Let me introduce myself…
Hello, and thank you for dropping by! I am Pandora, and welcome to my little corner of the Internet which is dedicated to two of my favourite passions in life: smoking fine cigars, and imbibing liquors and other alcoholic beverages. On this website you will find my writings and ramblings about what I enjoy smoking and drinking. If you want to head straight over to my cigars reviews click here, or if cocktail recipes are more your thing, you will find them here. I will also introduce you to some of my cigar friends and talk about some of my favourite neat spirits.
Where my love of cigars all started…
It would be fair to say my love of cigars and alcohol began back in my university days when I studied music.
After a successful concert, the music department would head out to our adopted pub to celebrate. One of the baritone singers would settle down with his pint, light up a couple of cigars, and pass them around the group.
At the time I only had the occasional draw, but the aromas and the bonhomie that accompanied the spirits and fine cigars stuck with me.
Fast forward to 2008, which found me married and working in the teaching profession – both of which could be considered grounds for wanting a regular dose of stiff drinks and mellowing out with smokes – but that’s not how my story goes.
Developing my palate…
At university, I had come to enjoy cooking. When I finally got my own kitchen, I started experimenting with herbs, spices and seasonings. The aromas and flavours that filled the kitchen took me back to my time at university and that bar filled with raucous laughter and sweet, rich cigar smoke.
The first cigars I bought were a five pack of Castella, and I actually rather enjoyed them. I decided to try some more supermarket over-the-counter cigars and it wasn’t long before I had smoked my way through most of the brands available locally and wanted to have something a bit better. Alas, the nearest humidor was 2 hours away in central London. So off I went, up to The Big Smoke in search of my first “proper” cigars.
Things get serious…
The tobacconist in question was Segar and Snuff in Covent Garden. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to go inside, and after much deliberation I finally chose my first premium Cuban cigars: an H. Upmann Corona Junior, Jose L. Piedra Nacionales, Montecristo No. 5 and a Punch Petit Coronation Tubo. It was at this point that I realised what a rich experience a quality cigar is. Each of those initial cigars had a different character that I couldn’t quite pin down at the time and I needed to understand this alchemy.
It wasn’t long before I needed my own humidor because of my desire to acquaint myself with as many flavour profiles as there were cigars available to me. I started to record the flavour journey’s that each cigar took me on so that I could look back and relive those moments. I now have a cigar box full of notebooks and a folder with more detailed reviews.
Opening the ‘Cigar Box’
I set up Pandora’s Cigar Box to keep a record for myself as much as for sharing it with a wider audience. I still love my cigars and the stories they tell me. I enjoy discovering new sticks either by recommendation or just because they sound interesting. But I also keep a good stock of my favourites aging for when I need a dependable smoke to go back to.
A cigar can be a very personal affair, and I have found that expectations and circumstances going in, as well as how, when and where you smoke can greatly change your enjoyment.
I don’t review every cigar I smoke, nor do I do it in an especially scientific way by keeping the smoking conditions and choice of drink the same. Contained in the reviews are my personal thoughts and the flavours that I, Pandora, tasted in that particular cigar. Sometimes I will mention what I drank with it, be it a cocktail or neat spirit. You may agree with me, you may not. Everyone has their own opinion and mine is only one of a myriad that are out there. Do feel free to comment if you agree, or disagree for that matter, or have any questions. But please keep it respectful.
Did you know my website is entirely self-funded? I currently do this as a labour of love and am not sponsored by or affiliated to any of the cigar brands or retailers featured in my content. If you enjoy what you read here, please consider contributing to my next cigar review or article by donating an amount through my Buy Me a Coffee page. Thank you so much for your support x