Category: Contributor’s Article

A Conversation with Yanko Maceda: Why the Cigar Industry Needs to Stop Being Cut-Throat

A Conversation with Yanko Maceda:
Why the Cigar Industry Needs to Stop Being Cut-Throat


A couple of weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Ybor City with a couple other ChristianCigarSmoker guys. For a full look at our adventures in Ybor check out the ChristianCigarSmoker Podcast Episode 1 (coming soon). One thing that is not captured on this episode was a thought provoking conversation we got to have with Yanko Maceda the owner and operator of Tabanero Cigars in Ybor City.

Tabanero is a boutique lounge that produces and sells their own cigar brand in addition to running one of the best lounges on the historic Ybor strip. With a lifetime of cigar industry experience and the opportunity to be a key part of the culture in the city that is the capital of cigar culture in America, Yanko provided a perspective that I had previously not considered.

The main message that I took away from the conversation was the cigar industry is causing itself suffering by holding onto an out of date cut-throat mentality!

When we first starting talking with Yanko we didn’t realize who he was, but we quickly picked up on the connection as his stylized picture appears on the Tabanero cigar collar. As we started to talk he quickly became eager to find out more about us. In addition to being a great host, he was drawn to the fact that we were there simply to connect cigar smokers in community and not to make a profit.

He expressed the opinion that cigar smokers are stronger, better off, and more profitable when they are unified. They will see far greater success when they advance the industry together instead of fighting over their small part of the existing pie. Capitalism in the industry is one thing, but a failure to see mutual benefit is all together different.

He gave us a great example of this right there in Ybor. He said he often hears people remark they would love to open a lounge or boutique like his. He told us when he hears this he always replies, “great, you should look at doing so right here in Ybor.” He told us that the response to this is almost always, “no, I wouldn’t want to fight the competition of all the other lounges that are already in the area.”

At first glance this seems to make sense, but Yanko explained that Ybor is great, not because it has one lounge but because it has many lounges. People come to Ybor to experience the variety and the multiple cigar spots. The more spots and lounges that are there the more people are drawn to Ybor as a destination. In this case a rising tide really does raise all ships.

This argument rang true for us as that is exactly why we had come to Ybor. Now Ybor is a great spot that every great cigar lover should visit (again, take a look at our Ybor episode for more info). At the same time, the history of Ybor is far more grand than it’s current offerings. Ybor is the best there is, and what is there shines brightly, but it is only a shadow of what it could be. Most importantly I think that this same statement could be applied to cigar culture in our time in general.

Cigar culture has some amazing things happening in it in our time, and yet it finds itself on the margins of society. It has been pushed there by a fast paced, anti-thinking culture and the war on cigarettes. It has stayed there because those in the industry see each other as mere competitors rather than allies. The industry relies on a few select groups like the CRA (Cigar Rights of America) to fight their battles, while national lounge networks and social groups for cigar smokers are almost nonexistent. You may have noticed this is one of the things that ChristianCigarSmoker is trying to change.

Again, Yanko Maceda gave us a great example in Ybor of this played out on a smaller level. He told us how he encouraged the other boutique cigar makers in town to add some branding or collars to their cigars, but they could not be bothered. We saw this to be true of all the boutique rollers on the Ybor strip only Tabanero Cigars sported a collar or logo of any kind.

When this suggestion failed, Yanko tried to get the other producers to ship their cigars in custom marked boxes. However the other sellers prefer to continue to ship any products sold in unmarked bundles. Yanko even tried to sweeten the offer. He has a box maker that does a burn etching on his wood boxes at a good rate, but that rate could be reduced for everyone if the other lounges in the area decided to go in together on the same box producer. Again, no one was interested.

Yanko showed his wisdom by remarking that the better the branding for every lounge and boutique in Ybor the bigger the draw would be for cigar smokers to come to the town. After all, these boxes would be used to ship the very product that the cigar sellers are trying to promote, and good branding is critical to increase interest and excitement, not to mention conveying a professional image.

Seemingly the other owners and rollers in the area can’t see that success of their business depends far more on the success of the cigar culture in general than on being the best lounge or boutique in town. 50% of a 1,000 smokers is far better business than 100% of 100 smokers. I think this is a lesson that a lot of people in the cigar industry would do well to learn.

One of our big hopes here at ChristianCigarSmoker is that you join us in fighting back against the “fighting over the scraps” mentality and instead fight for a revival in the culture. A cigar culture that has proven to be one of the last bastions of diverse, civil, and deep conversation and fellowship in our nation.

One way you can do this is by joining or starting a cigar group and joining the ChristianCigarSmoker groups network (coming soon).

CIGARS

[article by: Pastor Smokey]

Biblical Cigars – The Complete List

Bring On the Biblical Cigars!

Here at ChristianCigarSmoker we think cigars and the Bible are a great pairing. In light of this, we think it is only natural for a good cigar to sport a name that derives from, or is a reference to a biblical concept. So for some time now we have been collecting the names of cigars that have biblical themes to them and this article is the result.

If you are looking for a cigar that will create a good biblical image the ChristianCigarSmoker guys have worked together to compile the list later in this article. But, before we get to the full list let’s have a little fun.

First, lets start with my top 5 biblical cigar names. These are listed in order based on how good the name is, not on how good the cigar is.

Top 5 Biblical Names:
1. Drew Estate – Smoking Monk
2. Southern Draw – Rose of Sharon
3. Gurkha – Evil Goliath
4. Southern Draw – Jacob’s Ladder/Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone
5. Viva Republica – Rapture Exodus

A great name is good, but a great cigar is better. So here are the top 5 cigars that happen to have a biblical theme to their name. These are taken from the full list and are in order of their overall rating. (A quick disclaimer on this particular list – I have had most of the cigars on the full biblical name list but not all so this top 5 could have a miss if I haven’t had a good one).

Top 5 Cigars with Biblical Names:
1. My Father – The Judge
2. San Cristobal – Revelation Legend (CCS 4.0)
3. Southern Draw – Jacob’s Ladder
4. Foundation Cigars – The Wise Man Maduro
5. Alec Bradley – Blind Faith

So, without further ado, let’s get to the complete list. The following is the full list of cigar that have biblically themed names, at lease  what we have compiled so far.

The Full list (alphabetical by company):

  • 5 Vegas – Apocalypse
  • 5 Vegas – Apostle
  • AJ Fernandez – Fallen Angel
  • Alec Bradley – Blind Faith
  • Alec Bradley – King David
  • Atlantic – Gran Habano Persian King
  • Atabey – Spiritus
  • Ave Maria – Holy Grail
  • Black Label Trading Company – Salvation
  • Carlos Toraño – Exodus
  • Corona Cigars – Cielo Cigars (line)
  • Crowned Heads – Angel’s Anvil
  • Curivari Achilles – Eternos
  • Drew Estate – Smoking Monk
  • Foundation Cigars – The Tabernacle
  • Foundation Cigars – The Wise Man Cigars (line)
  • Gurkha – Beast
  • Gurkha – Evil
  • Gurkha – Evil Goliath
  • Gurkha – Rogue Armageddon
  • Heaven Cigars (flavored) – (company name)
  • JR Cigars – Casa Blanca Jeroboam
  • JR Cigars – Padilla Doctrine
  • My Father – The Judge
  • Oliva – Hellion
  • PIO – Resurrection
  • Punch – Diablo
  • Ramon Bueso – Genesis
  • RoMa Craft – Intemperance EC XVIII Brotherly Kindness
  • RoMa Craft – Intemperance EC XVIII Charity
  • RoMa Craft – Intemperance EC XVIII Faith
  • RoMa Craft – Intemperance EC XVIII Goodness
  • RoMa Craft – Intemperance EC XVIII Humility
  • RoMa Craft – Intemperance EC XVIII Virtue
  • San Cristobal – Revelation Legend
  • San Cristobal – Revelation Leviathan
  • San Cristobal – Revelation Prophet
  • Southern Draw – Jacob’s Ladder
  • Southern Draw – Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone
  • Southern Draw – Rose of Sharon
  • Tatiana Mocha – Eden
  • Viva Republica – Rapture
  • Viva Republica – Rapture Exodus

The above list is something that we are always updating so if you check back in the future you will likely find some new entries, and even perhaps some new entries in the top 5.

Do you have a cigar to add to this list? or maybe you want to weigh in on the top 5’s that were picked? Let us know by joining the discussion feed on this topic HERE.

[article by: Pastor Smokey]

Don’t Burn Down the Cigar Lounges!

Cigar Lounges are One of the Last Great Places of Peace and Unity – So Please Don’t Destroy Them!

We are all aware of the civil unrest, protesting, and riots that have ensued from the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer several weeks ago. No matter where you fall personally on the issues at hand in the debate that surrounds these events, we should all be able to agree that the situation could only benefit from more honest and civil conversation and less yelling and insults.

If you want a more complete look at the need for and importance of honest conversation around this topic tune into Smokey’s Corner next week. (Smokey’s Corner – Ep 5 – Real Conversations on Racism and Police)

One problem is that there are so few places left in our culture where people can just sit down and talk calmly with others of different backgrounds and upbringings. In my experience the best place left in our culture to do just that is a cigar lounge. I think some of those protesting, particularly the rioters would be better served sitting down in a lounge and simply talking with others in a way that might make a difference and where both sides can learn something.

This is why I was so dismayed to see a Facebook post from my friend Al in Lansing, MI. Al runs a great smoking lounge in downtown lansing, called The Downtown Smoking Club. In fact when you walk out the front door of the lounge and look to your left you can see the front of the Michigan capital building.

During the riots in Lansing last week that were held in response to the death of George Floyd, Al’s lounge was damaged and looted (pictured), and has had to close for an undetermined period of time. These rioters not only damaged a small business struggling in the wake of the Corona virus shutdowns, but it also destroys one of the few places where people can have real conversations about issues and what change might be needed in a troubled time.

In looking around I found that Al’s lounge is not the only lounge in the country to be damaged by rioters in the last week. A lounge that was destroyed in California was featured in an article put out by Cigar Aficionado.

This is part of what Cigar Aficionado had to say, “totaled. Devastated. Ravaged. These were the words used by David Weiss to describe what happened to The Lone Wolf Cigar Co. (pictured) in Santa Monica, California. His store windows were shattered and his retail space was ransacked two nights ago during one of the nation’s many simultaneous riots. The Lone Wolf Cigar Co. has been serving Santa Monica since 1996.”

Ok, it is time for a short side story in the middle of our main story, because this is just to crazy not to mention. The man listed above who runs The Lone Wolf Cigar Co. is named David Weiss. For those who know ChristianCigarSmoker well you will recognize that name because our own Rabbi David’s name is David Weiss. Heres the thing they are not the same person, at least as far as I know they aren’t. If they are, I have some serious questions for my good friend. Mainly, how he dare hide cigars from me!

Alright back to our main story line. Why are we destroying some of the few remaining bastions of open honest conversations between diverse groups in public. This topic seems to epitomize the problem that is plaguing our nation at present, the fact that we cannot have a productive discussion on an important issue without “triggering” someone into an apoplectic rage.

You cannot even start by uttering basic self-evident truths that people on both sides should never have reason to disagree with. If you say there are people of color in our country who are genuinely hurting and in need of help, you are kowtowing to media propaganda and undermining American freedoms. But, if you say that most cops aren’t racist bigots, you yourself are an insensitive racist bigot whose primary actions are supporting oppression.

In the end, if the combination of George Floyd’s death, Black Lives Matter, protests, riots, racial tensions, honoring police and first responders, and political-cultural implications, has your head spinning. Try sitting down at your local cigar lounge, relaxing with a good cigar, and maybe talking to other people who might have something wise to say. Whatever you do, PLEASE STOP DESTROYING OUR CIGAR LOUNGES! They are one of our last links to the sanity we find in real conversation.

[article by: Pastor Smokey]

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. . .  

Smoking Spiritualized

I was sitting in a cigar lounge in Jeffersonville Indiana, just across the river from Louisville, this week when I had the chance to start a conversation with another guy sitting near me. We were both from out of town and there on business and we got to talking as so often happens in the cigar community about a wide variety of topics many of them deep or personal.

During the course of the conversation he told me about a poem written by an 18th century pastor about the joys and deep spiritual meaning behind smoking cigars and pipes. It got my attention to say the least. In fact, to be transparent, the fact there was something out there that combined history, pastors, poetry, and cigars that I had not heard of almost felt like a personal failing that I had missed it.

The poem is called Smoking Spiritualized and was written by Ralph Erskine. Ralph Erskine (1685-1752) was a Scottish churchman and pastor who saw some serious spiritual analogies in smoking tobacco.

This Poem is written in two parts, and in looking into the history of this piece a bit more I discovered that we are only sure that Erskine wrote the second part. In the history we have, he only claims the second part. It is  possible that he wrote the first part at an earlier date and was simply making mention that the second part was a new addition. Or, the first part may have been written by a second unknown author.

Either way, in looking up the poem I immediately loved it. To be fair, having the topic that it does, made it almost a foregone conclusion that I would like it. But it is more than that. There is a sense of deep introspection and contemplativeness that lives within this work.

So without further ado, here is the Poem…

Smoking Spiritualized

PART I

This Indian weed now wither’d quite,
‘Tho’ green at noon, cut down at night,
Shows thy decay;
All flesh is hay.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The pipe so lily-like and weak,
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak.
Thou art ev’n such,
Gone with a touch.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the smoke ascends on high,
Then thou behold’st the vanity
Of worldly stuff,
Gone with a puff.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the pipe grows foul within,
Think on thy soul defil’d with sin;
For then the fire,
It does require.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And seest the ashes cast away;
Then to thyself thou mayest say
That to the dust
Return thou must.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

PART II.

Was this small plant for thee cut down?
So was the plant of great renown;
Which mercy sends
For nobler ends.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

Doth juice medicinal proceed
From such a naughty foreign weed?
Then what’s the pow’r
Of Jesse’s flow’r?
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The promise, like the pipe, inlays,
And by the mouth of faith conveys
What virtue flows
From Sharon’s rose.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
In vain th’ unlighted pipe you blow;

Your pains in inward means are so,
‘Till heav’nly fire
Thy heart inspire.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
The smoke, like burning incense tow’rs

So should a praying heart of yours,
With ardent cries,
Surmount the skies.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

Let us know what you think of this poem by visiting the Discussion Board and clicking on the thread about this post. This is Pastor Smokey, hoping that gave you something to think about as you smoke your next cigar.

 

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

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Cigars By the Foot

I have found that the term “FOOT” is one that is often not known even by experienced cigar smokers. However, foot is the technical term for the end of the cigar that you light.

I was talking with some of the CCS crew this week and the term foot came up. It was at this point we realized something. We realized that there are a number of everyday sayings that are begging to be reimagined in light of this revelation.

So here are our suggestions for repurposed sayings that now have a whole new meaning for cigar smokers…

Feet to the Fire: In the rest of the world having your feet to the fire is rarely a good thing, but not for a cigar smoker. For us this is the glorious moment when you first put the cigar foot in the flame. Have you been having a rough day? It’s time to put you feet to the fire!

Putting Your Foot in Your Mouth: It’s never pleasant to put one’s foot in one’s mouth, but in the cigar world this is even more true. There are two ways to put your foot in you mouth in the cigar world. The first is merely embarrassing. We have all seen that newbie with the deer in headlights look, so bewildered he doesn’t know what end of the cigar to light. You don’t want to be that guy, but at least least it is only unpleasant for your feelings. The real hazard is picking up the cigar you are smoking without paying attention and putting the wrong end in your mouth. At this point all you can do is pray it’s not hot! Word of advice here for everyone, be careful when smoking somewhere dark like around a campfire (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything).

Hand and Foot: In the rest of the world it is usually nice to be served on hand and foot, and although it’s not as bad as putting your foot in your mouth, you don’t want to go hand and foot with a cigar. This would mean picking up your cigar by the wrong end when it is lit. Sadly, it usually results in a dropped cigar. Happily, it is usually fun for your friends who get to watch you do it.

Foot Fungus: Okay, so this one is just gross. No one wants fungus in their socks, but real cigar aficionados might prefer to find something growing between their toes, than to find something growing on their best cigars. A little tip on this one don’t over do it in your humidor.

Foot Fetish: Before you start to feel too uncomfortable this one has a really different meaning when talking about cigars. A cigar smoker with a foot fetish is that guy that is never quite happy with how the foot of his cigar is burning. He is always re-lighting, adjusting, and fidgeting with his cigar. This guy is usually annoying but it could be worse, he could be talking about the other kind of foot fetish.

Starting Off on the Right Foot: We all know and love when this happens. Starting off on the right foot is when you pick that perfect cigar to start the evening and you know it as soon as you take that first puff.

Wrong Footed: In many ways the opposite of starting off on the right foot, this is when you know you picked a crap stick as soon as it is lit. Feeling wrong footed can range from being a minor inconvenience to ruining an entire evening.

Two Left Feet: This one may not be immediately obvious but it is when you light up the same type cigar twice in a row. This usually means either your stick was treating you so right you had to have another, or your options are limited, or both.

Happy Feet: This is that moment in the middle of the evening when it dawns on you, you really, really love this cigar.

Cold Feet: Simple and straight forward this is when your cigar goes out.

Dragging Your Feet: We have most likely all done this one. It is when the end of your cigar accidentally rubs against something and gets ash everywhere.

Foot in the Door: This one is really sad, it happens when you are careless and close your humidor or herf-a-dor on a stick. It can also happen if someone sits on or steps on a cigar. Just don’t do that guys! It’s a huge party foul, and no one wants to take your man card away. Unless of course it was an Acid, in which case you most likely had to turn in your man card when you bought the thing.

Putting Your Foot Down: This is that melancholy moment at the end of the night when you stamp out your cigar in the ash tray. (Quick aside on this, we actually recommend that you just let the stub go out naturally, stamping it out is not technically what you are suppose to do).

Foot Loose: You might like the movie, but for a cigar guy this is no good. This is when the foot end of the cigar starts to unravel or split.

Put Your Best Foot Forward: This is when someone wants to impress his friends or those they are smoking with by breaking out their best cigar.

Thinking on Your Feet: This one is best done alone. It is when you stare a the glow at the end of your cigar and the curling of the smoke and begin to reflect on something deeper. Akin to staring into a fire, I am convinced that some of the best ideas in history have happened when a cigar smoker is thinking on their feet.

So that’s my list. If you can think of any to add pop over to the discussion board and let us know about them.

Thanks for taking the time to consider how to use our new cigar phrases. Do us a favor use these terms often and proudly.

This is Pastor Smokey, hoping that this has been enlightening even after the smoke clears.

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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).