On the Cigar Trail in Cuba
Walking along the gritty, darkening streets of Havana, I felt a sense of foreboding wash over me. A few paces ahead was a stranger. Jorge, he called himself, a young street hustler I had just met at a taxi stand outside the Hotel Capri. Jorge was dressed decidedly urban: an oversize San Diego Padres jersey, baggy denim shorts and Adidas shell-toe sneakers. Jorge was also charming, and through broken English he had enticed me from the touristy environs of downtown into what was eerily morphing into a barren, crumbling neighborhood of sagging rowhouses. The object of seduction: a box of Habanos, or hand-rolled cigars.
走在哈瓦那布满砂砾的昏暗街道上，我被一种不祥的预感包围着。前面带路的是个陌生人。他自称豪尔赫(Jorge)，一个街头小混混，是我刚才在卡普里酒店(Hotel Capri)外的出租汽车站遇到的。豪尔赫显然一副城里人打扮：宽松的San Diego Padres运动衫、肥大的牛仔短裤、阿迪达斯贝壳头运动鞋。他也算是个有魅力的人，凭着一口蹩脚的英语，就把我从市中心的游客聚集地怂恿到了一个荒凉破败、处处是塌陷排屋的居住区。他的诱饵，是一盒“哈伯纳斯”(Habanos)，或者说手卷雪茄。
The road leading from the Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation in the Pinar del Río region.
It was my first night in Havana, a trip prompted by thawing relations between the United States and Cuba. A few months before, in late December, President Obama had ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations, setting in motion plans to open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century.
As nightfall quickened, my sense of vulnerability was heightened by the clop-clop of my sandals on the cobblestone streets. It seemed too late to start chastising myself for being a naïve American tourist dumb enough to be coaxed into the night for a few stogies. Ahead of me, Jorge, looking more sinister by the second, waved me on. Moving deeper into the Havana ’hood, I was, it seemed, at God’s mercy now — in a country noted, incidentally, for its dearth of churches and religion (despite the island’s warm reception of Pope Francis recently).
Soon we reached a dilapidated brick building in the central neighborhood of Vedado. “Here, my friend!” Jorge said. “Good price here on Montecristo, and Cohiba, too!”
Jorge rang a doorbell. A window two flights up opened, and keys dropped to the ground. He led me up a dim stairwell to an open apartment door, where we were greeted by a shirtless guy and an elderly woman who spirited me into a back room. And there it was on a wooden table, its lid majestically open: a box of Cuban Montecristo No. 2s.
For the uninitiated, let me shed light on this treasure trove. Celebrated for its complex blend of creamy and spicy aromas, the Montecristo No. 2 is arguably the Cadillac of Cuban cigars; highly prized among aficionados and a rare find for the likes of me or any other occasional cigar-smoking American.
I stepped over to admire the 25 torpedo-shaped beauties, light brown in hue and just over six inches long, each adorned with a chocolate-brown band emblazoned with a white sword insignia. Montecristo No. 2, the name inspired by the Alexandre Dumas novel, had long been among my favorites, rare enough that I couldn’t remember the last time I smoked one.
“Gracias,” I told the woman, who shot me a weary smile as she wrapped my bounty in newspaper. I knew the price, 80 CUC (convertible Cuban pesos, priced to the American dollar), would spark envy in buddies back home accustomed to paying upward of $350 on the black market for a box of these gems. “You happy, my friend?” Jorge asked. I shook his hand, then hugged him as if he were family.
Fifty-three years have passed since President John F. Kennedy enacted the Cuban trade embargo, ushering in a Dark Ages for American cigar enthusiasts. What’s less known, though, is that before imposing these historic sanctions on all Cuban products, the president called his press secretary at the time, Pierre Salinger, and asked him to secure “a lot of cigars,” Mr. Salinger recounted in 1992 in Cigar Aficionado magazine. As it happened, it wasn’t until the following morning, when Mr. Salinger informed the president that he had, in fact, scored 1,200 petite H. Upmanns (named after Herman Upmann, a German banker who opened a branch in Havana in the mid-1800s to send cigars home to Europe), that Kennedy signed the decree.
自约翰·F·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)总统下令对古巴实行贸易禁运，至今已有53年了。这一禁令开启了美国雪茄爱好者的“黑暗时代”。不过，还有个鲜为人知的趣事：在对所有古巴产品实施旷日持久的制裁令之前，总统给时任白宫新闻秘书的皮埃尔·塞林格(Pierre Salinger)打电话，让他“多弄点雪茄来”，塞林格先生在1992年接受《雪茄爱好者》(Cigar Aficionado)杂志采访时披露了这件事。巧合的是，就在第二天早上，塞林格告诉总统他已经存了1200支乌普曼(petite H. Upmann)（该雪茄以德国银行家赫尔曼·乌普曼[Herman Upmann]的命名，19世纪中叶，为了把雪茄寄回欧洲的家乡，他在哈瓦那开了一家分行），然后肯尼迪才签署了法令。
For the average American cigar lover, Cuban smokes have remained mostly the rare indulgence; a celebratory spoil procured through mysterious back channels and offered when babies or businesses are born. Yet suddenly, the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba last July brought with it the prospect of a cigar renaissance; opening a path for ordinary Americans to visit and bring back, for now at least, $100 worth of Cuban cigars from tobacco’s Holy Grail.
The eased sanctions put me in the mood to explore Cuba’s cigar culture, including the Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation, arguably the most famous tobacco farm in the world. The home of the late farmer Alejandro Robaina, known as the face of the Cuban cigar, Robaina is tucked away in the town of San Luis in the Pinar del Río province, the most western section of Cuba. Founded in 1845, the farm is known for its robust yields of high-quality wrapper leaves; so impressive, in fact, that in the early 1980s Fidel Castro — a cigar-smoking Cohiba man himself — branded these cigars with the Robaina family name, the only Habanos to boast such a distinction.
由于放松了制裁，我有了探寻古巴雪茄文化的念头，还想去看看亚历杭德罗·罗瓦伊纳烟草种植园(Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation)——它恐怕是世界上最著名的烟草农场。罗瓦伊纳种植园是已故农民亚历杭德罗·罗瓦伊纳的居所，位于古巴最西部的比那尔德里奥省(Pinar del Río province)，也被称为“古巴雪茄的门面”。该种植园创立于1845年，以高产优质的烟叶而闻名；事实上，因为这里的烟叶太出色，作为高斯巴雪茄爱好者的菲德尔·卡斯特罗(Fidel Castro)在20世纪80年代初期就把这里出产的雪茄以罗瓦伊纳的姓氏命名了，罗瓦伊纳雪茄也成了唯一获此殊荣的哈伯纳斯(Habanos)。
While Cuba can’t lay claim as the birthplace of cigars (historians give those bragging rights to farms in Guatemala), the island reigns as the world’s best producer of quality leaves, as celebrated as Napa and Bordeaux are by wine lovers.
Traveling to Cuba is not generally the smoothest affair. I enjoyed the advantage of the Cuban embassy granting me permission to document this adventure as an official journalist. Most American cigar aficionados wanting to visit might find getting there quite difficult, since the law still does not allow Americans to travel to Cuba for tourism, but rather only for a dozen approved categories, which include religious and educational activities, professional research and humanitarian projects.
For lodging in Havana I chose the Hotel Capri, a block from the Hotel Nacional, a favorite haunt of the notorious mobster Meyer Lansky, and near other famous cigar shops and rolling factories, as well as nightclubs flowing with Havana Club rum and Afro-Cuban music. The Capri, operated by the NH Hotel Group of Spain, also has Internet access, although the service was so spotty that I moved for my final night to a quieter, family-owned bed-and-breakfast, which turned out, in fact, to be decidedly lacking Internet access and other luxuries.
在哈瓦那住宿，我选择了卡普里酒店(Hotel Capri)，离那个恶名昭著的黑帮头目梅耶·兰斯基(Meyer Lansky)最常出没的古巴国际酒店(Hotel Nacional)只有一个街区。著名的雪茄店和卷烟厂都在附近，还有几间提供哈瓦那俱乐部(Havana Club)朗姆酒和非洲古巴音乐的夜总会。卡普里酒店由西班牙NH酒店集团(NH Hotel Group)管理，可以上网，但服务时好时坏，所以我最后一晚搬到了一家更清静的家庭自营民宿，结果肯定是不能上网了，享受更谈不上。
Cigar smokers, actually smokers in general, enjoy rare freedom in Cuba, a carte blanche to light up in virtually any restaurant or bar, generally unheard of these days in North America and Europe. On my first evening, after a delicious seafood risotto on the balcony at the Café Laurent, a penthouse paladar (or privately owned restaurant) overlooking the Malecón, my waiter glanced at my newly acquired Montecristo No. 2 resting on the table. I planned to smoke it during a stroll afterward. Yet moments later, my cigar was cut — thanks to my hospitable waiter — and with its tip aglow, I gazed out at the Havana skyline. The view included the city’s tallest building, the state-owned Focsa, a towering commercial-residential structure, which at its base included a gigantic swimming pool with no water on this sweltering night.
I savored the creamy aroma of my cigar, or puros, marveling at the perfection of the moment: the city lights and the rumba music wafting up from the streets. Even the non-cigar smoker must concede that a kind of Habanos romance swirls across this island. Cubans cherish cigars, literally. The works of the late Cuban poet Heberto Padilla have been compared to a great cigar: balanced, full flavored and serene. In the late 1960s, before Fidel Castro’s regime imprisoned and tortured the poet for criticizing Castro’s government, and before such intellectuals as Susan Sontag and Jean-Paul Sartre successfully campaigned for his release, Mr. Padilla had written, rather presciently: “General, I can’t destroy your fleets or your tanks/and I don’t know how long this war will last/but every night one of your orders dies without being followed/and, undefeated, one of my songs survives.”
品尝着这支雪茄（西班牙语称为“普饶”[puro]）的奶油香气，我不禁对这完美的瞬间心生赞叹：哈瓦那华灯初上，伦巴音乐飘荡在街头。即便是不抽雪茄的人，也一定会承认这座岛上弥漫着一种哈伯纳斯情怀。古巴人是真正珍爱雪茄的。已故古巴诗人赫伯托·帕迪亚(Heberto Padilla)的作品曾被比作“一支上好的雪茄”：气味均衡饱满，令人平静安详。20世纪60年代末，在帕迪亚因批判卡斯特罗政府而被关押和迫害之前，当时苏珊·桑塔格(Susan Sontag)和让-保罗·萨特(Jean-Paul Sartre)等知识分子要求释放他的抗议运动还未成功，帕迪亚先生就写过一首颇有远见的诗：“长官，我无法摧毁你的舰队，或你的坦克/我也不知道这场战役会持续多久/但是每天晚上，都会有一条你的命令在失去拥护中消亡/而每天晚上，都会有一首我的歌在百折不挠中继续高唱。”
Such lyricism inspired the Padilla 1968 Golden Bear cigar, an earthy-flavored tribute to the poet. It’s called the 1968 Series because that’s the year Mr. Padilla published the anthology “Fuera del Juego” (“Out of the Game”), which ultimately got him locked up for “having plotted against the powers of the state.” Cigar novices might mistake this hard-to-find cigar band’s red and gold illustration for a crown, but aficionados know it’s actually the nib of the poet’s fountain pen.
这首诗促成了“帕迪亚1968年金熊”(Padilla 1968 Golden Bear)雪茄的诞生，以其朴实的香味向这位诗人致敬。之所以被命名为“1968系列”(1968 Series)，是因为帕迪亚在这一年出版了诗集《游戏之外》(Fuera del Juego)（英译“Out of the Game”），而这本诗集最终成了他因“阴谋反对国家政权”被捕的导火索。雪茄新手可能会以为这少见的红金相间的标箍图案是一个王冠，但懂行的人就知道，这其实是帕迪亚所用钢笔的笔尖。
Cigar nostalgia abounds in Cuba, and I encountered few more eager to share it than Michael Phillips, a Briton who moved to Havana some 25 years ago to teach English. He is a devoted member of the city’s Cigar Aficionado Club, whose members — foreign diplomats and businessmen — meet monthly for dinner, cigars and conversation. Sitting in the spacious living room of his apartment in the upscale Miramar neighborhood, where most of the city’s top government officials reside, Mr. Phillips poured Cognac and held out a tray of unbanded cigars, from short coronas to lengthier Churchills, tan Habanos to darker Maduros. He grinned at my selection, pyramid-shaped and walnut in color.
雪茄怀旧情绪也弥漫着整个古巴。我没见过比迈克尔·菲利普斯(Michael Phillips)更渴望分享这种情绪的人了，这位英国人在大约25年前移居到哈瓦那，教授英语。他是哈瓦那《雪茄爱好者》杂志读者会(Cigar Aficionado Club)的忠实会员。这些会员多是外交官和商人，他们每月聚会一次，一起吃晚餐、抽雪茄、聊天。菲利普斯的公寓位于高档的米拉马尔区(Miramar)，大部分古巴政要也住在那里。菲利普斯先生坐在宽敞的起居室，倒了一杯干邑白兰地，拿出一碟不带标箍的雪茄，里面有短皇冠(short corona)，也有长一些的丘吉尔(Churchill)，有黄褐色的哈伯纳斯，也有深褐色的马杜罗(Maduro)。我选了一支金字塔形状的栗色雪茄，对于我的选择，他乐了起来。
“Don’t ask me where it came from,” he said mischievously, “because I cannot tell you.”
After some prodding, Mr. Phillips explained his suspiciously bandless cigar menu: “The rollers in the factory have a quota, but many of the women find a way to sneak a few extras out. So they roll for eight hours in the factory, and then come home and roll for another two hours.”
He lit up, drew from his cigar, and watched the plume rise. “There was one girl who worked at the Romeo y Julieta factory; she was pregnant for three years!” He chuckled at such clever smuggling. “But yes, these are as good as the ones from the factory.”
他点上雪茄，吸了一口，望着升起的烟雾。“有个女孩在罗密欧与朱丽叶(Romeo y Julieta)工厂工作；她都怀孕三年了！”他对这绝妙的走私招数暗自窃喜。“但是当然了，这些雪茄和工厂里的一样好。”
Cigar enthusiasts are a discriminating bunch, yet most agree that Cuba is blessed with a unique combination of sun, soil and moisture — coupled with a rich history of hand-rolling — that makes for the world’s most flavorful cigars, Mr. Phillips said. If there was a dark period, it occurred during the Communist revolution as some of Cuba’s most talented growers fled and set up operations in countries such as the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua. While an infusion of Soviet cash helped to prop up Cuba’s cigar industry, competition over the next several decades from its new foreign rivals — along with some bad crop years and a dismal foray into tobacco hybridization — diminished its product. The complaints, ranging from poor flavor to shoddy construction, dragged Cuban cigars down in Cigar Aficionado magazine’s vaunted annual rankings. From 1998 to 2005, Cuban cigars never scored above an average 88 on a 100-point scale, compared with its typical 90-plus average in years beforehand.
Such history is always surfacing here, a collision of old glory and modern reality that infuses even its architecture. On Tenerife Street in central Havana, for instance, is a former factory that was once a major production house and storage facility for cigars. Decades ago, the owners fled and passed the building down to remaining family members. A few years ago, though, city officials took note that there was, once again, a family living in the factory, and have since taken over the rest of it and renovated it with apartments. Former factory workers, who once lived in poor conditions, now reside free of charge in modern living quarters.
In Cuba, those smoking the finest cigars tend to be visitors like me, expats like Mr. Phillips, senior government officials and international business people. Most Cubans living on a state salary of less than $20 a month can’t afford hand-rolled cigars of export quality. Cubans do smoke local cigars, but they are not good quality and cost about a nickel in American currency and can be fodder for swindling undiscerning tourists.
The country’s economic hardship became clearer on a sunny morning during a drive to the Robaina plantation. I was traveling with a translator and two of her friends, erstwhile guides. For the two-hour trip, my guides had wisely traded in the hulking 1950s Chevrolet taxi we’d used in the city for a late-model Pontiac rental. As dense, boisterous Havana receded and the urban landscape turned into rolling green countryside, I saw another side of Cuba: rural and scattered with clapboard shanties and mules, donkeys and chickens, especially as we headed deeper into the region of Pinar del Río. There, one is reminded of the island’s poverty, even if it’s offset by a tight-knit culture where the sound of laughter and chatter envelops fruit stands displaying bananas and papaya. At one roadside stop, I treated myself to a 10-cent cigar and a cookie stuffed with guava jam.
一个晴朗的早晨，我们驱车前往罗瓦伊纳种植园。一路上，古巴的贫困状况更加显而易见。与我同行的有一个翻译和她的两个朋友，那两个人以前都是导游。在两个小时的旅途中，我的导游们聪明地把我们在市里用的那辆庞大笨重的1950年代雪佛兰出租车换成了一辆最新型号的庞蒂亚克。拥挤热闹的哈瓦那在我们身后渐行渐远，城市景观也变成了连绵起伏的绿色乡村。我看到了古巴的另一面：田园风情，四处散落着隔板棚屋、骡子、驴子和鸡。尤其当我们深入比那尔得里奥(Pinar del Río)地区时，这种景象随处可见。那里让人想起古巴的贫穷，即使有紧密团结的文化作为弥补——摆满了香蕉和木瓜的水果摊上萦绕着人们的说笑声。一次路边歇脚，我抽了一支10美分的雪茄，吃了一块番石榴果酱的夹心曲奇。
Tucked away on a narrow dirt road, the farm is easy for tourists to miss but for a modest hand-painted sign “Finca El Pinar Robaina” posted off the main one-lane drag. A mile or so along the road, the landscape turns into a bright green panorama of tobacco plants rustling in the breeze and stretching out infinitely in well-manicured rows. During growing season, from October through February, the plants can grow as high as 50 inches.
农场隐匿在一条泥泞的小路上，很容易被游客错过。不过，在那条主要的单车道小路上有一块质朴的手绘指示牌，写着“Finca El Pinar Robaina”。沿着路开大约一英里，眼前展开了一片亮绿色烟草植物的全景。这些植物在微风中沙沙作响，伸出了事先规划好的界限外。在生长季节，也就是10月到来年2月，它们可以长到50英寸高（大约1.3米）。
Yanelis Delgado, a longtime neighbor and family friend in her early 40s, greeted me and began spinning yarns about Alejandro Robaina, the plantation’s founder, who died at 91 in 2010. For the next couple of hours, we walked around the 170-year-old property and Ms. Delgado shared stories, including how Mr. Robaina, who smoked his first cigar at age 10, took the reins of the operation after his father died in 1950. On a terrace adorned with flags representing the countries of visitors to the farm over the years is a life-size carving of Mr. Robaina sitting in a rocker gazing across the field. The memorabilia on display includes photos of world leaders and celebrity guests at the farm, and a handwritten note of encouragement (translated: “Hirochi, you are my future. Don’t disappoint me”) from Alejandro to his grandson, Hirochi Robaina, who now owns the farm.
迎接我的是罗瓦伊纳家族的邻居、好友，40岁出头的亚涅利斯·德尔加多(Yanelis Delgado)。然后她就开始讲述种植园创始人亚历杭德罗·罗瓦伊纳的故事。罗瓦伊纳在2010年去世，享年91岁。接下来的几个小时，我们在这个有170年历史的农场走了走，德尔加多女士继续分享着这个家族的故事，包括罗瓦伊纳先生第一次抽雪茄时是10岁，以及他是如何在1950年父亲去世后接管了农场的事务。我们来到一块平台，这里装饰着许多国旗，代表多年间来参观过农场的游客的国籍。此外还有一座真人大小的罗瓦伊纳先生的雕像，他坐在一把摇椅上，凝视着这片农场。这里还展示着一些收藏品，包括一些国家领导人和名人来参观农场的照片，以及一张手写的字条，上面是亚历杭德罗给他的孙子——现任农场主西罗奇·罗瓦伊纳(Hirochi Robaina)的一句勉励（大意为“西罗奇，你是我的未来。别让我失望”）。
As one of Cuba’s few independent growers — most farms belong to cooperatives — the Robaina plantation became known for his growing techniques, which became synonymous with such premium brands as Cohiba and Hoyo de Monterrey. His tight relations with senior government officials — including both Cuban presidents Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl — led to the government creating one of the island’s 27 brands in his honor. To be sure, the brand is not as renowned as, say, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta, and cigar smokers have in recent years criticized the company for inconsistent quality as it struggled to meet rising demand that came from Castro’s homage to the farm.
作为古巴少数的独立种植园之一（大多数农场都属于合作社），罗瓦伊纳因种植技术而闻名，后来与高斯巴及奥约德蒙特雷(Hoyo de Monterrey)这些高档品牌齐名。凭借和古巴高级政府官员的密切关系——其中包括两任古巴总统，菲德尔·卡斯特罗和他的弟弟劳尔——罗瓦伊纳成为了政府认可的古巴27个雪茄品牌之一。当然，这个品牌不像帕塔加斯(Partagás)和罗密欧与朱丽叶那么有名，而且最近几年，由于卡斯特罗家族的偏爱，罗瓦伊纳为了尽力满足不断上升的市场需求，也曾被雪茄爱好者们批评品质不稳定。
Cigarmaking is intricate, and success is governed mostly by timing, temperature and the artistry of human hands. It takes nearly two years for a cigar to move from nursery to rolling factory, Ms. Delgado explained. In the nursery, seeds are planted for germination and then a month later replanted as seedlings. In the roughly 45 days after the replanting, growers irrigate and treat the plants for pests. Once the leaves are brought into the drying or curing barn, they are strung with thread and hung from high ceilings. “It’s like a cathedral for tobacco,” Ms. Delgado said of the wooden barn, sun-bleached white with red shutters.
The drying process lasts 50 days, during which the leaves change from green to yellow to brown. The thread is cut and the leaves are bundled, placed in piles and covered with a net for some 40 days at 100 degrees or more to spur fermentation, which determines the concentration of nicotine in leaves, flavor, aroma and texture. In the curing barn I watched a farm veteran lay out leaves and, within minutes, construct a flawless cigar, which he handed to me. The farm sells 90 percent of its product to the Cuban state-run cigar company, S.A. Habanos.
Serious cigar smokers wax poetic with the language of wine aficionados, referring to a cigar’s flavor as “spicy” or “creamy” with hints of “honey,” “cocoa” and “cinnamon.” Cuba’s tobacco farmers take fierce pride in producing the most flavorful cigars in the world. Their nemesis is the expanding market not only for Cuban knockoffs but also for iconic Cuban brands whose leaves and labor are actually from other parts of the world, partly as a result of fleeing growers restarting their businesses elsewhere.
For instance, the premium brand Cohiba, created exclusively in the mid-1960s for Castro and other senior government officials, has been embroiled in litigation for years as Habanos S.A. has contested the right of an American firm, the General Cigar Company, which manufactures Cohibas in the Dominican Republic, to sell under the Cohiba brand. As one senior manager at TabaCuba, the state agency that runs Cuba’s tobacco production and research, told me: “A Cuban cigar must be made with Cuban sun, Cuban soil, with Cuban hands. If not, there are no properties that make it what it claims to be.”
比如，高档品牌高斯巴是20世纪60年代中期专门为卡斯特罗和其他高级政府官员创立的品牌。由于古巴烟草公司和一家美国公司——在多米尼加共和国制造高斯巴雪茄的通用雪茄公司(the General Cigar Company)——争夺高斯巴品牌下的销售权，高斯巴被卷入这场诉讼已达数年。负责古巴烟草生产和研究的国家机构——古巴烟草集团(TabaCuba)的一位高级经理告诉我：“一支古巴雪茄，必须要用古巴的阳光、古巴的土壤，和古巴人的手制造而成。如果有一条不满足，它就不具备古巴雪茄的特性，也就不能自称是古巴雪茄。”
It’s estimated that some five to eight million Cuban cigars reach Americans each year by way of countries like Canada, Switzerland, Australia and Mexico. Most experts agree that eased trade sanctions are far from opening a retail gateway between the United States and Cuba. It will take years, they say, for sellers to clear the byzantine network of international politics, trademark restrictions and F.D.A. regulations. When Cuban cigars finally do arrive abundantly — and legally — on American soil, most experts figure it will be through the Casa del Habano, Cuba’s state-owned chain of cigar boutiques, which already has some 130 stores worldwide.
据统计，每年有大约500万到800万支古巴雪茄从加拿大、瑞士、澳大利亚及墨西哥等国进入美国。大多数专家的共识是，贸易制裁远未减轻到能在美国和古巴之间开放一条零售通道的程度。他们认为，销售商如果要打通国际政治、商标限制、美国食品药品监督管理局(F.D.A.)法规等错综复杂的体制网络，还需要多年的时间。大多数专家估计，如果有一天古巴雪茄能够合法、大量地进入美国，也应该是通过古巴的国有雪茄连锁店——哈瓦那雪茄之家(Casa del Habano)，该连锁店已在全球开了大约130家分店。
Cuban cigar culture, of course, can’t be exported. On my final day in Havana I came across the Hotel Conde de Villanueva, billed as the world’s only hostel dedicated to cigars. In the atrium, peacocks strutted as a “torcedor” rolled cigars for guests. Each of the nine guest rooms is named after a tobacco farm. A gorgeously restored 18th-century mansion adorned with stained-glass windows, the hotel also has an excellent cigar shop, plus an intimate smokers lounge. Gracing one wall are photographs of celebrities smoking cigars (among them, Demi Moore, Denzel Washington, Groucho Marx, Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill and Sigmund Freud). The hotel is surrounded by shops selling everything from chocolate to perfume.
当然，古巴的雪茄文化是无法被出口的。在哈瓦那的最后一天，我路过了被誉为“世界唯一一家雪茄主题酒店”的康德维拉诺威瓦酒店(Hotel Conde de Villanueva)。在酒店中庭，有几只孔雀走来走去，就像给客人卷雪茄的“卷烟师”(torcedor)那样趾高气昂。九间客房分别以不同的烟草种植园的名字命名。酒店所在的建筑是一栋经过华丽翻修的18世纪大厦，以彩色玻璃窗为装饰，里面有一家非常棒的雪茄商店，以及一个私密的吸烟室。有一面墙挂满了名人抽雪茄的照片（其中有黛米·摩尔[Demi Moore]、丹泽尔·华盛顿[Denzel Washington]、格劳乔·马克斯[Groucho Marx]、厄内斯特·海明威[Ernest Hemingway]、温斯顿·丘吉尔[Winston Churchill]，以及西格蒙德·佛洛依德[Sigmund Freud]）。酒店周围是售卖巧克力和香水等各式商品的商店。
The atmosphere didn’t feel exactly authentic, so I walked a couple blocks away, deeper into Old Havana, and found a quiet seat beneath a canopied outdoor bar. It was a perfect spot to relax, to enjoy the distant sound of rumba and the view of vintage cars moving along the streets. I ordered a mojito. And then I lit my last cigar in Cuba.
IF YOU GO TO CUBA
Where to Eat
Café Laurent (Calle M No. 257, between 19 and 21, Vedado, Havana, cafelaurent.ueuo.com) is a stylish family-run paladar popular for its penthouse views and Spanish-themed menu. Expect to pay about 20 American dollars per person for dinner.
Siá Kará Café (Calle Industria No. 502, www.siakaracafe.com) offers reasonably priced Cuban cuisine in the heart of Old Havana. It is also known for live music.
Siá Kará Café（Industria街502号，www.siakaracafe.com）位于哈瓦那旧城，提供价格合理的古巴美食。现场音乐演奏也很不错。
Nazdarovie (No. 25 Malecón, nazdarovie-havana.com) is a retro-styled Soviet restaurant and bar with live music; overlooks the sea.
Mamaine (Calle L No. 206, between 15 and 17, Havana) is an artsy, intimate cafe known for a breakfast menu that includes tortillas and fresh mango juice.
Where to Go
Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation in the Vuelta Abajo region, southwest of the city of Pinar del Río. The farm offers daily tours, but it is best to have your hotel arrange a guide for this all-day trip into a rural area: 53-48-79-74-70.
亚历杭德罗·罗瓦伊纳烟草种植园(Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation)，位于比那尔德里奥省(Pinar del Río)西南方的大阿瓦奥(Vuelta Abajo)区域。农场每天都开放一日游，但最好让你的酒店为这次乡村之旅安排一位导游：农场电话53-48-79-74-70。
Old Partagás Factory and Cigar Shop (Calle Industria No. 520, Havana) is 170 years old and perhaps the island’s best-known factory. Its production recently moved to the El Rey del Mundo Factory nearby but the retail store is still open, and sells a variety of brands made at the factory, from Bolivar to La Gloria Cubana.
老帕塔加斯雪茄工厂及雪茄商店(Old Partagás Factory and Cigar Shop)（哈瓦那Industria街520号）拥有170年历史，也许是古巴最著名的雪茄工厂。工厂的生产线最近搬到了附近的世界之王工厂(El Rey del Mundo Factory)，但雪茄零售店仍在营业，这里出售由该工厂制造的多个品牌的雪茄，包括玻利瓦尔(Bolivar)和古巴荣耀(La Gloria Cubana)。
La Casa del Habano (5ta Avenida y Calle 16, Miramar, Playa, Havana, lacasadelhabano.com) is among the premium cigar stores and lounges in Cuba and several other countries authorized to sell Habanos S.A. brands. The United States is the only country to which Habanos S.A. does not sell cigars.
哈瓦那雪茄之家连锁店（La Casa del Habano，哈瓦那普拉亚区[Playa]，Miramar，5ta Avenida与16街交界，lacasadelhabano.com）是古巴最高档的雪茄商店及雪茄吧之一，经古巴烟草公司授权销售其旗下品牌的雪茄，在很多国家设有分店，但唯独不向美国出售雪茄。
Where to Stay
Hotel Capri (Calle 21 between calle N and O, Vedado, nh-hotels.com/hotel/nh-capri-la-habana), a modern high-rise in the heart of central Havana, offers easy access to popular restaurants, nightclubs and cultural sights, including the famous Hotel Nacional, a block away. Single rooms run about $130.
A Few Top Brands
Some popular Cuban cigars, $10 to $20 each.
Partagás Serie D No. 4 A full-bodied robusto with a woody and spicy aroma.
帕塔加斯D4号(Partagás Serie D No. 4)，浓郁型罗布图雪茄，带有木质及辛辣的香味。
H. Upmann Royal Robusto Known for its full coffee bean flavor and oak finish.
乌普曼皇家罗布图雪茄(H. Upmann Royal Robusto)，以浓郁的咖啡豆香味及橡木的尾调而闻名。
Montecristo No. 2 Medium to full with creamy and spicy notes.
蒙特2号(Montecristo No. 2)，中等-浓郁型雪茄，带有奶油及辛辣香调。
Bolivar Royal Corona Richly complex with hints of chocolate and coffee.
玻利瓦尔皇冠(Bolivar Royal Corona)，浓郁型雪茄，混合了巧克力及咖啡香调。
Cohiba Siglo III Vanilla, leathery flavored and best paired with sweet desserts.
高斯巴世纪三号香草雪茄(Cohiba Siglo III)，带有皮革味道，与甜食是最佳搭配。
Vegas Robaina Don Alejandro Medium bodied with sweet and woody undertones.
维加斯·罗瓦伊纳·唐·亚历杭德罗雪茄(Vegas Robaina Don Alejandro)，中等浓郁型，带有甜味及木质基调。