From Ashes to Aficionado: My Journey from Cigarettes to Cigars

From Ashes to Aficionado: My Journey from Cigarettes to Cigars

Ditched cigarettes for a more refined smoke! Discover the world of cigars - taste, aroma, collecting & the perfect whisky (or coffee) pairing for a relaxing ritual

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For over two decades, cigarettes were my constant companion. A pack a day, rain or shine, good times or bad. But then, reality hit. The ever-climbing cost in Canada, specifically, started putting a serious dent in my wallet. Faced with that harsh truth, I finally quit. Cold turkey. It wasn’t easy, but hey, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, especially when his bank account is begging him to.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there was a void. An empty space in my hand, a yearning for that familiar ritual. Enter the cigar. It wasn’t an immediate switch, mind you. But a friend, a fellow ex-pack-a-day convert, offered me one on a celebratory night out. The difference was night and day (literally).

A Symphony on the Palate: The Marriage of Cigars and Whisky

The taste. Oh, the glorious taste! Unlike the acrid bite of a cigarette, a cigar is a symphony on the palate – rich, complex, with notes that evolve with each puff. It became a weekly ritual – me, a comfy chair on the porch, a good cigar, and depending on the mood, a steaming cup of coffee or a smooth glass of whisky. My go-to daily for coffee is a Toki Suntori, its smoothness complementing the cigar beautifully. Special occasions, though, call for a more robust Scotch. The peaty smokiness adds another layer of complexity, making it an unforgettable experience.

For a long time, Cubans were my haven. Their reputation precedes them, and rightfully so. But lately, I’ve been branching out, exploring the world of non-Cubans. Specifically, I’m digging maduro-wrapped cigars. The dark, oily wrapper adds a touch of sweetness and spice that keeps me coming back for more.

Beyond the Smoke: The Allure of Aroma and Collecting

Then there’s the aroma. Unlike the stale, ashtray scent of cigarettes, a good cigar is a fragrant delight. It’s earthy, woody, sometimes with hints of chocolate or coffee. It’s an indulgence for the senses, a world away from the offensive reek of cigarettes.

Speaking of indulgence, collecting cigars has become a new passion. As a kid, it was comics and sports cards. As an adult, the sneaker game took hold. Now, as a more seasoned individual (read: older adult!), hunting down special edition cigars and different brands is a thrilling treasure hunt. It adds a whole new layer of appreciation to the experience.

Brotherhood of the Burn: The Social Aspect of Cigars

Finally, there’s the social aspect. There’s something undeniably social about a cigar. Whether it’s celebrating a birdie on the golf course with a buddy or unwinding in the backyard with friends, a good cigar elevates the experience. It’s a chance to slow down, share stories, and bond over a shared appreciation for the finer things.

So yeah, cigars are more expensive than my old pack-a-day habit. But here’s the thing: I only have one a week, and the enjoyment I get from that one cigar far outweighs the cost of twenty cigarettes. It’s a ritual, a moment of pure satisfaction, and a testament to the finer things in life.