The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 40; A Pleasure to Be Held

For years I wasted money on cigarettes, the horrid, stinking white sticks that have no purpose in life but to make you spend money and die younger.  But before you start with the Ex-Smoker hate, I understand the need, I understand the addiction but once the joy of the cigarette goes, if it was ever there at all, it is the time that you find something you actually like.

I am happy I am cigarette free and even happier that I found a smoke vice that I actually enjoy, the simple but intricate cigar.  We all know about Cuban cigars, mostly because they were banned in the USA for so long due to having a spat over missiles and the Russians.  In the UK and Great Britain we have been able to buy these delights for decades.  From world cigars like Davidoff to Cubans like my favourite Romeo y Julieta Cigars there is such a range, in size and strength, be discrete with something shorter or go all out with a Churchill 52 Gauge 5 inch or maybe the 48 gauge 7 inch, though great smokes, they won’t enhance your speech making the name may suggest.  The Cigar is loved by great men and women of our time, we all have seen actors like Jack Nicholson enjoy a cigar, along with the Duke of Windsor who gave up the thrown but not his love of cigars when he became the black sheep of the Royals, at least until the most recent Royal headliners and of course Churchill where there is a bar honoured to him.

The carefully made wrap of tobacco leaves is a pure luxury and unlike a cigarette it is to be savoured over time, with your cocktail of choice. Mine obviously being a Negroni but also can mix well with a Martini if you are that way inclined or even an espresso.  The ritual of punching or cutting, the long lighting, that first puff to get it going, like being at church, one where the tubed delight is worshipped for about 10 to 25 minutes.  I find cigar smoking a summer event, one linked to warmer and sunny climates, especially as moved outside to smoke unless at bars with nice all year terraces of sample rooms in cigar shops.  Heat is one that works better with cigars, the whole growing process is dedicated to humidity which we create within our homes with the humidors.

The cigar is a journey, from the production to you, followed by looking after them, to the final enjoyment of the smoking itself, it certainly is a delight for gentlemen to hold.