Blowing Smoke #3

Posted by Eric W. on 1st Feb 2005

In February, 2004 while on vacation in Puerto Rico – where my family has traditionally gone for close to 36 years (Dorado Beach), I had a wonderful first-time experience visiting your shop on Cristo Street.

I was looking for a bona fide cigar store to do some research and possibly make a purchase. I had no interest in purchasing cigars from a tee-shirt store.

Upon entering your shop I was greeted by friendly young woman – “Hello, do you smoke cigars?” to which I answered “being that I live just west of Boston, MA, I do smoke an occasional cigar during seasonal warm cooperative weather”. She then asked “what type or size do I smoke?” to which I answered “typical 6 inches or less with a ring size less than 40 – and usually not with a Madura wrap”. She looked over her shoulder to another shop attendant, who said “let him try a Corona” to which I said “try? Huh?”.

At which point she turned around to the opened display humidor, pulled out a Corona, cut it, placed it in my mouth and lit it for me. I have never experienced a more thoroughly impressive and enjoyable way of being introduced to a cigar than I experienced that day, before or since my visit there.

After tasting the initial few draws, I looked over and recognized there was another patron in the shop who, who was also on vacation from Long Island, NY where he was police officer, was also luxuriating with his cigar and a major large smile on his face as well. I introduced myself to him and asked him where he got that drink he was holding in his other hand. The other salesperson, a nice man who could’ve been Don Collins himself…, apologized for not offering me a taste of Ron del Barralito 3-Star Puerto Rican Rum. He said it was the best Puerto Rican Rum available and that unfortunately it is not available for sale in the upper 50 states – which includes Massachusetts.

Upon my first taste of the rum with the Don Collins Corona, I had immediately experienced a true epiphany – an awakening to new senses. In short, I was completely “sold”.

What a way to sell cigars! I was so impressed that I keep talking about it to friends to this day. And yes I did purchase a 25 pack of the Coronas, which I believe at the time sold for $55.00 which I thought was an unbelievable deal. I was told the package acts as a good humidor. I was able to make those 25 cigars last me well into the summer of 2004.

~ Eric W., MAs