Cigars You’ll Never Smoke

Hayward TenneyOpus X BBMF Maduro. Tatuaje T110′s. Well-aged Padróns. Original-release Padilla Miami 8 & 11′s. Various regional-release (ahem) “contraband” cigars. These are all smokes we might consider “special occasion cigars”.

These are but a few of the cigars I may never smoke, though they slumber comfortably in my humidor. Which begs the question: “Why in the world would anyone hold on to cigars he has no intention of smoking?” Pondering this always makes my head spin.

On one hand, we’re not promised tomorrow. Some once said we should “live every day like it’s going to be our last,” because we’re living on “borrowed time.” You know, Carpe Diem and all that. In other words, don’t waste your time hoarding cigars, because you may not live to smoke them. Besides, cigars are for smoking, not for being conspicuously displayed in a humidor…right? Why save cigars for a special occasion? Why not turn a regular day into a special occasion with a terrific rare cigar?

On the other hand, isn’t it appropriate to save your truly rare treats for truly rare occasions? You wouldn’t break out the vintage champagne to celebrate some mundane victory, would you? Nor should an extremely precious vitola be smoked on some mundane afternoon, or after a mundane meal…right?

I acknowledge that, on some level, fear is at play. Fear that I’ll never smoke that cigar. Fear that I will smoke it and hate it. Fear that I’ll smoke it in the wrong setting and be disappointed by what could have been. Fear that I’ll enjoy it immensely, but never have another.

All of which forces the conclusion that there’s no right or wrong answer. Every factor in the equation is relative…the cigars, the cigar smoker, and the given occasions one deems appropriate for torching such rarities.

What special cigars do you have tucked away? Are you planning on smoking them? If so, will they serve to punctuate a memorable moment? Or will the cigars themselves be the focus of the moment?

Hayward Tenney


When he's not busy writing, editing, smoking cigars, or raising his many, many children, Hayward "It's Lou, not Hayward" Tenney spends his days combating confusion about his real name (it's Hayward, but please - call him "Lou") and mourning the matrimonially-induced loss of his moustache (what's he gonna do with all that moustache wax he made?).


  1. Darren says:

    I’ve got a 1987 Partagas (a super-thin ring gauge, 34, I think, 7 inches long) that I picked up in 1997. I still have it. I have no idea why I’ve hung onto it other than it reminds me of the first cigar herf/event I went to when I bought it. I’ve got some special Cuban cigars I’ve held onto waiting for the right, celebratory moment that I haven’t deemed worth yet.

  2. Aaron says:

    Darren, sounds like you’ve got a Partagas Serie Connaisseur no. 1 on your hands. Great smoke!

    I’ve got:

    Padron Millennium
    Cohiba Gran Reserva
    Cohiba Sublime Extra
    Various discontinued “contraband” and regionals
    A box of OpusX Lost City toros and a few of the pyramids

    I’m not a collector. I plan on smoking them all eventually.

  3. Lloyd L. says:

    I’ve got a single Opus X and three of the ‘forbidden’ cigars (all are by different makers), and I’m waiting for the right moment to light them up. Since I only have one of each, I feel like it may be the last one I smoke.

  4. Tom Ufer says:

    I don’t save cigars, I smoke them all at one time or another. I do have an aging humidor that I pick from less frequently than my other humidors.

  5. Craig V. says:

    I have a RyJ Celestiales Fino from 1977, not sure what will be the right time to smoke that one. I have an Opus X from Carlito’s private stash that was handed out at the wedding of a dear friend (took place during a 3 day herf at the MGM in Vegas with 300 cigar newsgroup types), that one’s going to be 12 years old this year, should probably smoke it. I have a couple of cigars that Sam Leccia rolled that are just too pretty to smoke. There are a lot of cigars that I pass over thinking I’ll never see another one, so I want the setting to be just right, but the just right time never seems to present itself…I guess I need to create the time one day….

  6. Ken Christensen says:

    I too have many fine cigars that may never pass my lips
    but I do not worry I have many good cigar smoking buddies
    that will enjoy them when Im gone and thats just fine with me.

  7. Dan says:

    I have 2 opus X ‘s from a 3 finger souvenir tin. I smoked one when I asked my fiancee to marry me, I will smoke the second on my wedding day and the third will be smoked on our first anniversary.

  8. Bill says:

    I have an 86 Ring Gauge CAO Soprano that is my ‘doomsday’ cigar. The others are just aging.

  9. Rob says:

    I’ve got two boxes of Partagas 150′s. After storing for a few years, now enjoy one with my son along with a 1953 scotch on my birthday each year. My son has instructions to smoke one on my birthday every year after I’m gone ’till they are finished. I thought a proper tribute to the enjoyment of these pleasures.

  10. andy says:

    I’ve got a box of PSD4s. I smoked the first when my son was born. Smoking another each birthday until he’s old enough to share, then the rest are his. (gotta start him off right)

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