Call it a luxury or a bad habit, but for one cigar aficionado having the world's most expensive cigar was a must.
Recently, Juan Panesso, from CigarsDirect.com, an online cigar shop specializing in foreign cigars put up $185,000 for a giant 19-foot Gran Habano #5 El Gigante on Sunday morning.
Panesso placed his bid on the mighty beast for a private collector in a special cigar auction.
"A guy called and he needed to locate a few high-end cigars," Panesso said. "We pride ourselves on finding the hard-to-find cigars," he said. "This shows we are able to fill all our orders."
The cigar, nearly 19 feet long and more than 3 feet wide, came in its own carrying case, a 900 pound round wooden crate that looks like an old steam locomotive. It sat inside a Clearwater warehouse Sunday awaiting the gentle hands of workers to crate it up and ship it out on Tuesday.
The cigar came from a collector in Miami, he said, and it has been in the public before, on display at cigar shows and events. It took 16,000 wrapper leaves to sheath the tobacco, which is enough to make 25,000 regular size cigars. The beast weighs 1,600 pounds, paper ring included.