Gary showcases eight top-rated cigars with naturally sweet flavor profiles, and dives deep into the weeds on how blenders select, ferment, and age tobaccos to achieve such rich-tasting confections.
2016 CA Report: Essential Summer Cigar Accessories
Summer Cigar Essentials: Cigar Accessories for a Smokin’ Summer
By Jonathan Detore
Oh sweet summer, you’re nearly here! No summer for me is complete without heading down the shore, going on at least one brewery bar hopping tour (this year is Denver), and of course, hosting a few BBQs with friends and family. I’m not going to lie; my New Jersey BBQ is far different than a South Carolina rack of ribs. On the other hand, my friend Richie likes playing backyard football, while Marc likes to just chill with a beer and let the rays of a sunny day hit him. Summer is what we make of it, and chances are if you’re reading this article, cigars will undoubtedly make an appearance quite a bit no matter how you choose to spend your time. And because we’re all different in how we live our lives, we’re all going to need different cigar accessories to match those lifestyles.
Though the three of us spend a great deal of time together, we’ll all need different gear to make sense of our smokin’ summers. For instance, I’m going to need something that can travel easily with me since I’m usually on the move. Marc is going to need something that will stand up to a long day hanging out in the sun, and Richie is going to need something to match a hyperactive lifestyle. That’s why I’m giving you a list of cigar accessories that match your particular summer persona. From the lazy to the far-too-active, gear up now with my Summer Cigar Essentials: Cigar Accessories for a Smokin’ Summer.
This guy is someone who hosts the weekly BBQ on the block. He’s the old guard making sure the burgers are nice and juicy and the hot dogs are plump. He stands at his post until everyone is fed, and then throws on a few more steaks just to make sure everyone slips into a food coma for at least three hours before huffing and puffing their way home with a bad case of the meat sweats. For you, Mr. Griller, you’re going to need something that can stand the heat of the grill, and last you a long time.
Don’t take up valuable shelf space on your grill by putting an ash tray on it. You’re going to need that prep space for burger meat, steaks, and for the vegan that moved in down the street, veggies. That’s what makes the Stinky Floor Stand Ashtray the right choice for you. Coming to about 3 feet tall, this sturdy stand features a deep bowl that can easily hold 5 cigars worth of ash or more, while keeping your shelf space clear. Just keep it away from the propane tank if you’re a gashead.
Because grilling can be an all-day event, you’re going to need an all-day cigar. A 6×60 is the standard for the griller, which many cutters can’t handle. But that’s not the case for the Lotus Fury Cutter. Able to cut a 60 ring gauge cigar like a Samurai sword through tender filet, this ultra-sharp snipper can handle whatever you can throw at it.
A pit master needs to have all the right tools for the job, and this handy Vertigo Raptor Table Top Lighter is going to be one of his best friends. Aside from perfectly roasting the foot of your cigar, this elegantly designed lighter might even pull double duty as a flambé torch. Impress your friends with some new cooking techniques and light your summer cigar like a boss. Boom.
The Chiller is a laid back dude who likes wasting away in the summer’s sun, much like my buddy Marc. The perfect day for the Chiller is laying on a lounger out back with a cold beer on his left, and a cigar to the right with some relaxing tunes to take him to the point of pure relaxation.
The 601 La Bomba Ashtray features a deep bowl to hold at least 2 cigar’s worth of ash, with side and top covering to keep your stogie protected from the wind when you most likely drift off for a mid-day siesta. For a long day in the sun, this is what you need to get the most out of your summer cigar.
To cut those outdoor stogies is the Credo 2 Blade Cigar Cutter. This inexpensive snipper cuts up to a 60 ring gauge cigar so you can relax with a big smoke for a marathon lounging session. While you might not mind stocking up with a few of these in case you lose them from time to time, this is one cutter you truly don’t want to be without.
Finally, to light those big cigars, you’re going to need a big lighter that can stand up to the summer winds. The Xikar Volta Quad Lighter is a tabletop 4 burner lighter with a massive fuel tank so you can evenly light your summer cigar even in some less than friendly conditions. This beautifully designed lighter is actually what we keep here in the Cigar Advisor offices, and it works phenomenally.
The Thriller is what I consider to be my buddy Richie. This guy is always on the move, from the baseball diamond to the football field and everywhere in between. He just never stops moving, so this guy needs equipment that he can throw in his car or gear bag that can stand up to the abuse of always being tossed around, and still perform like new when he needs it.
Zinc is a metal, and a decently hard one at that. That’s what makes the Vector 4 Cigar Zinc Ashtray a home run for the Thriller. This ashtray can be beat up and tossed around before breaking it out after a game of whateverball for a victory cigar. Because even if you lose, everyone is a winner with a post-game smoke.
The XI1 Cigar Cutter has become a staple in the cigar industry, being known as one of the most reliable tools for a cigar lover in any walk of life. But this one is especially perfect for the Thriller. With an ergonomic design that is meant to easily snip any cigar, this ultra-sharp double blade cutter is built to last long.
Finally, for a little flash, the Lotus Spoiler Triple Flame Torch Lighter is a must-have for anyone on the go. With a sleek design, this clubhouse worthy lighter features 3 torch flames to evenly light your summer cigar in particularly windy conditions while also looking damn good. And with a tough exterior, this lighter is built to be bumped around quite a bit.
The Camper is the ultimate outdoorsman. He’s the one who chopped out the Long Trail in Vermont, and helps beavers build additions to their dams for the hell of it. No weekend is spent without being in the great outdoors at least one night, and at least one meal is cooked over an open fire.
Being a man of nature, the Camper respects the land on which he stands, but that doesn’t deter this guy from creating a few ashes. But in order to not throw a cigar butt on the ground and risk causing a forest fire, he comes prepared with a Xikar Executive Ash Can. This handy device doubles as an ashtray and butt holder for when he’s done, all with a leather exterior to help insulate the can so it’s safe to touch in case it gets a little hot.
The Boy Scouts of America motto is “Always Be Prepared,” and with the Xikar 744, the Camper is good to go. This nifty tool features a sharp-as-all-heck knife that’s perfect for cutting rope, skinning fish, and most of your cutting needs out in the wilderness, with a cutout design feature on the side that cuts up to a 56 ring gauge cigar. It’s the ultimate 2-in-1 tool for any cigar-savvy outdoorsman.
No stogie-filled camping trip is complete without the lighter. You may think you don’t need one because you can just light your cigar in the campfire, but my eyebrows beg to differ. The Blazer EVO Dual Torch Lighter features a durable exterior that can take a ton of abuse while remaining perfectly functional to help you light that campfire – or your cigar – in no time flat.
No matter how you spend your time outdoors, if cigars are in the mix, you need the gear to match your lifestyle; with this handy list of summer cigar essentials, you’re ensured to maximize your fun in the sun. From chilling on the lounger to a weeklong camping trip, consider these must-have accessories to make your life, and your summer, a whole lot better. Stay smoky!