interview with Clay Carlton

Clay Carlton claims to be Colorado’s only master cigar roller.  He learned the craft from a master roller in the Cuban tradition.  The “master” designation comes after working at it for a decade.


Carlton purveys his wares even while smoking in general is in decline.  “It’s a tough way to go.  A lot of people do like cigars, but it’s not like it used to be.”  Still, he’s finding new customers among women.  “I make thinner, smaller cigars for ladies, flavored with hazelnut, Grand Marnier, cognac.”

Carlton has added  espresso,  desserts, and wine to his offerings at the Denver story, just a block from Coors Field.  In Vail, his barbershop has a large humidor.

He includes his own shaving supplies, coffee blends, hot sauces and cigars in kits he prepares and sends to military personnel in his “Care to the Troops” campaign.  His website is

Music on this feature by Cachao y Su Ritmo Caliente, “Oye Mi Tres Montuno,” from the CD From Havana to Cuba, and Hadley Calimen, “Cigar Eddie” from the CD Straight Ahead.

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