Ibis Lu — or @cigarlover12 as best known on Instagram — has one of the most colorful profiles out there. Ibis is a Certified Bourbon Steward, a Certified Cigar Sommelier. In our eyes, Ibis is super knowledgeable and incredibly bright. Born in Cuba and with really interesting opinions regarding her hometown cigars. We want to thank you Ibis for this interview and for your time.
What motivated you to start producing content for the community?
I decided to open the @cigarlover12 Instagram account to share my passion and knowledge about cigars. I get many questions from cigar aficionados about pairings and different blends. It makes me happy to recommend and see how they trust me.
How is the cigar scene in your country?
I’m from Miami, I honestly think South Florida is the Cigar Capital of the world! So many Cuban families immigrated here to continue their legacy. The cigar scene in the USA is doing better than ever.
Do you prefer having a cigar alone or with others?
It depends I love my ME time, but I enjoyed it more with friends. Smoking a cigar is a social thing but for me, smoking a cigar is part of my daily routine.
We’re going to talk about cigars, no matter their origin. However, we have to ask: Are you more of a Cuban or a non-Cuban cigar person?
I was born in Cuba and I know how a communist country works. I’m not a big fan of Cuban cigars because the quality control is not good. Factories don’t follow the basic steps, most Cuban cigars are smooth and do not offer a complex flavor profile. My opinion is people who only smoke Cubans don’t develop their palate, they always know what they are getting, and on the contrary with Nicaraguan cigars it makes you explore all your senses. Everyone that works in the cigar industry knows that Cubans cigars are not the best. It’s about preference, I don’t judge people by the cigar they smoke. It’s about whatever makes you happy!
Imagine that the embargo on Cuba is lifted. What will happen next?
Cuba doesn’t have enough tobacco to supply to the USA.
Tell us more about why you decided to become a Cigar Sommelier.
I honestly did it to learn more about pairings.
What did you like more while taking that course?
It was really cool learning about Tobacco Regions, every Sunday I read for at least 1 hour about Cigars. Like everything in life you never stop learning. What I’m doing every Monday is a quiz of 5 questions (#testyourknowledge) I’m so happy to have a lot of loyal followers participating. They love it!
Tell us about your collection. What does your humidor look like?
I have 7 humidors, organized by country.
You can have as many cigars as you want, forever BUT it always has to be the same. What would you pick?
Definitely Plasencia Reserva Original, it is the only cigar in the world certified organic. That was my morning cigar for 5 straight months. It’s a medium-body with an amazing flavor profile.
As a customer, what do you look for in a cigar retailer?
Knowledge, they need to know about every blend.
What’s your favorite cigar accessory?
I love cigar cases and humidors.
Are you a soft-flame or a torch lighter person?
I prefer wooden matches indoors but I usually use a torch lighter.
Enjoying a cigar: inside or outside?
What is your favorite personality in the cigar community and why?
Michael Herklots, he’s the real deal! He knows all about cigars and his passion is admirable.
What brand have you never smoked and probably never will?
It’s not a specific brand, I just don’t like flavor cigars.
What are your Top 5 favorite cigars?
- Plasencia Reserva Original
- Plasencia Alma de Fuego
- Aging Room Quattro
- Davidoff Nicaragua
- Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro
A message to the community
Thank you very much for giving us a bit of your time by reading this article. It really means the world to have you with us. If you want to follow our daily activities head to our Instagram, where we try our best to bring the community together by sharing our love and knowledge for cigars. Have a great day.
Please note that smoking is bad for your health and we do not encourage it at all. These articles are written to show the differences between cigars and never to influence anyone to start smoking. If you are a cigar smoker, please respect others around you.