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Cigar 101

Seasonal Cigars: Winter vs. Summer Smoking

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

A good cigar tastes great no matter what time of year you’re smoking it. But as we shift from warmer temps to chillier days, different cigars fare better when you’re smoking outside. Not everyone has the luxury of retreating to a climate-controlled man cave where smoking inside makes the winter months tolerable. More consideration is given to a cigar’s size if you have to bundle up to fire up. Shorter, smaller cigars perform better in cool or windy outdoor conditions, especially if they’re rolled with a heartier blend. Here are some excellent smaller cigars to smoke in the winter with an alternative bigger shape you can indulge in when you’re on the golf course or manning the barbecue in the summer.

Winter Cigar: Ashton VSG Tres Mystique (4.375 x 44)

Summer Cigar: Ashton VSG Spellbound (7.5 x 54)

Both of these shapes deliver loads of premium Dominican flavor beneath the best-known Ecuador Sumatra wrapper in the cigar industry. Carlito Fuente blends Ashton VSG to the highest standards for taste and aroma in a collection of iconic shapes. The Tres Mystique is ideal for a quick, complex smoke that lasts around 20-25 minutes. Notes of leather, earth, cedar, and espresso beans bless the palate with a touch of sweetness and luscious Dominican spices in a 94-rated profile. When you’ve got more than hour to kick back, the Spellbound is an epicurean feast for the sense you’ll be in no rush to finish.

Winter Cigar: Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story (4 x 49)

Summer Cigar: Arturo Fuente Hemingway Masterpiece (9 x 52)

The most famous small handmade cigar in the world is quite possibly Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story, a petit Figurado with an attractive and bulbous silhouette. The pint-sized creation requires years of skill to craft. A toothy Cameroon wrapper leaf harbors a well-aged blend of premium Dominican long-fillers. Tasting notes of cedar, baking spices, nuts, and coffee beans unfold over the course of 30 minutes or a little less. The Masterpiece packs the same amazing profile into a limousine-sized format that lasts for an hour and a half or longer – probably not a cigar you’ll put in your mouth if shoveling snow is on your to-do list.

Winter Cigar: La Aroma de Cuba Rothschild (5 x 50)

Summer Cigar: La Aroma de Cuba El Jefe (7 x 58)

La Aroma de Cuba is blended by award-winning cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia in a manner that exceeds the brand’s extensive Cuban heritage dating back to the late 1800s. Today, the 93-rated blend is drawn from an oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and a medium-bodied recipe of well-aged Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. The Rothschild is perfect when you’re craving a premium cigar for best-possible value in shape that lasts around a half-hour. Ample flavors of dark chocolate, wood, molasses, and brown sugar accompany the perfect balance of signature Nicaraguan spices. Fans of bigger ring-gauges love the El Jefe for its bursting dimensions and cool, long-lasting burn.

Winter Cigar: Padron 1964 Anniversary Principe (4.5 x 46)

Summer Cigar: Padron 1964 Anniversary Imperial (6 x 54)

Padron 1964 Anniversary has scored numerous top ratings and rankings in Cigar Aficionado since in debut more than 25 years ago. The sharp box-pressed cigar continues to surpass expectations today with an all-Nicaraguan blend of premium tobaccos aged for six-year minimums. Tasting notes of cocoa, cedar, cayenne, and coffee beans reveal enticing spices in a wide collection of shapes. The dainty but delicious Principe is one of the best ways to occupy 20 minutes of time. The Toro-sized Imperial is equally savory with a bigger, less-intense draw that propels the cigar past the hour mark.

Winter Cigar: San Cristobal Revelation Prophet (5.25 x 54)  

Summer Cigar: San Cristobal Revelation Leviathan (6.5 x 64)

Fatter ring sizes have become the norm for thousands of aficionados these days. San Cristobal Revelation is a superb specimen to smoke in either a shorter or a longer format with a chunky ring gauge. A gingerbread-hued Ecuador Sumatra wrapper leaf conceals a medium-bodied blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers in a rich but approachable profile of coffee beans, milk chocolate, caramel, and peppers. The stout Prophet is an excellent smaller shape if you like short fat cigars. It burns for around 30-40 minutes. The Leviathan is an oversized version you’re unlikely to breeze through in under an hour. Don’t be shy choosing a Leviathan when you’ve reserved a tee-time on your favorite course.

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