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Questions towards the community

Hi all!  I'm a relativly new cigar smoker, and I just had a few questions for everyone... I'd like to start by saying I am 19, and have been smoking for a little over a year and a half. I started out smoking Swisher Sweets every so often as a joke with my friends, and I will concide that media (movies, games, etc) were an influencing factor.  When my friends and I started smoking, we did it for the novalty rather than enjoyment.  We moved from the Sweets to Philies and White Owls.

And then I tried an Acid cigar with my friends... We loved them, and the 'dizzy' feeling they gave us.  The armoa was also plesent for a change!

Now, as a bit more devolped smoker, I can't believe I ever touched that garbage.  I smoke a premium cigar about once a week, on longer vactions or streaks of beautiful weather, 2 or three.  I think I am starting to develope a taste for them, and perhaps have started to taste more subtle flavors.  I've purchased a humidor about 8 months ago and have stored a pretty fair range of cigars, and I'm leaning toward more powerful cigars such as Gurkhas, although I do love the Ashton series...

With all of that said I've got a few questions, since I've heard so much about how welcoming the Cigar community can be...

First off, (1) when and what did you all start smoking?  (2) When did you start to develope more of a palet for the more sutble hints of nuts and leathery tastes?  Do, or did, any of you smoke cigerettes (I can't stand them, personally)?

Also, there is a local smoke shop and quiet a few headshops around that sell cigars. They have pretty nice envoirnments to smoke in (I live in NH, its pretty damn cold in winter, so smoking outside can be unpleasent sometimes).

(3) I was wondering, how do you more experienced smokers feel about younger smokers such as myself and my group of friends?  We feel unwelcome sometimes, because of our age and lack of experience among long-time smokers and affectionados, sort of out of place.

I think many of you would be surprised by the number of new and younger smokers out there, partically around New England, it seems.

Thanks for your time, I'm sure I'll have more questions, but I'd like to hold off and wait for some responses.



  • golfcigarjunkiegolfcigarjunkie Posts: 61
    Welcome! I am going to be 60 this year and have been smoking cigars for a long time and I would have no problem smoking with someone younger because that is what we are all about on these forums. However, there are many cigar snobs out there and snobs in general, that is their problem not yours. Developing a taste for cigars takes time and you have to recognize that some are better than others (has something to do with the amount of taste buds on your tongue). There is a lot of info on the internet that can help you become better at learning how to improve your tasting ability. Go slow and listen to some of the experts on these forums, listen to podcasts and smoke along with them. Kuzi16 and Chrisginter are two of our better reviewers (imho) so try and smoke the cigars they do and see if you get what they get out of a cigar.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,633 ✭✭✭✭

    1)  im 27  ive been smoking cigars for about 2 - 3 years. I used to bring cigars backpacking with my friends... kinda went from there.  i never knew what i was getting into but im glad i did.

    2) almost immedialty.   but i am the exception to the rule.  Food is my life. i love taste and i have an (i think) overly developed palate.  First it was food, then it was beer, then wine, then cigars. I used to smoke cigerettes, but not anymore.  I think it was heath that said it at one point-- cigerettes are an "abomination of tobacco"


    3) ill smoke with anyone. Its a reason to smoke a cigar.  I like to smoke the same cigar as another person at the same time so i can compare notes in "real time"

    i have somewhere on my computer a post from another forum about Developing your palate. If i have time later ill post it.  its not too in depth, but it has some good ideas.  Maybe ill expand on it with what ive learned since i posted that over a year ago.

  • kuzi16:

    i have somewhere on my computer a post from another forum about Developing your palate. If i have time later ill post it.  its not too in depth, but it has some good ideas.  Maybe ill expand on it with what ive learned since i posted that over a year ago.

  • jihiggsjihiggs Posts: 469 ✭✭
    Welcome to the party! 1. I think I started smoking cigars.. hmm don't really know, probly around 18. I too started smoking swishers and black and milds, and the occasional backwoods. 2. I didn't develop a decent pallet for a long time as I would smoke infrequently till about 2004 or 5. At which time I had discovered the wonderful people at cigar.com and the associated cigar forum at the time. Since then my pallet has become more and more refined, and I still have a long way to go. Discerning the subtleties of beer is also a great way to increase your pallet. I smoked cigarettes socially at parties and during long study sessions, decided to stop doing that when I realised I had started craving them all the time. 3. I got no problem with you youngins, me being a ripe old 28 and all. Just don't drink all my beer!! I think a lot of people tend to snub their nose at younger enthusiasts because its rare to find a young person that takes, well, any thing seriously.. rofl.
  • CastleCrestCastleCrest Posts: 51
    Without getting to far in -

    Hang out awhile - you will find you have learned more about cigars & the world there of than many people that have smoked for years.
    There are a few different types of smokers out there -
    Here (online) you'll find people very interested in everything to do with cigars, but even more so the quality of people & the friendships that have come from here are amazing.

    As for who I will smoke with - anyone I can sit a talk with for an hour & not get bored.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,633 ✭✭✭✭

    i have somewhere on my computer a post from another forum about Developing your palate. If i have time later ill post it.  its not too in depth, but it has some good ideas.  Maybe ill expand on it with what ive learned since i posted that over a year ago.



    nice !

  • Welcome to the club.  There is a lot of great peple and information here.  I am still learning and have been smoking for almost 2 years.  Yeah I have my favorits but there is always something new to try.  So I recomend to try every thing at least once.  Maybe even keep nots for future buys.
  • DonnyDonny Posts: 7
    Bobby, Welcome to the forum! I'm Donny, one of the guys here at Cigar.com. We are always here to help you or answer any questions you may have. I'm just an email or phone call away. Additionally, we host a cigar radio/video show that can be found on the bottom left hand corner of the homepage. We cover anything and everything cigars, check it out! You will find this forum is chock full of great people and great cigar advice. ALot of these guys have been here for years helping greenhorns find their way. Some of the best advice has already been dished out, but I would say smoke what you like. Your palate is the most important one. Smoke all different cigars, but make sure you take note of the individual blends and where they are manufactured. Remembering blends and tobacco varieties will help you begin figuring out what you like and what you don't like. Like I said before, if you ever have any questions or need anything, give me a holler! dhardy at cigar dot com
  • Awesome answers from everybody! More than I could have hoped for!  I'm glad the community here is very welcoming.  I'll be sure to direct some of my friends here; we've all made many purchases at cigar.com but this is the first time we've been around the forums.

    Glad to be here, and thanks for the fast answers and the helpful link!

  • TccargillTccargill Posts: 23


    This is my first post on Cigar.com since I just found out about it a few months ago.  I noticed that one of your questions was unanswered, so heres my answer.  Im 26 and started smoking cigars about 3 or 4 years ago.  My first cigar was a CAO Gold that my now father in law had given me and I smoked while drinking a Corona.  It was incredible, and been hooked ever since.  CAO is still my favorite brand but I have moved onto the CX2.  Ive smoked alot of different cigars over the last few years, some good some bad, but my favorite is a CX2 with a ice cold Corona.  Hope that helps, try it sometime.


  • TccargillTccargill Posts: 23
    Sorry I forgot to mention no lime in the Corona.
  • That's pretty funny; I was about to buy a CAO gold the other day, but went with a Romeo y Juliet instead.  I don't regret the choice, but I'll be sure to pick up a CAO gold someday soon.

    Thanks for the answer, I'm certainly looking for a few new 'creamy' cigars to try, as I've been smoking mostly full bodied cigars recently.
  • TccargillTccargill Posts: 23
    If you are looking for a good "creamy" cigar and havent already had one, I reccomend the Padron 3000.  In my opinion its a great cigar for the price, great "bang for the buck" if you ask me.
  • ashmasterashmaster Posts: 237
    Hey Bobby.....welcome to the community. To start with, I used to be one (with my buddies) that would pick up a cigar (or a reasonable facimile), fire it up and puff the heck out of it with little regard for the enjoyment. Well, that was then. I really started learning (still learning) how to smoke and how to enjoy a cigar about 2 years ago. I had to go to Jamaica on business for about 6 weeks. Some of my associates enjoyed the leaf and after dinner we would sit back enjoying a cocktail and a cigar. They kind of took me under their wing and pointed me in the right direction to what has been an enjoyable journey. What a great experience. I started developing my palate almost immediately. I would read reviews about a cigar, try that cigar to see if I could discern these flavors. I also would try a cigar, write down my notes (so my expectations wouldn't be skewed) on what I tasted then compared it with reviews. Some flavors matched, some didn't. Sometimes I would describe flavors not in the review and that was cool too. As you know people tastes will differ. As far as cigarettes go, I was a smoker for 33 years. The key word in that phrase is "was". I smoked my last cigarette on Jan 9th of this year at 4:50 AM. YEA!!!! As far as age goes I really don't care how old or young a person is. I have enjoyed a smoke with people of all ages at my local B & M and had a great time. All that I care is that a person doesn't act like the north end of a southbound dog. Let's just have a good time. The last 2 years have been great. I've met a lot of good people, people that I wouldn't have met if it wasn't for the leaf. Enjoy, have a good time, and again welcome.
  • EJS54EJS54 Posts: 12
    Hello Bobby & all,

    as for you being 19 years old, that makes 2 of us! I have been part of the Cigar.com forums for about 6 minutes and counting. I am still getting the hang of how the system works around here, evidently there is a new format.

    I have been a cigar smoker for one year give or take a few months. My father started smoking cigars ( again) a few years back and I would always take a few puffs and eventually have my own with him. He started out strictly Macanudo, so I didnt have much of a choice there. He then started Baccarat and got me hooked on those, then I got my boss hooked. But I think I'm ready for something slightly stronger and less sweet. I started buying Swishers on my own when I was 18, later smoking hecho a mano cigars rather than "hecho la machine-a". I found out fast that you cant go back to anything sold at the gas stations after having  premium cigars. Some new found favs. include La Gloria Cubana, Teamo, Cuban Sandwich ( these are Nicaraguan), and La Paloma VRC.

    Other than a few odd smokes here and there, I have not had a diverse variety yet. I plan to branch out this summer and try many new brands; I cant enjoy >anything< out in the Minnesota cold.

     Just got done reading Donny's post in this thread, and thats already more than what I have been doing. I try to make mental note but I have a feeling that will only work for so long. I have made two orders with Cigar.com so far, my latest one included some of the house blends, the blue label was very relaxing, have yet to try the red and cuban label.....not to go off topic.

    I dont know how much time I will have to view the forum but I have a feeling I will be spending late hours on here reading.

    Thats all for now,

  • handypantzhandypantz Posts: 86
    Welcome Chainer!  I am also a relative new comer to the cigar smoking scene.  I really started smoking cigars when I took a trip to canada when I was 19 to enjoy the world beer festival.  By 19 I had already discovered a taste for fine beer and drink and was offered a cuban cigar from my buddies father.  All politics aside, the cigar was fantastic and I was instantly hooked.  I smoked those cigars every chance I could.  Now at 22 I realized that through some articles that cuban cigars arent the only good cigars and when I typed in cigar on 'google' it brought me here. I quickly purchased a humidor and a few samplers and the rest is history.  I now note and log every cigar I smoke and try to identify all the flavors that I can.  Cigar smoking came easy to me because of my love for great beer and scotch but I know that I still have much to learn.  I will smoke cigars with anyone and is often times, I feel, a great conversation starter and comraderie between people.  But I would say I cant beat smoking a cigar with my best friends father while watching a Blue Jays game.

    ~Darin aka handypantz
  • HardspotHardspot Posts: 24
    I know what you mea by sometimes feeling "out of place" i too am new to cigars I've just turned 19 and have only been smoking for 8 or so months now. Most of the time other smokers are very conversable, but other times i have run into a few that look at me as if im not worthy of a good cigar like a Gurkah or Padron and i should be smoking cheap gas station smokes. All in all though ive been lucky the owner/operator of my local shop is very helpful and more than willing to give me advice and suggestions on some of his favorites. btw, i live in Washington and dont have the luxury of smoking inside so most of my time is spent at the golf course.
  • jihiggsjihiggs Posts: 469 ✭✭
    what part of washington? Im in lynnwood.
  • HardspotHardspot Posts: 24
    I'm down in Hoquiam, right next to Aberdeen if you didn't know where it is, lol
  • jihiggsjihiggs Posts: 469 ✭✭
    thats one hell of a drive from here lol
  • HardspotHardspot Posts: 24
    haha yeah it is, im headed up to Tacoma tonight for a concert, luckily my buddy is driving so i can sleep for 2 hours, lol
  • rdnstnrdnstn Posts: 993 ✭✭
    Hello. I consider myself a newcomer too since I only started enjoying cigars again about 3 months ago. I used to smoke with my roomate a few years back and would enjoy a good cigar after a night out. My palate wasn't too developed then though. Actually it still isn't but it's getting better. Of course part of what started me then was because I was kinda into the compact car show thing and one of my forum friends was sponsored by CAO and would get some freebies from time to time. Now I actually concern myself with flavors and how it smokes. I started keeping a log right away but my reviews are lacking. I'm sure they will get better as I learn what type of stuff to look for and such. Most of my smoking is done with friends anywhere from the age of 22 to around 50. I will smoke with anyone as long as there is good conversation. Unfortunately, a lot of the younger crowd doesn't take anything too seriously and gives the others a bad rep. I need to find a good place to enjoy a smoke when I get back to the states other than my back porch so that I can share the experience with other cigar enthusiasts. BTW, I'll be 38 on the 22nd of this month.
  • RedM3RedM3 Posts: 1

    These are some great posts in response to your questions. I've enjoyed reading them so much I'm compelled to reply as well.

    My first cigar was a Royal Jamaican about 30 years ago (I'm 47 now). I enjoyed it but wasn't very educated in the finer points of what makes cigar smoking so great. I really didn't develop a true appreciation until about 10 years ago and started to read and learn about what goes in to blending tobaccos to create different flavors and strengths. I drifted toward brands like Montecristo, Macanudo, Fuente, etc. All pretty much coming from Dominican Republic. Good cigars for sure but my tastes have changed dramatically over the past 2 or 3 years. I was on vacation in Jamaica and had my first experience with a Cuban cigar a couple years ago. It was a San Cristobal. It just blew me away. I'd never tasted that peppery flavor before in any of the cigars I smoked. So now days that's what I look for most of the time. My taste has developed an appreciation for medium to full bodied cigars with lots of spice. It's no surprise just about anything Don Peppin Garcia blends is a favorite of mine. I'm excited to try some from the new kid, AJ Fernandez, which I just ordered and am eagerly awaiting delivery. I also enjoy these spicey devils with a good single malt scotch or big red wine. Pure heaven!

    As far as your age I could care less. The fact you are this young and developing a true appreciation for cigar smoking says to me you're ahead of most your age. Certainly your well ahead of where I was at when I was 19. Then again I didn't have the Internet and a tremendous resource of knowledge at my disposal.

  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403 ✭✭
    I definitely fall into the cigar newbie category, as I only had my first cigar a whopping 5 months ago. I was on a short 3-day cruise to Mexico ( left Los Angeles port in San Pedro to Ensenada and back) and one of my priorities was to make sure and have a cigar as I was determined to live the good life on my short vacation. Anyhow long story short, that was the beginning of it. I was so taken with the whole experience that I had to know more about the mystique surrounding cigars, and that's where Cigar.com comes into the picture. With such great resources as Cigar.com and the myriad other websites around, it is no great feat for even a newcomer such as myself to gain a foothold and figure out what is what, and the rest will come with time.

    I think the only comment I have about the age factor is that typically people view younger people (like 25 and younger) as less experienced and perhaps therefore incapable of enjoying some of the finer things. But I don't agree with that since I'm 23 and I feel as though I can appreciate the experience one gets when spending some time with a good smoke, granted I may lack the life experience of some older folks, but that all comes with time and I see no need to wait until I'm older to have slightly more refined tastes when I've got a fairly good idea of what I like now. So yeah, age doesn't matter to me as long as a person appreciates the cigar and the experience that come with it.
  • jlzimmermanjlzimmerman Posts: 282
    I'm 32 and started smoking VERY casually (one smoke every few months) years ago for celebratory reasons or at certain social and family functions. I, too started on swisher sweets but after having a camancho and Romeo y Julieta at a wedding, I really became intersted in the finer cigars. Cigars are much like wine, so when I got deeper into the finer cigars I was not able to go back to machine made smokes. Some people have no idea how complex cigars and cigar smoking can be. Simple questions like, "How can you stand to inhale with no filter?" I shake my head and explain that there are very few similarities between smoking cigars and smoking cigarettes. I'm still a very casual smoker (about one or two a week) but I always look forward to sitting down and unwinding with a great creamy smoke.
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