Every hobby has its snobs, and cigars are no different. While the types of snobs you’ll encounter are as varied as people themselves, there seem to be a few types that everyone has encountered.
Take note: if you recognize these types, except for one – congratulations! You are that snob. Rejoice in your snobbery and remember that your “friends” are just waiting for you to die so that they can raid your humidor.
1. The “Norm” at the Cigar Shop
This cigar snob is always there. Always.
He claims to have a job, but there’s no evidence of it that you can see. He’s probably a retiree whose wife can’t stand him being at home all the time, so he spends about 12 hours a day at the cigar shop, slowly smoking himself like a Texas brisket.
No matter what cigar you pick out, he always makes sure to tell you why it sucks… and then proceeds to light up something more expensive just to be an ass.
Known weakness: pointing out that he has, in fact, no life.
2. The Reader
This guy never stops devouring cigar books, websites, and publications, and considers himself a walking encyclopedia on the topic. If you make the mistake of asking him a question, you better whip out your notebook and pencil, because you’re about to go to school. He’ll deliver a nine-part lecture series spanning several days in which you’ll be regaled with stories ranging from the early conquest of the Americas, to the fine details of farming through difficult weather, to his own legendary cigar experiences with Castro, Che Guevara, and James Bond.
At the end, you’ll have completely forgotten your question and will have a strange urge to strangle The Reader to death. It will take an entire cigar just to calm down.
Known weakness: pointing out that the average apprentice cigar roller actually knows more than he ever will learn from his books.
3. The Borrowing Buddy
He never has his own sticks, and oddly, he never has a kind word to say about the ones he mooches, either. Every time you share a cigar with him, he critiques it and tells you why it was a poor choice. Beggars can’t be choosers, but The Borrowing Buddy plays by his own rules.
Known weaknesses: suggesting that he pay for his own cigars.
4. The Old Timer
Everything was better in the early days of cigars, according to The Old Timer. Modern cigars are too big, too small, too dark, too light, and just not as good as they used to be. Even though we’re living in a Golden Age of advanced techniques and delicious boutique sticks, The Old Timer seems to want to go back to the good old days, back when, “Entire tobacco plants were put between two slices of bread and eaten whole, dangnabbit!” (He’s getting a little loopy in his old age.)
Known weaknesses: give him a classic stick, tell him it’s a new blend, and listen to him trash his favorite cigar.
5. The Traveler
This cigar snob has been places you haven’t been, smoked sticks you’ll never try, and feels pity for you, you poor local bumpkin. You can give him the best imported stick in the world, and he’ll still insist on telling you about the last time he visited a, “Notable cigar manufacturer’s operation – I can’t say which due to a promise to keep the visit confidential.” He’ll tell you he tasted the best house cigars ever made.
Of course, they’re not for sale. Only personal friends of the manufacturer will ever try those sticks. But he wishes you could taste them and know what a real cigar tastes like.
Known weaknesses: ask to see his passport and remark on the fact that all the pages seem to be empty.
6. The Aficionado
The worst of the worst. Only the best cigars in the world are worthy of his consideration. Cost is the most important factor for the aficionado. To put it simply: if you can afford it, it isn’t any good. According to him, you’ve never smoked a cigar in your entire life. All you’ve ever had was complete filth.
Out of the way, peasant.
Known weaknesses: not much, so just punch him in the face when he’s lighting up.
To Sum it Up
Cigars are a joy shared by people of all classes, but sometimes people get the idea that, in order to be a real cigar aficionado, you need to be a snob.
This is a huge, douchey mistake.
A cigar is an invitation to take a long pause and relax. To kick back and put your feet up. To stop and smell the proverbial roses, tobacco-scented though they might be. But a cigar is also something to keep your mouth busy while you work in the yard. Something to puff on when you’ve got a long drive. Or a way to celebrate a big event.
In short, there’s more than one way to enjoy a cigar.
Snobs that insist on a right way and a wrong way are missing the point. Each facet of cigar enjoyment has its time and place. Just like letting wine breathe before drinking can enhance enjoyment, so can drinking right from the bottle. Just like classical music can move you, blasting stupid pop music and flying down the highway can, too.
So enough with the snobbery!
No, not every cigar has to be measured with a laser and cut with a katana given to you by a master Japanese cigar smoker. Sometimes a quick punch is fine.
No, not every cigar has to cost an arm and a leg to be good. Sometimes a dollar stick is the nicest smoke you’ll have all week.
No, not every cigar has to be lit with a lighter that uses, odorless, colorless fuel developed by NASA. Sometimes you just need to lean down to a campfire and get it going, then head back to the party.
Down with snobbery, up with smokery!
Photos via Huffingtonpost.com, thecigarcafe.com, sun-sentinel.com & augusta.com6 Types of Cigar Snobs by David Sabot