Robert Downey Jr’s Love of Good Cigars (And Six Tips for Choosing a Good One)
Few things compare to a good cigar after a successful endeavor. Also, cigars are a perfect gift if you want to impress someone.
Yes, cigars are a luxury.
But after signing the biggest deal of the year, or something of the sort, you deserve to spoil yourself a bit. Is there a better way to celebrate than to light a good cigar? Maybe get a shot of your favorite drink to complete the experience.
And, what’s the first reward that a lot of employees think of? Perhaps cigars and a new office. You get a promotion and your boss gives you a prized cigar, soon leading you to your new office.
As for celebrating a powerful business deal, almost everyone can associate it with drinking fine liquor and smoking cigars.
Americans link cigars to success, luxury, and rewards. They are expensive but affordable enough for most people as an occasional treat. That said, many people also love them for the pleasure it brings.
And Robert Downey Jr is one of them.
You can see lots of photos of Iron Man holding a cigar. RDJ has admitted many times that he loves a good cigar, with his favorite brands being Gurkha Grand Reserve and Montecristo #2 (Dominican and Cuban).
Wondering how to choose a good cigar? Here are the things you should now.
Consider the Cigar’s Body
The body refers to a cigar’s flavor and strength. Just like alcoholic drinks, a cigar’s flavor or body can range from light to dark and full-bodied. Some cigars can have more exotic aromas, not unlike drinks.
So, how do you select a body that agrees with you?
It might seem a bit strange at first, but you might want to look at your favorite beer. If you favor dark beers, you might prefer stronger and darker cigars. Fans of light beers would be well-advised to start with lighter cigars.
This is not a hard and fast rule. It’s merely a guideline.
If you don’t care for beer at all, your best bet is to buy a sampler pack that comes with a range of bodies. You’d have to do some practical research to find one that suits you.
All told, it’s perhaps best for a neophyte to start lighter and work their way up. There’s no reason to give in to the pressure or desire to keep up with experienced smokers.
Understand the Four Parts of a Cigar
Physically, there are four parts to a cigar: the head, the foot, the filler, and the wrapper.
The head is the part that goes into the mouth. You’d need to cut it first if the cigar doesn’t come pre-cut. There are three ways to do it.
You can cut it with a guillotine, which can be as indispensable to a cigar smoker as the lighter. Or, you can always cut the head off with a knife. It may not be as elegant or neat as a guillotine, but it will get the job done. And last, you can bite it off with your teeth. It’s the least stylish and classy of all, which you should probably avoid.
Next up is the foot. It’s the end of a cigar where you’re supposed to light. As with the head, you might have to cut it off yourself. However, most cigars come pre-cut at the foot.
The filler is the third part, i.e. the goodness on the inside. It’s the blend of fermented and dried tobacco filler that gives a cigar its characteristic taste. And it’d serve any beginner to pay close attention to the filler of the cigar they’re smoking.
Moving on up, all cigars have a wrapper. That’s the outside part that gives a cigar its color, which also has the biggest influence on the taste. The secret is in the wrappers – that’s why Cubans are so highly regarded.
Select an Appropriate Size
The size of a cigar is also essential for its significant effect on the taste.
For example, short and thin cigars usually come with simpler tobacco blends that don’t taste all that rich. In contrast, a long and thick cigar is likely to have a richer blend, which translates to a more complex and fuller taste.
But that’s not to say that smokers aren’t going to prefer thinner cigars. Thinner cigars do boast a larger ratio of wrapper to filler. And as mentioned, the wrapper is the best part of the cigar.
There are two measures that you should know: the length and the ring gauge. Another name for circumference, you might come across a cigar that’s 8 x 40 ring gauge. That’s eight inches long and 40/64th of an inch thick.
The size also determines how long a cigar will take to smoke. On average, a six-inch stogie lasts a full hour. More than that if you smoke it slowly or less if you smoke aggressively.
Buy from a Reputable Seller
You probably don’t need anyone to tell you that you should avoid cigar sellers of disrepute. That’s especially true if you’re buying as a present.
Start with your local tobacco shops and luxury goods stores. Check the sites to find out what they have to offer. Look up the reviews and testimonials, if any. You might also want to look into what’s said about them on aggregator sites.
And if it interests you, compare prices to get the most for your money.
Check the Cigar Storage’s Relative Humidity Before Buying
You should never buy dry cigars because of the inferior taste. Moreover, dry cigars burn overly hot when lit.
But, how can you avoid buying dry cigars?
Check the relative humidity of where the cigars get stored before you even consider buying. The dealers should keep their cigars in humidors, preferably at 65-75% humidity.
All tobacco shops should have a hygrometer that displays the humidity of the storage space. Both mechanical and digital hygrometers are in use nowadays. And you may also want to inspect the humidity of the store as well.
Finally, you should consider the rating of the cigar you’re considering. Here’s a breakdown of Cigar Aficionado’s ratings, which go up with quality:
- 1-69. These are poor quality cigars that are best avoided.
- 70-79. Average quality, they’re good enough but nothing special.
- 80-89. These have “very good” and “excellent” labels.
- 90-94. Cigar Aficionado labels these as “outstanding.” You can hardly go wrong with any of these.
- 95-100. The pinnacle, these cigars have the “Classic” rating.
Smoke in Style
Many people around the world consider the cigar as a status symbol. That’s because it is indeed one. And it’s perfect for celebrating success or for kicking back after a hard day.
Cigars also make excellent gifts. You can give them to your best employees as a reward for a job well done, for example. Also, you can send some to your top business partners and clients as a token of appreciation.
To recap, picking out a cigar starts with finding the right body, in which your taste in beer might have a say. After that, you’d go on to choose the right size. Shorter and thinner cigars are fast-burning, but they can also be desirable for having the biggest percentage of the wrapper.
Remember to only buy from reputable dealers and look beyond the cheap cigars. Check the humidity of the store and the humidor that holds the cigars. And most cigars that are available in the United States come with ratings that can serve as a guide.