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When Did You Start Smoking Cigars & How Did You Become A CC Connoisseur?

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always used to think first cigar I tried was H. Wintermann's machine shit in Jan of 2000. I remember when I bought it in local shop, got Cognac and started to smoke and drink at the candle light while listening Joe Cocker. that was like I imagined should do gentlman. sounds very funny now. 

years after I was told by my friend who was my mate at the University we shared some cigars in mid of 90's, but I don't remember that. I started my cigar business I 6 years ago and got much deeper into. still learning every day. 

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On 2/19/2019 at 11:18 PM, dvickery said:

1971 ... stolen from my dad .

Same year (!), actually given by my dad: Partagas Culebras (which weren't great at that time, cough cough)

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IIRC, my first cigar was in 2009.  I went to a party hosted by @ebhead .  We've been friends since University days (mid 90's).  He invited a whole bunch of us over for food, wine , etc. Later in the evening he asked if anyone wanted a cigar.  I was well imbibed by then so I figured; why not?  Gave the girlfriend a knowing look (aka seeking approval) She was cool with it.  It was an Joya di Nicaragua Antonao.  Robusto'ish in size.  Outside of a few cigarettes in my teens, I never smoked.  I remember enjoying that cigar with some Scotch that evening.  A few weeks or so later, he invited a few of us over for cigars and Scotch. This time I was treated to an RyJ Churchill tubo.  WOW.  I think at this time I was hooked.  I started looking for cigars whenever we'd travel to Mexico in the duty free shops, online (mostly NC's) at the time. I picked up a 50 count humidor figuring that'd be the extent of my commitment to this new hobby. :D I was wrong.  I joined the CA forum. Got wind of "Cigar Czar" and FOH and never looked back since.  My first full boxes were NC's.  Punch Presidentes, Olvia Serie O and Partagas Black Label (godawful cigars) and a few CC RyJ Tubos 5 packs here and there.    I soon ditched the NC's as I found the taste not to my liking and concentrated more on CC's.  I am now well stocked and enjoy them whenever the temps rise above 0C or get invited to smoke somewhere indoors. 

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When Did You Start Smoking Cigars & How Did You Become A CC Connoisseur?

I smoked my first cigar - a Cuban - at age 14 in 1967 at a summer camp in Spain, I had won some competition and the first prize was a ... cigar. Which I smoked for 20 minutes before spending half an hour in the toilet.
After I started my blog in 2003 which was about flying/travelling and smoking cigars I suddenly became a Connoisseur without knowing it .... 🤣
I am and will always be a cigar smoker.

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I was 11-12 years old and given a pretty decent cigar by neighborhood neer-do-well Rick Hendeson.  I do believe he was robbing me of nickles and dimes in poker at the time, probably cheating me (a little kid) all the while to boot.  Rick's been dead many years but my forum handle has always been my tribute, he still lives on in some way.

 

As for CC, I tried a few, probably half fakes, then took the plunge and ordered a 3x5 petaca of HDM PR online.  Never looked back.

 

It may or may not have made any difference -- we'll never know -- but:  One of the cigars from one of those petacas was literally the best cigar I've ever smoked in my life.  It was a kaleidoscope / melange of dozens of incredible flavors.  I can recall it in my taste memory to this day.  I've never smoked anything like it since.  But I've certainly been chasing it, all this time, through hundreds and hundreds of boxes . . . .

 

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On 2/25/2019 at 10:18 PM, Piligrim said:

always used to think first cigar I tried was H. Wintermann's machine shit in Jan of 2000. I remember when I bought it in local shop, got Cognac and started to smoke and drink at the candle light while listening Joe Cocker. that was like I imagined should do gentlman. sounds very funny now. 

years after I was told by my friend who was my mate at the University we shared some cigars in mid of 90's, but I don't remember that. I started my cigar business I 6 years ago and got much deeper into. still learning every day. 

Joe cocker is awesome though.  I saw him open for Steve Miller band and he stole the show.  Too bad he passed on.  

 

It is funny to think what I used to think was gentlemanly too.  It used to be smoking Macanudo's and drinking Honey Brown...

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Back in the mid to late 70s we would some White Owl wood tips trying to look cool. I was working at a country club when I was gifted a cigar in a tube. I smoked it in my car and for the next 2 months it would still smell of cigar 😝

I was given my first Cuban at French Bistro in South Florida late one night. I was enjoying it quite a bit until the wrapper peeled off. In retrospect I doubt it was actually a real Cuban cigar. It was a fat Robusto with Maduro wrapper, no band. That was like mid 90s.

I started buying cc's from the duty free in airports but just a few 3 packs at a time. I felt like I was smuggling narcotics clearing customs 😨 after a while I quit caring so much. I am happy they relaxed the restrictions and hope they stop the embargo all together, it is dumb.

Anyway I get to seek out many varieties where I work. They are pricey but the selection is varied and pretty extensive with a large amount of aged and limited release cigars.

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1994 was working at a company just after college and the Army.  I half jokingly mentioned to my boss to "pick up a box of Cuban's" when she was on vacation in the Caribbean.  She returned with a full 25 box of Monte Christo Tubos!!  I was about to get married and enjoyed one out on the deck at my parents house.  Pure joy and relaxation (mixed with being a bit of cocky 20-something).  That box lasted 10+ years as I would typically only smoke one or two per year in the summer when camping up in northern Minnesota with my little kids running around (BWCA).  One summer I was in my house during the summer when both of my sons (probably then 9 and 12ish) came up to me respectfully with a stupid grin on their faces and a serious question .  The said "Cmon dad - will you smoke a cigar? - we wanna watch...".  Whoa! I guess they do pay attention.  At some point the Tubos ran out and the empty box ended up on one of my sons dressers holding his precious stuff.  Non-cubans never seemed to be able to hold up to my memories of that box of Tubos and I began to search for other ways to source better cigars.  I guess you always go back to your first.

Fast forward to 2019.  Now one son is a Sr. in College and one just joined the air force.  Early this year we had a chance to head up to the hunting shack and do some Snowmobiling and we were all able to relax with a beer and great cuban cigars.  I give thanks daily to God for all of the good times and bad  - one area that I am especially thankful for is the occasional ability to hang out with my sons and smoke a cigar.  Sometimes it is the little things..

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