Rocky Patel

Keys to the City: Washington D.C.

Keys to the City: Washington D.C.

Finding a smoke-friendly place isn't easy - even in our nation's capitol, where many a political deal has been cutover a fine cigar. Cigar Advisor's personal ambassador & concierge, Rocky Patel, has done the legwork for you: the best places to stay...must-visit restaurants for Italian, Med Fusion and Indian eats...and the "virtual wonderland of booze" that are the top-notch bars in D.C. Grab a reservation and see why there never seems to be a recession in Washington.
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The Science of Cigars: How do you choose the right cigar for you?

By Didier Houvenaghel

TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION we must logically define what the "right" cigar means. The right cigar for you might not be the right cigar for me. Tastes and colors are indeed personal. How then can we define something that is relative to everyone?

Let's try to approach the set of conditions we have to deal with to understand the concept of a cigar that is "the right," "a right," "good," "average," "poor," etc. What absolute and relative parameters influence the judgment of a cigar? This is the real question � how to be able to pick such a cigar before even tasting it. Understanding why cigars are so agreeable in certain conditions will help us maximize the chance of choose "the right one" before smoking it.

Subjectivity: The known vs. the unknown
The history between the cigar and the cigar smoker influences the perception and the desire during the selection process. A cigar is positively perceived if it is the same brand and size of previous cigars tasted from an extraordinary production year or manufacture code. Conversely, it has a negative image if the smoker has already tasted similar cigars that were poorly made and/or stored improperly.
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Water water everywhere, and occasionally I drink

By Robert "The Reverend Hurricane" Meyn

Salutations from New Orleans where we are in the midst of the Lenten Season � the time of year some folks give up their favorite vice (coffee, chocolate, alcohol, etc.) in preparation for Easter Sunday.� Well, The Rev has a little confession to make: while I do NOT give up anything for Lent (especially alcohol!), I have for many years used a very non-alcoholic beverage, namely, bottled, non-carbonated water, as the beverage I pair with a cigar the very first time I try a stick that's new to me.� Here's the science behind my choice:

We all know that the organs that allow us to perceive the sensation of taste are the taste buds located on the tongue, soft palate, upper esophagus and epiglottis.� (Notice that taste buds are not located just on the tongue but also further back in the mouth which explains why "rolling" cigar smoke produces a greater and more intense sensation of a cigar's flavor - but that's a whole other column).

Taste buds only sense 5 flavors - salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami (or savory) which, in combination, give each cigar blend its unique flavor.� The myriad of flavors we enjoy are permutations of those 5 basic flavors.� Imagine coloring the whole world in all its brilliance with a just 5-color Crayola set.� Amazing.

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