Lets talk about infused and flavored cigars, shall we? When you hear the term flavored cigar, what pops into your head? Gas station goodies? Swishers, White Owl grape, Black N Milds, the usual chemical filled chopped up bastardization of the term cigar? Most people do think of those, which makes sense because those are the most common types of flavored cigars that are seen.
Sure most of us have tried one at some point, either as a beginner cigar smoker, or in a time of need, picked one or two up. I know I’ve been there, done that, and yeah, it always leads to a disappointing experience. I have noticed in the cigar world, that when you mention flavored cigars, they are generally poopoo’d, with sayings such as, no real man smokes flavored cigars, or, those are for chicks, or even better, flavored cigars are only for those people who buy them to stuff with a certain other recreational plant that is smoked.
How exactly smoking a flavored cigar makes you less of a man is beyond me, but then again I am comfortable with my insecurities. As for, they are only for chicks, well, that’s not only sexist but also very untrue. The part of the pot smokers is very true, in my time working here on a college campus, I have seen a lot of gutted swishers. As much as they are crapped on, I have been told that in the industry, for every premium cigar that sells, five flavored cigars are sold, so either there’s a ton of pot smokers buying them, or there’s a lot of closet smokers who just cant get over their insecurities to admit that they smoke them. Such is life.
If you look at the industry, there does seem to be a surge in flavored cigars. Big name premium cigar companies are now putting out flavored cigars, most common being coffee and various liquor infused, which is not a bad thing. Seeing these premiums coming out will hopefully help get rid of the myth that all flavored cigars are garbage. Yes, the gas station ones are just that, garbage. A lot of them are made with expired stale tobacco that was sent back to the factory to be chopped up, sprayed with chemical flavoring to cover up the crap tobacco, then sent back to be sold. Yummo. I’d rather smoke a toilet paper tube stuffed with skunk glands and tree bark.
That being said, and having an open mind and liking to try new things, I have to say that some infused cigars are really good. Not all, but some. Acids, with their hyper sweet tipped rose oil and potpourri filled cigars I feel are over whelming and takes away from the whole point of a cigar, which is the tobacco. You smoke an Acid and it smells like the inside of an executive level ladies room chock full of lavender soap and spray disinfectants. Not my bag man. On the other end of things, you have ones like the Nub Cafe, with their coffee infused which pairs nicely with the tobacco so you get the best of both worlds.
Some of the liquor infused ones out there are good too, but some of them are playing with the name recognition in order to charge high prices just because of the name of the booze they used. I used to infuse cigars as a hobby, I took the time and effort to pair the tobacco with flavors I thought would match well and compliment the tobacco. Coffee and chocolate with a maduro, whiskeys with habano, just about anything with a Connecticut because of the mild flavor and natural sweetness. I’m not going to lie, I never really got into smoking infused cigars, but I found it fun to play with the flavors.
One of the biggest turn offs with flavored cigars is the over use of sweet tipping everything. Sweet tipping takes away from all of the flavors in my opinion. Some people like it, some people don’t. If I want a candy bar, I’ll buy candy, if I want a rum infused cigar, I want to taste tobacco and rum, not a mouthful of sugar.
The main thing is that everyone’s palate is different and everyone likes different things. I like to keep an open mind and try everything at least once, and to you fellow cigar smokers, I ask of you also to keep an open mind, and don’t feel so insecure about trying and even liking a flavored cigar. You won’t have to hand in your man card. Trust me.
Until next time, have fun and smoke.