Cigar Editorial: The Smoker vs The Connoisseur

Last night I was at a little get together to watch college football, Hook’em Horns, and as always I brought along my travel humidor.  After eating one of the guys asked my friend who was hosting if he minding him smoking a cigar on his patio, my buddy instantly looked at me and started laughing as we have had many on the patio while watching the games.  The guest pulled a cigar from his shirt pocket and lit it.  I decided that this was my que to break out the humidor.  After offering cigars around and getting lit up we all took a nice warm spot by the fire place to smoke.  I asked the guy who brought one with him what he was smoking, a Partagas(non Cuban).  We discussed cigars for a bit and it made me think, with what cognitive ability I had at that point, that there is a huge difference between the “smoker” and the “connoisseur” although both seem to have a love that is shared.


The average smoker is, as most of us are, a creature of habit.  These are the ones who buy one single brand for years, although these are also the people that tobacconists love because they usually just buy a box and get it over with.  We as “connoisseurs” are constantly looking for the new cigars, always looking for rare finds, or those hidden gems in the corner of a humidor.  This guy told me how he just recently found the Partagas line and was really liking it but he almost always bought Fuente.  I have to say that I was pleased that his usual choice was a good cigar and not bargain bin bundled floor sweeps.


As we talked I realized that there are so many things in cigars that I take for granted. I always want to know the blend, the origin, the story about the cigar, but the average smoker doesn’t even care what the country of origin is. It is as simple as if it tastes good or not.   I was asked that since I write I must have 50-60 cigars in my humidor.  His mind was blown when I described my collection to him.  Collecting is another one of those take for granted things.  I don’t assume that most people keep a large cigar collection, although most people don’t assume that there are collectors out there at all.


As the night went on we talked more about cigars and I was very amused at the differences between us yet there were so many similarities.   If anyone thinks that the average smoker doesn’t care about the industry you are wrong.  They just don’t live it and breathe it like some of us do.  Do you think that the average smoker buys the smoke screen of ratings?  Nope, they understand that many of those “highly rated” cigars from many of the “popular” sources are simply a favor returned from advertising.  The average smoker should not be discounted, in fact they should be sought after because they are the true guts of the cigar world.  We the connoisseurs are vastly out numbered.  These are the people who are helping keep the industry alive, that box purchase every month of that same cigar does so much more for the industry as a whole that many of us will ever imagine.


I challenge all of you who consider yourselves connoisseurs to seek out the every day Joe cigar smoker and talk to them.  You will find a love for the leaf, a person who cares, and usually a friend.  Who knows, you may even be the person they have been looking for to ask questions of or help them further their hobby and love for cigars.

-Brandon K.


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