The Stogie Guy


A word on etiquette
October 18, 2016, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

You’re smoking a cigar in a bar full of cigarette smokers and one person singles you out about the disgusting habit of cigars and how they offend them. What do you do? Get defensive? Put you cigar out? Walk outside? Push some logic?

This situation has happened to me in the past. 5-6 years ago at my local watering hole on the outskirts of Philly, I was standing in the back of the bar puffing on a stogie and enjoying a pint (or 10) and a woman starts waving her hands in the air and starts complaining about the cigar smoke. Mind you, the whole room was filled with chain smoking cigarette people. She proceeds to tell me how offensive my smoking is to her. What’s a cigar loving boy to do? 
Well, I proceeded to point out the low hanging cloud of cigarette smoke and told her that she shouldn’t be in a smoke friendly bar. I said this calmly and as nicely as I could but she took umbridge.

So, this being said, what’s some etiquette on cigar smoking? Well, glad you asked dear reader! Now, there are preset rules out there written by some greats as Zino Davidoff and it outlines some great points of etiquette but to me, some of it is outdated. So here are some points of etiquette I’ve adopted and try to live by when smoking:

  1. Smoke outdoors unless in a cigar lounge, private residence or in a cigar friendly bar (after checking with the bartender or server)
  2. If the male of the house says you can smoke indoors, always check with the lady of the house! She’s the one who usually has to deal with the smell the next day.
  3. Never stub out a cigar, let it go out naturally. It’ll go out in 5 minutes or so and are meant to go out and be relit. They aren’t cigarettes and have materials added to keep them lit.
  4. When outside among people, throw out a general “any care if I light up?”. If there’s no objections, light up. If there are, walk away, you’re better off without haters in your life.
  5. Sharing a cigar is a iffy prospect. My girl will take a taste of my cigar but that’s about it. She says I add to much saliva to the end. So, better not to offer and it’s totally ok to say no if asked.
  6. If given a cigar, smoke the whole thing if you’re in the givers presence. Unless it’s completely terrible and at that point let the cigar go out and tell them that you want to save the rest for later. A true cigar guy will know that’s a valid thing to do.
  7. When lighting someone else’s cigar for them, tell them when it’s lit and not when they think it’s lit. More often than not they’ll burn the cigar.
  8. Lighters are for sharing, but never lose track of yours. People have sticky fingers and lighter envy.
  9. Friends don’t let friends smoke machine rolled cigars. They’re made for weed not enjoyment.
  10. Cigars leave a scent on you, your significant other should be aware before you light up and they should be ok with it.
  11. If someone walks into your group circle and you’re already smoking it is not your fault if they are offended. They knew what they were getting into before walking into your sphere of awesomeness.
  12. Smoke a cigar to any length. Traditional guidelines will say to let the cigar die after halfway through. I say relight as you see fit. Though I generally stop relighting once I start feeling the actual heat in my mouth.
  13. Hold your cigar any which way it feels comfortable. Hold it like a joint if that’s your deal. The hold of a cigar does not effect the flavor. Though I will say this that rotating it while not puffing on it does help stop canoeing.
  14. Don’t bash another’s choice in smoke. You can comment on it’s characteristics or lack there of. But never bash someone for what they smoke. You don’t know their palette, money constraints or overall situation that has led them to stogie that you don’t approve of.
  15. Don’t be snooty about cigars, bring your nose down and enjoy the cigar. Gone are the days of aristocratic smoking, let them go. I’ve seen millionaires smoke $5 cigars and I’ve seen day laborers buying Ashton VSG’s. Each to their own.

Cigars are meant to be a experience and holding by dogmatic rules lessens the pure joy of it. Common curtesy aside, do whatever feels natural and comfortable to you. My list is just what I do and what I’ve observed, and also how I’d like fellow smokers to treat me.

I leave you with the king of cigar smoking, Rob Perlman

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You trying to say something with that large guage cigar?
October 6, 2016, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Why smoke a super thick cigar? Are people trying to make a point? Do they have a fetish issue that’s unresolved? Do they just need as much nicotine at one time as humanly possible???? Nay, I say. Well maybe some guys are like that but there are some very good reasons for smoking a cigar on the larger end of the spectrum. 

I first tried a larger ring guage when Oliva first premiered the Nub. I saw these tiny but thick cigars and asked my cigar proveyer (Dave) “what the fuck are these? Who the hell is going to smoke a quarter of a cigar?”. He stopped me there with my stupidity and laid some knowledge on me. Dave told me “thicker cigars will burn cooler since they have more area to burn, thus giving you less mouth burn and thus allowing you to smoke a cigar down to the “nub”.” So I totally just made Dave sound more elequent than he is but the same message. 

the Camaroon is my fav


So these wide cigars burn cooler? Yes, and they also burn slower. So a tiny, thick cigar like the Nub can last you 40 minutes or more. So now imagine a full size cigar with a 60 ring guage??? Insanity! You’d be smoking that for hours. And some people do and some company’s make them. Some companies exclusively only make giant sized cigars (cough, Boheimian, cough) while others now provide their time tested blends in larger sizes (yeah, I’m looking at you, C.A.O. and your delicious Flathead). 

its a monster Maduro!


So to end this, don’t be scared to try a large ring guage. You’re going to be poised to drop some knowledge of science on people when they build up the courage to ask you about your impressive girthy cigar. 



A few for the road
April 13, 2016, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I stopped into my local shop just the other day and picked up these three beauties:   

What you see there (from left to right) are the C.A.O. Pilón, the C.A.O. Flathead V660 Carb, and finally the Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maduro. Try saying that last one three times fast!

I’ve have the Flathead before and it’s a damn tasty stick, the Pilón is new to me and I’ve seen it all over CI’s website and wanted a taste, finally the Perdomo was a recommendation from my boy at the shop. I asked him for a medium bodied Maduro, which is out of my wheel house since I generally stick away from Maduros. But lately I’ve been lured by the promise of “just because it’s a Maduro does not mean it’s super heavy”. And I have to say the Flathead started me down this path and the Perdomo is keeping me on this open mindedness for Maduros. 

Me and Perdomo go waaaaaaay back. Back to simplier days when one of my best friends opened a cigar shop of his own (to this day there hasn’t been a lounge to rival it) about 8 years ago and held a Perdomo event there. I was a little flush with money and decided to buy a box of Perdomo Habanos Corojos which also came with a table top lighter (still have it somewhere). I smoked the hell out of that box and another box after that. But somewhere later I lost my taste for that brand and haven’t touched them since. So now here I am with a new Perdomo to me that was recommended by someone I trust. What’s a boy to do?

I smoked it, loved it, enjoyed it! I couldn’t believe the flavor and quality. It was smooth, it had a beautiful white ash and a top quality build! This is definitely a cigar to try that doesn’t kill you in power. 



Ya know what sucks?
March 9, 2016, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Having a chest and head cold while its 70 degrees out! Prime stogie weather and I’m down for the count.



I’m mobile!
February 27, 2016, 11:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Insert evil laughter!



Know your cigar!
August 10, 2015, 1:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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Drew Estate Smoking Monk Hefeweizen Toro
August 6, 2015, 1:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ok, so I’m back from a brief (cough long ass…) hiatus. This time I’ve come back with something relatively new, Drew Estate’s Smoking Monk Hefeweizen! Now I know what some of you are thinking “Just another flavored cigar from DE…”, while you’re correct that they make a ton of those this one isn’t exactly what you expect. The Smoking Monk line is supposed to be paired with beer, hence the name Hefeweizen. There are currently five different kinds: Hefe, Imperial Stout, IPA, Porter and Triple Belgian. I’m a little pissed off that they didn’t release a Lager version, but really, how can you encapsulate the essence of the greatness of a Lager… Ok, back to the cigar. Currently they are only offered in the toro size (6.0″ x 54), which in my opinion is a good crowd pleaser size. I received mine as part of a five pack that I purchased on the cheap through Cigar International’s Jambalaya. So let’s take this cigar through it’s paces.

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Construction

So the hefeweizen is their light bodied, Connecticut shade offering. Upon inspection I can tell it’s wrapped decently and there’s just enough pinch on it to let me know it’s not overly humidified and not dried out. As with most Connecticut wrapped cigars you’ll notice that the wrapper can flake a bit, that’s mostly because it’s a thinner leaf than other types. Checking it out, I only noticed one spot where the wrapper had flaked but it was on the mouth side of the band and didn’t cause any problems for my experience. The binder and filler felt solid, unraveling was not an issue and the pull was right on the money for a light bodied cigar. So all in all this is a well made cigar. The band is quality and feels like it’s worth the price paid and not papery. I have an issue with adding bands onto the foot of any cigar. Generally speaking, the glue they use is too strong and ends up breaking the wrapper. I have smoked many a cigar that had cracks caused by this though the Smoking Monk did not have this problem. Luckily the glue was just strong enough to keep the band on the cigar without any breakage.

image3The Smoke

Now to the nitty gritty, the smoking experience! When I get a new cigar that I’ve never tried before I try to do a couple things to standardize my experience. I take my time with it, I inspect it, I smell it before I light it, I give it a straight cut and check out the cap to see if in the future I could punch cut the stogie, and finally I light it with stick matches. This way I can really get an understanding of the cigar itself and honestly, matches do the best job of lighting a cigar. Upon my first couple puffs I tasted a strong hint of coffee but not overpowering like a DE Java that is flavored to taste like coffee. This taste blended with other which I’m not going to even try to pick out but the important thing to take from this is that it all blended nicely. I’m not going to say it was perfect or the best I’ve ever had but it was enjoyable and throughout the whole cigar the blended taste of coffee and cigar never faltered. The pull was good, the smoke was full but not overpowering, and the cigar never needed a relight even though I was outside.

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Conclusion

Throughout the smoke I took care to examine the cigar for any cracks or flakes and was surprised to see neither. By the end of my time with this stogie I felt I had smoked just enough. I didn’t feel like I needed to light up another right away and I didn’t feel cigar stuffed. This would be a great cigar paired with a morning cup of coffee but I’m not sure if it would pair with a Hefeweizen beer. Lager is my favorite beer, Hefe’s are my 2nd fav. To me Hefeweizens are refreshing and go with a warm day outside like nothing else (except a ice cold Lager). But I can’t get over the hint of coffee in this cigar, like it’s a Java extra light (new product DE?) and I really felt I should have had a cup of go juice in my hand and not a beer. To me, this does not detract from the cigar itself, because for a light bodied I’d put this up against quite a few of the top Connecticut cigars on the market. In conclusion, try this stogie out, I still have 4 more and I definitely plan to get a tasty Hefeweizen to pair with it and see if they struck gold. Also, this stogie has showed me that Drew Estate is not just a one trick pony with their infused cigars but can make a stogie that’s solid, enjoyable and tasty.