What Cigar Smokers Should NEVER Do

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1. Never Except Any Two Cigars Are The Same

If you are smoking quality cigars – they are handmade and created from a harvested crop. A lot of variation happens with different blends, kinds of tobacco, small variations with how the cigar is made, making it impossible for a premium cigar to be replicated with exact precision. A learned cigar smoker knows these facts and embraces these differences in each stogie.

2. Thinking Cigars Age Like Wine

This is not a thing. Cigars are not a vintage industry. Cigar manufacturers try to produce consistent products year after year. So, do not try to acquire a stogie of a certain age, it is just not done. Besides, the cigar you decide to smoke is best enjoyed sooner rather than later, so do not try to add complexity or culture to your experience by letting a cigar sit around just anywhere – that would be a shame.

3. Do Not Let That Stogie Sag On Your Lip

Some may think clenching a cigar between the teeth and puffing on it that way makes you look like a pro; it actually makes you look like a complete novice. Cigars are meant to be brought up to the mouth, puffed on, and then brought back down to rest – aiding in the slow, even burning process.

4. Did You Just Dip That Cigar In Your Drink?

Cigars are designed to be enjoyed how the creator intended, without additives or alterations. If the cigar manufacturer wanted there to be brandy or wine at the end of the cigar, they would have made it that way, so why ruin the experience by dipping it in alcohol?

5. Need Not Limit Your Possibilities

It is one thing to have a favorite brand. It is another to ONLY smoke one brand of cigar because of loyalty or for whatever reason. Why limit the varieties of all the different kinds of cigars out there? Trying new and different cigars will not taint the taste of your favorite stogie. You might even appreciate it more after trying a few other types.

6. Following The Crowd Is No Fun

What you like in a cigar could be completely different from what everyone around you is smoking. Don’t waste a cigar or your money on just any brand or type. Ask some cigar smokers for recommendations if you aren’t sure what you like.

7. Please, Do Not Inhale. DO. NOT.

Cigars are not just giant cigarettes. The tobacco can be much stronger, and there is a lot more of it. A cigar is primarily intended to be enjoyed for the taste. Take a puff of the cigar and let the smoke sit in your mouth for a couple of seconds. Get the taste for it and then blow it out. Keep puffing and every 30 seconds to a minute, rotate the cigar, best enjoyed with an alcoholic or any beverage of our choosing.

Cigar And Drink Pairings

When you think of pairing drinks with something what comes to mind first? Cheese? Dessert? Meats? How about cigars?

You can make pairings of almost anything to complement each other, but pairing certain alcohols and cigars together can give you a luxurious, decadent experience like nothing you’ve experienced before.

The amazing magazine Gear Patrol has released a list of excellent pairings that will change your cigar/alcohol appreciation, and here they are for you to consider:

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Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve Toro and Zaya Gran Reserva Rum

A stronger stogie, the R&J Habana cigar is a bit heavier than what other R&J stogies are known for, but it’s that much more unique. Rich with pepper and woody flavors, then settled with chocolate and coffee notes as you smoke further, this cigar goes great with a nice, dark rum like the Zaya Gran Reserva on the rocks or up.
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Montecristo White Belicoso and a Cappuccino

What sounds better than a smoke and a perfect cappuccino? Probably nothing. This perfectly constructed cigar both looks, tastes, and smokes to perfection. Both tasty and mild, this cigar is not for the faint of heart. On a nice, brisk morning, after breakfast with a hot cappuccino in your hands, enjoy the White Belicoso. You’ll thank us.

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Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Robusto and Founders Breakfast Stout

This is probably the prettiest combo off the list. The Cameroon’s wrapper takes center stage with a rich, chocolatey color and an earthy, wooden scent. Burning slow and rich, you experience hints of leather and soil, this cigar is a lesson in the darker indulgences. Perfectly paired with a cold brew like Founders Breakfast Stout to wash it down.

Click here to read on and discover more pairings of amazing stogies and delicious beverages.

RoMa Craft Neanderthal HN Cigar

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Known for rich taste and full body, RoMa craft cigars pack a punch; there’s no denying it. So, when creative mastermind and owner of RoMa Tobac, Skip Martin dreamed of an even richer, more indulgent cigar, he was actually dreaming of the Neanderthal HN.

It all started when Martin was introduced to Pennsylvania Double Ligero from the U.S. Green River Valley, a regrowth of the Pennsylvania Broadleaf. A regrowth leaf is described by cigarsmoke.org as “[the leaf that] emerges when the leaves are cut off of a plant and a second set of leaves grows before it is removed from the ground”

These regrowth leaves are added to blends, primarily from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, to really boost flavor, power, and nicotine levels. In fact, the Pennsylvania Double Ligero has about 13 percent more nicotine than Nicaraguan Ligero primings.

While the Neanderthal HN is very strong, it is still enjoyable, very smooth, and balanced. Strong and sweet from a US Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a dark Mexican San Andres Maduro wrap (not for new smokers) yet primarily flavors still come through as black pepper and rich soil.

The shape even adds to the intensity of this cigar: tapered and pyramid-like, the cigar actually gets more intense as you smoke it. This shape combined with the dark color of its wrapper and its intricate packaging and details, the Neanderthal HN cigar is very attractive in all aspects.

The smell pre-smoke is strongly of soil, coffee, and slight farm aroma. The cold draw taste of sweet tobacco and cedar wood. After first lighting you’re hit with a lot of black pepper, espresso, and soil. Then a nice even burn throughout the smoke. The tastes intensify maintaining the black pepper, coffee, and soil flavors in addition to licorice, cedar, tobacco, and spice.

Overall, if you’re looking for full and flavorful, the Neanderthal HN is not going to disappoint

Red Lion, PA — A Rich Cigar History

If you went to Red Lion, Pennsylvania and asked a local resident if they knew someone who worked at a Red Lion cigar factory, chances are they did.

If you went to Red Lion, Pennsylvania and asked a local resident if they knew anyone currently working at a Red Lion cigar factory, their answer would be a resounding “no.”

At one time producing 10 percent of cigars sold in the United States, Red Lion was infamous for being one of the largest cigar-producing towns in the country, boasting 30 factories throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. Employing many of the town’s residents, the cigar industry essentially built the town of Red Lion, which is home to approximately 6,333 people, according to the 2013 Census.

The opera house? Built on cigar profits. The theater? Again, cigar profits.

Throughout the height of its popularity, it was hard to find a corner of Red Lion that cigars didn’t touch–you could find women stripping the stem from tobacco leaves in their own homes, or hear songs and poems written about the factories by their workers.

Once machinery was introduced into the cigar industry, Red Lion residents loved their jobs so much that they went on strike in 1934 to protect their beloved jobs. That strike ended with police intervention.

The last cigar factory left in the 1.28 square mile town, Van Slyke & Horton, closed its doors back in 2011. First opening in 1910, the company employed around 60 people and produced tens of thousands of cigars per month in the height of it’s cigar popularity.

In its golden era, Red Lion was the richest place, per-capita, in the entire nation, according to Shirley Keeports, director of the Red Lion Historical Society’s museum.

Cigar manufactures have been facing a tough market, with periods of discouraging lows (cigar consumption dropped by more than 66 percent between the mid-1960s and early 1990s) and an embargo prohibiting nearly all trade between Cuba and the United States marking a resurgence in business, this centuries-old trade is certainly resilient.

However, the fluctuating market wasn’t strong enough to keep the Red Lion factories in business.

“It certainly is the end of an era,” said Joe Jacobs, manager of the factory. “There were a lot of people who lived a very good life because of it. The industry was responsible for Red Lion being such a flourishing community at that time, and there was a time when most men had a cigar in their mouth. We just always thought people would smoke.”

How to Smoke a Cigar

Ever wonder how to smoke a cigar? Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions. And remember, “there are no rules in the cigar world. You can do everything about a cigar 5 or 6 different ways and that’s fine. And these are gonna vary.”


Cigar Smoking a Lifestyle Trend in PA

With more and more people enjoying cigars, cigar smoking has become an apparent trend in central Pennsylvania over the past few years. Rich in tobacco production history, York County was home to some of the largest cigar manufacturing companies in the early 1900s. These well known factories included T.E. Brooks, Winters and Co, Jacobs, and John Peeler. By 1920, York was responsible for over 500 million cigars a year.

Recently, consumers have been gravitating towards alternative smoking options to cigarettes. After World War II, cigarette popularity dominated to tobacco market, leaving little room for cigars. But with the rise of e-cigarettes, vapes, and hookahs, casual and regular smokers alike are turning away from traditional cigarette use. Cigars, e-cigarettes, and vapes have a unique advantage over cigarettes in that they lack the usual carcinogenic toxins, tar, or nicotine included. This allows casual smokers to feel more comfortable indulging. Additionally, most cigar smokers refrain from inhaling cigar smoke, instead opting to taste the deep, smoky flavors and then exhale.

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Nicolas Cage smoking a cigar.

Cigar dinners have also gained popularity among both men and women. At these dinners, cigars are paired with a specific menu course and liquor. Light to medium cigars pair best with foods, often meat based. The John Wright Restaurant in Wrightsville has been hosting cigar dinners for over 5 years now, averaging 11 dinners a year. The restaurant has successfully sold out each dinner for the past 4 years.

Of course, the most popular aspect of cigar smoking is simply enjoying the conversation and relaxing atmosphere it allows. Social clubs are sprouting all throughout Lancaster and Harrisburg, allowing smokers to schedule meet-ups or host parties. Cigars are also being used as a token of celebration and accomplishment, enhanced by the romantic and luxurious atmosphere many cigar lounges provide.

The cigar lounge customers are extremely diverse, ranging from college graduates, businessmen, police officers, and artists. Regardless of background, all can appreciate the unifying element of the experience.

Pennsylvania Survives Cigar Tax

Last year, bill S.B. 1292 was introduced to the Pennsylvania legislature that would impose a 3.6 cents per cigar tax. This would have been an increase from the current 0 percent tax that so many cigar retailers rely on. While that seemed bad enough, Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2015 budget proposal included an astounding 40 percent sales tax on wholesale cigars. This would have made Pennsylvania cigars among the most expensive in the nation, right next to Colorado and Idaho, potentially altering cigar shipment patterns nationwide. The only other states that benefit from a 0 percent tax are Florida, New Hampshire, and Washington D.C. Many private and business to business companies benefit from the 0 percent Pennsylvania tax on wholesale cigars and would have been hurt if the budget proposal passed, pushing them to other locations. According to a Pennlive article, Wolf’s proposed tax would “raise an additional $358 million [on cigars]; taxes on other tobacco products an additional $84 million, according to administration forecasts.” The could have severely depressed the Pennsylvania tobacco market.

Fortunately, the budget proposal was defeated unanimously, 193-0. While this was an obvious save for the Pennsylvania cigar industry, June 30 marks the official end of the year’s fiscal budget and leaves room for the cigar tax to be reconsidered. The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association is negotiating for the tax to continue being withheld.