Homer Simpson, when told he must visit Canada, let’s out a particularly powerful ‘D’oh!’ and asks, ‘Why should we leave America, just to visit America Jr?’ Free health care and a ludicrously high standard of living aside, it’s hard to get excited about the Maple, on a cultural level. But there are some historical reasons for crossing the St. Lawrence. In 1962, President Kennedy called his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, to the Oval office and demanded he track down every Cuban cigar in Washington and bring them to him.

Next day, with the room filled to the ceiling with boxes, Jack took out the Embargo document and signed it. Canada was never affected. So here I am in Montreal, enjoying the continuing fruits of Communist/Canuck collusion. At La Casa del Habano, The El Rey del Mundo Lunch Club is my first smoke, small, but very well-balanced and full of rich flavours. Cinnamon and caramel, with a hint of bean combined with a toasted tobacco taste. H Upmann Magnum 46 is a rare blend. Its flavours come out fully toward the middle and have a complex and bold taste.

The don is the Monte Cristo No. 4. Like the struggles of Edmond Dantès, this is an epic. The cigar has coffee, cocoa and vanilla flavours blended in great harmony with a medium tobacco taste. Sometimes sweet and spicy, a minimum ageing of at least three years is recommended for this cigar to find its real potential. 

If you are looking for somewhere to eat before or after a cigar then go no further than Liverpool House or Joe Beef. Both located in chic Notre-Dame Ouest, they are testament to fine dining, a great welcoming atmosphere and in Joe’s, a head hostess who maybe might be Canada’s other great draw.

That’s aboot it.