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Fantastic post Piggy. I have pondered this topic before and I agree with you on all points...for me, I do not have 'a' cigar and based on how rarely I smoke, I never will have one.

And I am OK with that. I go into each smoke with little to no expectations. I seek out the vitolas I like, welcome new experiences (including many disappointments), and just enjoy the journey for what it is.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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Great topic.  

Sadly people claiming to be experts in anything is a sign of the times. You only have to look at Linkedin, with people listing themselves as Architect/Engineer/Novelist/Spanish Guitar Instructor/Lover/Fighter/Candlestick Maker.  It's pathetic. 

I'm a conservator of Museum objects as a profession, and although I have trained for many years, and obviously have numerous qualification within the subject, every day when I turn up to the bench I'm faced with technical problems that make me realise that what I know, compared to what there is still to learn could be equated at about 0.000000001%.

I think the world of cigar smoking especially in Europe can often feel very ostentatious, and intimidating. Sadly, humility in the modern world is almost extinct, and often the outcome is people overcompensating and giving it the 'big I am', and projecting knowing 'expert' statements that are full of BS. 

In a weird way if anyone expressed any hard and fast "facts" about a certain cigar, it actually diminishes that cigar, it advertises it as only being able to deliver within those limited constraints. Every time I pick up a cigar it's based on truisms not facts. I hope it will deliver certain things it's done before, but equally I hope it's going to have an extra dimension, a card up it's sleeve. 

As you referenced, I think you do need to smoke that single cigar industriously to know it, and I don't smoke enough of anything to know it, but like a friend that I've not seen for a while, I love catching up with 898s. Although, I am starting to secretly cheat on them with R&J Cazadores, which currently are pretty impressive ROTT

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Expert status always a dicey and subjective thing although there are some objective measures. I don't profess to know them, but I'm sure they exist. Does only smoking a cigar make one expert? Or should one know leaves, regional crop reports, etc to become fully abreast? I don't know.  Regarding Pigfish, he is an interesting guy and his posts, at least for me, are sometimes difficult to fully grasp. I think his brain is wired differently in relation to mine.  That is a good thing for him. 😆 

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Sir Pig....what I got outta your initial post was 'what is an expert?'.  Especially when it comes to determining what is 'my' cigar.   Great question, made me think of those so called NFL analysts  or 'experts' who follow the NFL draft and predict who each team will absolutely pick when their draft position comes up.  99% of the time they're wrong!!!!!

I've been enjoying CC for less than a year.  early on I tried to consume as many different marca's as well as different sizes based on what I read and heard (those I like I continued to smoke, those I didn't like I sheepishly pawned off on my friends) in hopes of finding 'my' cigar.   Move to current times and I've seen/learned that when it comes to myself..what I like, prefer........ I am my own expert.   I've seen too many times (and learned the hard way) when a journalist or blogger readily pushed a certain cigar, pushing me to buy a box, only to find it didn't do anything for me.  Over time, I've found that no one can predict what I prefer/like than myself.   I still do enjoy reading reviews, more so to see if I agree or disagree on their findings.   Its when I see someone market themselves as expert, do I stand back and give them the political stare.....

pardon the rant, just wanted to express my simple opinion.

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2 hours ago, dowjr1 said:

Expert status always a dicey and subjective thing although there are some objective measures. I don't profess to know them, but I'm sure they exist. Does only smoking a cigar make one expert? Or should one know leaves, regional crop reports, etc to become fully abreast? I don't know.  Regarding Pigfish, he is an interesting guy and his posts, at least for me, are sometimes difficult to fully grasp. I think his brain is wired differently in relation to mine.  That is a good thing for him. 😆 

Mate you gave me a good laugh... I ponder the strangest things. To suggest that I think a bit differently than the mainstream would put you in good company! -LOL

You wanna' know how odd I am? Most people send photos of their kids, sometime playing sport (yeah, mate... I am talking about you) and yet Piggy hear sends pictures of humidor performance and data logs.

Luckily for them and the human race, I have no kids!!!

Cheers! -Piggy

 

Great posts my friend, I have been enjoying the responses very much....

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:clap::clap:Great Post Ray the hidden truths of our little Hobby,I care to not about pretension, or collectors they can fill up as many rooms or what ever vessel they choose after all it is there right.

For me alas a lot of my favourite read mine ,cigars have now gone the way of the dodo, and for me they will be missed, and i curse myself for not having the wisdom to stock up when i should of ,but i didn't and that is the end of it 

opinions are like assholes everybody has one:D  and not everyone is always right ,but for me the true wisdom is recognising true wisdom....

for the record mine are Punch RS#12/11 Punch super selection #1,2,3 as well as Partagas SDC #1,2,3 

Almost all the Diplomatic line and the deus dioux

of the current stuff my go to ones are the Monte petit Edmundo. BBF's and a handful more 

just my 2c worth :2thumbs::D

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13 hours ago, PigFish said:

Understanding a cigar.

Having read a comment about the Hoyo Coronas this morning got me to thinking… That’s bad, I know!

The comment was, and I am paraphrasing, 'one of the few cigars in MRN’s book that got trashed.' I scoffed at that comment, and got to thinking about it some.

 

Now that is collector logic for you!!!

Thanks for reading.

-Piggy

I know the comment in question, and the very cigar it was about.  

I'm no expert by any means. At the height of my affair with cigars I smoked 8-10 cigars a week, which is nowhere near the caliber of what I would think would qualify as an expert. I don't really know what an cigar expert is, or what qualifies them to be experts. I'm not sure anyone can even begin to determine what the qualifications would be... is it the frequency of smoking cigars, the size of one's collection of cigars, the marketing knowledge of cigars, the history of cigars, the expertise of a manufacturer, tobacco blender, tobacco picker, ?? 

Over the years I have met with, drank with, broke bread with and smoked cigars with several prominent cigar industry titans in the NC cigar industry, and found them to be a tremendous fountain of knowledge about cigars, so perhaps this is the closest I have seen to what one might call an expert in the topic. Some of the most knowledgeable and respected men and women I have met are truly experienced in what goes into the making of cigars, from the process of selecting the seed variety, to planting, caring, harvesting, curing, blending and ultimately marketing their products. But even then, their expertise would be limited to a very narrow slice of a very vast and multi-faceted topic.  

13 hours ago, PigFish said:

So this brings me to the point. What is ‘your’ cigar, if you have one? How well do you know it? How long have you known it and what does it take in your mind to be an authority about it? Reading an 'expert's' tasting notes on hundreds of cigars got me thinking more and more about this. Who is kidding whom here? How many cigars must you consume in a day, a week, a year to be an expert? Can there really be an expert on all those cigars?

There was a time when I was very narrowly focused on Punch cigars, and not the entire line, but 3-4 specific vitolas. I was extremely fond of two in particular, both in the Punch Super Selection line - the corona gorda SS#2, and the corona grande (lonsdale) SS#1. I purchased many 50 cabs of each, over a 3-5 year period, and for nearly a decade not a week went by that I didn't smoke at least 2 of each, and often much more than that. So if I ever had a "you cigar" I would say 800-1000 cigars of a specific vitola would be as close as I have ever been to having a "you cigar". In my opinion, that in no way qualifies me as an expert even in just one of these vitolas.

Ironically, a close friend of my wife's father smoked one specific vitola of one specific cheap American brand for over 50 years. As I recall, he smoked at least 2/day for about 30 of those 50 years, and the funny thing is he wouldn't ever take any other cigar offered to him, no matter the origin or how expensive. I suppose he would probably be close to an expert in that cigar, wouldn't he?  

13 hours ago, PigFish said:

I proffer there are no expert smokers. Even with the limited catalogue today, one simply cannot consume enough of more than a few cigars to really know them intimately. Intimately, meaning having a continuing depth of knowledge about their past and their current trends…

I agree! I know what formats, flavors and aromas I like in a cigar, and for me it has become an endless pursuit to find cigars that give me the fix I desire in a cigar that most closely resembles the characteristics I seek. The time I spend smoking (about 3-5 cigars a week) is precious to me, and I rather not waste it on cigars that don't satisfy me, so I try my best to smoke cigars I like. At any given moment I know there are about 3 or 4 vitolas in my humidor that I know will fill the bill, and I keep those stocked up. The rest are unfinished experiments.

Thanks for the great post Ray! 

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Great posts in this thread. 

Even though I have been fortunate to walk many a tabacco field, to converse with many people in the industry who are very experienced in their slice of the tobacco portfolio (growing, selecting tobacco, cigar manufacture, cigar marketing and distribution), to smoke with some very, very serious cigar people and to have smoked all of the current portfolio and then some, all I have to say on this is that all these wonderful experiences have only shown me what little I know about cigars. 

Personally, I have come to the point where I just enjoy each cigar as an indivual experience.

Although no expert, I do have a fondness for Monte2 of which I've smoked about 4 decades of production at a rate of at least one a week. 

Even with those cigars all I can really say is they've become much milder after 1998 and are currently found in two version, caramel cappuchino or caramel and black coffee, depending on strength. 

Although I can guess which is which most of the time, I wouldn't bet the house on it. 

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Always great when experts add knowledge - be it historical or technical 

with regards to what can help my choose new boxes to my pleasure,its makes sense to me to listen across many voices, more than one guru, though some is better at describing their experience 

Since I started smoking cigars in 2011 partagas shorts has been the most frequent - even though its less than 200 sticks. Feel its "my cigar" nontheless - along with hupc, mag 46s and boli pc - of which Ive smoked even less

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I love that I have been smoking seriously for 29 with a rate of 1-5 sticks a day and I still don't know how much I don't know :)

Like Ray-Pig I have a few sticks that I have smoked enough of over the years that I can ID them in a blind test, but far far more that I can't. Mostly it is because I don't have that sensitive a pallette and I am comfortable with just liking something now knowing full well that the next stick from that box might taste soo different (remember they are mixed on the sorting table).

More than anything I miss flavor profiles that went with certain sizes. For me a lonsdale/dalia was often my favorite in a marca.

I know a ton about HOW a cigar is made, HOW it should be stored, cut, lit, and smoked....but how it taste is such an individual thing I know I am no expert.

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Great post, Ray.  I must admit I was actually able to comprehend and fully understand this particular post. :dunce:

I don't have "a" cigar.  I love just about all CC's I've tried, with a few exceptions, and I haven't zero'd in on just one particular marca/vitola.  I think the only cigar experts who truly know a cigar are the blenders and testers of a particular vitola. 

Thanks for, once again, giving us all something to ponder and discuss.  I fully agree with @BrightonCorgi, that the more you learn about something, the more you realize how much you don't know.

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