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Commentary: Cigar Values

23 Jan 2013

What does a cigar smoker value? His stash of cigars, first and foremost—especially those rare sticks he’s saving for special occasions. Maybe also an expensive torch lighter, a fancy travel case, or a personalized humidor engraved with a significant date.

Aside from these obvious choices, the other day I was thinking of my other cigar-related treasures, be they tangible or intangible. The first that came to mind was my cigar sanctuary. As I write this, I’m holed up in the sealed-off den in my condo that’s equipped with a makeshift ventilation system. It’s toasty warm. Several stories below, I can see my fellow Chicagoans walking briskly on the sidewalks in a hurried attempt to reach their destinations before frost bite sets in. I observe them comfortably while enjoying a fine cigar and listening to the radio. Rest assured I value the heck out of my den in the winter.

More of a fleeting commodity, time is something I never take for granted. Cigar smoking is all about relaxation, slowing the pace of life, and taking a restful break from the day. This requires a serious investment in time, which is my single biggest constraint. I would no doubt smoke many more cigars if time were not a factor. So I definitely appreciate what time I can make. I guess time is a limited resource for all of us.

Not to get overly wistful, but I value my cigar smoking friends and the memories we’ve created. When I think of the best cigars I’ve had, I’m usually not remembering specific flavors. I’m recalling the conversations and celebrations. Perhaps the world’s best cigar was the one I smoked during my wedding reception on the steps of the Union Depot in St. Paul, surrounded by great friends and family. Which cigar was it? Doesn’t really matter.

Finally, I would be remiss to fail to point out how much I value perfect pairings. The more I smoke cigars, the more I understand that beverage pairings are more of an art than a science. For me, depending on the cigar and the time of day, my winning combos include coffee (in the morning with a Connecticut-wrapped cigar), bourbon (in the winter with something full-bodied), rum (in the summer with any cigar), red wine (milder smokes), and some beers (particularly IPAs). I’ve seen others pair up cigars with anything from orange soda and Guinness to iced tea and hot chocolate. Whatever your preference, value it—and remember that the pairing is greater than the sum of its two parts.

-Patrick A

photo credit: N/A

Drew Estate

4 Responses to “Commentary: Cigar Values”

  1. Jaxon Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Love this. I certainly value sites like this that provide awesome cigar content and unbiased reviews for free. Keep up the good work.

  2. Swede214 Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Very well said Patrick A, enjoyed your comments. I'll have to go to my ''cigar store'', I don't have a place at home, and also close to were you are, cold!

  3. Bradley Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    After my wedding my brand new wife and I went out to the back porch of our hotel and hung out with our friends, finished the beer from the wedding and smoked cigars. It was the best day of my life, and I will never have another cigar that tasted that great.

  4. Stewart Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and had a blood glucose reading that would kill most people. The doctors cut me off alcohol and cigars. After much horse trading with them they admitted that cigars really wouldn't have an affect on diabetes but it would put a strain on other organs. So the compromise is instead of one a day I'll have one a week but pairings, other than water and coffee, are out. You don't know what you've got until it's gone.