In the new movie from the Islamic Republic of Iran “The Salesman,” directed by Asghar Farhadi, there is a scene where the two main characters, Rana (played by Taraneh Alidoosti), and, Shahab Hosseini, who takes on the role of her husband, Emad Etesami, when, as if by sheer mysticism, a large crack appears on their bedroom wall.
They and the other residents of the apartments where they live are told they must move due to construction work next door which has caused the building’s entire structure to become unsafe for habitation. At one point Emad says to his wife, “What a disaster, this town. If we could only raze it all and start again.” The book reviewer, Anthony Lane of The New Yorker, adds “Sounds like a failed marriage.” And that line hit a nerve within me.
I love a cigar that has its own “crack” if you will. It is not a failed cigar per se, but one that has to find its delicate balance. The wrapper is stable, the filler and the binder are blended perfectly to produce one of the tastiest smokes around. But it has a gambling flaw. I won’t mention what it is. But it’s there. And it shouldn’t be. But it’s there because it’s a handmade product and this problem appears in other cigars as well. But here the flavor is so unique that it sets itself far, far apart from any other cigar with or without the flaw.
It is a boutique cigar that is trying to blast off into the cigar firmament and find its mark. And to be honest, being an unknown cigar, having any flaws can make that a very, very difficult challenge – but not impossible. Because this one is being addressed.
I am quite lenient on boutique brands. Intellectually, I have to be. I know how they are manufactured. I know that the roller may have had a bad day. I know that the chances for this flaw to appear are about as likely as an ash is to form on the end of a smoldering cigar. But in this case – it can’t. It might be just that one cigar, the one with the challenge, the one I offer to the owner of the store that has the flaw. And shop owners can be extremely critical, especially the new ones who have less experience with the human side of cigar making and see cigars only as a means to an end. Maken da moola!
I am going to go for my walk with Flo right now and I will take one of those cigars with me. When I return I will reveal to you what I found. And I promise to pick one at random. Nothing here is pre-planned – just the walk.
Listen, cigar making is no different than rolling a couple of dice or spinning the roulette wheel. You never really know what to expect, but you can reduce your odds of a loss. And I’m confident that this manufacturer is going to do just that. He’s not naïve. He’s not an ego-driven maniacal manufacturer who feels that just because he made the cigar – it’s perfect. So off I go. See you soon.
Ok. I’m back and unfortunately, the one piece of the puzzle was missing from this cigar. But the flavor, aroma, and overall feel of the cigar are far beyond the many I have tried. I will provide mercy. My plan is to light up another and tell you of my experiences with that one. I will do so in a few minutes and then I will discuss my experience.
Ok, round two and I am absolutely enthralled with the cigar I just smoked until I could no longer hold it. What a delicious, satisfying, rapturous, flavorful, extraordinary cigar!!! I can’t begin to explain how I’m feeling right now. Other than to say that the experience was worth every chilling moment I spent in the garage.
I can go over the taste, the construction, the ash, the pure, sensual pleasure I have just experienced that if I had the same fear of guilt of pleasuring myself, I would feel the need to rush to the nearest church, kneel down and go to confession. Enjoyment like I just experienced is a sin. And I don’t care what you think of my analogy, but this cigar – when it is on point – will give you such a spank of gratification that you may not pick up another cigar as long as you live.