Any cigar enthusiast knows that there are many variables in deciding what cigar to smoke – what kind of flavor(s) are you in the mood for? What have you had to eat or drink over the course of the day? What time of day is it? Do you prefer mild, medium or full bodied cigars? What are you going to be drinking with your cigar? It all figures in.
So when do you smoke cigars? Well, any time of the day of course. I never miss the opportunity to chill out with a cigar whenever I get one. There’s just something so relaxing and meditative about the ritual. In theory you can smoke any cigar at any time of the day. That said, not every cigar is “right” for every time of the day. Here are my opinions of what kind of cigar to smoke when and what to pair with.
In the morning when your palate is still a little groggy and getting woken up from your night’s sleep, you have to gently wake it up along with your body. As such, you’re not going to wake up first thing in the morning and smoke a Padron Serie 1926 Maduro first thing unless you fancy burning your palate out and getting nicotine sickness first thing in the morning.
On the contrary, you want something nice and light to start your day with a nice cup of coffee. Think a milder cigar for your morning smoke. Many love Connecticut shade cigars in the morning for that reason – they do tend to be fairly mild. I’m not much of a Connecticut fan myself so I normally reach for a Blanco Primos Classic – a very budget friendly stick with three wrapper options, all of which fall into the mild category and are the perfect jump-start to my day.
Some other cigars I like to smoke in the morning include the Marrero Tesoro Mio Barberpole, Oliva Connecticut Reserve (one of a very few Connecticut cigars I like) among a few other milder options. After such a cigar and a couple of cups of coffee my palate is nicely woken up and ready for some breakfast.
About mid-day you’ve had your breakfast and sometimes lunch and you’re fully woken up. At this point, a cigar in the aforementioned category wouldn’t be enough to cut through the flavors you have on your palate but the cigars in the next category would likely still be a bit much and a bit harsh. As such, in the middle of the day you want something more along the lines of a medium-bodied cigar – something to pair with a nice glass of wine with your lunch or maybe even a stronger coffee as some pick-me up. Think like a Padron 3000 series in Natural – a medium-shade wrapper (though wrapper shade doesn’t always correlate with body or strength) that will have some taste but won’t dominate your palate too early on:
Some others I like mid-day are any of the JNV cigar lines, the CigarObsession 2nd Third and stuff like that which is not going to overwhelm you.
So now you’ve had your day’s food and some drinks and your palate has remnants of that on it. Now’s the time to reach for that heavy-hitter that will really cut through what’s left on your palate and that will stand up to a nice stiff drink. Take this example I had last night – a Marrero Fuerte.
You can handle it and it’s about the only thing that will cut through a stiff drink. Some others I love are the aforementioned Padron 1926, CO Final Third, Blanco JT Limitado, RoMa Craft Neanderthal, Oliva Serie V among other heavy-hitters. Since you have food in your belly, you can handle the typically higher nicotine concentrations of these types of cigars also.
So that’s a general guideline that I and many other cigar smokers follow in selecting a cigar to have at a certain time of day. The point is to select a cigar that will give you smoking pleasure, regardless of the time of day. It should also be noted that descriptors such as mild, medium and full do not correlate whatsoever with the quality of the cigar. It all depends on the blender’s desires for the flavor and intensity of a particular blend. Construction, ease of draw and even burn are what figure into the quality of the cigar.
Anyway, that’s a wrap for today’s topic. If you agree or disagree, that’s fine too. Remember cigars are about your enjoyment and nothing more. So cut, light and kick back, no matter what your choice.