Due to temporary schedule conflicts, don’t have a review for you this week, but I’m not going to leave you hanging. I considered posting another Brian’s The Week In Smoke, but I felt like doing something different. Since Jerry ripped off the Week In Smoke concept, I figure it’s only fair I hijack one of his. But he is a man of few ideas, so that pretty much just leaves his “Three Things” post. (Which he actually stole from someone else, but for the sake of this post, let’s pretend he did something original.) Now that I’ve worked in a few satisfying jabs at the pint-sized dude with the pointy head, I give you the three things I know about cigars.
Haters gonna hate.
It’s easy to get drawn into a debate with someone who’s not open to another point of view, no matter how well you argue the point. Whether it be conceiving of a world where cigars taste like something other than smoke, or accepting that consenting adults should be allowed to enjoy fine tobacco in an establishment that welcomes it. As much as I think it’s a stupid saying, there is a shining bling of wisdom to “haters gonna hate”. It’s a dismissal of an unnecessary and unwinnable battle, and liberation to return your attention to what matters: that fine roll of premium tobacco in your hand. Not everyone who disagrees with you is biased or being irrational, of course, but when you encounter someone who is, just let it roll past you like a plume of aromatic smoke.
Whatever, just be consistent about it.
People new to cigars often ask what the ideal humidity is for their humidor. I generally answer that it depends on the palate and the cigar, but in most cases I find that a humidity a little under 70% results in the best smoking experiences for me. But the real answer is 65%, 75% or any number in between, it doesn’t matter, so long as you maintain a consistent, stable environment. Inconsistency accounts for many of the burn and flavor problems people encounter, like tunneling, uneven burns and wrapper splits. A cigar isn’t like a digital hygrometer, it takes some time for all the tobacco in that stick to reach a consistent humidity. Pick a number and stick with it.
Cigars, the breakfast of champions.
Traditionally, cigars fit into the later part of the day with the after dinner drink. So what I’m about to tell you will come across as heresy to some. (And I’ll refer them to the part of Jerry’s Three Things that discusses breaking the rules.) If you really want to drink in the flavor and nuance of that cigar, light it up first thing in the day. Studies have found that your senses are at their sharpest in the morning, and gradually dull as the day passes. Like many people these days, your palate works long hours, and by the end of the day, it’s a little tired. It’ll still get the job done, but just not as well it does immediately after a night’s rest. (Of course, all bets are off if your after dinner drink is followed by five more the night before.) And if you smoke a lot of full-bodied powerhouse puros, you might consider trying it something a little milder. Cigars you find a little to mellow for that evening scotch may surprise you with a morning coffee.