Hand Rolled. A film about cigars

I am hoping that if you are reading this, you have watched the trailer and I ask that you share this on all of your social media platforms. Copy the link and help me get the word out. This project is about more than cigars. It is about something much bigger. The government of the United States is attempting to pass regulations that would have WORLDWIDE ramifications. We are not just talking about businesses and jobs in the US, but all across the world. If you are in the cigar world you know what I am talking about. If you don’t and you enjoy having the ability to walk into a cigar shop and pick out a cigar and enjoy it, then you need to do some homework.

This project is not just about the FDA but also about educating people of the history, industry and culture that we all know and love. They can’t do it alone. I met Pete Johnson at a CI and Famous event and we talked about this film and the importance of it. Pete and his companies believe in this project so much that they are helping in a number of ways to make it happen. If you have a cigar company and can help in anyway, I would ask that you reach out to these guys and get involved now. (If you are interested in a larger investment, please contact steve@handrolledmovie.com)

As consumers, we can help by supporting them on social media, getting the word out, purchasing merchandise through their online store and by simply donating. Click the links below to get involved.

Check it out here:

http://www.handrolledmovie.com/donate/

http://www.handrolledmovie.com/gear/

No donation is too small.

Something we all enjoy and love is being threatened by people that do not understand the very thing they are trying to regulate out of existence .

You can also join the fight by supporting Cigar Rights of America.

https://www.cigarrights.org/

At the end of the day we have the choice to sit idle and complain, wonder and guess. Or we can take action and have our voices heard. Contact your state representatives and congressmen and tell them you do not support what is going on. Invite them to come to your local cigar lounge and get educated on the subject so they can at least have some knowledge before making a decision they don’t understand. Cigars are not a Food nor are they a Drug so the FDA has no business adding us to this group.

The boutique cigar companies have the most to loose in all of this and I encourage all of them to get involved with Dr. Gaby Kafie and the Boutique Cigar Association of America. Collectively you can make a difference. For more information please check out :

https://www.boutiquecigarassociationofamerica.com

Again, I ask that you share this from time to time and help me get the word out. Please check out all of the links I have attached and support those that you can. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Together we can make a difference. Long ashes and full glasses friends. Cheers.

How do you define a truly great cigar…Part 2

I wanted to do a short follow up piece to the one I did a few days back. When it comes to cigars, every person will experience every cigar differently. This is a wonderful part of enjoying cigars. There is something intriguing about the entire process of cigars when you stop to truly think about it. The product in your hand represents a lot of different things that started in a field and grew into a wonderful plant that was harvested and through a very long process, sometimes involving years and years of trial and error and attention to every detail, carefully rolled by very talented and skilled individuals, packaged and shipped from other countries and making its way onto the shelf of your local humidor and kept under ideal conditions before finally making its way to you. The people that make cigars have dedicated their lives to this process. Some have been in the family business for generations, while others came into cigars some way or the other and set their own path to start a brand and make their own cigars. That takes a lot of courage, commitment, time, and money. When I look at a cigar I see a work of art. With so many people smoking cigars, every stick they put out means their name and reputation is on the line. Not to mention, people like myself that take the time to review and critique everything from looks, to taste, to performance, to packaging. It’s a tough business and with the new FDA regulations, things have only gotten tougher. Hopefully we can reverse course on this soon but who knows.

From a consumer standpoint, there is no better time to try so many amazing cigars. I have never had a true Cuban cigar, and honestly I don’t care if I ever do. Why? Because we have so many great cigars already on the market here. Because they have been the “forbidden fruit” for so long, there is such a huge interest in them. I won’t say I would never smoke one if given the chance but I really am fine if I never do. I have found a handful of boutique brands that I have in my rotation and that list continues to grow. My hope is that by doing reviews, others can take that information to their local shop and make an educated decision to purchase without having to guess and wonder about it. How many sticks did I drop good money on because the guy behind the counter said, “this is a great smoke” mostly because that is the newest thing on the market and you see all the pretty ads hyping them in the magazines and online. They aren’t always wrong, and I am sure there are people out there that would 100% agree. They tried it and they loved it.

At the end of the day, what makes a cigar truly great is…you. You can read every review and all the different things other people say they tasted and the experience they had but ultimately it comes down to your personal taste. Many things go into a cigar review. When I review a cigar, I am almost ritualistic in my approach. I will not review a cigar when I am with other people or in a lounge/bar setting. Too many factors can change the experience. And I have found that something as simple as having a few of the same cigars in the humidor and doing a review on one, coming back to it weeks or months later, it is completely different. Time and aging, seasoning if you will, changes the entire profile from what you remember. Another huge factor about cigars is the atmosphere and mood around you. Everything is better when you are having a great night out with friends and/or family. Drinks may be flowing, your favorite music is on, everyone is laughing and having a great time. My money says that you will likely enjoy any cigar you happen to be smoking. I am willing to bet that under those conditions, cigars that I didn’t care for much in a review would be completely different at that moment.

There are days when the world has thrown shit at me all day and shows no sign of stopping. That is probably not the best time for me to give a non-biased, truthful review. So I pick up something I know I have enjoyed greatly before and is a proven go-to for me, pair it with a nice drink of choice and tell the world, “You can pick this back up later, but for now, Fuck you, this is MY time and I will enjoy this”. And it always works. When you find cigars that can do that…You my friend, have found your truly great cigar.

Until next time. Long ashes and full glasses. Peace.