Beyond Vanilla: Cigar Suggestions for the Lady Smoker

Nikki Glenn

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.

Oliva Serie V Torpedo

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!

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6 Comments on “Beyond Vanilla: Cigar Suggestions for the Lady Smoker”

  1. Nice article. Thank you for recognizing that cigars are not just for men. Personally, I don’t care for flavored cigars, preferring medium to full bodied ones instead. But that’s what so great about an industry that offers so many premium products.
    Shop owners, please take note: the ladies are in the humidor too!

  2. Joyce Oshanick says:

    Nicki,

    You nailed it! Acid Kuba Kuba is my “Sunday Cigar”. Oliva Serie V Melanio torpedo is second on my list. Alec Bradley’s Maxx the Ego makes a statement for any woman who fires it up in public and really gets the conversation going. I select all of the cigars that go into our store’s humidor and taste each one to make sure I am supplying good information to our clientele. Taste is subjective so I don’t tell them what “notes” to expect. These are glorious golden years for the premium cigar industry. I can’t wait to discover my new favorite.

  3. Zhinka Chunmee says:

    I agree with the writer!
    I have kept a journal in which I rate every new cigar I have ever smoked. I do not smoke an enormous amount, but when I do I like to keep a record so that I do not waste my time or cash on ones I will not like, I give each type an honest test with 4 cigars, that way I can be sure one was not just defective.
    I dislike the cherry and vanilla types.
    However, I adore the acids! Acid Waifs are my quick smoke favorite , followed by the Acid Blondies. the Acid toast.
    I completely disliked the Acid Extra Ordinary Larry, it reminded me of burned instant coffee with hints of hickory charcoal and WD-40.

    As far as the best of the best so far in my old age the 75th Aniversario desde 1935 Monte Cristo is my ultimate favorite,so smooth like smoking silk, never got hot and was a good 40 minute cigar, but I have not found them at our smoke shoppe in years. (these are on my 30th anniversary wish list lol)
    My second favorite smoke was the Drew Estat Tabak Especial Colada, cool, easy smoke, spicy and nutty and very nice draw,but again difficult to find these days.

    granted I have only been smoking cigars for about 15 years, but this over 50 gal wishes I had started sooner, it is a relaxing time for my husband and I and I think it has helped our marriage because it gives us a private time in which we relax with no phones, tv or anyone else horning in and that is the best date ever in my opinion.

  4. Beneluxor says:

    Very nice to have this article from cool and classy Nikki Glenn.

    When helping lady friends to enjoy a cigar, I found the milder Davidoffs to often be a good choice for a pleasant feminine cigar experience

    Ladies appreciate, and often already know, the luxury name of Davidoff, and tend to like the posh look of a Davidoff cigar band. The Davidoffs that are ‘smooth & sweet & creamy’, such as the Ambassadrice or the Classic No. 3, are not only mild, but tend to burn fairly quickly, making for a nice short smoke not too overwhelming. The Ambassadrice even has a feminine name.

    Ladies often enjoy the idea of a somewhat more slender cigar, and one thing Davidoff does unusually well, is make relatively thin but mild cigars, whereas in general the very thin cigars can be a bit harsher than wider ring gauge sticks.

    A bit pricey but, ‘She’s worth it!’

  5. The only Acid cigar I like is the Gold Atom Maduro, and that is because it is BARELY infused. The rest of the Acids I’ve tried taste like they were dipped in aftershave. I really only like the infused cigars that have coffee/chocolate flavors since those notes are already found in “plain” tobacco. I especially like the Java line from Drew/Rocky Patel, as well as Drew’s Tabak Especial line. The Tabak Especial Maduro is in my top 3 right now, flavores or otherwise.

    I see that Alec Bradley was mentioned, but the reason they are some of my faves is because they are full-flavored. I really like the Sanctum, Black Market and Prensados. (I am smoking a gorgeous Prensado Torpedo right now; 2011 Cigar of the Year on CA) I like their American Classic Blend for a milder stick.

    I had to laugh a bit at this article. I have a couple of friends who enjoy cigars just as much as I do, and they would scoff at this article. We smoke 1 to 3 cigars a day, full strength, non-flavored ones. But I get that for the most part, it is still an “old boys club”. Even CA’s slogan is “The Good Life Magazine for Men”. Well, move over boys, cuz the ladies are here. In fact, the hubbs doesn’t even smoke! These are MY thing! Now I have to get back to my AB Prensado…what a fine cigar!

  6. Try the Tabak Especial Dulces and Negras if you like coffee. The Negra is my fave, and they aren’t hard to find (jrcigars.com) They also have them in a cigarillo size for those times when you don’t have an hour to spare for a full sized stogie.

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