Earlier this month I received a private message on YouTube from a fellow named Zach. Zach wanted to know what my first premium, hand-rolled cigar was and when I smoked it. This is a story I have told before on an episode of Your Questions, My Answers, at one time or another, but I thought a typed version would be nice to have as well.
It all started around five years ago. I went to work for a company that made custom cabinets and furniture. While there I met a guy named Jon, who I ended up becoming good friends with. From time to time I would be invited to Jon’s house for functions with close friends and family. At each of these functions, Jon and his father in-law would head out onto the deck and have a cigar.
At this point in time I was not interested in cigars but thought that the idea of spending time with the people you are close with, and enjoying something you both enjoy was really cool. This was about the only time Jon smoked cigars, which changed as time went by.
About a year went by and Jon decided he wanted to start his own company and be his own boss. He began doing Custom Woodwork and Finish Carpentry when he got a job installing some sort window surround for a widow. After the job was done they got to talking and she asked if he smoked cigars.
Jon told her yes and they got to talking about her late husband, who was a huge cigar buff before he passed away. As it turns out, this woman’s late husband had thousands of cigars in several humidors around the house that she wanted to give to someone that would enjoy them.
Jon loaded up the cigars and headed home. At some point that evening I received a phone call and was told I had to come check something out. So I hopped in my car and took the ride over to Jon’s place. When I arrived Jon immediately started showing off his new cigar collection like a kid with a brand new toy on Christmas day.
At this point I became a cigar smoker by default because Jon wanted someone to share the wealth with and needed a more regular smoking buddy. We grabbed a couple of cigars from the collection and got to lighting up. At the time I didn’t have a clue what I was smoking but I knew it had to be good because it had the word “Habana” printed on the band. It turns out that my very first premium cigar was a Partagas Serie D No. 4.
That night I headed home with a gallon sized ziplock bad full of cigars to smoke. Many of my newly gifted cigars were Habanos and at the time I didn’t have a clue what I was turning into ash. From what I understand this gifted collection consisted of a wide variety of cigars that were picked up over a wide range of dates, the oldest supposedly being pre-embargo. While this was never confirmed, it sure felt great while it lasted.
Many of these cigars were tucked away in humidors that sat dormant for some time. Some cigars were in decent shape while others were bone dry. We did our best to slowly revive the ones that were dry and happily smoked those in good condition. Eventually the supply began to dwindle and I wanted to continue my new found hobby by supplementing my gifted sticks with mail order cigars.
I got to ordering five-packs on the JR Cigars website and started to dive into the wide world of cigar information as well. As I began to learn, my palate began to take shape and I started to understand what it was that I enjoyed about cigars. As more and more time passed, my hobby began to transform into something much more. A few years later and here I am.
Over the years my friend Jon has enjoyed his fair share of cigars, but never took it to the extreme that I did, but we have always made some time to hang out and enjoy a cigar. Its funny how when you look back on things, you can see they never really change. The last time I was over Jon’s for a family function, he and his father snuck out onto the deck and enjoyed a cigar. The only real difference between now and then is that another cigar smoker has been invited out onto the deck to share in the good times.
What about you, care to share your cigar story?
16 thoughts on “What and When: The Walt White Story”
Still reading, but you need to check some of these words Walt lol, you used “bye” for bye, and capitalized Cigar in a few places. Just nit picking.
Walt, just got done reading. That was a really great story, a very enjoyable read, and just gave me a very warm feeling sitting here at 2AM reading it, haha. Wow the joys of cigars.
My cigar story…probably started with getting a JR Cigar magazine in the mail one day shortly after I turned 18. At the time I had completely forgotten that cigars existed, and how much I had enjoyed the aroma. So I was flipping through pages while on the pooper one day (haha yeah), and decided to go online to read more. After finding various videos about cigars, I stumbled onto the stogiereview.com’s Youtube videos, then later onto this website itself. And I’m still here, haha great place.
So, after getting acquainted with the basics, I eventually went to my local shop and asked for some beginner’s cigars at a price point of about $3. The owner showed me National Brands and some other stuff, so I tried that. The first few experiences were DISGUSTING to be honest. I think the sticks I had were either dry or just low end cigars. Nevertheless, I pressed on to try better cigars after I read reviews here. The first cigar that really turned me onto cigars was the CAO Gold. It was smooth, while being kinda creamy and not harsh. That was pretty good, then the cigar that REALLY threw me into the mix was the Oliva Serie G Maduro, one of my favorite still!
And that’s my story 🙂
I began smoking cigars recently. This past New Years my girlfriend and her mother took a vacation to The Dominican Republic. As a gift, her mother bought me and assorted box of Dominican and Cuban cigars. They’re Canadian and weren’t aware of embargo laws, but managed to smuggle them back unbeknownst to them. I took to cigars immediately and became immersed in them. Meanwhile, my girlfriend began to hate the fact that I was spending so much time wrapped up in my new hobby that we began to fight a lot. Long story short, she is know longer my girlfriend, but I still have my cigars!!!!
PS. I still think I made the right decision!
Back in 2000, the wife and I took a trip to Portugal. One night after dinner, we headed off to watch a bullfight. While sitting there, the guy sitting behind me was smoking what I thought were cigarettes. They smelled too good to be cigarettes. After 30 minutes or so, I turned to him and asked what he was smoking. He held up a 5 pack of Cohiba and offered one to me. I took the cigar home and that night, I smoked my first cuban. It wasnt bad but what the hell did I know back then. A few days later, I visited Lisbon and there I bought a cutter and a lighter and a few cigars. As soon as I hit US soil, I bought my first humidor and some real crappy cigars. Fast forward 8 years….and I here I sit on vacation in Portugal once again only this time, I’m the guy sitting back watching a bullfight and enjoying a great cigar.
When i was around 27, i worked for a company whose President kind of adopted me. When he was in town or i was at headquarters he always had a cigar for me for the times that we hung out together.
Little did i know at the time but he was giving me Cuban Punch, Monte Cristo’s and his favorite Cohiba. I didn’t know what i was doing, but i know i liked it and equated it with special times and feelings. Dick has a fatal heart attack in 2003 a year or so after i left his company, but i would from time to time still go buy some sticks when i wanted to treat myself.
Flash forward several more years and you find me discovering a cigar shop in the neighborhood where i now work. A Davidoff rep was there visiting and giving out samples. Luckily i smoked them while at the shop and got to hear comments of enjoyment from the rep and owner and how to properly get all the flavors, which i had only accidentially done if anything.
I told the men of all the Cubans i have wasted and not enjoyed properly and athey just laughed and were really cool about. I got a crash course and was sent home with some extra stuff and the interest was sparked.
Since then i have been gifted an old humidor and have a little cheap one from a cigar giveaway, but i do have @ 80 good cigars now and want to start investing in the proper equipment now. As you guys know this love isn’t inexpensive.
My wife says that when i am on the patio smoking cigars she feels like she can talk about anything with me i am so relaxed. She loves my hobby, but still won’t allow smoking in the house, so if any of you wily vets have any foolproof methods of smoking inside whithout getting the carpet, upholstery and every other fabric smelling like cigars, i would be eternally grateful.
Worst case scenario is i have been given the greenlight for an HD TV for outside for when i smoke if the inside thing never works out!
Thanks for listening,
About one and 1/2 years ago, began smoking cigars with my son on our deck in Mexico. We had banged heads for years and were not getting along very well, so, I bought a box of TeAmo cigars (not even sure what they were then) at Costco in Ensenada, Mx and decided to share one or two with my son. Well, since that first cigar on the deck that evening almost two years ago, we have been in constant contact for almost all that time. He has phoned me almost daily because we both live on different coasts and the relationship has progressed incredibly well. I finally got my son back and he got his dad…not bad a trade for a box of cigars and some quality time smoking them.
Thanks for catching that. I wrote this late last night while holding one eye open to see the computer screen. I was putting off a post all day and decided to try and get it done last minute rather than posting mid day.
I found a bunch of mistakes, next time I’ll proof read while a little more awake. Thanks for catching all of that.
My wife says the same thing. If I am outside smoking a cigar she will go on and on about her day, things she needs to do, etc., and I don’t mind one bit.
The stories have been great so far. Keep them coming!
Hey Walt fantastic story and your right it is funny how you look back and things don’t seem to change very much. Well I wanted to say that I am very thankful that you took your time to answer my question. You should have seen my eyes light up when I saw my name haha.
The first cigar I ever smoked was a Consegera I believe from JR Cigars. I am new at this so I have had one of those and a Camacho Corojo which I had a lot of problems with and didn’t like at all but i really wish i had cigars more readily available because I have watched almost all your videos and read a ton of your stories and I want to fill my knowledge of cigars with more than just words I feel a passion building!
NIce idea Walt…maybe Jerry and Brian will do the same soon. My only suggestion is that this could’ve been a video. I mean since you did get the question via YouTube and the video could’ve been re-purposed later to use under “About Us”.
Great story Walt. The one thing I really love about Stogiereview is that it feels like good friends enjoying and sharing. While we all have different cigar tastes, we all share a passion for them!!! The first video I saw was Jerry and I continue to enjoy his passion and way of speeking like we are in the same room goofing off. It’s the personality of this site that makes it excel for me.
Thanks so much for your passion, time and willingness to enjoy a good smoke and share experiences with us 🙂
Also, I love the additional content you all are putting on the site. News, reviews of all types, turds to expensive unobtainiums and interviews!!! Great stuff. Please keep smoking the cheap cigars and reviewing them along with the expensive premiums. I like to hear your thoughts on all types and varieties!
I agree with Kirk. This should be this weeks special, and should go into the About Us section.
I really agree with Dave, keep it up guys 🙂
My first cigar was around August 2005, I was married to my first wife at the time; she brought home a cigar for me after a night out with the girls. It was a Cojimar rum, I think it was either a corona or robusto size. I remember really enjoying the buzz more than the flavors. I smoked around half of it then put the other half away for the next night. I know YUCK! Shortly after that I visited a smoke shop at the local open mall, bought a few sticks (highly price-gouged) and went home to enjoy them. I later placed an order with Cuban Crafters and got my first humidor along with a selection of cigars (the JL Salazars really gave me a buzz). On November 2005 I was seperated, and May 2006 divorced. Since then I have smoked several cigars, learned how to truly taste and savor them, and also married a woman who also enjoys cigars as much as I do. I’ve been to this site almost daily; reading/viewing past reviews and articles, but this is my first post. Thank you guys-Jerry (you go pinoy!), Walt, Brian and everyone else here at Stogiereview.com for all the entertainment and advice you have provided.
Wow. Great stories. My story is a bit simpler. My first cigar was almost my last cigar. My wife had bought me a CI cigar sampler with humidor (90 rated sampler) for father’s day. I didn’t smoke at the time, but her uncle told her that would be a good gift. It was. I couldn’t wait to try my first premium cigar. Of course, the first cigar I picked was a Joya de Nicaragua Antano. I decided to smoke this cigar late morning before lunch. As the frog says, It’s not easy being green. I vowed that I would never smoke again. I felt like my head was going to explode. Well, I later found out from my wife that I wasn’t supposed to smoke that one first. Of course, that information would have been helpful before I smoked that strongest cigar in the world. I decided to give it another try. The sampler also had a couple Casa Torano which I really enjoyed. So, I’m glad I didn’t let one bad experience keep me from this wonderful pastime.
My cigar voyage started for me during high school when my friends and I would to go to the local convenient store and buy Swishers or some Cognac infused rubbish to smoke while the parents were out of town. That was back in ’99 or so. Most of those guys don’t smoke anymore, but I have continued to enjoy cigars as often as I can!
Great story Walt!
Cool insight Walt!
My story is simple… Brother in law smokes Macanudo Vintage’s almost exclusively. Every now and then, I’d smoke one with him. They were very enjoyable to a complete noob. Mild and not complex.
Then I ran in to Ed, who introduced me to many, many more (and better) cigars.