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RUSH: It’s Open Line Friday, Rush Limbaugh executing assigned host duties flawlessly. And, as usual, half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair. We have an Open Line Friday question coming up here. This is Wayne in Manhattan. Wayne, I’m glad you called. How are you, sir?

CALLER: Hey, Rush, how you doing?

RUSH: Good. Very good.


CALLER: Dittos from Bolshevikville’s grand experiment here in Manhattan.

RUSH: (laughing) All right. Thank you much.

CALLER: So every day at work, I take my radio and go outside and enjoy a cigar and I listen to unusually the third hour of your show.

RUSH: Yes?

CALLER: And it’s by far the best part of my day. I looking forward to it all day.

RUSH: Thank you so much.

CALLER: Lately, I’ve been having an issue with my cigars, and I wanted to run it by you and see if you had any advice. I have a good lighter and when I light the cigars sometimes I can’t seem to get it lit evenly and so the cigar will smoke down halfway. You know, half of the tip will smoke down normally. But the other half, it won’t even light. It will stay sort of like a giant, hard, black ash.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

CALLER: And no matter how many times I try to fire it up with the lighter, sometimes I just cannot get it to smoke evenly.

RUSH: Okay, here’s what I’ve learned over the course of many years cigar-smoking experience. I’m a connoisseur and an expert. No two cigars are the same. I don’t care if they come from the same box, same factory, same roller, same day. No two cigars are the same. The draw is going to be different. The burn is gonna be different. The humidity, moisture content of the cigar, tobacco is going to be different. I have what happened to you happen all the time. It’s either… The uneven burn happens, and half the cigar is burning fine; the other half it just stops burning and turns black.

What I do is one of two things: Either throw the cigar out or just relight that part of the cigar which appears to have gone out. I can spend… Let’s say a cigar lasts me an hour. I can probably spend, I don’t know, 25 different experiences relighting it at various stages to keep the burn even. If it’s really tasting good, if it’s worth it, then I will keep relighting what you’re calling that part of the cigar that stops burning, that is uneven. It results from a plug and too much tobacco that’s different density than the rest of the cigar, and you can’t know it before you light it. There’s no way you can tell this is gonna happen. So you either toss it and start anew. If you like the flavor, you just keep lighting it to keep the burn even and keep going until it stops tasting good. Then you pitch it.

CALLER: Okay. Well, I appreciate that. I was starting to get depressed, you know. (chuckling) But now I feel like… (chuckles) If it happens to you I feel like, well, you know, I’m all right.

RUSH: Oh, it happens to everybody. And depending on the kind of cigar… As I say, no two cigars are the same no matter where they come from. You can rely on brands. There are really quality brands where the rolling is superb, the manufacture is superb. You know, what you pay for the cigar will generally tell you whether it’s good or not. But even the most expensive cigars, you’re gonna get bummers. You know, I can tell you my favorite cigar right now — and I’m not gonna name it. My favorite cigar right now, I throw away 25% of every box. They just don’t draw.

CALLER: Wow. I’m gonna have to up my orders, I think.


RUSH: So it’s not unusual. The point is, you’re not running into… Well, you are running into bad ones, but it’s not you. It’s not unusual.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: By the way, I’m very particular. I love cigars. If the flavor isn’t there within the first 10 minutes of lighting it, I toss it. It’s not gonna improve. You’ll know in the first five minutes whether you get a good one or not. If it’s not, toss it and start again. It can be expensive to do that, but if you really like it and if the flavor matters, you can find it. It just may take two or three attempts.

CALLER: Yeah. I love the Fuente Double Chateaus. I spoke them almost exclusively. I’ve been smoking them for a long time.

RUSH: Well, the Fuente, you can’t go wrong. The Fuente, the Don Carlos? Have you smoked the Don Carlos?

CALLER: No I haven’t smoked the Don Carlos.

RUSH: Well.

CALLER: I’ve seen them in the humidors but I haven’t.

RUSH: You’re not gonna have these kind of problems with Don Carlos, you won’t have these problems with Opus X. Those are really expensive.

CALLER: I may have to try them.

RUSH: You’re smoking Double Chateaus. The Fuentes are awesome. So many of them are. La Flor Dominicana is great, too, but even in these, it’s just the law of averages. They’re hand rolled, they’re handmade — and in some of them, you’re gonna have plugs. You’re gonna have a tough draw, and you can either stick with it and get a hernia or you can throw it out and light a new one.


CALLER: You should see the looks I get in Midtown Manhattan on a beautiful afternoon with Rush Limbaugh blaring from my little radio and cigar smoke wafting in the air.

RUSH: It doesn’t get any better than that. I can well understand. I know how much you want to enjoy that cigar. Those of us who do, you really want it to be good.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Especially if you’ve had one that’s really good, you want every one after that to be good. And you can do that, but I might have throw some out to get it.

CALLER: Well, I appreciate that, Rush. I was starting to think it was user error. I appreciate the advice. Thank you.

RUSH: You bet. Do not think that it’s only happening to you. It’s just… A lot of products are that way. Sometimes people buy a car, it’s a lemon. Other times it’s just smooth sailing. Sometimes you order stuff on FedEx and it shows up right. The next day, it’s all screwed up, like today. You just never know. You just have to keep hunting, find something you like, stick with it, and maintain your standards. And if something the same brand doesn’t suffice, throw it out and start anew.

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