“What’s the best cigar you’ve ever smoked?” People always ask. It’s a fair question, I guess. When people know that you’ve had a lot of cigars they’re naturally curious. Maybe they want to try the stick that you identify…maybe they want to criticize your choice. Maybe they want to share a common or unpleasant experience with said brand, or maybe they’re just testin’ ya to see if you know what you’re talking about. Whatever the reason the question is raised, I’ll say that it’s a very difficult one to answer…and maybe not for the reasons you may think. Let’s use analogy to make this plain shall we.
Hugh Hefner would never tell who his favorite playmate is/was. A mother, though she might have one, would never vocalize which child is her favorite. An artist’s favorite creation is more than likely the one they’re currently working on. In addition to never “playing favorites”, when you’ve had the pleasure of having so many, it does become difficult to remember every aspect of that experience beyond “I liked it” and “I didn’t like it.” This is especially true if it has been a while since you’ve had it. Enjoying a great cigar on Monday is a distant memory by the time I’ve reached Saturday…probably 20 cigars later.
Another reason for never choosing a favorite is simply because cigars do change over time. The experience and the cigar’s profile today can be completely different the next time it’s had. Some factors that influence changes in taste, performance and feeling:
- Who’s around and what they’re smoking
- Food or drink consumed beforehand or during
- Being stressed or relaxed
- Crop conditions for the tobacco in that particular stick
- Storage conditions
To anoint something as a favorite or best, it must meet a certain expectation time and time again, and it’s hard to duplicate (and who really wants to take all of that time to) all of those aforementioned factors to ensure that the stars are aligned perfectly. I’d argue that it’s better to just enjoy the time beautifully spent between a man/woman and premium tobacco.
Being a publication that tries to remain impartial regarding cigars and their manufacturers also comes into play. Our goal here at CigaHr is to provide information so that you the consumer can make your own judgments and assessments. Just because we enjoy it doesn’t necessary mean that you will and we don’t want to inject any bias into your decision or experience. We taste, we observe and we share to provide reference and a starting point, but we want the reader to always try as many cigars for themselves so that they can make an educated decision whether to continue to buy that manufacturer’s product or not.
Everything we try isn’t mind blowing. Some taste better than others. It’s all subjective and relative. And while all of our opinions about cigars aren’t necessarily good ones, I believe it’s healthy to find something positive to say about every cigar smoked. While the flavors might not be what one wants, how does the cigar look? Is the cigar performing well? Is the draw spot on or too tight? All of these things contribute to what makes it “good” or “bad”. And if any of those things is off a bit, that shouldn’t keep the consumer from giving it another chance. The second or third time a cigar is tried could be the best time, as this has happened to me several times.
The best cigar you’ve ever had could be the one you enjoyed on your wedding day. The day you learned your family would be expanding. It could’ve been the one you smoke to celebrate someone’s life and your memories of them. When your dream job called and made an offer. At graduation. The cigar you smoked while writing your favorite article. In your new home or just a Friday night with those closest to you. And in those moments it didn’t matter what band was wrapped around it, just the fact that a cigar was a part of it.
Any time taken to partake in a cigar is a good time. It’s all precious and hard to come by. The time spent is time to meditate, reflect, relax, unwind and appreciate. So the next time someone asks, “What’s the best cigar you’ve ever smoked?” answer, “The one I’m smoking right now!” because you never know when you’ll get that opportunity again.