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I smoked a fantastic Partagus P2 this evening and It made me realise that this was the cigar that got me hooked on this journey!

I had always smoked cigars throughout the years but only socially, on special occasions and if they had been handed out to me. Just a couple of years ago I went on holiday to one of the Greek islands and I bought a pack of 3 tubed Party P2’s from duty free at Heathrow. Well that cigar really blew my mind. I had never really experienced the real pleasure of smoking a cigar before that. The rest as they say is history.

 

Would be really interested to know if anyone else can recall the exact moment or reason that got them hooked on this incredible hobby of ours?

 

 

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Backpacking around Europe on summer vacation during college 1988.  Back then, if something was illegal, I had to smoke it.  I remember it was some kind of Upmann, and I vaguely remember it came in a silver tube?  Well, I’m not sure about the silver part, but it was a tubo, and I loved it.  I’ve been smoking cigars ever since.

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I’m certain any “Cuban” I smoked before I traveled to Havana last Summer was a fake. That was one reason why, as a NC smoker of about 18 years, I never understood what made CCs any better.

Then, in the LCDH at 16 y 5 av in Havana, I bought a RyJ. Maybe it was a Exhibition No. 4, who knows, but I loved it. I bought a Monte No. 4, and loved it. Before the trip was over, I bought two boxes of HURR, one box SLR Cuba RE, three boxes Monte 2’s, one box Petit Monte 2’s, one box RyJ WC, one box RyJ SC, and maybe others but I can’t remember. When I got home, I could not wait to get rid of all my NCs. All I wanted from then on was the Cuban twang.

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Walked into a cigar store on my 18th birthday.  Skipped school that day.  Went to a strip joint afterwards.  Not sure which is the more expensive hobby, but I stuck with the cigars and only went back to a strip joint once.  The day after officer boot camp.  13 weeks of showering with men, I just had to wash my brain.

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I smoked anything and everything for a while (esp a lot of Davidoffs). Then I had a PSD4 upstairs in Fox’s of St James, London, that was quite sublime. That was the White Rabbit that led me down the rabbit hole. 

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Smoked my first cigar in college, it was a perdomo something. The salesman kept pushing it hard as you could see she was trying to train some new sales clerk into how to make a sale. It was pretty so so at best and the whole experience was slightly off putting. Didn't think about cigars again until my buddies bachelor party, I was in charge of getting the smokes. So i got a sample pack of heritage cigars not really knowing any better. Red dot cohibas mmmm. Finally started doing a little reading and learned about CAs top 25 list and started trying them one by one. Started acquiring a taste for Padrons but didn't really like how they kept going up in price. Something about them reminded me of my father's pipe smoke. So I always keep them around for nostalgia. Anyways, went to Cuba. Got scammed in Vinales, ( I heard about all the fakes going around but I thought that the local tours at the plantations in pinar del rio would be safe, guess not). So I ended up going to the LCDH 5 and 16th off of Miramar as well and picked up a few boxes. Couldn't believe how mild their cigars were by comparison to say Padron. Loved how they it didn't leave that horrible cigar aftertaste that can linger until the next day, regardless if you brush your teeth or use mouthwash. 

 

Then I found this site.  And got to learn how inefficient our international customs are.

Still not sure if it's a good or bad thing. :lmao: 

And now I have a separate foot locker cuban cigar humidor that can't tetris any more cubans in it. 

I think what I enjoy most about the hobby is that having a cigar encourages me to take some decent walks, and take some time to meditate.

 

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My father in law (RIP), who grew up in Villa Gonzalez, Santiago, Dom Rep a stones throw from Davidoff’s factory in the heart of Dominican cigar country got me hooked. He would smoke cubans as well as Opus X, etc., his favorite were Cohiba Lanceros. Never understood why anyone would smoke cigars before then, and still don’t understand how people enjoy most NCs quite honestly but to each their own. 

The first cuban cigar I ever purchased was in Lake Como in the town of Como. It was a Hoyo Epi 2. No idea how/why I chose that but sitting on Lake Como smoking that it all clicked. I went home with about 20 CCs that trip. I remember the Mrs telling me I had a problem when I told her I needed a second desktop humidor. Today I can’t even count and don’t keep good inventory but must have 100-200 boxes of cigars. Little bit of a slippery slope I suppose! 

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Smoked nc for quite some time starting when I was in my teens. Always wanted to smoke a cc but thought they were pretty much unattainable.
Found this site after much searching. My first smoke was a partaga d4 and I was blown away.
It’s been an expensive habit since then......


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Poker back in the late 90s.  We had a group of 6 and each of us would take turns hosting every other week or so.  Don Diego’s were the smoke of choice then.  My how times have changed.

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Started to smoke cigars in '96 or a year or so before that. I had a business relationship with a guy who had a second home here but lived in Toronto. I asked him to grab me a few Cuban cigars if it was convenient. By 2002 I knew that there was no substitute for a Cuban cigar. Back then getting an internet source was a trick. There was one I used a lot where you needed a referal. The first people I knew who were getting Cuban cigars from internet vendors were all cloak and dagger about it. 

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Started with NCs about 10 years ago. Found out through talking to the owner of a local shop that he lived right down the road from me.  I always saw him smoking what I now know are Monte 4s while he was working. I got to know his family fairly well, and after hanging out at the shop for a smoke, he opened a box of SLR Regios and Magnum 46s from his office.  First 2 Cubans I ever smoked.  He always talked about his fondness for anything Juan Lopez too. The Regios especially was fantastic and changed my entire perspective on cigars.  Even though I smoke mostly CCs now, I always stop in when I'm in the area to say hi and grab a few smokes from the shop.

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I remember smoking Cohibas in France in 1988. My memory is fuzzy as to exactly which vitola, must have been Coronas Especiales as only those, the Lanceros and Panatelas existed at the time. Then I remember buying Cohiba Robustos at a la Civette in Paris in the early 90's. My CC smoking was derailed when the supply chain came from Antigua in the late 1990's, they were all fake and tasted like s***. So, absent any good supply and not having a taste for NC cigars I quit. Fast forward to 2017. I went to Cuba with a group and discovered that I still enjoyed CC's. I spent every bit of currency I had, and even borrowed more, on buying cigars while in Havana. Shortly after returning from Cuba I discovered this community and thanks to our host I now have quite a cigar collection.

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Was deployed to Kosovo in 2000-2001 (cushy deployment) and the senior staff would gather to smoke outside the General’s hooch every evening.  I was the boss’ secretary at the time and got treated like the kid brother by the staff officers.  We bought our Cubans from the French contingent’s PX on convoy runs. The first box I ever purchased was a Montecristo Especial No.2 and they were pure magic.

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Our family has always been into cigars.  My great-grandfather made it to 95, and there are exactly two photos of him where he isn't holding a stogie.  My father also indulged in everything from cheap and nasty shortfiller dog rockets to the best Cubans.  My mother smoked cigarillos for decades.  So even as I was a heavy cigarette smoker from the age of 13 on, I would have a few cigars for a change of pace.  When I quit cigarettes 15 years ago, switching to cigars was just the natural thing to do.  

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Had my first cigar at the age of 15 (White Owl) and been hooked ever since.Had my first  CC in Geneva early '70s and can't stand any NC  now.Been to Cuba 9 times and stocked up on different major marcas each time.

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Started in high school on the golf course smoking Macanudos with my step-dad in the mid-90s. I'm sure Mom was thrilled. Would have the occasional cigar through the college years and trips to Vegas, but largely just socially. Always enjoyed it, but never put forth the effort or expense to make it a habit. Fast forward to Iraq in 2006, and the stress relief it offered was unparralleled. Bought a humidor as soon as we redeployed to Germany! 

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On 8/3/2018 at 1:23 PM, joeypots said:

Started to smoke cigars in '96 or a year or so before that. I had a business relationship with a guy who had a second home here but lived in Toronto. I asked him to grab me a few Cuban cigars if it was convenient. By 2002 I knew that there was no substitute for a Cuban cigar. Back then getting an internet source was a trick. There was one I used a lot where you needed a referal. The first people I knew who were getting Cuban cigars from internet vendors were all cloak and dagger about it. 

Ahh, the good old days.  I was on the same board as you back then.  In fact, I think that might have been the only public board at the time.  People there were pretty cagey about their sources back then, but they were pretty friendly, so once they got to know you, they opened up, privately of course.  I remember it was not uncommon for some vendors to send the cigars without the boxes or bands, and they would send them to you separately if you requested.  One vendor even had his own (Dominican) label and would reband and rebox with his own “brand name” on it.

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I started with a bang about 20 years ago, when my big sister gave me a box of Cohiba Esplendidos. Amazing thing was she bought them in Cuba, not from a reputable source, and I’m pretty sure they were real (and they were certainly delicious). Took me a while to smoke them, then it was a very slow progression until much more recently. A box of Trinidad Robusto Extras around 2009 was another encouragement. Kept the last one until this year, and it was delicious.

 

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My friend's wedding in Poland Sept 2012...trying my first ever cigar...RYJ No.2...I must of smoked about 3 that night, was slowly hooked after that, didn't really smoke that often for a few years then in the last 2 years have increased from a weekly smoke to basically 1-4 every few days...Glad I have 24:24 otherwise I wouldn't have enough daily smokes...

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