You see the word “vintage” in a cigar’s name – but what does that actually mean? Go beyond the marketing-speak and get our close-up look at the tobaccos used for premium cigars, what constitutes a true “vintage cigar” and our 10 top “vintage” picks.
Essentials for a Cigar Smoking Man Cave
Essentials for a Cigar Smoking Man Cave
By Tommy Zman Zarzecki
Ah, the Man Cave… the hallowed lair where the males of the species congregate to perform such manful activities as watching sports and guy flicks, playing pool and poker, quaffing their favorite beers and whiskeys, and of course, participating in the ritual of cigar smoking.
When you actually decide to create your very own testosterone pit, the choices are many and the sky’s the limit. You can have a small simple room with some chairs, a TV, a few bowling trophies and a desk top humidor. Or, you can go completely bonkers with a themed palatial palace filled with big-boy toys, games, memorabilia and a whole lotta hand rolled happy sticks. It basically all comes down to the amount of space you have and how much money you want to spend.
Actually, the first thing you really need to decide is exactly where you’re going to create your cave… a spare bedroom, the den, basement, attic, garage? And remember, if your going to smoke cigars in there, you’ve gotta make sure that the rest of the home doesn’t become subjected to the sweet smell of the luscious leaf – or as my wife refers to it, “those rotten, stinking rolled up weeds.” There are ways to deal with that, which we’ll touch on shortly.
Next you want to think about what kind of cool stuff you want in there – is it a random collection of man-toy goodness or will you actually follow a theme? Most caves are going to have a TV and perhaps a nice stereo system. Of course you need a place to sit for you and your pals, but if it’s going to be a cigar room, leather or vinyl is suggested as well as wood or laminate floors because the smoke will just annihilate your rug and cloth furniture. And go with blinds for the windows as curtains will stink to the high heavens as well. Anything made of cloth is a smoke magnet so always keep that in mind.
As far as themes go, it’s a reflection of you so choose what you’re seriously into. A sports room can be done up in your team’s colors along with stadium chairs, signed memorabilia, (jerseys on half mannequins are a cool touch) and even a scoreboard hanging from the ceiling. Maybe even foosball or table hockey to keep you busy between periods, quarters and innings. A gaming room or a Vegas style hangout might call for a billiards and poker table, darts and PlayStation or Xbox. Maybe you can even pick up an old slot machine, pinball game or some Rat Pack prints for the wall. Making it a cool and comfortable place to hang in is what it’s all about.
Some guys do the cinema thing with a big-ass screen, theater seating, original movie posters on the wall, and even an authentic popcorn machine. I’ve seen some great music rooms with high-end sound systems, guitars and gold records on the walls, album covers and concert posters. Then there are the garage caves, done up with automotive coolness like seating made from car parts, as well as parking a muscle car or a hog right on in there.
Then there are those of us who as Paul Stanley from KISS said, “Like to take a little taste of alcohol.” You might be a beer guy and have a nice tap and feature some great local craft brews. Or, on the upper scale side, a whiskey bar with some killer scotches, bourbons and other assorted brown liquids to suffice. And of course, a fancy-shmancy wine rack with a collection of hearty reds and ports will go well when you light up you favorite cigar.
Which leads us to the manly pleasures of cigars and preparing your dwelling for the best smoking experience. As far as a theme goes, you can make that leafy lounge the cigar bar of your dreams complete with dark wood, leather and a killer bar… or just a simple room to watch a ball game while enjoying a nightly stick. Either way, I do have some good suggestions on how to jazz up that smoke pit with the right kind of paraphernalia.
Ventilation/Smoke Elimination – Some guys put in exhaust fans that draw the smoke outside. The only downside is that it lets the hot or cold air in from the outside and draws your heat or air conditioning out as well. Then there are smoke eating ceiling units that you find in cigar bars – they work great, but they can be large, noisy and pricy. Again, that’ll depend on the amount of room you have and what you want to spend. One product that I highly recommend is Re-Fresh Smoke Odor Eliminator. It’s a small spray can and uses natural citrus oils to destroy tobacco odors. This stuff just smells great, it’s available in several really pleasant scents, and it really does a great job at eliminating the lingering odor.
Another couple of important thoughts…make sure you properly seal off your door jambs so smoke doesn’t travel into other rooms of your home… and you might want a dedicated heat or a/c return, so again the rest of the house doesn’t enjoy your hand rolled happiness.
Cigar Storage/Humidors – There’s a plethora of humidors to choose from out there, so I’m recommending three units that hold different quantities of cigars. The industrial garage looking Diamond Plate covered humidor holds 100 sticks. The glass window, Countertop Display unit hold 150 cigars. And the manly dark wood-grain Treasure Dome humidor has a 200 count capacity and as one online reviewer said, it looks a lot more expensive than it really is.
Lighters – With lighters you can go basic for a small room with the handsome XIKAR Enigma II Double Jet Gun Metal. Then there’s the cool Table Top Kettle Burner. And then you can crank up the testosterone with the Vector Tri-Pump Triple Flame that resembles some kind of steam punk acetylene torch. That’ll add an extra touch of cool to the room, for sure.
Cutters – You’ve gotta have a cutter around and you can go with the handheld XIKAR X12 Fiberglass granite. You can get a little fancy with a pair of XIKAR Multi Tool Cigar Scissors (you’ll need to have your pinky out when using it). And then there’s the way-cool, table top Quad Stainless Table Cutter – a heavy duty unit with four size holes for cutting (regular and V-cut) and a metal hand crank for doing the job.
Ash Trays – OK, you’ve got this great room and you sure as hell don’t want some crappy plastic ashtray that your uncle used to smoosh his Camel butts in. Show a little bit of style with the Oliva Leaf Ash Tray that is a big ceramic tobacco leaf. The Montecristo Stinky Ash Tray looks like a black bowl type chalice that you can rest 4 cigars on and it holds a whole lot of finished off butts. Then there’s the Stinky Floor Model that is the cigar bowl ash tray on a nice stand.
Cigars – Last but not least, it wouldn’t be a cigar room without cigars now, would it? So I’m gonna recommend 2 sticks from each body category that I feel would make a nice edition to any smoky cave.
Mild Bodied Cigars:
Medium Bodied Cigars:
Full Bodied Cigars:
So there you have it, people, some seriously good, testosterone filled suggestions for creating a man cave that will give you hours of relaxation as you escape from the rigors of the real world.
We want you to tell us what kind of man-pit you would have if the funds were unlimited! And, if you already have a cool cave of your own, we’d love to see some pictures!