Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thank you for smoking (and listening)

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of conducting a "Cigars 101" discussion group at the Famous Smoke Shop Retail Store here in Easton, PA. It was a real treat for me, but more importantly, I want to thank everyone who showed up for participating. It was also nice to see some new faces in the store.

Although we had some yummy Royal Jamaica Gold Belicosos to hand out, the first thing I asked everyone to do was choose a cigar that they would really like to try. Some took advantage of the Royal Jamaica Golds, some had brought their own, and some made a purchase. My cigar of choice was a Perdomo Habano Maduro Toro, and I was pleased to see one of the guests follow suit by getting one for himself. Perdomo cigars won the day, too. There were several Habanos, and another guest brought a Perdomo Lot 23 Connecticut.

I also took a show of hands to see if the participants tasted the flavors described as what I call "Cigar Aficionado speak" when they smoke, and most of them said they did.

Here are some of the other things that came out of the discussion: First, it was unanimous that we all smoke premium cigars to relax. Secondly, we learned that cigars really do taste better when you don't touch the flame to the foot when lighting-up. We also agreed that removing the cellos from your cigar improves the aging process.

Another topic that came up was relighting. If you have to relight a third time, you're pushing your luck on the cigar keeping its flavor. Moreover, once the cigar starts to taste funky, put it out. It's really not worth trying to suck every penny out of your purchase if the cigar tastes crappy.

With regard to cigar cutters, the consensus was that punch cutters can inhibit the flavor of a cigar, and may even cause some cigars to burst since the smoke doesn't flow as freely through the head.

Finally, we learned that there are so many good quality cigars available to choose from, you don't have to spend a lot of moolah to get an enjoyable cigar.

So, keeping in mind that smoking premium cigars is entirely subjective, there's always something new you can learn regardless of how much experience you have.

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