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Stogie Commentary: Ode to the Cold Weather Smoker

11 Jan 2007

SAN PEDRO, BELIZE – Coming to you from beautiful tropical Belize (known formerly as British Honduras), there is seemingly no shortage of cigar topics for me to write about.

I could tell you about my first encounter with the famously fake glass-top box of Cuban Cohiba Esplendidos (prominently featured in an advertisement for the local cigar shop), the fantastic Honduran Punch I had (a Honduran cigar just seemed appropriate here in British Honduras), or the Cohiba Robusto of questionable authenticity I was given upon my arrival (more investigation is needed there).

Yet instead I’ll take this opportunity to praise that often unheralded creature: the cold weather stogie smoker.

_40510753_smokingbanpa203.jpgThe absurdity of writing about cold weather cigar smoking from an 80 degree beach immediately made me think of one of my favorite (and similarly absurd) movie quotes:

It’s easy to grin when your ship comes in, and you’ve got the stock market beat. But the man worthwhile is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat.

A few days in the tropics made me realize just how easy it is to be a cigar smoker in the tropics. Nothing calls for a cigar like turquoise water and a warm breeze, except maybe a warm night at a beach bar with some Bob Marley playing. And naturally the lack of a Cuban embargo means that all the world’s cigars are available to you.

The point is, if you can’t enjoy a cigar here, you probably never can. (Leave me down here too long and I’d probably be up to four a day!)

Which brings me to the cold weather smoker, outside on the porch, in the backyard, or walking the dog (because you can’t for one reason or another smoke inside). Perhaps an oppressive smoking ban forced you out of your favorite watering hole and into the inhospitable winter frost.

To brave incliment weather shows true dedication to the wonderful hobby that is cigars. Like the man who’s shorts are too tight in his seat, the cold weather smoker need not smile while he bundles up for a sub-freezing stogie session, but he does. When many might close up the humidor until late spring, the cold weather smoker bravely smokes on.

So let me propose the following: The next time you’re smoking a cigar in a perfect setting, pause a moment and think of the cold weather smoker preparing to risk frostbite just for the hobby he loves. (Personally, as I make my most difficult decision of the night – Cuban Cohiba, Montecristo, or something else – I know I will think of my friends to the north deciding between gloves, hats, or space heaters!)

Such reflection is important because many of us will end up cold weather stogie smokers ourselves far too soon.

Patrick S recently vacationed in Belize.

15 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Ode to the Cold Weather Smoker”

  1. Padronnie Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 5:02 am #

    Love the caddyshack quote!

  2. kevink868 Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 6:28 am #

    I'm feelin' ya, Patrick. A particularly timely topic for me. I'm accustomed to two-per-day on my back patio in FL, but now find myself temporarily trapped in frigid Muncie, IN, trying to find wind shelter that'll allow me to at least power through one of the little Fonseca Cosacos I (optimistically) packed for the trip. It has taken this encounter with wind chills in the teens and gusts to 35mph to remind me how tough it can be for my smoking brethren who live to my north. Cheers.

  3. James Day Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 11:49 am #

    Nice post, considering it is freezing here in NYC! 🙂

    Which reputable stogie shops there do you recommend? How are the prices compared to places like Canada?

  4. Patrick S Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 12:11 pm #


    I actually haven't bought cigars from that many places in NYC, but Nat Sherman Cigars on 42nd street & 5th Ave is great.

    Also, I highly recommend you go to <a rel="nofollow" href="; rel="nofollow">La Rosa Cubana. I was there just before christmas and spoke with the owner who is a real solid guy. You can even tell him that you found him on Stogie Guys.

    Plus those are two of the only "public" places where you can legally smoke indoors in Manhattan.

  5. Patrick A Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm #

    In honor of Patrick S’s excellent tribute to the cold weather smoker, I’m heading out into Washington’s 30 degree night air for a big cigar. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. George E. Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 6:02 pm #

    I don't have the nerve to tell you what the temperature was here this afternoon while I was sitting out smoking on the deck … But I'm thinking about you!

  7. Kyle Burke Friday, January 12, 2007 at 2:10 pm #

    I was born and raised in the rural Alaska town of Bethel(where I currently live). I moved down to southern Oregon a for about 2 years, and started smoking cigars. I just moved back to bethel right in the dead of winter. For the past 2 weeks I'v had to smoke outside in -20F to -35F weather, with the wind it was about -50F or so. Anyway its we've had a bit of a warm spot lately(25F) so its not to bad, now I'm just waiting for summer.

  8. Jabba Saturday, January 13, 2007 at 9:04 am #

    The first step to being a man is building a man room inside your house… it just doesn't made sense to freeze your balls off outside while enjoying one of life's cheapest and most wonderful pleasures.

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