Cigar Smoking: What an Experience

A couple of friends of mine own a cigar shop in the next town over, and like any shop, hanging out and yakking with the locals about their favorite stoags is always great fun. No matter if it’s a hardcore fan of the leaf or a newb who wants to learn and enjoy, it’s always a good time sharing knowledge and telling tobacco war stories.

42-21708854During this past weekend I was hanging at the shop, having a smoke and watching various crap on their big screen when several guys in their mid-twenties strolled in looking for some smokes for their ride home from skiing. The owner Mike was on the phone, so like I usually like to do, I followed the guys to the walk-in humidor to help them pick out something to please their palate. Hey, I realize I don’t work there, but like I said, I just love to talk cigars and I don’t mind lending a hand if I can. The guys were basically newbies and enjoyed the occasional smoke while playing poker and on the golf course, but didn’t really know what they liked and why, but were definitely in need of some advice and direction. Now once you get me on a roll talking about cigars, I really don’t shut the hell up and sometimes I need a smack to the side of the skull to get me to stop my inane prattle. But these guys were in need of an education and were really up for some learning.

First off, you know that newbs go light and delve early on into Connecticut wrappers and milder bodied sticks. I could have been a royal ass and talked them into some Joya de Nicaragua Fuerte Serie B and watch them trip-out in the parking lot, but that’s not the kind of prank you want to play on a brother who’s yearnin’ for some learnin’. So I leaned ‘em towards some creamy and delicious Montecristo Whites, knowing there was a lot flavor and a great draw awaiting them for their trek back home.

humidorSo they started by asking why some wrappers were yellow to light brown, and some were dark brown and black. Well, that was my cue as I went into a dissertation on the cheese cloth tent covered fields in the Connecticut River Valley and then onto sun grown and maduro. The dudes were truly fascinated and wanted to know more. I told them of different countries of origin and the characteristics that make each unique. My most recent Cigar magazine article is about the art of blending a cigar and the mind-numbing amount of factors that goes into creating a premium cigar. I was having a grand old time educating the fledgling leaf-lovers as they were all ears and couldn’t wait go home and smoke their friggin brains out. A couple of guys that came in for a cigar for the road left with ten different sticks and a wealth of new information to drive their girlfriends insane with this new and wonderful hobby!

As the boys shook my hand on the way out, one dude said to me, “Thanks so much, that was a very enjoyable experience.” I turned to my buddy Mike and said, “Did you hear that? Did you hear what that guy just said? He didn’t say thanks for the cigars, he said thanks for the experience.”

Wow, that was an incredibly cool moment as it hit me with the fact I’ve always known. Cigars aren’t a habit, or even a hobby for that matter… cigars are an experience – and smoking is a joyful way to spend your time communicating with your inner self, or friends that care to join in on the experience. While non-smokers and the smoke Nazi contingent look down upon us like we are the unwashed pariah of society, they have not an inkling of a clue about the joys that a hand rolled, premium cigar can bring to our lives – if not for just a brief fleeting moment in time. As we, cut, light, and take that first heavenly draw, our troubles seem to melt away in a puff of blue swirling smoke circling above our heads. Yes indeed, the experience is soothing to the soul and like no other. So I bid you a good week ahead and hope there’s a fine smoking experience awaiting you all. Smoke ‘em cuz ya gottem, my brothers,

Tommy Z.

JR Cigars Blog With the Zman


Handmade DR
Wrapper: ECCT    Binder: NIC    Filler: DR/NIC
Medium-Full Bodied

MONTECRISTO WHITEThe Montecristo White is an elegant cigar ringed in a white band. Hand wrapped in a golden Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade seed leaf and blended with select Dominican and Nicaraguan long leaf fillers, its flavor is worth savoring. While they are mild in body, the flavor is thoroughly rich and wonderfully delicious! Probably one of my favorite mild smokes out there!


Handmade NIC
Wrapper: NIC    Binder: NIC    Filler: NIC
Full Bodied

JOYA DE NICARAGUA FUERTE SERIE BThe Fuerte Serie B line is another powerful extension of the Joya de Nicaragua brand that proves to be a real winner – not just for your palate but for your pockets too. An aged, hearty blend of Cuban-seed Criollo long filler tobaccos from Nicaragua is surrounded by a peppery, smooth binder and finished with a dark rosado-hued Nicaraguan wrapper. The combination provides the seasoned smoker with deep, well-balanced flavors of earth and spice. These cigars are very comparable to the Antaño line as far as strength and flavor, but more economically priced due to the packaging.

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