Things Non Cigar Smokers Don’t Know, But Should

| November 4, 2015

Cigar Smoking

The Smoky Belvedere

Submitted by a True Cigar Hobbyist

Welcome to The Smoky Belvedere, where I will semi-regularly fill this merry space on the InterWebs with smoke from my cigar, my keyboard and other bodily orifices. I will cover all things cigar from the sublime to the ridiculous. In fact, the name at the top of this column is sublimely ridiculous. There is a type of Italian Cigar called a Belvedere. Since Valdosta stole its name from an Italian place called Val De’ Osta, it just seems appropriate for me to filch a classy Italian name: especially since I’m French.

You probably don’t smoke cigars, so today’s column is just for you!

Q: Do Cigars Stink?

A: When you mention smoking a cigar the first thing out of the other person’s mouth is, “Ewe, they really stink”. The unambiguous answer to that is yes and no.

Yes, they stink: The old cigars that your old grandmother’s old yardman smoked all day stank because they were cheap cigars made of cheap tobacco. Cheap tobacco is often fermented for only a short period of time and then “dry cured” leaving a trace of ammonia. Ever smelled burning ammonia? There is your “ewe” smell.

No they don’t: Cigar Hobbyists do not smoke cheap cigars. We smoke premium tobaccos fermented over a number of years, rolled by master rollers and then aged in climate controlled cedar wood rooms. Non-cigar smokers who catch a whiff of a premium cigar smoking are surprised at the aroma.

Q: Do you inhale a Cigar?

A: We do not inhale. Really. I’m not pulling a Bill Clinton here. People who inhale a cigar for the first time don’t do it a second time. Something about falling to your knees while gasping and retching takes all the fun out a second try. Only people with serious self-esteem issues inhale cigars.

What cigar smokers do is puff on their cigar. We draw in the smoke, roll it around our mouths, and then blow it out or make smoke rings.

Q: Do cigars taste bad?

No, it does not taste bad. The taste is strong, but then so is straight scotch or bourbon. It’s an acquired taste. Your first taste of beer wasn’t all that great and you weren’t all that hot on your first kiss either; but, you didn’t let that stop you. Cigar smokers came back for the second, third, and one hundred thirty third puff because it wasn’t all that bad and getting better all the time.

Q: Isn’t cigar smoking something old men do?

A: Not anymore. Smoking cigars is increasingly popular because it recaptures what we lost along the way to our fast paced digital future: taking time to do something slow, savoring it, and, if at all possible, sharing it with a friend. As speed has become a nagging part of our lives, doing something slow is a luxury. Cigar Smokers are young AND old, male AND female… and happy.

Q: Won’t you catch cancer?

A: Oh, this is controversial. The legal department informs me that I should remind you at this point that taking advice on the internet from a talking chicken who is smoking a cigar is bad for you and could give you cooties. Think of me as a psychic reader: everything I offer is for entertainment purposes only.

Researchers find that smoking less than five to seven cigars a week is not enough to really matter and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Your mileage may vary, this was ribbed for your pleasure, and action figures are sold separately.

Q: What are non-cigar smokers missing?

The final thing that non-cigar smokers don’t know is this: you are missing out on a lot of fun. Cigar smokers like to hang out, smoke cigars and drink tasty things. I like to sit in the backyard, drink something tasty, listen to baseball on the radio, smoke a cigar, and toss the ball to the dog. One night the Braves pulled a 14 inning monster and I drank so much of the tasty stuff that I started tossing the dog to the ball.

When my brother-in-law is in town, he raids my humidor for the finest cigars and lets me smoke one with him in the backyard. In return, he tosses the ball to the dog while we solve the world’s problems. The vet says my dog is in excellent shape; so, we’re not just wasting time here.

Cigar smoking is all about good times with friends, which is why people like to hang out at Valdosta’s Cigar Bar, Stogies Downtown, who slipped me a cigar to write all this for you. Fine cigars, wine and beer, comfortable chairs, wide screen televisions, strong air handlers, and lots of good talk.

I’ll be back soon, and I promise to be less serious next time.

-The Smoking Chicken

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