Obsidian

I have to tell you, I have been getting into cigars a lot lately.  I’m learning the subtle differences between crappy cigars and decent ones, and I’m learning more about the major areas of where they are being produced (largely Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Ecuador).  It’s fascinating stuff to learn about, if you’re into it.Image

I smoked cigarettes from age 18 until 24, when I met the girl who became my wife.  She never outright told me to quit, but I knew she didn’t care for the habit, and I knew early on that I really wanted her to stick around.  Finally, on the ninth try, my quitting stuck–but only because I replaced smoking with a gym membership.  I found it counterproductive to smoke and try to do any kind of aerobics at the same time, so smoking lost out time after time.  I never really cared to smoke again once I’d experienced some level of fitness afterward.  

But cigars…cigars are among those fantastic “man things”–up there with golf, scotch, motorcycles, and shaving with a straight razor–which will immediately draw other mens’ attention, if they share the same hobby.  It might be a case of Perceptual Vigilance (whereby you decide to buy a VW Jetta and instantly notice every other Jetta on the road), but it bonds people together almost instantly, I find.  I find it to have the outgoing, social nature of smoking without the damage to my health!  (Please, let’s exclude rare cases of throat, tongue, or mouth cancer, and yes, I realize it can be hard on your teeth…but it does not so completely degrade your health as smoking cigarettes does, so let’s leave it at that.)

Anyway, I have a close friend who brought me a Gurkha so we could celebrate the sale of my first home as a real estate agent on the front porch, and my brother in-law (also into scotch and cigars) sent a whole “experiment” box of Obsidians for the same reason.  Obsidians are fantastic, though my palette is probably too underdeveloped to fully appreciate them just yet.  We haven’t smoked the Gurkhas yet, but I know they have won many awards on their own.

In our apartment complex, people we don’t even know will come up and offer to hang out, just by virtue of the cigars in our hands.  I love the social aspect of it, and I’ve noticed that a cigar affects certain Cabernets in interesting ways, much the same way chocolates and cheeses do.  I also find them to be nice, quiet companions for when I take an hour to do some writing–especially now that the weather is finally beginning to warm up.  

What do you know about cigars?  What brands or sizes do you recommend?  Where do you find your favorites?  Is cigar.com supplanting the corner smoke shop?  

Find someone whose company you enjoy, and put some smoke in the air with them.  You never know what’ll happen when you have time to just think

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  1. Onynx is good with a Port wine. This is a Dominican and has a good price for the quality.

    • Thanks R&R…I will definitely look into trying that! How long have you been into cigars yourself?

      • 3 years. I have found that Cigars are like Wine. Both complex and will continually reveal new flavors the more we smoke and drink them. For now my favorites are Dominican. I have three that I feel are very nice for different reasons.

        1. The Onyx minin Belicoso 52 x 5. This one pairs well with a nice port wine after dinner. It really bring out the depth of the wine.
        2. The Ashton Corona. This is a good afternoon light smoke that is quite refressing with a nice whiskey.
        3. The Romeo Y Juleta 1875 Reserva Real. This is also a good afternoon cigar more full bodied than the Ashton but also good with a whisky or better with Irish cream and whisky.

      • Thanks for the advice–these are on my list to check out as time and money allows! A dear friend of mine was smoking the Romeo Y Julieta over our conversation on the phone tonight (he’s in Chicago, I’m in DC), and he agrees with your assessment. LOVES em!

  2. What an awesome post. I’ve gotten into cigars quite a bit these last couple of years. I really enjoy Romeo y Julietas, from the Dominican (Clemenceau cut). I enjoy them with about two fingers of Johnnie Walker Red or a good IPA. During the spring, summer, and fall, I enjoy them on Rach and my back deck. A couple of times last year we had friends over and the men retired to the deck for a cigar and some conversation. Smoking cigars together is a great bonding experience.

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