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  1. Don't try to catch a falling knife as the old investment proverb goes, wait for it to stick into something solid and stop vibrating. The knife is still falling right now in my opinion because everyone's concern is inflation and it's not certain when or if it will be brought under control. In the US assets of all types had a big run up during covid and there's plenty of space left to fall. When and if it looks like inflation is back under control and starting to recede that's probably the time to get back in.
  2. I'm not from the US so I really don't have any skin in the game regarding this. But yeah, that packaging is like poking a Grizzly Bear, I have to assume the people making it are too juvenile to understand what the consequences could be.
  3. Got into the habit of taking 1/3rd of everything I bought and putting them aside. So I've got at least 3 of everything I've ever bought at this point, starting from around 2014.
  4. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Windproof-Electronic-Refillable-Blowtorch-Transparent/dp/B00R3JD1I4/ Bought this 3 years ago, rock solid still working fine. Cost £4. I've heard so many people have problems with expensive lighters I've just steered clear of them.
  5. Ahh well, the issue is knowing what has added sugar and what doesn't. The EU just passed regs that limit how much sugar you can add to rum and still call it "Rum". About 58 of the rums on the list el pres linked too will not longer be legally be Rum at their current dosing levels in the EU. The hipsters cometh, it's already too late.
  6. I think the trend is moving against added sugar in higher end sippers, beyond even that where casks are matured (Caribbean vs Europe) is becoming an issue. https://specialitybrands.com/our-range/habitation-velier/habitation-velier/habitation-hampden-2010-lrok/ Rum afficianado's have always hated the added sugar, but the Whiskey & Bourbon crowds are moving into Rum and they don't want additives in their Spirits. Think El Dorado recently cut their dosing in their 15, it certainly tastes different to previous bottles I've had. I would say this trend will become more prevalent as the Whiskey/Bourbon crowds increase their buying.
  7. Only one cigar ever reached that level for me, it was a connie A I bought as a single. Just extraordinarily better than any other cigar I've ever had. I bought an entire box hoping to replicate it but sadly it was just a one off. I can't even describe the flavours, the closest I can come to describe it, was as if I was tasting what pearl looks like. Weird I know and frustrating because I'd pay gran reserva prices for another one!
  8. Walking and listening to podcasts + audiobooks for me. I avoid all news like the plague.
  9. My observation is that much of online social media regarding cigars is heavily US based and so new smokers outside the US end up being drawn to NC's since that's what they're seeing others smoke online. There are also probably cheaper options in terms of NC's than there are for cubans in terms of like for like size. And of course there are people who just prefer the flavour profile of specific NC blends over Cuban. I mod r/ukcigars on reddit which I would say skews younger in terms of smoker age and NC's are probably the majority at this point although cubans are still popular and the people buying by the box are almost always buying cuban, those buying singles are mostly going NC
  10. Structurally different markets. Tea and especially the kind of tea you're talking about won't really last that long and still be good? Cigars last for decades and fetch a premium for age and rarity. So cigars are both for smoking and for investment if you're holding long, there's no benefit to rolling super secret best of the best and selling them on the quiet because they can't then easily be resold for the premium they should fetch. But put them in a reserva or grand reserva and they sure as hell can.
  11. Yangshuo, China - I've never seen scenery as magical as the Karsts in and around Yangshuo, I've visited twice and would go back in a heartbeat Kanchanaburi, Thailand - Home of the bridge of the river kwai, it's nothing special but there's a guesthouse there I love. It has this wooden platform that extends out over the river (and floating rooms!), I love spending a day or two lounging on the platform drinking Singha and reading. The Himalayas - I desperately want to go do the Annapurna trek, that might well be the first trip I make post covid Chile - I live in one of the most light polluted places in the world, I really want to see the milky way in all its glory and I heard Chile is one of the best places Bangkok - To see friends and that city is just incredible fun
  12. Good advice. One thing I'll mention is, when I get a new box I like to take one third out and put them into a separate tupperdore for long term aging. I then smoke the rest of the box as others have suggested, if they're good smoke em, if they're not let them rest. But I've always got that 1/3 of every box to try in 5-10 years.
  13. A really impressive 12min video on the explosion that hit Beirut some months back and how the warehouse was basically laid out as a giant bomb https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/beirut-port-explosion

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