What kind of smoker are you?
I’m writing this from next to the rooftop swimming pool of my hotel in Bangkok, where me and the wonderful woman I call my wife just went for a swim after our breakfast. It is 10am in this buzzling city and from my spot on the 35th floor I can see the traffic jam downstairs with all the taxies, busses and tuk-tuks while an army of small motorcycles navigates these obstacles with ease. The temperature is very pleasant, the sun is not too bright yet and the lounge music played at the pool bar sets a relaxed mood. The only thing that would make this moment better is a cigar. Since this hotel, The Continent, is smoke friendly, smoking at the pool is not a problem, the last time I was here I even smoked in the pool with permission of the staff. I decide to reach for a well-aged, nice and mellow Ashton Symmetry Prism. Even though I’m on the 35th floor, the high glass fence makes it easy to light a cigar with just one long match as I haven’t had time to buy a lighter after my flight in last night. The mellow aromas of this amazing cigar, made at Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic, turn this very good morning into something divine. This is not a moment that you would want to waste with a bad cigar.
Quantity, quality or both?
I’ve always been a believer of quality over quantity, but over the years I realized that a large majority of the population isn’t. To me, that goes for everything. I rather splurge on one fantastic vacation a year where I spend a few weeks in my favourite part of the world than to do 6 short city trips a year. Of course, if I have to opportunity to do both, I will take both but that’s beside the question here. The same goes for drinks, I rather buy one good bottle of whisky that I really enjoy (if you have the time, check out all the whisky & cigar pairings I wrote) instead of a case of Johnny Walker Red Label. I rather eat one homemade cheese hamburger with quality meat, quality cheese, fresh veggies on a freshly baked bun than 5 Big Macs. And I am like that with cigars too, I rather smoke one great cigar than 5 mediocre cigars. I guess that makes fit into the category of “quality smokers”.
There is also a very large demographic that only smokes cheap bundle cigars. They like them because they are affordable and they can smoke 5 a day without breaking the bank. It’s something I don’t understand, but these people are happy with it. And while in the past I judged them, I passed that phase, who am I to judge anyway? If they are content with smoking lesser quality but more, then that’s great. These are what I call “quantity smokers”.
By the way, I am not saying all budget friendly cigars are of low quality. I often smoke a Condega cigar or the Diesel Unholy Cocktail, both very affordable and great smokes. There are more that fall under this category.
Can you be both?
I know plenty of people that buy cheap bundle cigars of low quality, not because they like that cigar so much, but because they smoke it when they work in the garden, work on their cars, smoke while preparing the barbeque, the so called yardgars. That is not my style, I only smoke something that’s worth my time, but with rising age I came to the conclusion that it’s not a right or wrong thing. That there are people with different mindsets. I know truck driver that always have bundles of Quorum or boxes of Guantanamera Cristales in their vehicle for the long drives. And when I spoke to them about it, they say they don’t smoke that for the flavour or the taste, but just to simply smoke during long drives. According to them, it’s a waste of money to use quality, higher priced, cigars for that since they don’t focus on the cigar anyway while driving. When they come out for a smoke in a lounge or we meet somewhere else for a cigar, they bring out the stuff they actually enjoy. Let’s call these smokers “hybrid smokers”.
Let us know, what kind of smoker are you? A quality smoker, a quantity smoker or a hybrid smoker. Honestly, I don’t expect anybody to say that he or she is a quantity smoker, because most of the quantity smokers have their favourite brand and don’t read cigar media, but I am curious about the rest of you.