Of course there are more reasons than five, there are probably as many reasons as there are cigar smokers. But while each personality and matching cigar is unique, there are similarities that we all share. That’s the beauty of our lifestyle, individuality and expression without the unnecessary baggage of needing to be edgy. Cigar smokers have it right, expression in relaxation, refinement in the everyday, individuality in genuine community. There’s no community quite like it. And while there are far more specific reasons to smoke cigars than the few here, the following are broad enough to encompass our lifestyle without limiting it. I hope you agree.
The list had to begin with tradition, what else could it begin with? It doesn’t take long to figure out that tradition holds a huge place in our culture, whether historical, generational, or celebratory. There is, of course, the rich history of cigars as a whole, with all the triumphs and pains that come along with it. Volumes could be written on the history of the cigar industry. It is that history, though, that lives on in the uniqueness of every hand-rolled cigar that we have the honor of smoking. The legacy in itself is incredible. There is also the tradition passed along from generation to generation, the father who makes it a point to smoke those very special sticks he’s been saving for his son’s eighteenth birthday, a right of passage ushering him into adulthood and the community, continuing the deep connection of cigar smoking and family, both in business and leisure. Examples like this are vast and occur daily and it is up to this generation to keep the tradition alive and free for the next.
One integral part of the tradition and freedom provided by cigars is celebration. A wedding, a child’s birth, that child’s entrance into adulthood, a business partnership, retirement, anything worth celebrating in this world is worth celebrating with a stogie in hand, because cigars are symbols of success and milestones in life. Like every cigar is unique, so are the milestones in ones life, and you don’t half-ass it. An accomplishment deserves to be celebrated and celebrated right, meaning: family, good friends, some quality liquor, and a delicious cigar for all. Cigars and celebrations go together like beer at a game, they’re nearly co-dependent and will remain so forever. To celebrate without a cigar wouldn’t be a proper celebration, so light up, drink up, relax and celebrate!
From the office, a stressful day, or even your home itself, our favorite sticks have a way of taking us away. The rich aroma, the distinctive flavor, the overall exotic nature – wrapped and blended into a cigar, can’t help but take us away, if even briefly, from our current state. For many of us, this is a large attraction to cigars. To sit in the back yard, draw in some smoke, mull over the flavor, the construction, how it compares to other sticks we’ve had. It’s a minimal focus, a focus that is automatic and doesn’t take much effort, if any at all. Most of the time it’s not even noticed. It could even be considered a form of meditation, removing the thoughts and “to-do lists” and responsibilities constantly flying through our heads and setting them aside to relax and think only of the cigar – how it tastes, smells, is constructed. It’s an escape, albeit brief, but incredibly necessary. Whether alone or with company, the world is set aside as the ash grows. It’s a beautiful retreat, one that others may find in a glass of wine or a craft beer, but we know that there’s nothing quite like a well blended cigar to escape with.
Flavor and Complements
All of the robust and rich flavor we love comes straight from the earth. Leaves, some wood, and age, that’s it, and it’s incredible. The flavor profile of cigars is amazingly diverse and a major reason why we smoke cigars. It’s what we talk about and discuss, subtly changing thought the smoke itself. The flavor profiles help us develop and refine our palate; and like an amazing teacher, as we mature, the cigars present us with more and more in accordance with our growth. Was that there before? Of course it was, you just weren’t ready for it. Then comes the complimentary flavors. A light, mellow smoke with notes of nutmeg and black coffee in the morning, a maduro with dark chocolate and moss with a glass of red wine; infinite combinations. Complimentary flavors and pairings increase the sphere of enjoyment for the refined palate and help to draw out flavor all the more. Flavor is the first thing we run to, novice or veteran, but we will forever be students of it, a role we welcome with excitement.
What would we be if we didn’t have a humidor full of our favorites, our exotics, and those special cigars that have specific meaning to us? For many cigar smokers, smoking is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle, but even for those who only have a minimal interest, the collection and lifestyle aspect is enticing. A full and diverse humidor is a source of pride and gives us great satisfaction. Even just looking at our collection brings a smile to our face. We gaze, we smell, we make sure the humidity is just right, and given the opportunity, we show off. What is most fantastic is the burgeoning community of enthusiasts whom we can connect with and share our passions. If there was any need of proof, just look at our humidors, they are much more like the curation of a fine art gallery than anything else. And they smell and taste much better too!
Like a cigar itself, it’s the blend that gives the best flavor (okay, mostly the wrapper, but you get it), and most likely it’s a well-balanced blend of reasons that you choose to embrace the cigar lifestyle. Some may be more prominent than others – some unwind after a stressful day with a stogie, while others rarely smoke apart from a wedding or life event – but that’s the beauty of it, whatever your reason, it brings us all together in community, and from that comes HERFs and lifelong friendships, and some of the most heartwarming, down-to-earth, incredible, interesting conversations I’ve ever had. Whatever your reason for smoking, it’s the right one, and we’re happy you do.
What did I miss? Where was I wrong? Why do you smoke cigars? Let us know in the comments below!