I think the detractors of the cigar often confuse it with other modes of tobacco – cigarettes and chewing tobacco. If you were raised by wolves or you play baseball, both pedigrees equally off-putting, you put in for chaw. And cigarettes are a nasty habit only acceptable in three settings: prison, the battlefield and the divorce settlement (which is a bit of both). Not one of these “conditions” rises to the celebratory level of the cigar. There is no “Victory Cigarette” nor do we pass out “chew” on the birth of a baby; but a cigar – a cigar is more than a smoke, it’s a King’s feast.

From the commencement celebration to the wedding reception, from the golf course to the boardroom, a cigar is the choice award for a merit won. We celebrate the newborn, the newly married and the recently retired with a smoke that is an event in itself.

A young man gets wheels and goes mobile, he starts with a Swisher Sweet that is little more than a tobacco candy-cane but gradually, his tastes mature and he realizes a galaxy of taste from which to indulge. As manner and taste are refined, he becomes a man and puts away childish things. It is then that he has arrived and with a knowing smile, takes a draw from his Safari Cigar .500 Nitro and silently consents to the advanced wisdom of the good Prince: “There are five things, above all else, that make life worth living: a good relationship with God, a good woman, good health, good friends, and a good cigar.”

So, what makes for a memorable smoke? – The company you keep, the setting in which you keep it and the stick that’s in your hand. Remember, a cigar is an event and under the right conditions, the occasion becomes the fifth essence that brings unity out of diversity. In similar fashion to the Cherokee wise men that passed a pipe, men partaking of fine tobacco settle transactions, wage or remit war, even arrange marriages; but the vast majority of the time, the cigar is indulged to unwind, relax, bond, appreciate beauty, indulge the senses, or to just share a moment.

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