Friday, December 14, 2012
The bad cigar
Chances are that you have had a bad cigar or two. I have had more than a few cigars that I honestly would say were horrific. I take a different stance on the undesirable cigars than most smokers in that I welcome them. Did I really just say that? Yes, yes I did. The bad cigars that I have smoked really made me appreciate the good ones. I made notes on those that were less than pleasant just like I would a good cigar. I noted the reasons, in detail, that I considered it to be bad. Why all the detail and trouble on a cigar I will probably never smoke again? I note the wrapper and ,when available, any blend information I can find. I do this so if I run across another cigar that is new to me I will be able to compare the two if they are similar. I don't just want to discard a cigar, I want to better understand why I found the smoking experience to be less than pleasurable. I do agree with most smokers that if you want to mature your palate, it is best to stay away from "herfdogs" and "dog rockets" when you can. At the same time each palate is different and your experience with a cigar may differ from someone else you know. I read a review once that said a Ron Mexico cigar, if aged 2 years, would rival an Opus X. If you have seen my review on the Ron Mexico then you know I didn't finish the cigar. I have one in the humidor that is a few months shy of it's 2 year mark and, to be honest, I will smoke it. I hate to call anyone's cigar a "dog rocket", I have heard from owners of cigar companies about the time and effort that goes into developing a cigar. I do agree that not all cigars are created equal. Some are brand lines created by the major retail outlets as cheap "exclusive" offerings. With some exceptions, most of those I have tried have been lackluster and a few down right nasty. I've also learned that just because it's a 2-3 dollar stick doesn't mean it's a bad smoke. I have a few smoking friends that turn their nose up to any stick below 8 bucks. "It's got to be garbage for them to have to sell it for that price" I have smoked 2-4 dollar sticks with more depth, flavor, and over all enjoyment than some of the 10+ dollar sticks I have smoked. I don't judge a cigar based on it's price point or it's band. It's true that band catches my eye before anything else but I don't smoke the band. If the band is beautiful and the cigar is flavorless or grotesque I won't be buying them again. I've learned not to judge a cigar by it's wrapper either. When I first started smoking, the people I asked for advice told me to stick with Connecticut wrapped sticks. I wasn't new to nicotine or smoking just to cigars. I found a lot of them to be too mild and most to be rather flavorless and it almost turned me off to cigars entirely. I have since found some great smokes with Conny wrappers. My best advice to the cigar newbie is to try as many different cigars as you can. Mix it up and try different strengths, wrappers, and blends. I highly recommend samplers because you usually get one or two of each stick in the pack. If you do like I did and try to buy larger quantities, you will probably end up with a stash you're not very excited to smoke. I have my "go to" cigars but I still believe that variety is the spice of life and enjoy exploring the new blends and brands. Cigar smoking should be an enjoyable journey through flavors and aromas. So kick back, light one up, and enjoy the ride.