If you’ve been cruising the cigar blogs in the past week or two, you’ve probably noticed a lot of top five or ten lists recounting the finest smokes of the previous year. Well this list is a little different. Instead of focusing on the quality of the cigar by itself, I keep finding myself thinking about my 2007 smoking experiences as a whole. While a cigar I smoked in a quiet evening at home may have easily nailed a top five spot, I keep recalling how much more I enjoyed smoking another lesser smoke in a more exciting environment or with good friends.
So with no further ado, here’s my favorite five stogie experiences of the past year, counting down to number one.
5.) Cohiba Pyramide on the long car ride home. I’m a horrible golfer, and I’m not too proud to admit it. In spite of being possibly the world’s worst golfer, the anti-Tiger Woods, a couple of times a year I hit the course with a couple of other guys. After countless hours of searching the rough for my golf ball, embarrassing the other players with my patented 10-putt, and developing a deep red sun burn I settled in for about an hour and a half drive home. For the drive I lit up a Cuban Cohiba Pyramide I was given by a friend. And let me tell you, that was the best drive I’ve had in a long time. The cigar was delicious and gave me a mild, but very pleasant buzz for the ride home.
4.) That first Oliva Serie V with Jose Oliva and crew. As part of the launch of the phenomenally good Serie V, Jose Oliva himself went on tour with his cigar reps doing events all across the country. The local event was a big deal, and herfers were out in droves. It was a crazy, smoky, delicious evening, and Jose Oliva is very cool guy. And if this list were just about the cigars, the Serie V would still be on it, possibly at the top.
3.) CAO Sopranos Associate, good and bad, on the Honeymoon. I lit up my first overlooking the Pacific ocean on a peaceful evening leading up to the wedding and thoroughly enjoyed it. A day or two later a group of friends and I lit them up again, and found them to be incredibly lackluster. But the evening was anything but. The boys and I crawled some of my favorite haunts of my home town and had a great time. So while that second smoke didn’t live up to my previously set expectations, the evening did.
2.) Numerous Smokes at RTDA. The whole experience of RTDA/IPCPR was fantastic, and if you have a change to go, you definitely should. I couldn’t tell you how many cigars I smoked while I was there, but what makes this experience rank highly in my list is all the great people I got to herf with. I don’t just mean the big names in cigar manufacturing, I mean people like Cigar Jack (who will make an appearance in the next YQMA), Dog Watch Dale, Stogie and TX_Tuff from CigarLive (great forum, consider joining if you haven’t!) and Heather and crew from Fumee World. Ironically, I also met some local retailers at the show, most notably, Jim Luftman of Blue Havana II and Sondra from Ash Cigar. Again, it was an incredible experience.
1.) CAO America at Mount Rushmore. As part of a cross country road trip last year, we planned to stop by Mount Rushmore. And in my preparation for the trip, I packed a couple of CAO Americas in my travel humidor to smoke along the way. It probably seems obvious now, but I hadn’t actually planned to smoke them at Mount Rushmore, but as we were driving the winding badland roads to get there, it struck me that it was the perfect place to light them up. But there was a snag. The grounds around the monument were 100% non-smoking, but that didn’t stop my friend and I from posing for a photo in front of the monument with the cigars hanging out of our mouths. (See picture above.) We actually wound up smoking them driving across South Dakota, but we thoroughly enjoyed them, and our visit to such an incredible landmark.