200907032055001 300x225 - The right setting for a smokeIn the pacific northwest, the weather is generally mild enough to enjoy cigars throughout the year. That being said, nothing compares with a warm summer day — or better, a warm summer evening. Combine that with the natural beauty of the area, and you have a great environment for smoking a cigar. Here are some thoughts on when/where and with whom I like to enjoy a fine, hand-rolled cigar.

When

Morning: If there’s a drink that almost always pairs perfectly with a cigar, it’s a strong black coffee.  With complementing flavours and the strength to match most cigars, a morning coffee is an ideal match.  If you’re going to smoke something strong, be sure to have a hearty breakfast first to avoid any unpleasant overpowering nicotine buzz.

Day: In the north during the winter, this is about the only time of day that standing outside for an hour is actually tolerable.  That being said, having a cigar mid-day can be a great way to break up the day.  For those working in non-smoker friendly environments, be wary of the lingering smells after you enjoy your cigar.  Mouthwash for your breath and lemon-juice for your hands will help, but smells in clothing are much harder to mask.  Try holding the cigar downwind while you smoke, or bring an extra shirt for afterwards if you have an important meeting.

Evening: In my opinion, evening is the perfect time to have a cigar and unwind from a long day.  With a full belly following dinner, your body is ready to handle even the strongest of sticks.  An hour of forced dormancy combined with a little nicotine is a great way to unwind.  Combine with a dram of scotch or brandy, and you’re well on your way to a state of euphoria.

200907032105000 300x225 - The right setting for a smokeWhere

Indoors: While the weather in some parts of the world makes this the only option, I myself am not a fan.  Besides the lingering smells the cigars impart to your furniture, etc., the confined environment also magnifies any smell in your clothing.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite enjoy the smell of cigars, but I understand that others, such as my coworkers, might not.

Outdoors: OK, I could have broken this down further, but since the options are essentially endless, I’ll simply state that my favourite place to enjoy a cigar is on the beach.  With waves lapping the shore, a gentle breeze to move the smoke, and the sounds of nature and people interacting, this is an incredibly relaxing environment.  I’ll usually park myself on a log, which doubles as cigar holder, and just chill for an hour or so, letting my mind wander or chatting with the people I’m with.

With

Alone: Smoking alone has its merits.  Sometimes after a long or stressful day, I don’t particularly feel like talking to anyone.  An hour with your thoughts and a cigar puts your problems into perspective, and generally improves the remainder of the day.

Together: I generally classify cigar smoking as a social activity.  Cigars are much to me like golf: others are incredibly serious about their score, whereas I primarily go to relax and socialize with my peers.  I’m fortunate to have a couple people who I greatly enjoy having a cigar with.  If you’re not so lucky, start camping out in your local shop, as you’ll be sure to meet some great people who share your passion for cigars.

To finish off, I’ll simply note that all the pictures in this post are from an evening (when) on a beach in Semiahmoo Park, WA (where) with my brother (with), me smoking a Gurkha Ancient Warrior and him smoking a Oliva Series V lancero.

200907032013000 300x225 - The right setting for a smoke

200907032014000 300x225 - The right setting for a smoke

200907032054001 300x225 - The right setting for a smoke

200907032054000 300x225 - The right setting for a smoke