I think it’s a little bit odd that I created a blog that was founded on me smoking cigars after getting laid one night but there is an incredible absence of cigar talk present here. So, with that being said, instead of writing glowing reviews of my favourite Cohiba or standard cuban cigar talk, I’m going to bring this one back to my roots…
VARIETY STORE CIGARS.
You see, my first introduction to cigars was actually a good one. I was at a party with art kids in attendance, slightly drunk of course, and one of the fine gentlemen there offered me a cigar that he had picked up from cuba. Now, I’m not certain of the brand, but judging by the taste I’m fairly certain it was a Romeo y Julieta, and from that moment on, I was sold.
Despite this though, and more accordingly to my roots, I would hang out in drug dens while older drug dealing gentlemen would pass around bags of Backwoods or packs of Swisher Sweets to either smoke, or cut open and roll their weed up with. I was always fond of the cigars and despite the ironic scumbag image that these gentlemen gave said cigars, after trying my first, arguably best to some (see: Romeo y Julieta), cigar, I decided to go down to my local variety store and spend ten dollars on a couple different cigars only out of pure interest hoping they could imitate my first experience. I would later hang out in other drug dens and bring along packs of cheap cigars to smoke with the gentlemen who occupied them, and over time I have grown accustomed to having certain preferences for cheap variety store cigars and actually really enjoy some of them.
Of course, these cigars are not even remotely close to a nice Cohiba, and I know veteran cigar smokers will look at this as drivel, but, I believe like cheap beer has it’s place in every beer connoisseur’s fridge, cheap cigars have their place in every gentleman’s humidors.
1. Phillies Blunt Chocolate Cigars
This is one of the few cheap cigars you will buy that has a smell that does not smell cheap like other cheap variety store cigars you may purchase. In addition to the decent smell, the taste after the initial puff is very good. Something about the chocolate flavouring that covers this cigar burns well with the cheap tobacco. However, I must note that about less than halfway through burning, the poor quality of this cigar really does show, and unless you smoke cigars out of habit, smoking the rest of this cigar becomes slightly gross. However, for a good relaxing moment, this cigar does the job just fine and has become one of my favourite variety store cigars.
2. Pom Pom Opera’s
These fall more into the cigarillo category, and because of that the smoke is a bit harsher. I never intended to try Pom Pom’s because I had some weird bias against the cigar’s packaging, but I was randomly gifted a pack of them by a girl I was seeing, so I decided to smoke them. The initial taste is a bit overwhelming, but that is a result of cheap tobacco and small size making it harsher, but, as you keep smoking the little Pom Pom, I’ve noticed the taste of this cigar unlike Prime Times or Colts, is a bit smoother tasting and somewhat enjoyable. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’ve always felt like there’s a chemical taste to Prime Times and Colts, but Pom Pom Opera’s – not the tipped ones mind you – don’t really seem to have such a taste. Not bad for seven dollars.
3. Backwoods Original
I always avoided these cigars because the packaging really seemed cheap as fuck, more so than other cheap cigars, and I deduced that because of such cheapness, these would be even worse than other variety store cigars. However, despite drug den gentlemen smoking these with their weed, a good friend of mine who mutually enjoys finer cigars brought over a bag of these to my place one night. Overcoming my ignorance I decided to try one. I was surprised as this cigar, similar to the Pom Pom, didn’t retain the chemical flavouring of other cheap cigars I have smoked, but burned fairly well and even smelled decent. The initial taste Is fairly smooth considering, and the overall smoking of it is an enjoyable one.
So gentlemen, there you have it. My top three variety store cigars. Again, these cigars don’t replace my usual smoking of a nice import cigar, but there is a time and a place for variety store cigars and these three seem to be the best tasting ones for such a low price. Keep in mind, cigar smoking for a lot of gentlemen is personal, no matter what cigar you smoke, but having lingered in the cigar-o-sphere (coined a new term?) for some time, this is a small contribution that I hope some of you can appreciate.