Almost everyday someone asks me “what is your favorite cigar” or “are Cubans really the best” so I thought I would talk about cigars today. Cigars are on of my life’s greatest pleasures. I could go on for hours why cigars are so wonderful, but that is a discussion for another day. A while back I wrote about the 45 minute vacation and you should read it if you want some insight as to why cigars are so awesome. However today I am going to discuss cigars. To pick one cigar, as your favorite is very difficult, it’s like trying to pick one Sinatra song. It really can’t be done. So here are some guidelines as to purchasing the right cigar for the right time. I am going to start out with very broad definitions and try and put the lingo into laymen’s terms:
TYPE: There are basically two types of cigars:
1 – The Maduro – The Maduro cigar is a bold full body cigar, they are usually dark and very strong. If you are not an experienced cigar smoker I would not recommend a Maduro. I will smoke them on occasion, but not very often
2 – The Natural – A Natural can be light to medium body, they are usual lighter than a Maduro. I prefer Natural cigars.
SIZE: The flavor of a cigar is as much determined by the size, as it is the darkness of the tobacco used. You can have a cigar made with the same tobacco and the size will give you a variety of strength and flavor. The Ring Gauge is the thickness of the cigar. When you see ring size it means the circumference of the cigar measured in centimeters. For example a 50-ring gauge is 50cm circumference. A simple rule the thicker the cigar the stronger the cigar. The same holds true for length the longer the stronger. There are names for the sizes of cigars as follows:
1 – Corona – Typically 4” to 5” long with a ring gauge of about 42: A corona will take about 25 to 35 minutes to smoke. It’s a perfect cigar to smoke when you don’t have a long time to smoke or if you are smoking right before a meal. My two favorite corona’s are:
a: Montecristo #4 – Monty #4 is one of the best smokes you will ever have period. It is from Cuba so you need to be careful that you are getting the real thing.
b: Epoca “Breva” – Epoca is Nat Sherman’s original brand reborn. It’s a great cigar they are a blend of Nicaraguan (Cuba’s biggest rival) and Dominican grown seed tobaccos.
2 – Rubusto – Typically 4” to 5” long with a ring gauge of about 50 or 52 – rubusto’s are stronger than a corona, but take about the same time to smoke. I do not smoke rubusto’s so I am not comfortable recommending a Rubusto because I don’t smoke them.
3 – Toro – Typically 6” long with a ring gauge of about 50 or 54 – The Toro is one of my favorite cigars to smoke. It is about a 45 minute to an hour smoke. My favorite is the Padron Anniversary 1964 Natural (“Imperial”). It may be one of the best smokes.
4 – Torpedo – Typically 5 ½’ to 6” long with a ring gauge of 52 – My favorite size to smoke is the Torpedo. The Torpedo has a tapered end and when it is cut it should be cut on an angle, which will release more flavor as you smoke. I don’t know why this works but it does. My favorite Torpedo’s are (shown in order of preference):
a: Padron Anniversary 1964 Natural Torpedo. Other than two specialty cigars this is my favorite cigar. In my view it is a perfect smoke. By the way the two specialty smokes are Padron 1026 Serie 80 Anniversary Natural Perfecto and Padron Family Reserve Natural Torpedo. I am sure you notice a trend here. Yes In MY OPINION (I will discuss opinions later) Padron are the best and they are from Nicaragua,
b: Vegas Robina Unicos from Cuba, which is just a wonderful cigar. It is the favorite smoke of The Great Maury Cartine.
c: The Montecristo #2, most people will claim this is the greatest cigar you can buy. Cuba’s finest! In my view there is not a big difference with any of these cigars. They are special and should be shared with someone who is special
5 – Churchill – Typically 7” long with a ring gauge of 50 – 60. Like Rubusto’s I do not like Churchill’s they are too big, take too long to smoke and give me a headache. Therefore you are on your own selecting one of these monsters.
There are more sizes than described above, but this is a good start.
OCCASION: Whether you are on the golf course, celebrating with a friend or just relaxing in your backyard you need to smoke the right cigar for the right occasion.
1 – The Celebration Smoke – It doesn’t matter what you are celebrating could be the birth of a child, graduation, or just spending time with a Pally. Here is when you bring out your best smokes. Friday I shared a Monte #2 with my Pally Don. While anytime I spend with Don is special and we never take it for granted the fact that we were sharing this marvelous cigar just made that time better.
2 – the time alone cigar – time alone is a precious commodity and it should be enjoyed with a cigar. You should choose any cigar you want it’s your time spending how you like it.
3 – The Golf Smoke – You are on a golf course, which is an awesome thing, which should be treasured, however if you leave a $35 cigar half smoked on your golf cart and drive away and lose it you will be pissed. I am not saying smoke a crap cigar, life is too short for that. However there are some less expensive cigars to smoke on the golf course. Here is a list of a few:
a: Avo Classic
b: Arturo Fuente -858’s
c: Flor de Las Antillas
The most important thing about cigars is to enjoy them. Every person has there own personal taste. Your personal taste is the most important so smoke what you like and enjoy and if people tell you what you enjoy is not good tell them to F*&^ Off.
Lastly, people who may or not have your taste so they really don’t mean all that much and they should be used as a guide not as the bible do Cigar Ratings. The most important thing is to smoke and enjoy.