Rafael Nodal has had a hand in blending some of the most renowned cigars in the world, gathering huge ratings and prestigious awards along the way…not bad for a kid who was picking oranges in Cuba at 15. Today, we sit with Rafael to discover the 5 cigars that influenced his style, earned him success, and give some little-known facts about your favorite Altadis and Boutique Blends.
Cigars For Women Smokers
A recently published survey noted that it’s a tiny number – less than 1% of the cigar-smoking community as a whole – that are women, enjoying a fine, premium handmade cigar. Since I’ve never been one to just “trust the numbers” (see: miles per gallon on any car I’ve ever owned), I think that number is actually higher. And even if it isn’t, I think that number should grow. Women smokers have plenty to contribute to this fine cigar lifestyle of ours – when Delicia the Cigar Vixen contributed her thoughts on the subject recently, she agreed: “It’s easy to assume that the cigar life is a ‘men only’ pastime… But as a ‘lady of the leaf,’ it has been amazing to see more women taking part in this classic pastime, in addition to the world of Cosmopolitans and Brunch, women have developed an appreciation for one of the truly finer things in life: a quality cigar.”
An authentic female cigar lover- there is nothing better, in her opinion; and mine as well. So what to smoke, then? That’s why I put this post together – to answer the question and provide suggestions of cigars for women smokers.
Well, it would be easy to throw out a few flavored or infused options like Acid cigars, since those cigars tend to be milder and a little easier on the palate; so just as martinis became more accessible once the classic recipe was enhanced with new flavors, that kind of cigar can be a good jumping-off point for cigars for women smokers that will help introduce them to the hobby.
Glori Eisengart voiced her opinion on a few smokes in a recent edition of Cigar Advisor magazine, including Java Mint by Drew Estate (“a great first for any cigar virgin with a sweet tooth”), CAO Moontrance (“a delectable fruity number with a smooth draw”) and, for something a little less specialized – for lack of a better word – the Tatiana Groovy Blue, which offers a taste of vanilla, honey and cognac.
But that also breaks open the great debate: whether flavored cigars are truly cigars at all. For the record, Yours Truly abides by one great dictate, that I think should apply to cigars for women smokers as well as men: “smoke what you like, as long as you like what you smoke.”
Then there is the other side of the coin – many women smokers don’t want to be treated differently (or worse, feel pigeon-holed) when it comes to flavored treats being “their” cigar selection. I had a very informative discussion with Flor de Gonzalez’s Yadi Gonzalez-Vargas about this very subject…she’s of the opinion that there’s a straight-up hand-rolled premium in every woman smoker’s future – no flavor necessary – and yes, she’s right! Her 90 Miles stick is a great example of a medium body cigar that brings a good mix of flavor thanks to its Nicaraguan core tobaccos. It also happens to be a hell of a value, too. There are a wide variety of mild cigars available that deliver terrific flavors, are accessible for new smokers, will provide a great initiation, and won’t overwhelm a female smoker with strength while she learns which types of flavor profiles she prefers.
Female smokers who are looking for a smoother entry into the cigar game should also consider the smaller ring gauges of Macanudo Café. It fulfills that mild need, but also delivers a sweet flavor that’s not a “flavored” flavor – it’s all in the leaf. Second, a thinner ring tends to be a little more comfortable in the hand, and if she’s puffing slowly and evenly, will be a nice cool smoke. Another great pick would be the House of Capulet from Romeo y Julieta. It steps up the spice a bit thanks to its blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers, but delivers on creamy because of the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.
Hey – it’s all in the taste buds, and we’re all different. And recommending an inferior cigar to anybody, man or woman, doesn’t do us, as cigar smokers, any good. We enjoy each other’s company when we smoke, ladies included. So smoke what you like, as long as you like what you smoke…and I think our sisters of the leaf will definitely like these.