Cigar Culture

Our Favorite Reasons to Smoke a Cigar

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Cheers, folks! It’s officially time to bid farewell to 2018, pop the champagne, and head into 2019 with a fresh perspective. As you unwind from the past twelve months and ramp up for the next dozen, indulging in a premium cigar is the best interlude you can ask for. Holidays like New Year’s, and many other even more pivotal, personal moments, provoke reflection that cigars easily facilitate.

I’ve decided to fire up one of my favorite handmade classics from the cigar archives, an Ashton VSG, and offer some insight to newer cigar lovers or those who are curious about the essential reasons why we smoke cigars. Many of us enjoy the occasional libation like an ice-cold beer or a glass of wine or whiskey to relax and ring in the weekend. Indulging in a premium cigar is a little different, though. Cigars soothe and entice the senses without impairing them. They offer an opportunity to hit pause on all that goes on around us. In the hustle n’ bustle of the digital age, a premium cigar presents an old-world connection to a more organic form of leisure. Following, are a handful of key occasions that go hand in hand with firing up a cigar.

#1 - Birth of a Child

It may sound cliché and many do it simply for the ritual, but celebrating the birth of a child with a cigar truly holds a place in the hearts of new dads everywhere. Passing out premium cigars is the ultimate way to share such a monumental moment with close friends and family members.

The exact origins of announcing a new baby with a box of cigars may be difficult to pinpoint exactly, especially considering smoking within a stone’s throw of a hospital today is a far cry from the smoky waiting rooms of decades ago. Traces of the gesture may have indigenous origins as tobacco was a highly desirable gift in the wake of a child’s birth among American Indians.

Our present-day interpretation, however, is derived from the times when midwives were common and the business of childbirth was handled at home. Expectant fathers often occupied a parlor or separate room while labor took place with the assistance of a midwife or medical professional in the bedroom. Cigars offered immeasurable relief as the overwhelming anticipation, uncertainty, and wait unfolded.

Nowadays, cigars are typically passed out with the news a bouncing baby has officially arrived. A number of manufacturers produce special It’s a Boy and It’s a Girl Cigars to mark the occasion. We also supply It’s-a-Boy and It’s-a-Girl stickers that you can apply to any box of cigars of your choice. Mild, iconic brands like Ashton Classic and Macanudo are also wildly popular with proud new papas because they won’t overpower your palate and they possess tremendously smooth approachable flavor. When you’re the new dad, gather your pals around, fire up, and breathe a big sigh of relief as you prepare for a new chapter of fatherhood. You may have to wait eighteen years to relax in such a grand fashion again.

#2 - Celebrating a Victory

Whether you emerged from the Battle of the Bulge with a purple heart, or you’re playing on a newly minted championship NBA team, or you simply defeated one of your buddies in a game of checkers at the park, victory is a sweet adrenaline-fueled thrill we’ve hopefully all experienced at one time or another. Extend the sensation with a premium cigar.

We recommend a brand from the top shelf like an ultra-rare Fuente Fuente Opus X, an Ashton ESG, or a Padron Family Reserve. Diehard sports fans turn to fine cigars to celebrate wins of all kinds. There’s no finer way to relish overcoming an opponent while your endorphins climb down from cloud nine.

#3 - Personal Milestones

Important personal milestones like a graduation or job promotion deserve a fine cigar. Pushing your way through the final semester of a demanding Ph.D. program or climbing the corporate ladder until you’ve achieved your dream job are turning points tailor-made for reflecting with a cigar. The blood, sweat, and tears you’ve endured to hit the finish line have paid off when a critical goal has finally been realized.

Any meaningful mission you’ve undertaken applies, from shorter-term tasks like cleaning out the garage to herculean endeavors like climbing Mt. Everest. Weeks, months, or years of hard work have lead you to accomplish your objective. Fire up an equally accomplished cigar like one of Cigar Aficionado’s former ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ selections, including My Father Le Bijou 1922, Oliva Serie V Melanio, or Flor de las Antillas.

#4 - Getting Married

Groups of groomsmen gathering round their best buddy with cigars in hand to send him off into eternal wedded bliss is a common tradition. Often, they are suited up in tuxedos posing on a beachfront or in front of a limousine at the reception. A box of Ashton Cabinet or Arturo Fuente Hemingway cigars are perfect for passing out during formal but fun celebrations like weddings.

When you need a box of premium pregame cigars for the bachelor party, but you’re more conscious of price, consider the great value high-quality brands like La Aroma de Cuba or Romeo y Julieta 1875 offer. In either scenario, tying the knot is a pretty big deal. Permission to celebrate with fine cigars is granted.

#5 - Holiday Celebrations

‘Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999.’ Wooohooo! It’s the New Year! Or St. Patrick’s Day. Or the Fourth of July. Or the weekend. All are causes for celebration. You’re cutting loose with your buddies for a night out on the town and it’s time to crack open a box of San Cristobal Elegancia – a creamy Nicaraguan cigar blended by Pepin Garcia that everyone can enjoy. Or consider Cain Connecticut CT. Both are handmade by celebrated cigar-makers.

Although you’re prepared to party, premium cigars encourage an element of class and maturity that is unique among many types of revelers. A lot of cigar lovers have no problem tossing a few drinks back, but it’s common protocol not to go overboard or start behaving like out-of-control fraternity brothers. You can party hard, but always know, chances are you’re in good hands when you’re hanging around bona fide aficionados. In addition, a lot of holiday occasions include an extra day or two off from work. That means you’ve got plenty of time to unwind and have a cigar.

#6 - Birthdays & Anniversaries

Intimate occasions like a wedding anniversary or your next birthday are exquisite excuses to indulge in a fine cigar. Couples will often go out to dinner and share their love of premium cigars over an after-dinner cocktail. What? Get my wife to smoke a cigar, you’re suggesting?

That’s right. It’s the twenty-first century and there are plenty of ladies who appreciate premium handcrafted cigars just as much as their husbands or boyfriends do. It should be every guy’s priority to get his significant other to try a cigar. The likelihood of entertaining your pals down in your man cave could go up exponentially when your wife likes a good cigar just as much as you do.

And there are no shortage of amazing birthday cigars. Your birthday is one of the best days of the year to get your friends or relatives to ante up and treat you to a really rare or special blend like a Padron 1926 Series or an Arturo Fuente Anejo. Of course, it’s best when everyone joins in, so drop some hints for them to pick up a box or a sampler.

#7 - Relaxation

It’s no secret. Cigars are a form of therapy. Despite the relentless bad rap that cigars get because they are made from tobacco, it’s ironic that premium handmade cigars represent one of the safest and least destructive alternatives for dealing with a tough day.

Maybe you had an argument with your boss or a coworker, or you just received some bad news. You could even be excited because you just got a raise and you feel like raising a toast. Smoking a premium cigar provides a sensible escape and an opportunity for reflection and rational thought to prevail. A brooding, full-bodied cigar like a San Cristobal Ovation or an Oliva Serie V can tow your thoughts back to shore while you sort your intentions out or make an optimistic plan for the future.

Cigars are also legitimate companions to serious conversations. Sharing your strategy or opinion or doling out orders over a cigar can be a comfortable and effective means to get your point across. That’s why you’ll find the main characters in iconic films like Goodfellas and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and others puffing away on a handmade cigar during a crucial moment in the plot. If you’re the recipient of unwelcome information in real life, a cigar immediately becomes a convenient coping mechanism. Take a step back and relax with a cigar.

#8 - Camaraderie

Nothing beats good ol’ fashioned camaraderie. There’s a reason you’ve got pals. Maybe they have a key to your man cave and can come and go as they please. That’s why it’s imperative to keep a few bundles of affordable smokes like Rocky Patel Mulligans or Villiger in your coolerdor at all times.

While there may be occasions for smoking alone, most folks prefer to smoke cigars in the company of others. And it’s often not to compare tasting notes or talk about cigars. It’s to catch up with one another genuinely. It’s to reminisce. It’s to root for the same team during a big game on your flat screen. Smoking cigars together encourages a bond between good friends.

#9 - Taste, Aroma, & Enjoyment

One of the most obvious reasons we like to smoke a cigar is quite simple: for the taste, aroma, and pleasure they provide. It’s no different than craving a steak or a big dish of pasta at your favorite Italian restaurant. We have an appetite for cigars and they stimulate senses that food, wine, and music cannot – although, they all go together extremely well.

The flavor, room note, and time spent smoking overlap to make us feel gratified. Cigars are a form of meditation unlike any other. That’s why many cigar lovers express an extraordinary passion for their favorite brands. Some enjoy collecting cigars will go to great lengths to acquire vintage boxes that are no longer produced. When you fall in love with a certain cigar (like the Ashton VSG I’m wrapping up) you know its taste and aroma can transform the passage of an hour or two of your day into a well-deserved luxury.

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