!” With Rich B. somewhat intrigued, but still more annoyed that I hadn’t yet filled his half-dozen lighters that he brought in for me. He said, “That’s great, if they’re under 3 bucks each I’ll take a box.” I didn’t even mess around with opening a box of the No. 2 (a 7.5 x 52 behemoth) but skipped directly to the box of No. 3’s (a whopping 8” x 54 tree-trunk of a cigar.) I saw his face light up when I pulled one out and handed it to him. When I told him it was the same price for any size he just about hugged me (well, I think I caught a faint smile anyway) & since that day he’s been back once a week for a box of his new favorite cigar. Mark Twain No. 3.
Now, as you may or may not know smoother cigars aren’t usually my thing. But this one I had to try, and I figured “Go Big or Go Home.” So I sparked up one of the 8” x 54 No. 3’s yesterday morning. It had just snowed a few inches the night before & I wasn’t going to be too busy that morning with the icy roads & school closing so I started my day out with a 2+ hour commitment of a cigar. It was nice and firm in my hand with a smooth-as-silk Connecticut wrapper & it lit up quickly & evenly for such a large cigar. The draw was perfect & I got creamy puff after creamy puff of thick, billowing smoke. As I sat at my computer working and helping out the customers that came in I laid it down very infrequently & at about halfway through I discovered that I was really enjoying this cigar. It was as creamy & smooth, with a lot of good flavor throughout & it hadn’t changed a bit since I lit it over an hour before. I paid more attention to the 2nd half of the cigar, and although the flavor increased & it became a bit oaky it still retained that rich creaminess and I enjoyed each & ever puff from that beauty. I finished the Mark Twain No. 3 after about another hour or so & I was so delighted that I had the opportunity to enjoy this very well made, Good, BIG, mellow, cheap cigar & if this is what you look for in a cigar then put this one on your next order. You won’t be disappointed!