Cigars, a Man’s Guide

Holiday smoking advice from a very fine tobacconist

By The Editors
December 4, 2014 9:00 am

Relax for a moment and consider the cigar:

The slow burn. The rich aroma. And in the hand — mucho gravitas.

No one knows this quite like Richard Bley, owner of the just-opened Gold Coast mansion-cum-smoker’s den Biggs Cigar Emporium, now peddling a mighty fine selection of hand-rolled smokables.

This being the holiday season, we turned to him for guidance on the cigars you should be puffing, and what to pair ’em with:

For Holiday Relaxing

La Palina Little Bill: “La Palina’s Family Series gets into the medium and full flavor palate, but not overpowering.” For kicking back with the fam and sharing a smoke with your siblings.

Pair It With: We think a rye whiskey would work well here. Bley prefers something milder — a Highland Scotch like, say, The Macallan 18 Year.

For Your Father-in-Law 

Davidoff Aniversario No. 3. “It’s very approachable, meaning it’s not an overpowering, offensive cigar (if he’s not into strong cigars). Plus, Davidoff is the pinnacle of cigars. This is the classic brand.”

Pair It With: Gifting liquor is never a bad idea. Again, keeping things approachable, Bley recommends a classic cognac like Martell Cordon Bleu.

For New Years

“The OpusX from Arturo Fuente is the coup de grâce for celebration. The standard special occasion cigar. It’s (made from) the Fuente family’s oldest and rarest tobaccos. Limited production. And it’s only released twice a year.”

Pair It With: Champagne. It’s New Years, man. Here’s a guide on how to pick the bubbly when the ball drops.

As for how to pick the one for you, Bley simply replies, “It’s your taste … Is it good?”

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