It’s summertime. You’re outside lounging at your favorite shop, smoking a new stick while talking to some people you’ve not met before. There’s a lull in conversation and it’s a bit awkward. How do you break the silence while getting a laugh from some of your new friends?
You share some random cigar facts.
Churchill’s Oxygen Mask
Even people who don’t smoke cigars are familiar with Winston Churchill’s love for stogies. The former UK Prime Minister was known to smoke between eight to 10 cigars a day and would even dip them in Brandy (we don’t recommend doing that, by the way). Needless to say, there wasn’t much going to get in the way of Churchill and his cigars. Once on a high altitude flight that required an oxygen mask, Churchill requested a custom oxygen mask that would allow him to keep smoking while in the air. No wonder so many cigar smokers look up to him!
More Than Meets The Eye With Tobacco
Did you know that 1,000 tobacco seeds can fit into a thimble? Or that a large cigar has more tobacco than a pack of cigarettes? (Another reason you don’t want to inhale your cigars!). It’s easy to take the tobacco that makes cigars so flavorful for granted since we’ve had it for so long.
Back in 1492, Columbus has his first foray with the plant when he landed in Cuba and was presented with Cohiba leaves, which the locals would burn and inhale. These leaves would later be called “tobacco”. Today, tobacco plants are harvested from around the world. From South and Central America, the Caribbean to South East Asia, and even right here in the United States – smoking a cigar can be like getting a tour of the world.
“Close, But No Cigar!”
How many times have you heard that phrase in your life? It’s become so common that many don’t even stop to think about its origin. It actually dates back to the 20th century, though some of the details are a bit fuzzy. Historians’ best guess goes back to carnivals and fairgrounds, where cigars were often given at as prizes. Trying to pop balloons with a dart but miss your target? Close, but no cigar!
There are a ton of interesting facts about cigars, but also a ton of misinformation and “myths”. Concepts like “a darker wrapper means a stronger cigar” are easy to buy into, but aren’t necessarily true. While you can have a dark cigar that hits you like a ton of bricks, you can also have a lighter cigar that does the exact same thing.That goes for the “white ash” myth as well – saying that if a cigar burns white, then it must be a “cleaner smoke”. The color of the ash can tell you a lot about the soil that the tobacco was grown in, white being rich in calcium and magnesium, but doesn’t necessarily make the cigar cleaner or “better”.
In general, if someone is telling you that there’s a single trait that defines the quality of a cigar then you might want to push back. Cigars are intricate, with everything from the wrapper to the tobacco and shape determining the flavor. All cigars will be different and that’s kind of the point. You can use the color of the wrapper or ash to help figure out what you like, but it won’t always mean it’s a superior cigar.
Cigars have a rich and vibrant history and it’s still continuing today. Browse around our new arrivals section to see what innovative cigars we might be talking about 10, 20 years down the road.