The Cigar Experience: Our Bond is Greater than 007

Category_Cigar Smokersby Juan Panesso


There may be no greater bond than sitting down to unwind and enjoy the terrific company amongst friends, family, and work associates. And the best way to enhance that bond is with a good drink and a great cigar! It may be the only time other than "pillow talk" with my wife that I stop everything I'm doing to truly relax. If I'm alone I sit at the fireplace with an 18year old scotch and a wonderful Maximus Robusto, thinking about the day's events, looking ahead, wondering about my daughter's future, or trying to figure out why I'm not quite six feet tall. It doesn't really matter because I delight at this moment, alone with my thoughts while time stands still just for me. Unrushed, I sip my drink and inhale the smooth aroma into my mouth heating the scotch and exciting my taste buds. I'm thankful to experience a little bit of Heaven on Earth. This is my escape; my indulgence!

During sporting events with friends, poker night, or out at one of the few bars that still allow smoking, I feel special lighting up a VSG. I know I'm here for a while so I sink into a couch or sit at the bar purveying over the crowd. I wonder if anyone feels as special as I do. I'm sure the other cigar smokers feel it too. I can always make a new friend by asking "what are you smoking?" We touch upon topics such as sports, finance, family, women, etc. We are here to stay and there is no rush. As I draw the '26 from my pocket for a second smoke, I've made a decision that I'm not going anywhere. I'm pleased with myself as I enjoy the people closest to me.

Recently I was invited to the Grand Havana Room in NYC to experience a "Night with Fuente" Dinner. I brought my brother and my cousin to enjoy wonderful food, Opus X Cigars and the comradely of business associates. It was amazing and we bonded like brothers for the three-hour event. Why – because we have more in common than cars, money or football. We are cigar smokers! We are special, elite and passionate like a newly-formed, well-organized baseball team taking the field with confidence knowing we will win! That doesn't make us better than anyone else – or maybe, for the next few puffs, we are!

I like to talk about wine, watches, single malts, women, fine dining, cars, stocks, smoking, and football. But I savor all those topics a lot more when I'm smoking a cigar!