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.
Yard Gars: No More Guilt, No More Shame
Come on, guys, admit it – you don’t always smoke the premium hand rolled gems that people see you with in public. Sure, you enjoy your CAO and Romeo, and your coveted Padron Anniversarios. Your full bodied muscles flex, when you light an Opus X. CYB and Rocky P., and Christian’s brand new C.L.E. When you herf you’ll always bring, from 48 to 60 ring. But when you’re working really hard, doing man work in the yard, a primo stick’s not up to par, it’s time to puff a lesser gar, but not a machine-made Dutch Master.
Oh, come, don’t turn that nose up at me, ya snooty bastid! You know you do it… ALL guys do it and there’s no need to feel dirty and ashamed. While I realize that your admittance can bring about that “not so fresh” feeling – please know that I’m here to assure you that it’s a natural human function and you’re not alone. Remember that kind of skanky chick you dated in secret, years back? She wasn’t cultured, fancy or pretty, and while you didn’t parade her around for all your friends to see, she put out and gave you what you needed. When none of your cronies could be found, you called on her and she was right there always ready to deliver. While my analogy smacks of crude and chauvinistic overtones, I think you get my point. Yard Gars has their purpose for delivering pleasure, and enjoying the one dimensional lack of body doesn’t make you some kind of low-brow tobacco sucking whoremonger.
While it’s exciting and fun to pick out boxes of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican premium aged goodness, I’ll always grab that bundle of twenty-five hand-rolled “value sticks” for $25 dollars to complete my monthly cigar shopping. The manufacturers try to give them fancy names like El Smokeeto, La Cigarita, or Don Honduran, mainly because it sounds better than Don Chumpstick. And, yeah, it’s a little embarrassing, kind of like picking up a box of tampons for your mom, but the dude behind the counter understands.
“Got some yard work to do this weekend, Tommy?” the man behind at the register asks, as I just nod my lowered head, hand him my credit card and say something inane like, “How ’bout those Mets, huh?”
Hey now, let’s realize something here… yard work isn’t the only time to purchase those lesser value sticks. As you are well aware, there is a notorious creature out there who roams around at barbecues, weddings, and those weekly poker games, affectionately known as the moocher. Moochers generally don’t smoke the finer cigars in life and will be more than glad to accept anything you have to offer. While your traveldor is filled with oily treasures of greater value, that bargain-basement bundle of joy you bring will please the needs of the scoundrels who will never bring a stash of their own. While you sure as hell don’t want to relinquish your good stuff to those who have little appreciation, the pan handling mooch-masters are as happy as a pig dipped in shit to “cop a freebie”, as they say. Yeah, they’ll devour your sticks in minutes flat, but that’s the sacrifice you’ll need to make in order to save your prized puros from the tobacco chomping zombies, or as I like to refer to them as “cheap pricks”.
If you’re like me where you love to cook on the grill and enjoy a quick smoke, Yard Gars are often the go-to choice. When you’re only cooking burgers, dogs, or chicken wings, you’ve got fifteen, maybe twenty minutes tops, and that premium stick you paid good sheckles for can’t be wasted. Smoking a cigar while hovering over some searing mammal flesh is indeed a rite of passage for a man, and a quick dip into the cellophane bundle is all that you need to suffice.
So listen up, my good bruthas of the leaf, don’t act like such snobby bastids when it comes to the cheaper hand rolled cigars made with lesser grade tobacco. These sticks serve a purpose that is way more noble than given credit for. So put away the guilt and the shame because it’s time you fessed-up and felt cleansed. Like the pawns on a chess set, the Yard Gar is sacrificed with good intention and a means to a fiery end.