A few days ago, while admiring the cigars along the Famous Smoke Shop retail store shelves, a colleague of mine said, “There are just too many cigars.” As I continued to browse, I thought about all the cigars I’ve smoked over the years, yet there were still a decent number of them I hadn’t smoked, and I wondered if I ever would. Then came this email from a customer with the subject line, “cigar bucket list,” which inspired me to write this post:
I have a list of eight cigars I’m looking for and wondered if you carried them…
- Liga Privada No. 9 by Drew Estate Parejo Oscuro
- Ashton Cabinet Vintage #10
- Padron 1926 40th Anniversary Torpedo
- Davidoff Millennium Blend Lonsdale
- Benji Menendez Partagas Master Series Majestuoso
- Montecristo No. 2 Torpedo
- Fuente Fuente Opus X Reserva D’Chateau
- Padrón 1964 45th Anniversary Series “A” Double Corona
Now there’s a nice, tasty list if I ever saw one, and there are several cigars on it that I still haven’t gotten around to. Experienced cigar smokers will not only recognize the brands in the list, they’ll also recognize them as being pretty pricey, too. Well, why not? After all, it IS a cigar bucket list.
So, I went back into the store and began poking around, this time paying a little more attention, and realized that I had smoked about 95% of the cigars, by brand mostly, at least once. (I even felt a little sense of accomplishment.) So, I looked at the much bigger list of the cigars on our website, combined that with some web surfing, and finally came up with my own cigar bucket list. Since everyone seems to like Top-10 lists, here’s mine, in alphabetical order.
- Arturo Fuente Añejo Reserva No.77 Shark
- Ashton Estate Grown Vintage 20 Year Salute
- Cohiba Behike BHK 52 (Havana)
- Davidoff Special C Culebras
- Diamond Crown Maximus #2
- Fuente Fuente OpusX BBMF Maduro
- Hemingway Classic Sun Grown
- Padron Family Reserve 45th Anniversary
- Padron Family Reserve 46th Anniversary
- Partagas Serie P No.2 (Havana)
Since I don’t plan on dying anytime soon, the list will continue to grow. Along the way, I’m sure I’ll get to savor most of them and knock them off the list.. In fact, there’s one cigar I was going to put on the list – the Room 101 #305 – but thanks to a recent visit to our offices by Christina Eiroa (of Camacho Cigars),
he just happened to have a box of 101s with him. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky and one or two more will fall into my hands by the good graces of another manufacturer, but I won’t hold my breath.
So, now I turn the list over to you. What cigars would you put on your cigar bucket list? Please be my guest by putting your own cigar bucket list in the comments box.
Opus 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?
If you enjoy cigars, odds are you have a friend or group of friends you enjoy smoking with. One thing I’ve come to love about the cigar-smoking community is their eagerness to share, and resistance to pettiness.
However, once in a while, you’ll find yourself on the short end of the stick, so to speak. You’ve just given your buddy a Camacho 10th Anniversary 11/18, and he returns the favor with a Famous Buenos Madurito Petite Corona. A decent smoke, for sure, but by no means a fair trade.
In my mind, there are several things to consider when sharing cigars. When done in good-faith, it offers the double-benefit of expanding your cigar horizons while reaffirming camaraderie.
- If participating in an online trade, make sure you’re dealing with someone you can trust. Many forums have systems in place that indicate members’ trustworthiness.
- Don’t confuse a “gift” with a “trade.” If you gift a cigar, don’t expect anything in return. If you’re looking to trade in-kind, make it clear. If it’s more of an open-ended trade, don’t expect a cigar immediately. As the saying goes, “the best things come to those who wait.”
- Don’t let MSRP be your sole guide when offering a trade. Instead, take a moment to consider availability, price paid, and whether the recipient will actually enjoy the cigar. Macanudo Vintage 2000 I might be a $17 stick, but it’s hardly a fair trade for a Padrón Serie 1926 80th Anniversary, especially if the other party prefers a full-bodied smoke.
- If offered an open-ended trade or gifted a cigar, accept it and thank your benefactor. The time will come when you smoke a cigar he or she would really enjoy, and when it does, return the favor graciously.
Trading cigars shouldn’t be about “getting ahead” or “tit for tat,” but rather about sharing some great sticks and trying stuff you don’t normally smoke. Use this as your ultimate guideline, and remember: always let your cigar-conscience be your guide.