A Stogie To Do List For 2009

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A Stogie To Do List For 2009

It’s been a both an excellent and a horrible couple of cigar weeks for yours truly. As clock ticked away the final days and hours of 2008, I lit up some truly excellent cigars. I also spent around a week’s worth of time sans stogie as wrestled with a sinus infection, and now a chest cold. So when I could smoke, the holidays were great. When I couldn’t, I found Nyquil to be a passable stand-in for Jägermeister. And yes, this means I don’t have a review again this week.

Fortunately for me, and hopefully for you, I came across a fascinating newspaper article called For 2009, a To-Do List for Wine. As I read through it, a couple of things occurred to me. One, I really don’t know all that much about wine. And two, a list like this would be even better if it was about cigars. A cigar to do list would be a very interesting list indeed. And what better person than yours truly to create such a list? (Don’t answer that, it was purely rhetorical.)

So here’s the list your your smoking entertainment:

Herf. With Gusto. Don’t let this year pass you buy without planning (or at least attending) a big get-together centered around the enjoyment of fine cigars. Arrange a box pass for added fun. Bring a lot of cigars and trade, or just give ’em away. Herf virgins (Herfgin? Nevermind.) might be be surprised at how much fun they can be. Veterans eagerly await the next gathering. Oh yeah- don’t forget to smoke a ridiculous amount of cigars.

Visit a new shop and smoke a new smoke. Most people have a trusted local tobacconist, and that’s a good thing. But one time when you’re feeling adventurous, drive a few extra miles to that other shop you haven’t visited, buy a smoke you can’t get at your favorite B&M, sit down and socialize.

Cut your favorite every which-way but loose. You’ve got your favorite smoke, and your trusty cutter. Set that cutter down for a while, and experiment with some other cuts. The majority of people use some sort of guillotine, why not see what it’s like to burn your favorite with a V-cut, a punch or even a cigar knife? You might actually find that a different cut makes your favorite even better. And if not, now you know.

Burn something rare, old or irreplaceable. My recent adventure with tobacco beetles made me rethink my smoking habits. I had a number of special cigars hanging around waiting for some unspecified special occasion to be enjoyed. That occasion never seemed to arrive. Or if it did, I forgot to smoke the designated cigar. How tragic would it be to hold onto that special cigar only to have it savored instead by beetles? Or age so much that the flavor begins to diminish? In between malady episodes, I made a point to smoke some of those special stogies, and loved it.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t hold onto some top-notch smokes for special occasions, just that you should consider having a few more special occasions this year. Besides, given enough time, any cigar will become rare, old or irreplaceable.

Revisit an old friend. If you’ve been smoking a while, you’ve probably gone through several “favorite” cigars as your tastes have matured and changed. Just for kicks, pick up one of those old favorite smokes you haven’t smoked in a while, and see how it treats you.

If you haven’t been smoking quite as long, or just haven’t had all that many favorites, take a walk on the wild side. Light up that first cigar you ever smoked again. If you’re lucky, it was a Fuente or a Macanudo. Otherwise, take heart, Swishers probably come in more flavors now than they did when you started! (What’s a list like this without a dare and a little danger?)

Confront that menace. One thing I hear over and over again is that tastes change with time. I believe it. I’ve experienced it myself. And that’s why it’s worth lighting up a cigar you didn’t like last year, because there’s a chance you will this year.  Especially if your favorite smoke has changed recently, or you’ve really gotten into a different leaf.

Write a cigar review. If you’ve never taken notes on a cigar as you smoke it, try it out. Jot down thoughts on the flavors, the burn, the smoke and anything else that comes to mind. Heck, give it a rating, if you feel so inclined. You might find that you appreciate your cigar differently (dare I say more?) when you’re that focused on it.

Smoke one infused cigar. Or one real one, if you’re all about the flavored smokes. Sure you like it on your side of the tracks, but short adventure to the other side could actually be fun. If not, it will make you appreciate your smokes that much more. (And really, the Java isn’t that bad in moderation.)

Justify at least one purchase with the impending S-CHIP. It’s coming. We all know it. We just don’t know how badly it’s going to hurt when it arrives. For that reason, every cigar smoker should buy some stogies they badly want before S-CHIP rains on our parade. What makes this even easier is that at least one shop out there is running an S-CHIP clearance sale.

Get on the Stogie Review Fan Forum. Yeah, you knew a list like this was going to be a little self serving sooner or later. But if you think these ideas are interesting, I guarantee you’ll find even better in the forum!

Well, what do you think- Did I leave anything out? What would you add to this to do list for 2009?

enjoying cigars since 1997

12 thoughts on “A Stogie To Do List For 2009

  1. Thank you for the article. It’s not easy being creative when you are not feeling well…unless drugs are involved…but anywhoo… the only thing I would add is to take a new smoker under your wing. Introduce that cigar curious co worker or in law of yours to a few good smokes. Go out of your way to answer all those dumb questions you had way back when you were new to the sport, and help them save some face by teaching them the basics (ie…never snub out your stogie, don’t ash the smoke, how to light one, etc etc.)

    Also…remember that life is too short, and that everyone should consider taking a HERF getaway down to Key West in Early/late May to cigar city USA… do your part to stimulate the economy. If everyone sits home worrying about the economy, it becomes contagious…and soon it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Do your part as Americans.

  2. Thanks for the article. I do miss your reviews so get well soon. Another item for your list would be to ask your B&M for their “house cigar”. I had one yesterday (tobacconist gave me a free sample) and it was way more than passable; a will become my everday, non-thinking stick. It is handmade locally here in Tampa (J. Newman) and has Dom. filler with Nic. wrapper. Take care.

  3. Nice job Brian! This was a very well thought out article (thanks for the link to the wine article as well because I love wine). I will definitely try and do a couple of things on your list. More importantly, I love the idea of making that special purchase before SCHIP hits. I just have to convince the wife that this is a good idea. Do you do personalized calls to persuade wives?

    Hope you feel better soon.

  4. Excellent post. Lots of good advice here.

    One thing I’d like to do in 2009 is improve my ability to successfully marry cigars with beer, wine, and spirits. While there are a lot of rules of thumb, I think pairing is much more of an art than a science. Sounds like I have a lot of smoking and drinking to do!

  5. Brian, Great review as always! Sorry you are not fully recovered yet. And in line with one of your todo lists items. Drop me a line when you are better and have sometime. I am also in Atl and would like to sit and light one up with you.

  6. Thanks guys! Glad you enjoyed the post, and I am feeling a lot better now.

    Another one that occurred to me after I wrote this was finding a brand you’ve never tried (or tried very little of) and making a point to smoke one of every smoke they produce.

    You’re in luck, come hell or high water, I’ll be at the “Full Moon Herf” this Friday (1/9/09) at 5 Seasons on Roswell Road. (Details here). In fact, you really should get on the Fan Forum. We’ve got about 5 guys from the Atlanta area on board already!

  7. Well, I did a few of the things you have on the list. I ventured out and went to a new B&M called Havana CIgars, appearantly it is the largest humidor in AZ and surrounding states. I think today Arganese has an event there with that Vito guy from the Sopranos. Cool place, glad I left my comfort zone and checked it out!
    Also, almost every cigar I have had this year has been a new one I have never had before. Right now I am smoking an Arganese double wrap and it is great! Yesterday I tried a few brands from local B&M owners as well as a few other firsts. Trying to step out of my normal routines and try new things.
    I wish everyone else luck with the ‘to do’ list!

  8. That’s great thomas!

    I’m glad to hear this list is helping people mix it up a bit with their smoking experience. I find it’s always fun to check out a new shop, or a cigar event.

    My apologies if you made it to the herf, due to a planning screw up on my part, I wasn’t able to make it! (Really unhappy about that.) But do check out the forum, there will be more of these in the future.

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