Fine hand rolled cigars, what a fantastic tradition and work of art. There is something captivating about leaves of a plant, rolled into a shape then wrapped in delicate outer leaves and aged? Is it merely the simple act of placing a cigar in ones mouth and lighting up as habit like a typical cigarette? To the unlearned about the ecstasy of an age old class of smoking pleasure this may seem the case but it is oh so far from it.
Cigars themselves may to the novice seem like a glorified over priced status symbol that either the rich or those who are posers use as a way of saying “look who I am” but my how wrong they are.
Christopher Columbus wrote in his captains log that the natives of San Salvador smoked the leaves of a local plant. Rodrigo de Xeres, who was a lieutenant with the expedition, was the first known European to smoke the Indian’s cigar. The natives in South and Central America did not smoke cigars as we know them, as they were wrapped in corn husks, palm leaves and other material. The Spanish people are given credit for creating the cigar industry. The natives called it “Ciq-Sigan” and the Spanish word “Cigarro” came from this. The cigar from its humble beginnings has grown in the ages to become one of the sweetest creations around. From the glory days of the great Cuban cigars to the fantastic products of Honduras, Nicaragua and other wonderful places of splendid growing climates. When you look today at all the companies that produce and sell cigars, you wonder how they can constantly come up with new ideas that have not already been done, seeing that the history of cigars dates back so far. But we must remember that we are talking about an ever changing industry, different year crops and breeds of plants, and fantastically talented blenders that have minds of genius.
I will not take time nor space to name all the companies but you must remember that there are those companies who have stood the test of time and whose products are consistently amazing, with their focus not being as much on profit even though that is the objective but on producing the finest cigars the world has seen. It is an ever fascinating thing that some produce sub par products, due to rushing production or inadequate blends, that wind up in the specials and cheap bins because the cigars never come up to those magical ratings that we all look at and pay attention to, while at the same time the ones that stand over the years garnishing ratings from the 80’s to the high 90’s are still the top groups in the industry. What are the others missing? Sometimes a new brand comes along that has a blend that is fantastic and is a grand success.
It takes time, talent and the love of the leaf to make a lasting impression on a cigar world that is inundated with a wide choice and variety that one can find out there. It takes companies that have a long and endearing history, a family tradition and the source of the product running in their veins. It takes the inner knowledge that no matter what price you put on it, no matter how fancy a band, no matter how heavy you advertise, if the cigar itself cannot stand to the taste of those wonderful pleasure seeking coinsures with taste buds that can detect anything from cedar, earth, coffee, and a myriad of other flavors then it will meander its way to the two fer bin.
Even though you can read hundreds of reviews, photos and articles on every cigar out there, always remember those are the opinions of one person. While reviews are a great guideline and should be read to see what the makeup and profile of a stick may be, the final choice is up to one person and their taste, and that’s you.
The pleasure of a cigar is in the craftsmanship of the creation, its construction, its makeup, its blending and the aroma produced. When you light up a fine cigar, you feel the joy that courses through your mind, releasing you from the cares of this world and transporting you to a place that lets you escape even if for an hour or two to a place of serenity and peace. You draw in the bounty of smoke that coats the pallet, igniting the sinuses and the thoughts that once invaded your consciousness disappear into a foggy after thought as the smoke dances in front of you like a dancer performing an erotic compilation of enticing moves that captivate your eyes not letting you go. As each puff is done, the flavors ever changing bringing your senses to a point of sheer bliss. This truly is the joy that only a fine cigar created by talented craftsman who take much pride in their work can produce. Every time you buy a cigar, think of what it took to make it, appreciate the craft, and enjoy the art of smoking a grand cigar.
Walk into a cigar shop, breath in deeply of the aromas that abound inside. Look around at box after box of wonderful cigars. As you see them in the box, remember they had a long journey to get there. Once you select one and light it, be glad that there are those dedicated people that you don’t see who planted, grew, harvested, aged and stored, crafted, blended, watched over and rolled what you now have in your hand. Enjoy they great world of cigars.