Before I begin, allow me to address the elephant in the room. "Hello-ooo, elephant!" With apologies to Ed Norton (Honeymooners not Fight Club) -- here goes. What exactly gives me the right to chime in on a point/counterpoint which ensued twixt contributors of and housed in the ivory towers of our industry's very-most vaulted of publications, Cigar Aficionado?
It happened on their blog. This KAPLOWITZ MEDIA is a blog. We are on obvious equal footing. Might I add that not just anyone can open a blog; most blogging platforms if not all require an email address. Ok, anyone can get an email address... but there is a gate to publication, goddammit.
I digress & begin anew.
He (Savona, not Job) then does say something which will play a role in my own take on the matter, "Smoking on the deck is better, but still it’s not ideal." Then he goes on to write: "We test our cigars in the Cigar Aficionado smoking room, a controlled area. The lighting is the same every day, the temperature is constant, there is no breeze from the wind. It’s not a lab, but it does provide a consistent climate for accurate tastings."
Let's get David Savona's take first, as that played point to Andrew Nagy's eventual counter. He begins by positing that he actually smoked less on a recent Bermuda excursion. Then relates his misfortunes of trying to smoke while golfing. How some men forge so bravely ahead and through such trials is surely beyond me. Near as I can tell, it's Job and Savona atop the mountain of unfair despair.
He does go on to make a couple somewhat superfluous points to the context of this editorial. However, he does notably offer at closing the famed blogger ending of "So let me know in the comments below if you agree or disagree. Do you prefer smoking your cigar indoors, or outdoors?" I would welcome my readers to do this as well -- if I'd not had the wherewithal and common decency to disable all comments.
Andrew Nagy, yer up. OK. Pretty much he begins by making Savona's point: "The open air literally sucks some of the enjoyment from a cigar, as it allows the aroma to escape. And, of course, any sort of wind will wreak havoc on the burn." I haven't seen that strong a counter since Tyson laid on his back in Tokyo. Then, while we are all rightly lulled -- "Counter to what my boss says, though, there is one outdoor location that I believe is perfect for lighting up: the campfire."
He then goes on to wax poetic re: a recent camping trip with friends and really to me, it all sounds just terrible. Why would I work hard all year-long to stave off homelessness, to then recreate it on my break from doing-so? Feh. More Nagy: "Soon other members of the group caught a whiff of our cigars and began asking us for a puff or two, especially of the Cubans. Some even asked to light up their own smoke and joined in on the fun."
This begs a working definition of "enjoyment" in our time here, prior to moving on; offering counters, counters to counters, and positing my own positions perfectly.
Enjoyment here will be given the definition of getting the most from the cigar -- not the moment. Thereby I will very likely fall more on the Savona side of the fence than the Nagy side. While the moment is important, it relies barely on the cigar's quality, all told. One more mention here: much hullabaloo is given to pairings. The perfect hooch, coffee, etc. It would behoove us all to pay more attn to what I call 'atmospheric pairings.' The company, entertainment, decor, lighting -- see? I think that's where Nagy is attempting to steer.
I'll now go on, and I do go on, don't I? Undoubtedly, the way to enjoy a cigar to its fullest, as even Nagy states -- is to enjoy it inside. But I would too, elevate a deck to near indoor status... dependant natch, on the 'deck.' Here's how I personally see this all because I lack any empathy and see the world only through my own hubris. I mean eyes. Totes meant eyes lol. Anyways, here's some spots I've recently smoked and my quick-take on each locale.
My carport. Long the official KAPLOWITZ MEDIA smoking lounge. It sits on concrete and has overhead and double-sided protection. Not bad. Sadly no heat. Perfect in summer and mostly dry but quite cold in the winter (PNW rainy-season). I am not opposed to performing cigar reviews in it, on days of still winds & when it's not cold nuff to crack a top-leaf or catch the pneumonia. On said still days, the aroma is still eviscerated in all but the most pungent of offerings. I have blown into my hat and/or empty coffee mug for hints as to what I've missed, with varying mostly [sad emoji] results.
My office is where I go to do office-y stuff, I guess? Not sure yet -- it's new. I do have an excellent air filtration system which looks a lot like an open window and oscillating fan I forget to put on -- as well as to take out of my closet. Also also, this is my boudoir recording studio which doubles (triples?) as my plain ol' boudoir (bedroom). It's nice and I'm generally alone (big+) because I don't often host parties in my bedroom. Sans for my special lady friend, natch. She does not, for the record, typically note much if any lingering odor. From the room, at least. I do eat a lot of onions and am prone to flatulence.
The bar. Ain't been there in a minute. (See 'banned' in the segment below.) I'm just not a bar person. I don't drink. I don't mingle. I attended weekly (weakly?) cigar nights there as an extension of [banned]. I don't miss the noise, the hot air being forced onto the tables till everyone's phones warned of being over-heated. (Radiant heat is better/best.) My carport is simply and subjectively and objectively... a superior place for a semi out-of-doors smoke. Except & again for on the coldest/wettest of days.
I am banned from my local B&M. Long story I'll perhaps editorialize in a coming week. Have been for months. Prior to said ban, I hadn't been there for months. I received word of ban via text, due to something I wrote/said re: B&Ms which was offered up then taken out of context. This was much akin to getting a letter from Wyoming, telling me not to come. Gotcha Wyoming -- had no plans, anyways.
When I did smoke there, it had the worst of the worst scenarios for enjoying a cigar. Outside, yes. No smoking inside was allowed. Open to elements? Mostly. A narrow porch with narrower overhang. Worst of all? Standing. Standing room only, save for two (2) folding chairs. It felt a lot like there should have been a burning barrel full of scrap papers aflame in the middle of our gatherings -- as we smoked the butts of bummed cigarettes, passed the 20/20 bottle around, and sang doo-wop tunes in oddly excellent harmony.
The take away from all this prattle? Get a chair, no matter where and what you burn. It is of paramount import. It is the root of all else insofar as any type of pairing. Whether all that happens indoors (best) or out (lettuce make 'not best' suffice). But it can't be just any chair. It must be made to be yours. I, for one, had no idea I felt this strongly about that. I do. For chrissakes cigars are not made for lunting.