Written by Puff Staff

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

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Admit it, you have gone through a period where no cigar tastes good. Help is on the way!

The “Cigar Slump”…we have all been there.  If you haven’t…stop reading immediately and face south towards the island of Cuba, and do the following.  Spin around three times, wave a freshly killed chicken over your head and repeat seven times…”I am lucky, and I praise the blessings of the leaf”.  Either that, or admit that you are kidding yourself.  Any serious cigar smoker has run into that period of time when no cigar tastes good  and you start wondering if you have lost that passion for the leaf.

Now, a couple disclaimers.  No offense, but if you have only been smoking for 1 or 2 years, forget it…you haven’t been smoking long enough to slump.  If you only smoke one type of cigar, and refuse to experiment or try tobaccos from different locales…count yourself out.  Your palette likely could not tell a slump if it bit you in the arse.

I stand up and admit I am a veteran of numerous slumps.  I’ll go a few weeks where just about everything I smoke tastes like the inside of a ’57 Chevy Bel Air tailpipe. (or at least how I imagine the inside of a 1957 Chevy Bel Air tailpipe would taste.)  Just when I am about to begin pulling out what hair I have left, some cigar…usually out of left field…surprises me and rekindles my love of the leaf.

I am going to try and share some of the techniques I have cobbled together over the years for breaking the dreaded slump.  I’ll also share some of the tips and tricks cigars smokers with 45+ years of experience have shared as they hit their cigar speed bumps.  The good news is that none of them are very irrational, and nothing includes the sacrifices of animals or virgins.

Identifying the Slump.

This is pretty easy.  You start getting irritated instead of relaxed when smoking a cigar.  You find yourself smoking less and less of each cigar, rarely smoking past the first couple inches of a smoke.  Your dog starts hanging out a bit farther away from you as they sense you’re normally relaxing routine has taken a turn for the worse.  (Don’t ever say dogs aren’t smart…they even know when a cigar smoker is in a slump.)  Many people will tell you, that these symptoms are often caused by a head cold, or some other malady that affects your sense of taste and smell.  So my suggestion would be that if you do have a head cold…it’s not the cigar, it’s the head cold.  If you can’t tell you have a head cold…well, never mind, just give yourself up.

Breaking the Slump - Ahhh yes, the meat of the article, three sure fire ways to break the slump. 

“The Liquid Diet” – We all know it’s great to share a cigar with a beverage…right?   Well, that beverage can help you break your slump as well.  If you usually drink scotch with your cigar, change to something else.  In fact change to something you rarely ever share with your smoke.  Give things like water, Coke, coffee, and red wine a chance to compliment what you are smoking.  In fact, just change it up a few times, it can’t hurt, and you may find yourself enjoying a new pairing.

Beverages are a great compliment to a cigar, and can radically alter the experience.  Changing the beverage just may snap you out of your Evan Longoria like World Series slump.

“It Could be Worse Approach” –Honestly gents, even a bad cigar has its merits, and things could be worse.  This approach is all one of perspective.  You know that horrible cigar you once had?  The one that made you swear off cigar smoking for weeks?  Try it again.  You’ll either realize things could be worse, and you were getting spoiled, or you may even find you misjudged it in the first place.  Either way, the change can have a positive affect, no matter what the resulting experience.

“Power Through” – This can be dangerous, and is only suggested for the seasoned smoker.  Line ‘em up boys.  Take three to five good cigars, a little club soda, a pad of paper, pencil, and some time…and power through the slump!  Seriously though, take a few cigars, and smoke them consciously, writing down your thoughts, what you taste, the differences in the wrappers, etc.  If you are tasting hints of burnt Madagascar vanilla, or overtones of new bloom lavender…you are no longer smoking a cigar, and may have passed out by the spice drawer.

This more attentive approach to your relaxing smoke may just re-acquaint you with why you started smoking cigars in the first place, that unique personality possessed y each little handmade beauty.

Now that you have broken your slump, go make up with your wife, and let her know that all is right in the world again.  Ahhhh….

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