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Stogie Commentary: Introducing Cigars to Newcomers

17 Dec 2007

The holiday season is a time for get-togethers. If you’re lucky, and if the weather permits, at least some of the parties you attend will include some time in the backyard, patio, or other smoke-friendly location with the opportunity to smoke a cigar.

Introduce NewcomersMany times, someone will ask if you have another stick. Or you’ll want to share your pleasure and make the initial offer. In either case, some of those who join you will be cigar newcomers, so you might want to plan a little in advance.

The most common recommendation is to offer a novice smoker a mild cigar, like a Macanudo or Dominican Montecristo. I disagree. I think you need something with more taste and interest. Otherwise, the new smoker’s reaction is likely to be, “Why am I sucking on these leaves? There’s just not much to it.”

Now, I’m not recommending you break out the Camacho Coyolars or powerhouse Joya de Nicaraguas. But there are many, many flavorful and interesting medium strength cigars that a newcomer could enjoy. If you need some suggestions, take a spin through the Stogie Guys Cigar Reviews Archive.

Interesting shapes, like the Punch Champion or diademas, can also make that first smoke more memorable. For length and girth, stick with smaller ring gauges and a length of five inches or less. Better that they end wanting more than wishing there was less.

So, spread the word. And the good cigars.

George E

photo credit: Flickr

6 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Introducing Cigars to Newcomers”

  1. Paul Monday, December 17, 2007 at 6:05 am #

    I disagree. I think a mild cigar is indeed the ideal way to go with a novice, especially someone who doesn't smoke cigarettes or a pipe, but I do agree that you should avoid the most obvious options. Most cigar smokers have a favorite mild stick (even those who usually smoke full-bodied stogies), and that's what you share. Whether it's a CAO gold, a Diamond Crown, or another of the many primo mild smokes out there, you're more likely to gain a new smoking buddy if you ease them into it with something interesting, but smooth enough that they won't feel like coughing on the first puff.

    Remember when you first started smoking, and a Partagas seemed harsh? You don't want to offer someone a potentially off-putting introductory experience. Let their palette develop, by starting them off on the right foot.

  2. Cigar Jack Monday, December 17, 2007 at 6:50 am #

    If I was going to recommend a cigar to a non-cigar smoker I think I'd pick something Mild to Medium. I'd start someone out with CAO Cameroon, mabye a Fuente (not an Opus obviously) or a Casa Torano. They provide enough flavor to be interesting. In fact when I first started smoking cigars I started on Fuentes and AVO's.

  3. Geoff Monday, December 17, 2007 at 11:52 am #

    Thanks for the food for thought, George. I managed to gain a new smoking buddy by starting him off with an Onyx Vintage ’97.

  4. Eric D. Monday, December 17, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    You know, after reading your post, it makes sense. When I was a new smoker I found myself drawn to the cigars that were full in flavor. Sometimes I forget that full flavor doesn't always mean full strength in nicotine and body. My brother-and-law has a smoke once or twice a year and really enjoyed the Rare Corojo for example. Happy smoking!

  5. George E. Monday, December 17, 2007 at 2:37 pm #

    Thanks for all the interesting comments. It's always great when there's dialogue on the site.

  6. MonkeyDan Monday, December 17, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

    For novice smokers: Puros Indios, Padron or a Don Tomas is the way to go. Like to recommendations you gave as well.