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Marion wrote: I am a sea lover. Seems to be an interesting cruise. david martin Abrahams would love to travel on it.


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The Best of the Best
Gifts for cigar lovers

As the holiday season sails into view, gift ideas are on everyone's mind. Fortunately, when shopping for the cigar smoker, there are not only great cigars to choose from, but cigar accessories, as well. Here are some outstanding gift suggestions from the four primary cigar requisites: cigars, a humidor, a cutter, and a lighter. (Hint: leave this page open in a conspicuous place so your spouse will see it.)

 Davidoff 9 Cigar Sampler
This is the Whitman's Sampler for cigar lovers - a veritable candy store of some of Davidoff's finest tobacco confections and a great way to sample the many varieties of this luxury cigar icon. Made in the Dominican Republic, Davidoff cigars are venerated even by aficionados in Cuba. They're not only among the finest handmade cigars in the world, this selection offers nine of their best cigars chosen from all of their line extensions: Aniversario, Classic, Grand Cru, Millennium, Thousand, and Special Series. In other words, the best of the best.

Some of the standouts include the perfectly balanced Davidoff Grand Cru No. 2 Corona; fullbodied Millennium Robusto; complex Special R; and the classic, retro-shaped, Davidoff Short Perfecto. Whether or not you already smoke Davidoff cigars, or know someone who's always wanted to, this gift will be remembered fondly.

 Diamond Crown Williamsburg Humidor
Of the many fine cigar humidors to choose from, Diamond Crown is king. My first humidor was a Diamond Crown. Handcrafted by Reed & Barton, these humidors are so well made, they're passed down from generation to generation.

Here's a quick tour of how they're constructed. They start out as a six-sided box, then are cut open to form separate base and lid sections so the lid and base are always flush, which also gives continuity to the wood grain. The lumber is kiln dried to a 6% moisture content prior to production to help prevent warping or cracking and all the joints are mitered and precisely notched via tenon and groove, then cured using radio frequency bonding. This adds lifetime strength and durability to the box. Hand-sanding is done continuously throughout the process to remove any blemishes. Finally, the stain color is applied by hand and hand-rubbed. As found in most cigar humidors, the walls are lined with Spanish cedar.

I like the Williamsburg because of its contoured, early American-style design. It looks like the kind of humidor an admiral would own. The humidor holds up to 100 cigars and sports a cherry finish using an exclusive four-step mahogany and cherry hand-rubbed finishing process. The humidor comes with two mahogany dividers and features the Diamond Crown's specially designed humidification system.

 S.T. Dupont X-Tend Lighter
One of the most important accessories is a well-made, reliable cigar lighter. After all, if your cigar doesn't get a good, clean light, it won't burn well. You want something that will not only light the cigar, but will also toast it properly. Moreover, you want a lighter that will light on those gusty days out on the open water. That why I'm partial to the torch models. They produce a jet of blue flame. The blue part of the flame is the coolest, allowing you to better control toasting the foot of the cigar without scorching the wrapper (especially if you're lighting up one of those Davidoffs).

The X-Tend series is the first of a new generation of handcrafted torch lighters from S.T. Dupont. The X-Tend features sleek, contemporary lines and is extremely lightweight. When you press the button, the shutter opens automatically and a slender, yet surprisingly powerful blue flame pops up. To help keep tabs on fuel consumption, a window is provided on the bottom of the lighter. The X-Tend series comes in a variety of colors, including a line of tattoo models, and each lighter is stamped with its own personal identification number, making it one very elite light, to say the least.

 XiKAR X1 Cigar Cutter
A good cutter is worth the investment. Cheapies just don't cut it. A good cutter pays for itself in a relatively short period of time. I like the X1 double blade cutter from XiKAR. It's not only one of the best, it's also reasonably priced. It's got power, comfort, and clean lines, and the teardrop shape fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. An aluminum body houses two self-sharpening, stainless-steel blades forged to a diamond-hard Rockwell rating of HRC55. When you push the button, the blades flare out. Then, in one easy squeeze, you can snip a cigar up to a 52 ring as the blades return to their closed position. What I also like about this cutter is that it comes standard with an unconditional, lifetime guarantee. Plus, XiKAR company policy is if the blades dull over time, they'll sharpen them and return the cutter within 10 days. Like the Diamond Crown humidor, this is another fine gift item that will provide years of reliable use.

These are just some of the dozens of great gift ideas for cigar smokers available year-round, too. Whether you choose any of the items mentioned here or from other manufacturers, as always, what matters is that the gift comes from the heart.

Happy Holidays!

About Gary Korb
Gary Korb is the chief copywriter and resident cigar guru for Famous Smoke Shop (www.Famous-smoke.com) in Easton, PA. Mr. Korb has been enjoying the wonderful world of premium cigars for over 25 years

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