The most misunderstood of decadent indulgence there is…in my eyes at least. I am a fairly new cigar smoker of a grand 6 years of experience. There is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than a good quality smoke, ok maybe the second most relaxing thing for those of us who tend to nod off after some quality loving from your significant other. There are those who think a cigar with a plastic tip or comes in a tube is considered a good cigar. Info you, you can’t buy good cigars from the local convenient store in most cases. This could be cured with a simple and quick cigar education.
There are those who frown upon cigar smoking because it stinks…to some yes but to me cigarettes are disgusting and have no purpose but to fulfill a nicotine addiction. To each his own and you are entitled to your own opinions, you know what is said about opinions...every body has one. You can fill in the rest of that saying for yourself.
I smoke a cigar for the taste and the relaxation it creates. Many of us have gone as far as categorizing different smokes for different times of the day. The Sunday morning read the paper smoke as apposed to the drink a few beers and hang with the fellas stick. I enjoy a cigar just about any time of the day and don’t need a reason to have one. I had a brother-in-law that got out the truck in traffic to retrieve a smoke he thought he was done with…die hard or extreme to some.
You have different categories of smokers such as the weekend smoker, the I want to look cool in front of the boys and chew on this $20 cigar which I will never smoke or begin to know how to type. Then you have the die hard individuals such as my self who can smoke a cigar any time, any place. By no such means am I a professional, which would be nice of course but I do have the basic knowledge of types, how to light it, smoke it and of course don’t put it down until your fingers get burnt. Most of this knowledge can be obtained from that one bud who knows what he is doing or there is that thing called the Internet also.
Many smokers could learn to appreciate a good cigar from simply watching CAO’s DVD, “SEED TO SOUL. I know from my personal experience that my respect and knowledge of cigars doubled not to mention that the respect of the people who hand craft these vessels of pure pleasure. You greatly appreciate every cigar after seeing all the care and hard work that goes into bringing you the consumer, a good quality smoke.
Cigars come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and types. Much like women, there’s one out there for every one. This takes time and lots of sampling, trial and error so to speak. As for figuring out which cigar is best for you, use the same method. Three basic things that is good to know about cigars. Ring gauge-the size around such as a ring, the length, obvious and the body which can be full, medium and maduro. It’s a lot of like comparing light lagers to stout ales, a matter of personal taste. Of course you can go on and on about these categories but these three will get you by and make you look like less of a putz to your local dealer.
Cigar stores are also broke down into categories. You have the Tobacco store…stay away because the owners usually know less than you. These tend to be discount cigarette sales and keep their cigars in an old china cabinet. The Kiosks with the under paid college student trying to earn rent money who wouldn’t even know which end of the cigar to cut. These are convenient for when you leave your travel humidor at home while on vacation. Then there is your local cigar store where the owner actually knows what humidification and a humidor is. You can mention to many smokers 70/70 is the ideal storage climate and they may tilt their head and look at you like the dog after asking him a question. 70/70 refers to degree and humidity which makes your cigar ideal for smoking.
This brings us to those of who keep cigars on hand at home. Some people may keep a few in a zip lock in the freezer, which I don’t recommend, to those who have immense walk in humidors in the study. You can keep a good stock of your favorites in a modest humidor and it takes next to nothing to maintain it. You may be fortunate enough to have access to a seller who will rent you a cigar locker in his own closely regulated humidor…Bonus! Keeping your cigars in your own humidor is as easy as adding fluid to your humidification device on a monthly basis or as needed keeping the 70% rule in play. Not to difficult.
My final bit of info is about those few and far between places that will allow you to smoke your cigar after your meal or while enjoying your favorite adult beverage. It is a great pleasure to be able to smoke indoors. I don’t even smoke in my own house and it gets awful cold in the garage during the winter. Many states are going as far as telling cigar shops that you can’t smoke in your own shop…I don’t get it? If you have a simple set of rules and the proper circulation there usually isn’t any one to offend and if your offended by cigar smoke, DON’T GO THERE…duh!
I have only scratched the surface of cigar info. There are plenty of publications ranging from hard back books, magazines, web sites and of course your local dealer. I only wish to share some of my lessons learned and hopefully shed a small ray of light on the subject.
In the end it is our responsibility as cigar smokers to have etiquette, manners and most of all kill the noners with ridiculous amounts of kindness and they usually go away. You can go online and voice your opinion to your state rep such as I have. Cigar smokers have right too! I was surprised to receive a hand signed response that my opinions of cigar smoking would be taken in consideration.
Keep smoking and enjoy your rights to smoke cigars while we still can…