Cigar Questions From Stogie ReviewA couple of cigar bloggers by the names of Walt and Jerry do a great job of reviewing cigars on stogiereview.com. Jerry had a few cigar questions for me, and conducted an interview that was originally published on their site. With his permission, a transcript of the interview is presented below.
Cigar InterviewJerry - How long have you been a guide for About.Com? How did your blog come to be?
Gary - After going through a training program where I competed against other people for the position, I was selected by the editorial staff to be the Guide for cigars and the site went live on March 17, 2006.
Jerry - How long have you been enjoying cigars? Do you remember your first cigar? Do you come from a family of cigar smokers? How did you get introduced?
Gary - I occasionally smoked machine made cigars back in the early-to-mid 1970s, while in college. It wasnt until the early-to-mid 1990s that I began smoking hand made cigars. I used to enjoy socializing in the Cleveland Flats after work on Fridays. One evening, someone bought a round of hand made cigars for the group, and Ive been smoking ever since. I do not come from a family of cigar smokers, but there are a few cigar connoisseurs in my wifes family, who have assisted me in developing my interest in cigars.
Jerry - What is your favorite cigar? Least favorite? What kind of humidor do you own?
Gary - I no longer smoke machine made cigars. I do enjoy Arturo Fuente, Punch, Flor de Oliva, Gurkha, and many others. I like to sample different cigars. I thought that I had found my perfect cigar a couple of times, but was disappointed when subsequent purchases did not delight me as much as the first smoke. I own two humidors, the first is a Decatur, and was a gift from my wife. The second is a larger humidor with a glass top that I bought from Thompson Cigar about five years ago.
Jerry - Any cigars you havent tried that you are looking forward to?
Gary - The next box or bundle that I intend to buy is Flor de Oliva Gold. Flor de Oliva (Compare Prices) is a very good cigar at a great price, and Im anxious to try them in gold.
Jerry - What are your personal thoughts on the current trend in states with regards to enacting smoking bans?
Gary - Smoking regulations are a good thing, but some are too restrictive. With few exceptions, such as stadiums and school playgrounds, smoking should not be banned outdoors. And why should smoking be banned in cigar bars?
Jerry - Do you do most of your cigar buying online or do you mainly visit local shops? Any suggestions for those who find themselves in your neck of the woods to pick up a good stick?
Gary - When I started out, I liked to purchase single sticks from various local tobacconists. Now, most of my purchases are made online, by the box, bundle or sampler pack. The best way to sample a variety of different cigars at below market prices is to purchase sampler packs on sale, and I like sharing this information with my readers in the blog and in our Cigar Bargain Hunter forum. I have not been in Florida long enough to recommend any particular tobacconist, but Id like to give a plug to Lone Star Tobacco in northwest Houston.
Jerry - What would you do for a Klondike Bar but substitute Klondike Bar with your all time favorite cigar. Now what would you do for your favorite cigar?
Gary - Good question. Id burn my last issue of Cigar Aficionado in a nonsmoking area.
Jerry - Considering so many states and localities enacting smoking bans and increased taxation on tobacco products, what do you think is behind the surge in popularity of cigars? Dont you think that the bans and excessive taxation would stunt growth in the hobby?
Gary - Cigarette smokers are switching to cigars, which are taxed at lower rates and have less marketing restrictions. There is a category of cigars known as Little Cigars, some of which even have filters. Cigarette smokers inhale these just like cigarettes, but they are less expensive because of the cigarette tax. The legal definitions of cigarettes and cigars may be changing soon, but that is a different subject. Eventually, smoking bans will have a negative impact on cigars. If it gets to the point where you cannot even smoke outside on your own patio if your neighbor might smell the smoke, then where can a large percentage of cigar smokers enjoy their hobby?