Today we've got another guest post from Nikki Glenn, a cigar aficionada from St. Louis and a violinist entertainer for private, corporate and special events worldwide. She loves learning about and smoking cigars as much as possible.
Many female smokers are introduced to cigar smoking by way of the flavored cigar. I've enjoyed smoking cigars for quite a few years, and I still remember my first cigar smoking experience. I was on a gig, and one of the other musicians was smoking what I thought was a cigarette, but it smelled great. When I asked what it was, he explained it was a cigarillo. I tried one and was immediately hooked. I loved the flavor and the aroma, and to my twenty-something self, I thought I was so cool doing it. Now, this was not the most expensive cigarillo ever made – it was an Indiana Slim, special because they were rum-flavored (again, awesome-sounding to my younger self). From cigarillos, I graduated straight to flavored full-sized cigars – vanilla, chocolate, rum, you get the picture. These were the designated “women's” cigars at the time, and I'm pretty sure that these are still considered “ladies” cigars.
However, while flavored cigars are definitely a more gentle introduction to the world of cigars, there are some delightful smokes that go beyond the basic flavors, that I encourage lady smokers to try. I've utilized a gradual approach in incorporating these cigars into my smoking regimen, and I wanted to share with you five of the cigars that have become my “go-to” cigars, both flavored and unflavored.
Drew Estate's ACID cigars are my top flavored pick. They are infused with flavors through some closely guarded, super-secret recipe I imagine is something like KFC's 11 herbs and spices. My two favorite smokes are the ACID Toast and the ACID Cold Infusion, both of which I find mild and sweet, with enjoyable aromas while smoking, and a pleasant taste in the mouth. The ACID line really can't be defined in terms of specific flavors like “vanilla” or “rum” flavor – they are more like flavor “experiences”, but I think that the complexity is very appealing. I encourage the ladies out there to give these a try.
I would like to take this time to point out that I'm still learning my palate when it comes to unflavored cigars, so I cannot speak to the hints of cinnamon, elderberry flower, or whatnot that many more experienced smokers can detect in the following cigars. I can tell you that I enjoy them, and I think you will too. That being said, if you're not in the mood to smoke a flavored cigar, or you are ready for something different, I recommend the Alec Bradley Family Blend, the Nat Sherman Timeless No. 2, or the Oliva Serie V.
The Alec Bradley Family Blend was one of my first unflavored cigar smokes, and I instantly loved its smooth, toasty taste. The Alec Bradley is my choice for end-of-the day smoke to enjoy, just enough body without being too strong. The Nat Sherman Timeless No. 2 is also medium-bodied but has a little more complexity of flavor to me, tasting more of warm spices. This is a cigar that I would definitely suggest to accompany an evening of drinking fine spirits and enjoying the company of friends. My current favorite is the Oliva Serie V, which is a smoke with great body, and somehow reminds me of a rich cup of coffee without really being coffee-flavored. I found myself smelling this cigar for quite a while before I actually smoked it, and really wanting to linger over the smoke. This is definitely my most recommended cigar of the moment.
I encourage lady smokers to be unafraid to explore cigars past the usual “ladies” cigars. Talk to your fellow cigar smokers, to your tobacconist, and don't be shy about discovering what you really like, and don't be ashamed of what you like either. The wonderful thing about cigar-smoking is that everyone's experience is unique and personal. Happy smoking to you!