A cigar is a rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaf, produced in a variety of types and sizes to be smoked.
Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities primarily in Central America and the islands of the Caribbean, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, and Puerto Rico; it is also produced in the Eastern United States, the Mediterranean countries of Italy and Spain (in the Canary Islands), and in Indonesia and the Philippines of Southeast Asia. A Guatamalan ceramic pot dating back to the tenth century features a Mayan smoking tobacco leaves tied together with a string.
“There are many, many differences between cigars and cigarettes,” said Mason.
“Firstly, they’re different types of tobacco.” The type of leaf found in cigarettes is highly acidic while cigars are more alkaline, which is the natural state of tobacco.
His sailors reported that the Taínos on the island of Cuba smoked a primitive form of cigar, with twisted, dried tobacco leaves rolled in other leaves such as palm or plantain.
In time, Spanish and other European sailors adopted the practice of smoking rolls of leaves, as did the Conquistadors, and smoking primitive cigars spread to Spain and Portugal and eventually France, most probably through Jean Nicot, the French ambassador to Portugal, who gave his name to nicotine.
The image of a man enjoying a smoldering cigar and a warm snifter of cognac is so synonymous with style and sophistication it’s almost a cliche or a parody.
Maybe men don’t often sit before a fire to indulge in hand-rolled, aged tobacco and even more aged brandy, but they should. Fine cognac and cigars should never be wed haphazardly.
If you’re new to cigars and in a rush, check out the mild strength samplers from Holt’s Cigar Company for a quality, affordable place to start.As a perfect complement to your cigar, you can order the Porterhouse medium-rare and a glass of your favorite bourbon or scotch.Smokers here are treated with class and are welcomed into the outdoor seating area in the front where they can enjoy the picture-perfect weather.They must be properly paired lest they clash with each other.Such a waste would be unthinkable, so we turned to one of world’s elite experts in both spirits and cigars to aide us in our perfect pairings.