Close but no cigar: Celebratory cigars and why you shouldn’t be so precious
What would you class as celebratory cigars and what would be an appropriate occasion to smoke one?
2023 has offered us a good number of opportunities to light up a special cigar including the Coronation of King Charles III, the Lionesses reaching the World Cup Final and the FDA finally announcing that cigars and cigarettes aren’t the same thing and should be taxed differently!
Back in Summer 2022, to coincide with the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I released a video listing 5 Cigars for Special Occasions. I’m going to be completely honest with you and say that since releasing that video, I didn’t smoke a single cigar from that list at any of the special occasions I mentioned, and there are a few reasons for this. Come to think of it, in the last five years, there have only been three special occasions when I’ve lit up celebratory cigars, and only two of them were ‘worthy’ of the occasion.
Celebratory cigars and the first time it didn’t happen
The first time I made a conscious decision to light up a special cigar was when I received a promotion in my previous job. I had a Zino Platinum Chubby that I’d been aging for a special occasion and earmarked that particular cigar as a bit of a bribe to myself to keep trying for the promotion despite all the setbacks that kept cropping up.
When the email finally came through, I picked up a special bottle of wine on the way home to enjoy with my dinner that evening. Alas I never got round to enjoying either on that occasion as not long after arriving home some upsetting news came through and the whole celebration seemed rather inappropriate. I did end up fully enjoying both the cigar and wine at later date though, and both were worth the wait.
Celebratory cigars and the wedding planner
After many years of engagement, last year my sister finally set a date to marry her fiancée. For this momentous occasion, I had picked out three amazing celebratory cigars to take with me for the event: an aged Partagas D4, Olivia Serie V Maduro Double Robusto and a LCDH Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes.
I was all ready to head off to celebrate with my sister, her bride-to-be and assorted friends and family when it occurred to that I wouldn’t be able to smoke inside, the weather was looking changeable at best, and lighting up much of anything would make me about as welcome as the plague given my family’s opinion of cigars and smoking in general. Hurrying back to my humidor I grabbed three of my herfing cigars.
I was really thankful that I went back for those extra three cigars. Between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast I was able to enjoy an Independencia Petit Corona whilst keeping out of the way of the photographers and late afternoon I lit up a Crux Du Connoisseur No.2 to share with my new sister-in-law whilst catching up with an old friend swapping stories about my sister’s years at high school. Both of these cigars were absolutely perfect for the moment and that Crux is one that I will remember for quite a long time.
Celebratory cigars and the weather
Christmas is another traditional day for lighting up celebratory cigars, and aside from 2020 (a Placensia Sixto II) and 2009 (a JLP Cazadores that ended up being plugged) I haven’t enjoyed a cigar on the actual day. That’s not for want of trying though. I’m always prepared with a handful of cigars should I get the opportunity, but for various reasons I never do.
Sometimes it’s the weather, others it’s the company, and if it isn’t either of those I’m just too full of turkey and Christmas pudding to want to light up. Instead I tend to save my festive cigar until Boxing Day when the familial obligations are done and dusted and I know that I have got plenty of uninterrupted time to spend with my special cigar.
Celebratory cigars and tomorrow
Don’t get me wrong, I do have a good number of cigars for special occasions, but sometimes the special occasion is just some random day when one of those cigars “speaks to me”. There are times that jsut getting out of bed in the morning is cause for a celebration!
It’s all well and good saying that x, y or z occasion calls for one or more celebratory cigars, or you are going to save this, that or the other cigar for a certain milestone, but why set aside those cigars for what might be the twelfth of never? After all, do you really know what is going to happen tomorrow, or in a year or two’s time?
Ultimately what I’m trying to say is that whilst a great cigar can make the moment, equally a great moment can make the cigar. So in the words of a good SOTL friend of mine, “Life’s short, smoke the cigar” – After all, you never know what is round the corner!
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