Author: El Jefe

El Jefe Goes to Little Havana

Tips for a Smoke-Filled Festivus

We at Christian Cigar Smoker love Christmas, and we certainly do not hate “all the commercial and religious aspects of Christmas,” so we gladly take advantage of any reason to get together and smoke cigars. We’re not making up any new holidays but taking advantage of a more contemporary holiday to give us a reason to light up our premium hand-rolled cigars: Festivus.  

I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you. Celebrate Festivus correctly this year. I will show you how to do so because I have hosted not one but two Festivus cigar events! That makes me an expert. I will not take this time to explain the history or meaning behind the Festivus Holiday. Instead, you can watch season nine, episode ten of Seinfeld, The Strike (Why wasn’t the episode called “Festivus”?  Really, Jerry and Larry?). 

Tips for The Airing of Grievances

Got a lot of problems with you people? The cigar lounge is the perfect place to properly air one’s grievances with your friends, family, and peers while letting them know how much they have disappointed you during the past year.  

So as not to overdo it or overly offend someone, make sure you have smoked at least one cigar before the Airing of Grievances. This practice will give you time for quiet reflection and a sense of calm before you let loose. It will also help you “speak the truth in love” and adequately convey your grievances. In doing so, you will be able to convey your complaints properly. It will also help you avoid the Frank Constanza error of losing your train of thought.  

Cigar and Meatloaf Pairing Tips

If you celebrate Festivus with the traditional meatloaf on a bed of lettuce, make sure you properly pair your cigar to maximize your experience. I suggest a medium-bodied cigar before the meal. 

Throughout the festivity, and while eating your meatloaf, I suggest smoking 3-4 cigars, consisting of a Connecticut, Corojo, Habano, or a Maduro wrapper. Choose a size ranging from a petite corona to a double corona.  

If you’re breaking tradition and not eating meatloaf, I suggest smoking 3-4 cigars, consisting of a Connecticut, Corojo, Habano, or a Maduro wrapper. Choose a size ranging from a petite corona to a double corona.    

Tips for the Feats of Strength

If you are honored with participating in the tradition of the Feats of Strength, practice common courtesy by putting down your cigar before competing. We’re not barbarians; we’re cigar smokers!

Limited room at the cigar lounge? If there is no room to wrestle at your lounge, or you’re practicing social distancing, you can substitute the activity with another. Our Festivus celebration in 2019 featured a father/son thumb wrestling match. You can also arm wrestle or have a staring contest. 

Safety Tips

Don’t allow your Festivus celebration to end in injury. Sometimes we get carried away overeating meatloaf or getting worked up when airing grievances. Don’t get too full on meatloaf. Don’t forget to not inhale your cigar. Arrive safely and leave safely. If need be, designate a driver. 

Indeed, you need to avoid Festivus pole accidents. Every year, nearly three people sustain injuries related to improper Festivus pole installation. Since the inception of Festivus, over ten people have sustained ankle and knee injuries from sliding down Festivus poles; it is not a firehouse pole. Don’t become another statistic! Remember also that the Festivus pole should be constructed of aluminum, which has a very high strength-to-weight ratio. 

If participating in the Feats of Strength, always remember that even if we’re not living in the time of a pandemic, it is always best practice to wear a mask. Wash your hands both before and after the Feats. 

Tips for Celebrating the True Spirit of Festivus

There is a time for every season under heaven—a time for airing grievances and a time for practicing kindness. Therefore, in the spirit of Festivus, let us not only tell others how much they have disappointed us but let them know how they may, at times, lack being so horrible.  

Go easier on others. For just one day out of the year, when you are smoking your premium handmade cigars, don’t poke fun at those who smoke machine-made or infused cigars. Set aside your differences as you smoke with the lowly and uninformed.  

Don’t ridicule those who sniff the cigar through the cellophane. Don’t let out a loud sigh of disgust when someone uses a bullet cut on a torpedo cigar. Don’t lie to the new cigar smoker, telling him that it is customary to inhale cigars on Festivus.  

Also, to maximize your Festivus Cigar Smoking Event, invite your friends to form a circle around the Festivus Pole and sing a carol. I wrote a new song to the tune of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, entitled Smokin’ Around the Festivus Pole, which can be viewed here.  

Enjoy your smoke-filled Festivus this year!

Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole

Those of you celebrating Festivus with fellow cigar connoisseurs may be wondering why there aren’t many good Festivus carols out there.

I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you.  I wrote the following lyrics to Smokin’ Around the Festivus Pole.  It is (obviously) to be sung to the tune of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.  If you have any suggestions for lyric changes, additions, or feel the need to air some grievances about said lyrics, feel free to do so in our discussion panel.

Smokin’ Around the Festivus Pole, by El Jefe

Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
At our local cigar lounge
Smoke is filling the atmosphere
Connoisseurs everywhere

Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
The airing of grievances
Later we’ll have some meatloaf pie
Then we’ll have the feats of strength

You will get a sentimental feeling when you smell
We’re retro haling, let’s be jolly
Light ‘em up, or you’ll be sorry!
Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
It’s a Festivus miracle!
Corojos, Maduros, Puros and more
A holiday Opus X

You will get a sentimental feeling when you puff
We’re retro haling, let’s be jolly
Light ‘em up, or you’ll be sorry!
Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
At our local cigar lounge
Smoke is filling the atmosphere
Connoisseurs everywhere

Related:  Tips for A Smoke-Filled Festivus

 

Court Blocks FDA Product Approval Requirements for Premium Cigars

Great News for the cigar industry! Here is the news alert posted by Cigar Rights of America and the Premium Cigar Association:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in the case of Cigar Association of America, the Premium Cigar Association (“PCA”), and Cigar Rights of America (“CRA”) v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al., Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor for the premium cigar industry and against the FDA. The Court held that the FDA – in the Final Deeming Rule – completely mishandled the important question of how premium cigars should proceed through the premarket review process. The Court concluded that the FDA failed to engage in “reasoned decision-making” regarding premium cigars, in violation of federal law. According to the Court, the FDA’s “incorrect and conclusory assertion that its hands were tied” in response to the premium cigar industry’s requests for a more tailored regulatory review process “was arbitrary.”

Accordingly, the FDA enjoined application of the premarket review requirements until the agency goes back and addressed the important questions regarding premium cigars ignored in the Final Deeming Rule. Premium cigar manufacturers will not have to file for premarket approval by the September 9th, 2020. The Court relayed upon a definition of premium cigar utilized by the FDA in an August 5, 2020 filing:

    a cigar that: (1) is wrapped in whole tobacco leaf; (2) contains a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder; (3) contains at least 50 percent (of the filler by weight) long filler tobacco (i.e., whole tobacco leaves that run the length of the cigar); (4) is handmade or hand rolled (i.e., no machinery was used apart from simple tools, such as scissors to cut the tobacco prior to rolling); (5) has no filter, nontobacco tip, or nontobacco mouthpiece; (6) does not have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco; (7) contains only tobacco, water, and vegetable gum with no other ingredients or additives; and (8) weighs more than 6 pounds per 1,000 units.”

The definition is endorsed by PCA and CRA and will provide relief to most products sold at premium cigar retail stores and lounges. Notably the definition does not include a price minimum, flavors, or cigars that are machine manufactured.

“This is another monumental victory for the premium cigar industry. We congratulate our legal team, led by Mike Edney of Steptoe & Johnson, on an important victory that protects the livelihood of PCA members across the country. This comes on the heels of legal victories striking down warning labels for premium cigars. Both our retail members and associate members provided important strategy and guidance in our legal, legislative, and regulatory appeals to define premium cigars and showcase their distinctiveness from the courts to Capitol Hill.” says Scott Pearce PCA Executive Director.

Glynn Loope, executive director of CRA, stated upon the release of the opinion, “Judge Mehta’s opinion is a testament to the virtue of the public comments filed over the years with the FDA by our industry alliance, consumer messaging and the Administration pressure and Congressional advocacy brought out by our collective lobbying efforts. FDA failed to not only respond to these comments, but also to recognize the suggestions made to address the fairness of the proposed regulations. The efforts of the advocacy strategies initiated by CRA and PCA served as the foundation for this decision, proving that you always have to carry your message to both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the courthouse that sits in the middle.”

Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus by Smoking Cigars

The coronavirus is causing mass panic around the world. Health professionals are professing that panicking is not the solution. Instead of panicking, we need to heed the health advice we have been given.  

I’m El Jefe, and I am here to help you. Specifically, I am going to show you why smoking cigars will help you avoid catching the coronavirus. I don’t want you to catch the virus. Nor do I want you to share it with me, either.  

First, health officials advise “do not touch your face,” since the virus can be introduced especially through the eyes, nose and mouth areas. Many professionals add that it is a good idea to place something in your hands that will distract or prevent you from touching your face. Some say to have a stress ball nearby for you to grab. By doing so, you will touch the ball more than you will touch your face.  

So you’re probably thinking that El Jefe is going to tell you to put a cigar in your hand. Nope, I am not. Here’s my advice: get two cigars and place one in each hand. Lighting both cigars is optional. Light and smoke at least one; the other one can remain unlit. Regardless, it will help distract you from touching your face.  

I’ve found that the more I smoke cigars, the less I pick my nose, stick my pinky in my ear, and lick the palms of my hands. Sometimes when I go to adjust my glasses, I poke myself in the eye. However, when I have a cigar in my hand, it helps me to not poke myself in the eye with my finger, but the unlit end of the cigar instead. The other reason I poke myself in the eye is that I don’t actually wear glasses, so there is no lense between my fingers and my eyeball.   

Second, we are told to practice social distancing. In other words, we keep our distance from others in order to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus. Since there are people out there who don’t appreciate cigars (yes, those people actually exist), you can keep them away with a stogie. Light it up and puff away. Watch the others flee your presence while enjoying your cigar!

If you practice my first suggestion of placing a cigar in each hand, you may want to light both of them when you are around a larger crowd of people. Picture yourself as Yosemite Sam, but instead of having a gun in each hand, your weapons are two double coronas. Puff on both cigars incessantly, reciting the Yosemite Sam mantra: “I’m the meanest, roughest, toughest hombre that’s ever crossed the Rio Grande – and I ain’t o namby-bamby. I’m the hootin’est, tootin’est, shootin’est, bob-tail wildcat, in the west!” That will keep people away.  

Third, employ the Ketteler Effect. This method of social distancing was developed by my friend Herb Ketteler. The Ketteler Effect goes far beyond just smoking cigars in order to keep others away while you’re smoking. You simply smoke enough cigars — all the time — in order to develop an aroma (“stink” by anti-cigar-smokers) that stays with you until you take a shower.

As a result, Ketteler contends, he is a very healthy person. He never gets sick because no one comes near him. He rarely gets the cold or flu and has never contracted H1N1, rabies or even cooties.

Fourth, don’t panic. Health professionals want to reassure us that the coronavirus can be prevented. Practice the common-sense principles that have been given to us and don’t panic. Relax.  

And just how do you relax? I think you know. . .  

Why You Just Might Like the XFL

Enough, already! Quit making fun of the XFL. This time, it is going to be a great success. There are several reasons for this. Just because it’s backed by billionaire Vince McMahon, the WWE icon, it does not mean that there’s a bunch of wrestlers-turned-football players, nor are there silly names like “He Hate Me” plastered on the back of jerseys. Also, from what I understand, it’s against the rules to hit players with a folding chair.  

I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you. You’re wondering how the XFL is different, specifically how it separates itself from the NFL. The differences I see, for the most part, are pleasing. Perhaps you will agree. Here’s what I see, and I like it:

The season starts in February, not September. Maybe you will remember when the mid-80s USFL tried to compete with the NFL by playing its games in the Fall. Now, when the NFL ceases its season, the XFL picks up where football left off. That’s right: we don’t have to quit football cold turkey! Instead, we get to see an additional 79 days of football, consisting of a ten-week regular season, a two-game postseason, then the championship.  

This shortens the football drought, allowing addicts like me to suffer only during the summer. Every February, I would sing The Happenings’ song, “See You in September,” while sadly echoing their sentiment, “I’ll be alone each and every night; While you’re away, don’t forget to write.”

Less drama, so far.  When I watch football, I’m not particularly interested in a player’s political or social views or even his interests off the field. I typically watch football because I like this thing called “football.” So far, I’ve seen, pretty much, football.  

It moves. The game has a faster pace. Two time-outs per half, a 25-second play clock, kickoffs are returned, and fewer commercial interruptions. Additionally, the clock keeps running even if there is an incomplete pass, except for the last two minutes of each half.

When they kickoff, the ball must land somewhere between the 20-yard line and the goal line, allowing for a return. Additionally, no one is allowed to run toward the runner until after he catches it. The coverage team lines u on the opponent’s 35-yard line, with the return team lining up on its 30. Believe me, it makes sense when you see it!  

It’s Easy as 1,2,3. After a touchdown is scored, no more watching a dull point-after kick right through the middle of the uprights. Instead, teams get a choice: a one, two, or three-point conversion. The ball is placed at the 2, 5, or ten-yard line. As many as nine points can be scored with a touchdown and conversion. Yes, it takes more of the foot out of football, but it will be interesting seeing the strategy involved in this approach.    

What We Don’t Have Here Is “A Failure to Communicate.”  Fans experience more communication during the game, as they get to hear the coaches communicating and players being interviewed on the sidelines during the game.  

The Eye in the Sky. He’s up there, watching every play you make. In the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and in overtime, if he sees something he doesn’t like, he corrects any egregious and apparent errors. This replay official is there to help correct issues that could adversely affect the outcome of the game. Additionally, there are no coach challenges.  

Other neato, miscellaneous XFL-isms:  

  • If the ball is passed forward, it can be thrown again if the player has not passed the line of scrimmage. This allows more creativity in play calling.  
  • Overtime consists of five possessions for each team, lining up on the opponent’s five-yard line and has one chance to score for each of the “rounds.”  
  • A player only has to have one foot in bounds to complete a catch.  

Now, light up a cigar and enjoy the game!

Cigar Ettiquette

Okay, I am now going to take some time to supply some cigar-smoking etiquette tips.

I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you. As everyone knows, I am the Emily Post of cigar smoking. Also, you’re my friend, so I don’t want you to embarrass yourself — or me.

As a side note, rules of etiquette do not necessarily make sense to everyone. They can be traditional rules developed through the ages. Other times, they are simply a question of manners. Moreover, you may not agree with all these rules of etiquette and therefore, may not practice all of them (I don’t). I’m just making you aware. As I said earlier, I’m here to help you.

You’re not a chimney, so take your time. Taking a puff on the cigar about once per minute is a good pace. Chances are, you paid a decent price for your cigar, so take time to enjoy it. Try to find the fine line between taking some time and not having to relight your cigar too many times. It’s not a “race to the finish,” nor have I ever heard of a cigar-smoking race where the winner is the one who smokes his double corona the fastest.

You’re not a jerk, so don’t use your middle finger. A novice holds his cigar between his index finger and middle finger; an aficionado holds it between his index finger and thumb.  I don’t know why this is a rule of etiquette, but it is. Bonus tip: don’t hold the cigar between your ring finger and middle finger, sticking it up at others, imitating a gigantic middle finger with your cigar and laughing like a junior high boy.

You’re not a show-off, so remove the band. This rule of etiquette is an old one and often not practiced anymore; it is considered “optional.” The traditional thought, though, is that you remove the cigar band so that you are not showing off the fact that you are smoking an expensive cigar. Some follow the lead of the host. If the host removes his band, others follow. Bonus tip: don’t remove the cigar band with pliers.

You’re not incompetent, so light the cigar yourself. You’re not smoking a cigarette, either, so don’t “ask someone for a light.” It’s acceptable to ask to borrow someone’s torch lighter, but light it yourself.

You’re not obsessive, so wait a while between smokes. Once you finish a cigar, with a few minutes before lighting up again. Some say that not taking some time between sticks is a sign of obsessive behavior. Bonus tip: don’t ask someone if you can take a drag on his cigar. That’s rude and unsanitary.

Related: there is etiquette to lighting cigars. Please read my post on cigar lighting tips. The article shows, among other things, that one should toast the foot of the cigar before lighting it.

You’re not a sadist, so don’t mutilate your cigar. When cutting your cigar, use the proper tool to cut it. Use a suitable sharp cutter, such as a guillotine, v-cut, or punch. Cutting your cigar with a penknife or biting it off with your teeth (then spitting it out) is unacceptable. Bonus tip: don’t cut your cigar with a bolt cutter.

Don’t put your foot in your mouth. This rule of etiquette says that the cigar is not to be smoked down to the foot. Some say that you should not smoke more than three-fourths of the cigar, while others want to get their money’s worth. The former contend that smoking it too close to the foot results in a harsher smoke. The latter doesn’t give a flip. A similar rule is that if your cigar is down to its last one-fourth and it goes out, don’t relight; instead, retire the cigar.

Related: Pastor Smokey has a foot fetish, as indicated in his post, Cigars by the Foot. You can tell that he is not just making a bunch of puns, but “puts his best foot forward” in this article.

You’re not Winston Churchill, so don’t dip your cigar in brandy. This was commonly practiced by the prime minister. However, today dipping cigars is considered by many to be taboo. While smoking cigars aged in bourbon or other whiskey barrels is perfectly acceptable, dipping them before smoking is not. Bonus tip: don’t dip your cigar in milk.

There you go. I hope I helped. Now you won’t look like a lunatic.

Discuss it! Agree with these rules? As I indicated earlier, I’m afraid I have to disagree with all of them. Seinfeld fans and others: air your grievances here, or scroll down and add your comments.

Sensational Cigar Pairings

Why just pair cigars with alcoholic drinks? There are many other things with which one can pair with cigars to make the experience extra enjoyable. Try enhancing your smoking experience with some pairings you may not have considered.  

For example, we know that bourbon, scotch, and rum are popular alcoholic pairings. To be sure, pairing drinks is of primary consideration. However, other pairings can enhance the experience as well. One example might be what I call a “full Scottish experience.” This might include a tri-pairing of drink, clothing, and music: Glenmorangie Signet while wearing a kilt and listening to (or singing together) Auld Lang Syne and I Love A Lassie. 

I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you. I want to triple your cigar smoking pleasure by showing you how you can triple your fun. Folks, this is much better than doubling your pleasure with Doublemint gum! Through careful consideration and extensive scientific research, I have come up with a method of tripling your enjoyment. Pair with a drink to enhance the flavor. Pair with music to create an auditory sensation. Pair with the right clothing to increase overall comfort. This concept can even be expressed with a graphic!

Of course, you don’t have to accomplish a tri-pairing every time. For example, you might not have access to a kilt. Most of these suggestions are based merely on what I was eating, drinking, or listening to while smoking. Like I said, I’m here to help you. Here you go: 

El Rey Del Mundo 1848: a ribeye steak, sun tea, on a 72-degree sunny day outside of Spencer, Indiana, while listening to 80’s Christian rock. Flip-flops. An experience fit for a king.  

Carlos Toraño Exodus: frog legs (see Exodus chapter 7) and a bloody mary. Wear a nemes crown.  

Romeo y Julieta: poison. Get it? Romeo poisoned himself when he thought his lover was dead. Ha, ha, ha!

Montecristo: a Montecristo sandwich. Really, I’ve done this. Rootbeer or Dr. Pepper.  

Acid: Pair with anything that gets your mind off the fact that you’re smoking an acid cigar. Some appropriate pairings consist of a root canal, jumping naked on a cactus, or anything else masochistic. The best music to pair with this would be 80’s rap, such as 2 Live Crew or NWA.   

San Cristobal Revelation: a bowl of wrath (see Revelation 16) . . . whatever . . . pray about it; maybe the Lord will reveal a simply divine pairing.  

The Wise Man: light up some incense and enjoy.

Punch Gran Puro: Contrary to popular belief, Hi-C red fruit punch is not the best pairing. Instead, try Strawberry Yoohoo. 

Angel’s Anvil Cigars (all): Drink Angel’s Envy bourbon with this stick. This will give you the pleasure of saying, “I’m enjoying an Angel’s Anvil with an Angel’s envy.” Say that three times as fast as you can.  

CAO Zocalo: Tequila, sombrero, medium/chunky salsa, salsa music.  

Arturo Fuente Anejo: This more-than-significantly-spicy cigar can be curbed with saltines and milk.  

Bonus: Scripture Pairings!  

Sometimes excellent reading material is paired with cigars. Here are some Bible verses to read while smoking. In a group setting, these pairings can encourage good fellowship and study: 

Genesis 1 – 50 – Ramon Bueso Genesis

Genesis 2 – Tatiana Mocha Eden

Exodus 26 – The Tabernacle

Job 3:8 and chapter 41 – San Cristobal Revelation Leviathan

1 Samuel 17 – Gurkha Evil Goliath

2 Chronicles 36:23 – Gran Habano Persian King

Psalm 74:14 – San Cristobal Revelation Leviathan

Isaiah 27:1 – San Cristobal Revelation Leviathan

Matthew 2:1-12 – The Wise Man Cigars

Matthew 5:9: RoMa Craft Intemperance BA XXI Breach of the Peace

Luke 23:43 – Heaven Cigars and Cielo Cigars

John 11:25-26 – PIO Resurrection

2 Corinthians 4:18 – Alec Bradley Blind Faith

Galatians 5:22-23 – RoMa Craft Intemperance EC XVIII’s Brotherly Kindness, Faith, Goodness, and Charity  

Philippians 2:3 – RoMa Craft Intemperance EC XVIII Humility

2 Timothy 4:8 – My Father’s The Judge

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 – Viva Republica Rapture & Rapture Exodus

2 Peter 2:4 – Fallen Angel

Jude 1:6-7 – Fallen Angel

Revelation Intro / 1 – Vegas Apocalypse, San Cristobal Revelation

Revelation 12:3 – San Cristobal Revelation Leviathan

Revelation 13 – Gurkha Beast, San Cristobal Revelation Prophet, 

Revelation 16:16 – Gurkha Rogue Armageddon

Discuss this topic here.

An Appreciation for the Flag of the Dominican Republic

There’s more to appreciate the Dominican Republic than its fine cigars.  

Dominican Republic FlagOn a recent trip to the Dominican Republic (DR), I visited with friends who are missionaries in the Santiago area. My friend Toby showed me the DR flag, which contains many admirable qualities.

My favorite feature of the flag is the Bible in the middle of the banner. My good friend told me that the DR flag is the only national flag containing an open Bible. Moreover, I learned that in the Dominican’s constitution that this Bible is open to John 8:32, which reads “Y conoceréis la verdad, y la verdad os libertará,” which in English reads, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (ESV).  

The words on the DR’s flag, “Dios,” “Patria,” and “Libertad” mean “God,” “Fatherland,” and “Freedom.” Apparently, the founding fathers of the DR valued all three of these.   

dr-flag-middleMy prayer is that the people of the DR value their freedom. Mostly, I pray that Dominicans and everyone — in every nation — come to realize the truth of where true freedom is found: In Jesus Christ!

In the same context, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the Son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36, ESV). John also recounts Jesus’ words to His disciples when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, ESV). 

A Review of Three Reviews of the Flavor of a Single Cigar

In my cigar-smoking circles, the conversation of the flavor of a cigar becomes the topic of discussion. Most of my friends confess that they do not have the palate to be a cigar reviewer. While most of them can speak to the strength and spiciness of the cigar, they cannot necessarily detect the particular flavors, such as “earthy,” “woody,” and “buttery,” for example.  

Instead, they (like most cigar smokers) base their opinion of the cigar solely on how much they like it. They may prefer particular strengths, wrappers, sizes, etc. When they read reviews regarding flavor, though, they admit that they cannot taste what many reviewers describe. Most of my friends say, “If it simply tastes good to me, that’s what matters!”

This type of discussion led me to do a little research on how reviewers rate and describe the flavor of cigars. I began by reading reviews of the cigar I was smoking at the time. One objective was to see if I could detect the flavors of the particular cigar as I read the review. The cigar I was smoking was the Gran Habano Connecticut #1.  

Three Reviews of the Same Cigar

The three reviews I read were from Fine Tobacco NYC, Toasted Foot, and Leaf Enthusiast (hereafter referred to as FTN, TF, and LE). I was surprised at how each reviewer described the same cigar.  

This blog focuses purely on how the reviewer described the cigar in terms of its taste. You can read their articles to learn more about what they say regarding aesthetics, pre-light, burn, etc.  

Sweet, Buttery, Salty, Wheat and Hops, Pepper Spice, and Grassy . . .

Reviewers typically describe the flavor of the cigar in thirds, noting the different characteristics as they smoke the cigar. For example, FTN used describes the first third of the smoke as a “beautiful buttery bread foreground flavor” and a “deliciously salty retrohale that perfectly complements the bread & butter of the foreground.”

cigarLE, however, describes the beginning of the smoke as “a bit of an off note that was almost chemical in nature. There was a mild sweetness to the proceedings, along with wood and grass flavor, and the slightest bit of pepper spice on the palate. Notes of pepper . . . .”

TF: “Up front is wheat and hops, a sweet cardboard, and a dry texture; there is a thick feel on the aftertaste that is burnt.”

Okay, now I’m a little confused. Three professionals were reviewing the same cigar, but giving very different descriptions of its flavor. One uses adjectives such as “buttery” and “salty retrohale,” while others use “wood and grass flavor.” Sweet seems to be a consistent adjective, yet one reviewer mentions a slight bit of pepper taste.  

FTN describes the second third of the Gran Habano as a “sweet spice essence, which also provides an enriching contrast to the salt.” “The dryness lessens,” describes TF, “and a sweet cedar arrives, but it is too late to create an above average experience.” LE referred to the “citrus and grassy notes were most prominent, with slight earth and pepper coming in behind” in the second third of the stick. 

On to the final third. “As the sweet spice and the salt begin to fight each other for control of the retrohale, the butter in the background begins to slightly reassert itself into the soured foreground” notes FTN. However, LE describes the final taste as the “cedar flavor made a comeback, mixing with the grassy notes. Citrus and sweetness dropped significantly in the flavor profile.”

“Sweet” seems to be a theme throughout the reviews. Other than that, the contrast in flavor descriptions 

If it Tastes Good . . .

One of the three reviews made more sense to me than the others, which was Leaf Enthusiast. LE’s David Jones description of the cigar most described what I thought I was tasting.

I wonder, however, what others would think after reading these reviews. Would one review make more sense to them than the others?  

Regardless, I must agree with my buddies, who say, “If it simply tastes good to me, that’s what matters!”

Discuss this topic here!