UPDATED 2015-10-11

Cigar Smoking

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Happily, my wife Carita enjous a good cigar as much as I do. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is no small thing. To quietly enjoy a good cigar with your beloved spouse in a mild summer evening after the children have gone to bed is indeed a marital pleasure to be reckoned with. After that, who needs sex? Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Our cigar hobby is something that really is beyond us, both intellectually and financially. We actually don't understand why we like smoking the odious things and we certainly cannot afford them. But there you are. A quote by Jonatan Futrell says it all, really:

You are not born with a passion for cigars.
Like all the best things in life,
they demand patience and determination.

Our Cuban Cigar Reviews is a list of most of the Cuban cigars we've smoked with comments. Some recent smokes have note yet been included, alas. All comments are written by me, but we generally agree. I tend to like stronger cigars than Carita and she has a thing for sweet non-Cuban maduros.

Favourite Cigars

Please keep in mind that I'm a pure dilettante in these matters. I have not nearly sampled all Cuban cigars out there. I do not know the correct terminology. These cigars are my favourites for the time being.

Petit Corona: Cohiba Siglo II
An absolutely fabulous smoke. I so hate it's premium price!
Petit Corona: Partagas Petit Coronas Especiales
A fantastic smoke. Strength and aroma in perfect quantities.
Runner-up: Montecristo No.4
Corona: Montecristo No.3
A dependable work horse. Never let's you down.
Lonsdale: Montecristo No.1
A fantastic blend of strength with peppery spiciness in my favourite vitola.
Contender: Punch Super Seleccion No.1
Robusto: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2
The No.1 for me. (Pun indeed intended.) Thick, short and packs a mean punch with a wonderful aromatic complexity.
Contender: Cohiba Robusto
Over-all favourite: Partagas Lusitanias
Oh Lordy, what a smoke! Tangy and complex yet not too strong. The best I've had so far. Too bad it's huge and expensive.
Other memorable smokes
Cohiba Siglo VI, Montecristo Edmundo, Trinidad Robusto Extra

Disappointments

Alas, there will also always be disappointments. Those in life I can handle, it's part of the play, but disappointing cigars is below the belt, really. Cigars that do not live up to your expectations, perhaps over-hyped or over-priced. Quite a lot of cigars I have earlier ordered from abroad have been unsmokable, mostly because of being rolled too tight. Sloppy quality control, I say. Fakes, some would say. Also some cigars have disappointed me although technically impeccable.

Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona
Supposed to be a reference. I just didn't see the point of it and got bored long before it was finished. Perhaps I lack sophistication.
Montecristo No.2
A big mutha of a cigar, but somehow disappointing. Surprisingly so, since I tend to like Montecristos.
Cohiba
Yeah, okay. Fine cigars, yes. But are they really worth their price? (Urgh. Argh. No.)
Sancho Panza
Almost all I've smoked have been rolled way too tight. The very few that I've managed to get some air through have been good, though.
Anything not from Cuba
This is really a puzzle for me, but somehow all the non-Cuban cigars I've smoked have left me oddly unsatisfied, regardless of technical superiority and sometimes fine taste. Any ideas, anyone?

In the summer of '06 I tried 5 different non-cuban high quality Maduros (Domenico, Hoyo de la Romana, León Jimenes, Macanudo, Petrus, The Griffin´s). The family resemblance was quite clear. Technically fine cigars. Mellow, dark and sweet tastes of chocolate and coffee and such. But still somewhat boring. There was no complexity, no excitement. No development during the smoking. Too little strength. Too simple. Sorry.

Paraphernalia

Cigar smoking has really given me a fine opportunity to endulge in some nice paraphernalia. Keep in mind that I've been smoking for some years now, and only recently have I been able to procure these wonderful toys. All you really need is a small cheap humidor, a cheap but sharp double bladed cutter and a cheap butane lighter. (Humidor Discount usually have some really affordable beginners sets to offer. See link below.) Now I only lack a nice and solid ashtray - oh, and a room where to smoke, hehe.

image image Adorini Santiago humidor. Big, business-like, very functional and ugly in a vulgar, barocque sort of way. The main point was large enough size, since I order cigars from abroad in boxes, and, of course, price. Excellent build quality for the price. Humidors Discount in Germany have fine, cheap humidors with free shipping within Europe. Tried & tested & recommended.

lighter flame Lighters. Yes. Really hate them. Crap the lot of them. They work for a while ...then not. The only lighter that works at the moment (2013-03) is a couple of dollars worth cheapo I ordered from Deal Extreme in Hong Kong.

Prometheus Liquid lighter. It has a circular flame and is supposed to be fantastic. I am however experiencing some problems: The flame is unstable. The gas flow is not even. Investigations will follow. It's just typical: You really try to find the best of the best and then you end up with a faulty unit.

Update 2005-09: The lighter has now been "repaired" by the retailer in Berlin. It's a tad better, but nowhere near what it should be at this price point (75€). It doesn't always ignite, the flame is uneven and it's definitely not wind-proof in any way. Thumbs down for the Prometheus Liquid.

For some time now, we've been lighting our cigars with extra long Sampo matches. We've found it doable but less than satisfactory. The slightest puff of wind disturbs the flame and a single match doesn't quite last long enough. It all makes the lighting process unnecessary difficult.

I ordered a Blazer Z-plus!. It's a lighter insert for my wife's ornated Zippo that turns it into a butane torch lighter. Worked beautifully for some time ...then not. Disappointed! Sooner or later I'll probably get the classic Blazer PB 207 torch. The Silva Storm Lighter Helios is also an interesting product. I'll probably get one of those too. Good to pack on our family adventures. But, of course, when I get rich - or lose my mind - I'll get a matte black S.T. Dupont X-tend. Such elegance! And I keep hearing nothing but praise.

Xikar Xi open Xikar Xi closed Xikar Xi cutter. I really didn't like the sissy things made by the more venerable European manufacturers and the other standard cutters seemed over priced without offering anything special. When I found the Xikar I just knew I would someday have to have one. It's really good and has a proper amount of machismo. Courtesy of my good friend Tomas Segerberg.

Ashtray Our good friend Kaj Lyyski gave us this truly beautiful ashtray in the spring of 2007. It's black ceramic and has an intriguingly old feel about it. There's a vaguely tribal motif at the bottom of the bowl. Sadly, we can't make out the stamp at the bottom. It's an absolute delight to behold and, as you can see from the photo, it serves us impeccably. (Those are Montecristo Edmundos, by the way...)

 

Vitola Converter

The Vitola Converter is a small JavaScript gadget to convert cigar vitolas, i.e. length and thickness, from inches and ring gauge to mm and back. The vitola converter is free for you to use. Click here for info.

Cigar related links

Cigars Review
Cuban cigars ratings & reviews
Internet Cigar Group (ICG)
"The world's largest organization of cybersmokers. Free, non-commercial information representing cybersmokers from all over the world"
Cigars and health (ICG)
A summary of medical studies on cigar's effects on health.
The Cigar Smoker's FAQ (ICG)
Frequently Asked Questions about cigars
The Cigar Database (ICG)
The bare facts about cigars.
Cigarrklubben i Norrbotten
Riklig information på svenska, bl.a. Nybörjarcigarren - Goda råd till nybörjaren.
Cigar Cyclopedia
Quite a lot of reference info on cigars.
Humidor Guide
Practically all you need to know about storing cigars and humidors.

Cigar web shops

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