If you have problems making decisions, then for you, cigar smoking may pose a real challenge. Some dilemmas facing the cigar smoker include: What ring gauge? What size and shape? Mild or strong? Domestic or imported? What price range? Overwhelmed? Your favorite Cigar of the Month Club can help.

MILD OR STRONG: Rule of thumb is that the bigger the cigar, the milder the flavor. Long cigars with lighter wrapper colors provide the mildest smoke. The lightest cigar is the Claroclaro; followed by the Claro, Natural, Colorado, Maduro and the darkest, the Oscuro. (If you are a novice smoker, or intend to light up in a crowd, you may want to go with an aromatic cigar choice.)

PRICE: Aged tobacco is more expensive, following the trend set by wines! The country of origin also affects price, but varies with current market prices.

RING GAUGE: Refers to the diameter of the cigar, measured in 64ths of an inch. Hence, a ring gauge of 33 means the cigar is 33/64″ of an inch around. Now you can do the math!

STANDARD SIZES:1) Double Corona: 7-1/2″ by 49 ring 2) Churchill: 7″ by 48 ring 3) Lonsdale: 6-1/4″ by 42 ring 4) Corona Gorda: 5-5/8″ by 46 ring 5) Corona: 5-1/2″ by 42 ring 6) Robusto: 5″ by 50 ring 7) Panatela: 5″ by 34 ring 8) Petit Corona: 4-1/2″ by 40 ring

WHO, WHEN, WHY, WHERE?? All sensible questions to ask before your next purchase! Offering a cigar to your fishing buddy while out in the boat? Your selection will be different than if you offer it to the new woman in your life after a nice evening meal. Want it to last the entire 18 holes on the golf course? Sometimes you’ll shop for quantity and quality.

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Cigar Selections . . NICARAGUA, HONDURAS AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

1) DREW ESTATE SMOKING MONK HEFEWEIZEN – Nationality: Nicaraguan   Appearance: MILD bodied, 6.0; 50 ring; In a substantial wrapper that adds another dimension!

Personality: Created to blend with specific styles of beer, this Jonathan Drew creation is the result of lots of trials and victories. Masterfully crated, this Hefewiezen is crisp, smooth and loaded with cedar, sweet cream, vanilla and pepper nuances.

2) ROCKY PATEL DECADE ROBUSTO – Nationality: Honduran  Appearance:  MEDIUM-FULL bodied, 5.0; 50 ring; Features a dark Sumatra wrapper.

Personality: Unforgettably smooth, rich and complex, this distinctive, extremely balanced smoke will leave you craving more.

3) ALEC BRADLEY MAXX THE FIXNationality: Nicaraguan Appearance: MEDIUM-FULL bodied, 5.0; 58 ring; Cloaked in a dark Nicaraguan maduro leaf.

Personality: An eventful character, she is earthy but naturally sweet. Of international lineage, this 91-rated stick is a complex 4-country blend of fillers from Columbia, Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico, meaning she’s both rich and smooth as silk.

4) GURKHA HUDSON BAY TORPEDO – Nationality: Nicaraguan Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 6.0; 52 ring; With a muscular, leathery San Andres wrapper

Personality: Not a girly girl, she’s pretty but densely packed in leather, earth, black pepper and espresso. When lit, she exhibits a slow burn but a cool, bold, rich bouquet.

5)  VICTOR SINCLAIR CLASICOS NATURAL CHURCHILL – Nationality: Dominican  Appearance: MILD-MEDIUM bodied, 7.0; 50 ring; Dressed in a golden-brown CT wrapper.

Personality: Gorgeous in and out, this one brims with crisp creamy notes of oak, coffee and toast, with endearing sweetness.

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Tracie Burket
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