Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Gentlemen, you may smoke."

I was turned on to cigars as a young man. I really don't recall what it was that originally attracted me to them. Various members of my family had smoked cigarettes, but I never was enticed. In fact, I have had asthma all my life. Even though I do not recall what the trigger was for my fascination with cigars, I have always enjoyed the ritual and relaxation of cigar smoking.

Cigar smoking is an art form. Of course, anyone who has even the slightest bit of knowledge about cigars knows of Cigar Aficionado (and it is a great place to acquire knowledge about cigars); but, my favorite place to go bone up on new manufacturers and blends is at Bryan Glynn's Mr. Glynn always does a fantastic job of reviewing everything in the cigar world. Also, Mr. Glynn is easily accessible and quick to respond to any questions that you throw at him. He has an impeccable pallet. I have smoked a lot of the same cigars that Mr. Glynn has reviewed, and I can never come close to pulling out the tasting notes that he can. I have never cared that much about being able to note all the subtle nuances in cigar flavors (or, for that matter, wine and other things of like kind). I am kind of like the eldest Padron, in that, he never goes into much detail when describing a great cigar, simply stating that a cigar is either a "good cigar" or a "bad cigar." The Padron's make one of the best cigars out there, if not, arguably, THE best.

Along with the Padron series, I like: Rocky Patel, Fuente (who makes the Opus X), Padilla (mostly the higher end brands), God of Fire, and the My Father blends, just to name a few. The most recent Cigar of the Year, from Cigar Aficionado, is one that I really want to try: the Cohiba Behike BHK 52. It looks absolutely beautiful and seems to meet the tasting notes that I really enjoy in a more mild cigar, as I tend to regularly go for the more peppery, full-bodied sticks. However, in part due to the trade embargo with Cuba and in part due to winning Cigar of the Year for 2010, the Cohiba Behike BHK 52 is not only illegal in America but extremely pricey. Google it.

While we are talking price, of course, everyone wants to know which cigar is the most expensive cigar in the world. Well, that kind of depends. Gurkha His Majesty Reserve Churchill is listed upwards of $12,000 for a box of 20. As to exclusivity, there are various places that sell vintage cigars dating back almost 100 years. So, it depends on how you define expense. If you are looking for a place to find a deal, is a great place to go and bid on a full range of cigars and cigar accessories. The Leon Jimenes 300 is a great, inexpensive smoke. It was supposed to be one of the higher priced cigars when it was first released not so long ago, but, for various reasons has fallen to quite affordable prices.

For a true gentleman, there is nothing quite like the relaxing side effects of a smooth bourbon whiskey and nice cigar. Cheers!

For more on the Cohibe Behike BHK 52:

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