I’ll give you one reason why the cigar industry will never die: dedication. I’m reminded of the unofficial creed of the US Postal Service: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Of course, we’d have to add to that: “Neither snow nor rain nor draconian tax hike or totalitarian smoking ban…”
Let’s face it, cigar smokers are a hardcore bunch. Our Marketing Director Travis and I proved this point over the weekend, going outside in the rain to smoke cigars after busting out of a big online poker tournament. I beat 25,000 other players but finished just 100 places out of the money — aarrgh! Relaxation was definitely in order.
He selected a Rocky Patel Sun Grown Toro, and I dug through his well-stocked humidor until I found a nice little Camacho SLR Rothschild Natural. We checked outside and yes, it was still raining cats and dogs.
But up and out we went, to one of the best cigar smoking spots in Kingston — a rooftop with 360-degree views that was the site of our Casa Magna review back on the 4th of July. Travis, armed with an umbrella, provided the cover we needed to get our stogies lit and there we were, smoking tall against the rain.
A few cigar-related revelations came to us. Firstly, a well-constructed cigar can withstand a healthy amount of rain. I would go so far as to say my cigar was water-resistant — droplets of rain simply beaded and ran off the wrapper, and even a direct hit to the ash was quickly absorbed. This wasn’t surprising since we’ve seen people run their cigar under the faucet before smoking it. But that was before it was lit. We were quite impressed to discover a good cigar burns regardless of the weather. I mean, you can’t smoke in a torrential downpour with no umbrella, but a little cover will let you smoke under any condition.
Our clothes did not fare as well as the cigars, absorbing moisture until we decided to bow out after passing the halfway point on our stogies, which were still burning strong. We both enjoyed our picks, finding them to be richly flavored, smooth and consistent in flavor. Nothing to complain about, nothing to write home about, really… though one wonders if it were sunny and we were celebrating a win instead of nursing a loss, would these cigars taste better? (This question was addressed in our set and setting post.)
Our final conclusion came when we got our soggy selves got back inside and asked: “Did we really just stand outside in the rain for half an hour smoking cigars?” It got us thinking how dedicated cigar fans are to their hobby. And that got us thinking about the current challenges cigar smokers are facing with smoking bans and taxation.
We are paying more than ever to enjoy our cigars, with less and less of a choice as to where we can smoke them. And yet interest in cigars is growing despite numerous challenges faced by the market. It’s only a matter of time before we’re all out in the rain — metaphorically speaking — puffing away despite the inhospitable smoking environment.
Cigar smokers, like cigars themselves, are a resolute, stubborn bunch. We will get our way, rain or shine.