Monday, February 22, 2010

A Good Cigar Requires a Good Humidor

A good cigar needs a good home. That whole a place for everything, and everything in its place concept that our parents told us about. And with cigars, the concept is absolutely true. You want to keep your cigars in an environment where the temperature and humidity are stable at 70 degrees, and 70% humidity. Why, you might ask? Good question. But don't also forget about where. And we will touch on that in a bit.

First, lets talk about tobacco and humidity. Tobacco needs to be kept humid so that it does not dry out. Makes sense, now doesn't it? A dry cigar will burn faster, and hotter completely changing the taste and complexity of the tobacco. Cigar makers blend different types of tobacco together to create specific tastes. They use tobacco that has a humidity level of 70%. To hold that cigar at lower levels of humidity means that what was made for a specific taste will no longer taste that way. And that sucks.

What is a guy to do? Get a humidor, is the answer to that question.

Just exactly is a humidor? It is a storage device, usually a box with Spanish cedar lining. This box has a device to hold the humidity and temperature at a constant level. That device is either an electric powered humidifier, or it is a passive humidifier.

How long your cigars should stay in the humidor until you smoke them is up to you. I follow this line of thought: if I buy my cigars from a smoke shop, they go into the humidor for a good 2 weeks before I even think of smoking them. Why? Because smoke shops have sketchy humidity devices at best, and I want to make sure that my cigar has been re-humidified before I smoke it. I do shop at a tobacconist who has a walk-in humidor where I can read what the temperature and humidity levels are. When I buy there, I know I can smoke my cigar right away If I so choose.

The long and short of it is, if you are going to smoke cigars you need to have a place to keep them where they aren't going to dry out like autumn leaves. You need to buy a humidor.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Good Cigar and Sunshine

After what has seemed like weeks of cold, snowy weather yesterday finally gave us a peek of what Spring looks like. And of course a good cigar is part of the equation.

A friend and I were doing a partigyle brew yesterday. I cover what the heck that is on another site, you can click the link above if you are interested in what it means. For this site I want to talk about the cigar, of course. I have made it my responsiblity to smoke as many different kinds of cigars as I can afford. That being said, in the 2 or so years I have been smoking cigars, I have found my favs. Those cigars I save for just the right time. Just like yesterday.

The day started out kind of blustery. The sun was out but there was a chill wind blowing with it, and as I brew out on my carport i was more than a little concerned with being out there for the length of the boil. Yes, I am a cold wimp. Don't like it and if I don't have to be out in it, I choose to stay somewhere it is nice and warm. Don't judge me. Anyway, as the day wore on, the wind died down and allowed the sun to warm my chilled bones. Which gave me the perfect opportunity to break out a new cigar. It was a Gurkha Masterblend. And oh my god was it good. I have had a number of Gurkha cigars, not all that they make mind you, but a few and I have never had a bad one. Every one has a good draw, the binder stays tight, they smoke evenly down to the nub, and they are truly good cigars.

So imagine making beer in the snow, with the sun warming your bones, and a good cigar in your hand. Tell me that that isn't the best day ever.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Good Cigar Today

I started writing a good cigar not as a way to name specific cigars. I started writing this to evoke a feeling. That feeling you get with the stars align into the perfect place in time and space where everything clicks. The mood is right. The music is right. Or the silence is just that....silent.

That place where the lighting is perfect. The temperature goes unnoticed. That place where the cigar you have right now is a good cigar.

Maybe it is The Good Cigar. You know. The perfect one. And we could talk brands all day, we have all smoked a good number of cigars in our day. But when everything hits that perfect moment in time you have a good cigar.

My good cigar would be sitting in front of a fire on a nice winter evening. The snow is falling outside, it is bitterly cold. Inside it is nice and warm, with a fire crackling in the fireplace. A good bourbon in my glass, and a good cigar in my hand.

That is a good cigar, my friends.