Event smokes - Cuban cigars to buy for big groups

Event smokes - Cuban cigars to buy for big groups

by Nick Hendry

Here on the EGM Blog we have long championed the place of Cuban Cigars at celebratory events.  The luxury nature of the product, the grandeur associated with their enjoyment and the ability of fine tobacco to pair with so many different beverages make them the ideal special treat for weddings, birthdays, christenings – any event where people gather in groups to mark one of life’s milestones.  Even those who do not regularly smoke will often indulge at such times, the special occasion giving them licence to let loose a little, and partake of a pleasure they very rarely feel is warranted.

Such an attitude to cigars is by no means incorrect.  Every person will have their own opinion on how and when to enjoy a smoke, and may feel that they enjoy the experience all the more for restricting it to only the rarest of occasions.  These sporadic smokers will usually fall into 2 camps: those who plan each occasion well in advance and splash out on a truly special celebratory stick, and those who look to their more knowledgeable friends to provide their cigar, putting full faith in the taste and expertise of the group’s resident connoisseur.

This, then, can create issues for those of us looked upon as filling that position in a group.  We are given the responsibility of bringing the cigars for the group, but what to choose?  When the audience is considered, we may not want to bring a raft of rare and expensive cigars whose worth may not be appreciated, or cigars made in a large vitola or strong blend that may be too much for those unused to smoking to handle.  We also do not want to be unkind or ungenerous, assuming a lack of taste and handing out cigars we would not normally consider smoking.  Thankfully, Cuba produce plenty of affordable smokes that still deliver on quality and flavour, as well as being presented in vitolas that will not intimidate the uninitiated.  Here are a few of our favourites.

The Vegueros Mananitas

Vegueros Mananitas

First on the list is one of the newest vitolas and brands on the market, designed specifically to be accessibly priced.  A medium-full strength blend which will begin with a touch of sweetness, but soon develop into wood, pepper and spice may sound a little daunting for beginners, but the 46 ring gauge by 3 7/8 inch size will only be with you for around 20-30 minutes, so it shouldn’t overwhelm.  The presentation, in aluminium tins of 16 cigars, will survive the rigours and mishaps a boozy wedding may bring – an added advantage of an excellent event cigar.

The Fonseca Delicias

Fonseca Delicias

Light-bodied, biscuity and sweet – as discovered in our recent review – and with a smoking time of around 30 minutes, Fonseca Delicias are perfect beginners cigars.  This is another brand presented in a way that makes them ideal for weddings or celebrations, the tissue wrapping of each cigar giving an aura of elegance that will fit the occasion perfectly.  Passing a box of these round your friends as you gather for champagne in a sunny garden will allow them to embrace their inner Gatsby, without overwhelming their palette.

The Quintero Petit Quintero

Quintero Petit Quintero

Quintero cigars are hand-made with short-filler tobacco, making the price very reasonable but at no detriment to the quality.  The appearance can be more rustic than with other cigars, but the flavours will not be found to be lacking – coffee and leather notes will pair well with rich after dinner drinks.  43 ring gauge by 4 1/8 inches will not seem too large for any smoker, but the medium strength will leave them in no doubt they have enjoyed a quality cigar.  No wonder they have been going strong since 1924.

Cohiba Exquisitos and Siglo I

Cohiba Exquisitos/Siglo I

Cohiba cigars may not be the lowest priced on the market, but they are undoubtedly the best.  Passing around a box adorned with their label will show this celebration is truly special their name will be recognised by even those with the least knowledge of the cigar world.  These 2 options are ideal for this purpose – if you want your fellow guests to know you have brought them the best, but don’t want to go overboard on price or smoking time, small vitola Cohiba is the perfect middle ground.  The Siglo I – 40 ring gauge by 4 inches – will provide medium body and cedar sweetness for about 20 minutes, while the Exquisitos – 33 ring gauge by 5 inches – will smoke for around the same time and give more floral flavours, with an added touch of body and spice towards the end.  Whichever you choose, with every puff and every glint of that famous gold band each lucky recipient will feel a true aficionado, regardless their level of experience.

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