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It’s strictly a matter of preference, but the most popular beverages to pair with cigars are cognac and brandy. Their crisp freshness (thanks to the distilled spirits) keeps the palate clean and ready to enjoy the smooth flavors of your smoke.

Port, sweet and powerfully alcoholic, pairs perfectly with your choice of any full-bodied cigar.

If you prefer wine, you can’t go wrong with Cabernet Sauvignon or any other wine that has a spicy personality.

For those who for whatever reason prefer to avoid alcohol, your favorite Wine of the Month Club recommends pairing your cigar with any slightly sweet fruit juice, or any fizzy cola drink.

Coming of Age

Fresh-tasting cigars can be smoked 6 months after rolling. Most cigars, however, are aged 5 to 6 years for maximum enjoyment. Some connoisseurs love long-in-the-tooth smokes, aged 40 years or more. Your choice!

SHOE STRINGS REPLACED BY BROADLEAVES

The Connecticut Valley, famous today for its coveted Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco, was once the home of Shoe String Tobacco, a narrow-leaf type that was widely grown there in the early 1800’s.

In 1833, Mr. B.P. Barbour planted a new strain of Maryland tobacco seed on his East Windsor, CT tobacco plantation. Soon everyone was clamoring for the newer, broader, thick-leafed crop. Most tobacco farmers felt the bigger leaves meant bigger profits, as well. Another benefit was less labor, both in the picking at harvest time, and the handling during the cigar-making process. This new Broadleaf tobacco really caught on fire, effectively snuffing out all but a few stubborn strands of the shoe string type.

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Cigar Selections . . . Featured Countries of Origin from your Favorite Cigar of the Month Club: HONDURAS and THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

1) PADILLA SERIE 1968 BLACK BEAR ROBUSTO – Honduran   Appearance: MEDIUM-FULL bodied, 5.0; 50 ring; Draped in a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper

Personality: With a robust blend of Cuban seed Nicaraguan long-fillers, this girl kicks up both the intensity and flavor meters. She offers a slow burn that provides a pleasant and relaxing experience.

2) NAT SHERMAN HOST HOBART –  Nationality: Honduran Appearance: MILD-MEDIUM bodied, 5.0; 50 ring; Sporting a smooth Connecticut-Ecuador wrapper

Personality: This beauty offers a silky-smooth, super-mild taste that’s refined, mellow and pleasant — with just a slight sweetness on the palate. If you like your cigars on the mild side, this gorgeous Nat Sherman Host Selection is the perfect choice.

3) AVO SYNCRO NICARAGUAN FOGATA TORONationality: Dominican Appearance: MEDIUM-FULL bodied, 6.0; 54 ring; Cloaked in an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrap

Personality: After a quick clip and light, your efforts will be rewarded as heady floral and grassy aromas swirl in the air. Then you’ll be treated to wood, leather and cinnamon flavors, ending with a slightly sweet finish. Enjoy time with this masterpiece.

4) FLOR de SAN ANDRES by ROCKY PATELNationality: Dominican Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 6.5; 52 ring; Stars an incredible San Andres Maduro wrapper

Personality: Dive deep into this one, and you’ll be swimming in pure cigar paradise! Light the foot and you’ll find immediate hints of dark chocolate, leather and nutmeg. This cigar is dark, spicy and delicious. Dense clouds reveal her stark white ash.

5) PINAR del RIO OSCURO TORPEDONationality: Dominican  Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 6.5; 52 ring; Employs a thick, dark Brazilian Oscuro wrapper

Personality: This cigar’s profile is loaded with flavor. Notes of coffee, cocoa, pepper, and her naturally sweet finish meld perfectly. This over-the-top rich blend of long-fillers creates a smoke that is complex and smooth,  amazingly well-balanced

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Tracie Burket
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