Driving in my Car, Smoking my Cigar

February 22, 2012 · Posted in Cigar 101, Deep Thoughts · 2 Comments 

Allison Krauss’s haunting voice is singing Trampled Rose, the windows are down and the speed of my car is increasing. It may be sunset but this is Southern California where the yins and the yangs are extreme opposites. Sure, the taxes are murder but the weather is amazing.

If I lived in Minnesota or some other place that is in the running for a scenic “White Christmas” photograph I couldn’t do what I do most days after work: smoke in my car. It may be a little impractical and I definitely am not getting the best out of the cigar but that misses the point. Smoking a cigar on my drive home from work is pleasurable; a ritual that brings a little bit of joy to my heart.

This certainly isn’t for everyone. If you have a nice car that you do not want to despoil or you have to chauffeur people who cringe at the mere thought of the smell of finely aged tobacco then you probably shouldn’t be smoking in your car. People with short commutes, an inability to multitask and those who “feel a need for speed” may also want to think twice about lighting a cigar before they start their car. Oh, and those poor bastards who start their mornings by scraping ice off their windshields may also be excused from smoking a cigar in their car.

I’m not going to BS you and say that I’m smoking great cigars while driving, far from it. There’s no reason to do that because your mind should be at least nominally on the road and not on your cigar. Why smoke an Opus or an Avion 11 when you can’t dedicate more of yourself to it? It just doesn’t make sense emotionally or financially.

By no means am I suggesting seeking out crappy cigars to satiate your vehicular smoking habit because there are some very respectable cigars that are very cheap. Recently I’ve been smoking a lot of Diesel Unholy Cocktails, Nestor Miranda 1989s and Joya de Nicaragua Antano Machitos on rides home from work (and while walking the dogs, but that’s another story). These are solid cigars that are a joy to smoke sitting at home while listening to music or reading a book. They are also strong enough to withstand the elements.

Even though this is Southern California and the weather is great it can still get a little cold. Some nights it feels like the temperature drops all the way down to the high 50s when I have my windows rolled down! Weak, pathetic cigars won’t offer much under ideal circumstances but when you add in the wind, the (relatively) cold temperatures and the fact that you are driving a vehicle they just aren’t worth the trouble. By all means, if you accidentally came by some really awful cigars that you dread smoking then you can smoke them while driving or, better yet, “gift” them to somebody you don’t like.

Another tip I have for this would be to smoke a cigar that you are familiar with. Familiarity is great in this circumstance because you won’t have to devote much brainpower to deciphering the flavors of the cigar; you already know the recipe. It’s also a good idea to smoke cigars with good smoking characteristics: i.e. a good draw and burn. It takes a modicum of skill to correct a recalcitrant burn line while cruising down the 5. (Alright, it takes more than a little skill to do that and doing just that almost ended up with me rear ending somebody. Incidentally, the smell of burnt rubber doesn’t go well with cigars.)

Driving in my car while smoking a cigar is a ritual I have come to really enjoy. It may not be for you but, then again, you may find out that you really like it.

Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso XXX Cigar Review

August 6, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review, Featured · 7 Comments 

Alright, I’ve got to admit that I have been wanting to smoke an Opus X for a very long time but, since the price is so exorbitant, I had resisted the urge to splurge. That, as you will see in the following review, was a mistake. By the way: A big thanks to Cigars Direct for this cigar.

Frankly, when you have a cigar that costs as much as this you expect greatness. And yet, the wrapper is anything but great. There are a couple of holes in the wrapper and there are also a couple of stretch marks as well.

Beyond that, however, it is great. Very oily, rich color to it, and the cap looks perfectly constructed, which, based off some of the other torpedoes I have seen, is no small feat. It’s tightly packed.

Cigar Stats
Torpedo
Length: 4 5/8″
Ring Gauge: 49
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $26.00

Forbidden Flame!

Frankly, my dear, I no longer give a damn about the wrapper because the first few puffs have been sublime. Loads of spice and leather are evident on my tongue and through the nose. Perfect draw and definitely full bodied. Wow!

There may be a hint of licorice in the background, which adds nicely to the complexity of this cigar. There is also a magnificent toasted flavor. Everything is just going swimmingly with this cigar.

It’s amazing just how alive the flavors are. Tons of billowing, creamy smoke. Smoking this cigar is making my mouth water. This has got to be one of my all-time favorite cigars because I hate putting it down. I just can’t wait for the next puff! The only drawback I can think of with this cigar is that it is so short. It fits my tastes perfectly and it is definitely one of my top favorites.

96 points