Since I was a boy, the scent of my father’s pipe tobacco always alerted me to his presence. It is a fondness that I still hold to this day. You see, I didn’t live with my father at a young age, but when I would smell the aroma of his pipe tobacco, I knew he wasn’t far behind.
At a later age, I was introduced to tobacco in a different form – a premium long filler cigar. Coupled with bourbon, cigars were more than a hobby. The culture was a lifestyle I took to rather easily. I was privy to a life of the finer things… and I enjoyed it. Now a veteran of the lifestyle, I have enjoyed cigars for over 20 years. Looking back, I have been able to do things in the cigar industry many enthusiasts would only dream of. I’ve walked the sun-drenched fields of the Dominican. I’ve hand-rolled cigars in factories. I’ve learned from icons of an industry I’ve been in love with since childhood.
“Why cigars?” you may ask. And “why not?” is my reply. It’s the experience. It’s the gathering of like-minded individuals with a common bond. It’s the camaraderie, conversations and relationships which are formed. It’s the recipe of greatness encapsulated in a form we know as a cigar – a timeless indulgence which brings people together all over the world.
Half of the indulgence is knowing how to experience it. When enjoying a cigar, it’s imperative to couple it with a spirit for the full flavor profile. My personal selection on this beautiful late winter evening is a tumbler of one ice sphere and Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon paired with a nicely aged Oliva Serie V Melanio in a Figurado vitola. This exquisite 6 1/2-inch x 52-gauge Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper was chosen No. 1 by Cigar Aficionado magazine in 2014. Its rich, oily sheen just glistens in the ambient light as I cut it perfectly with my custom made Xikar blade. I take one good pre-light draw to ensure there is adequate air flow. Ahhh… Perfection as the flame hits the thoughtfully placed Nicaraguan fillers. The slightly chilled and robust, oaky finish of the bourbon in my hand is a true compliment to a spicy yet refined and subtle retro-hale.
This is the scent of this Man – not any single man, but a man of an interest and passion invoked and instilled in me from a young age.
So sit back, grab your finest bourbon, cut your best cigar, and enjoy as we embark on this journey of fine spirits and even finer cigars.
Until next time… Enjoy my Friends
Jason M. Lois
Category Merchant – Tobacco
Top 5 Ranked Competitor – World Cigar Smoking Championships