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Jay-Z Stays Classy with Cigars, Whiskey on Next Tour

Andrew Nagy
Posted: April 3, 2013

Former Cigar Aficionado cover subject Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter built his music empire with a cigar in hand, so it seems only natural that he’s creating a backstage “gentlemen’s club,” replete with cigars and whiskey, for his upcoming summer tour with Justin Timberlake.

According to multiple news outlets, Jay-Z has invited a professional torcedor he met at a party to go on the road with him and roll cigars in the backstage club for his and Timberlake’s “Legends of the Summer Tour,” which kicks off in July. The luxurious club is being billed as an homage of sorts to the legendary Rat Pack.

Avo Uvezian portrait.

While the details of the blend the torcedore will be rolling are scant, it’s a safe bet the rapper will be bringing some already rolled cigars with him. Jay-Z is known for being a fan of Davidoff Zino Platinums and Cuban cigars, as detailed in his 2009 interview with the magazine:

"I like Montecristos—those are probably some of my favorites," Jay-Z says, referring to Cuban versions of that brand. "But I like a bit of everything: Romeo y Julieta, Partagás. One of my first favorites was Dunhills, when I first started smoking them. But I go back and forth. I think it's like anything else: sure, you can find good, inexpensive cigars, but the things that are really good are the ones that cost.

"I like them bigger but mild. It gives the appearance of smoking something heavy—but it's not. It's just relaxing. I don't know the lingo—like 'It's got an oaky flavor,' stuff like that. It's just based on what I like. No one schooled me in cigars, like no one schooled me in how to buy art or drink wine," he says, although his taste in wine is pretty exquisite, such as Sassicaia, the great Italian wine. But, he continues, "A cigar is like a gift you give yourself. I smoke at times when I'm relaxing, or celebrating."

Steve Cohen April 3, 2013 7:57pm ET
Jay-Z? LOL at this article.
Dan Leptitpede April 4, 2013 12:41am ET
"but the things that are really good are the ones that cost." ... "it gives the appearance" ... "I don't know the lingo"

I am sorry but how can this guy be taken seriously when it comes to cigars?
Jay Diaz April 4, 2013 9:57am ET
i totally agree with you Ed, i honestly can never tell what subtle flavors there are in certain cigars,i just know if i like it or not.thats all that matters to me. how can you not take this multi millionare business man seriously?
Graham Theriault Murrieta, CA, United States, April 4, 2013 11:25am ET
Jay-Z is a clown, His statements indicate as much. Who is next CA, Kanye West? I bet he has smoked a cigar before.
Steve Cohen April 4, 2013 11:57am ET
What does money have anything to do with any of this? Anyone with money thinks he has taste. It's clearly not the case. Money gives you the opportunity to buy expensive things, not know their value. I am active on the CA forums, we can discuss this there if you'd like.
Rudi de Groot CALGARY, AB, CANADA, April 4, 2013 1:30pm ET
I can't wait until Jay-Z chimes in on this thread! Bahahah!
Paul B April 4, 2013 7:16pm ET
I'm no cigar expert but I know that just as there are some good inexpensive cigars there are costly ones that aren't worth the money. Price and enjoyment don't always go hand in hand. Seems "Z" hasn't figured this out yet. His cigar supplier must be a rich man.
Stephen Stancil April 5, 2013 10:07am ET
Everybody has to start somewhere with cigars. Many of the next generation of cigar fans may still be smoking flavored Swishers and listening to Jay and 'Ye on the weekends.
The above quotes may sound a bit uninformed, but could move some people on to discovering and enjoying real, premium cigars. Finding newer, influential voices who enjoy cigars and speak positively about their experience matters if you're interested in growing a market and possibly maintaining cigar rights.
Hamad Nahyan April 5, 2013 9:35pm ET
If I had a list of 100 people I'd like to smoke a cigar with. Jay-Z would be the 101th person.
April 6, 2013 3:46am ET
This is hilarious. He definitely stays classy when he sings '2 Many Hoes' and 'Illest Motherf**cker Alive.' CA, I thought you were better than that.
Better than what? They put drug addicts like Rush and kelsey Grammer. Jay Z is at least as good as them.
Jade Dennill Victoria, British columbia, Canada, April 7, 2013 8:58pm ET
All of you guys bashing this article because he's not pretentious enough about his cigar taste have missed the entire point of enjoying a great smoke. The only thing that matters, is what each individual enjoys, not a specific brand or line of cigar. All of the negative comments are whats wrong with the cigar world. You guys are just geeks.
Jay Wright April 8, 2013 9:42am ET
It’s amazing how distasteful some of the comments are. I remember the same sort of thing when he was put on the cover. 99% of those who commented on this article don’t have the palate to write the tasting notes many of us read nor have had the kind of success he has had yet you all through stone. And lets face it although there are some good inexpensive cigars out there, but we all know you get what you pay for. If it where that easy to find a great cheap cigar the industry wouldn’t be doing so well. That’s why there are so many cigars that cost over $25 and they all sell well. As for his cigar etiquette, remember we all started somewhere.
KUNTREE JOHN Manhattan, NY, April 8, 2013 11:38am ET
Say what u want, at the end of the day. He's Hova and you are???
April 8, 2013 12:22pm ET
I don't care about his palate or experience with cigars. Sure, he's made a lot of money appealing to teen punk thugs with obscene lyrics about selling crack, killing cops, being a big pimp, etc. Some would call that successful, but that's why I choose not to listen to what he has to say about anything and I lose a little respect for those who do (like CA and those of you that defend him). I think it's great he likes to smoke cigars but the cover? No way. Classy? Definitely not.
Dany Francis April 8, 2013 5:39pm ET
LOL, how's Hova? You mean Hovy.
Jay Diaz April 9, 2013 11:25am ET
guess where jay-z is at this very moment, thats right, hes in cuba!! and whats he doing?? smoking cubans!!! nuff said!!!
Avery McFadden Brooklyn, NY, United States, April 9, 2013 6:39pm ET
Tough crowd here. I'm not a huge Jay-Z fan, but the guy admitted to not being studious to the hobby, but knows what he likes. So what if he can't depict truffles, graham crackers, licorice & all the other imaginative things we read in reviews, but probably never tasted.

CA is a business, and I'm sure they sold many magazines off the newsstand because of this cover. They already have our subscription fees, which I'm sure is far less profitable.
Spence Harris April 15, 2013 3:36pm ET
Jay-z keep doing what you do best! What's the best cigar on the market? The one that you like best!! I'm new to cigars but if u get a chance smoke one called the tarantula by recluse. Amazing stick!!! April 22, 2013 12:44am ET
Hey he's banging Beyonce. Hard to hate on him. And it's sad to see people attacking a fellow BOTL. It'd be nice to see more people from the generation now turning 18 enjoying cigars, and a celebrity such as himself can influence that. And enjoying a smoke can be whatever you make of it. If you choose to lay back and just enjoy your smoke, more power to you. Some more pretentious people may choose to identify every nuance and blast those who don't. April 22, 2013 12:45am ET
Jay-Z... If you see this comment I'd love to share a stogie with you.
Dan Fumaria Québec, Canada, November 12, 2013 12:16am ET
Hi everyone, I love Jay-z. For many reasons and this is one of them. He could've just said some bullshit about how he's been smoking churchill since he was a teen and that he smokes only a cigar if it cost 50$. Instead he admitted that he wasn't an expert and he only enjoys them. Mild stuff , even if he knew the purist would laugh at him for his newbie like observations he stayed real. Imagine Rick Ross telling you about his cigars? Yeah. He doesn't do that. He doesn't have to.
He's done way more than just music for teen punk thugs. Come on, get your facts straight. He 's a very smart entrepreneur who eats diner with the president, I don't know a lot of rappers that do that.
As for being on the cover of the CA, this is another discussion weither or not he should be there. But I am 40 and this article was appealing to me.
Having said that I just started smoking cigar a year ago and I am happy to join the aficionados! And I really enjoy the Zino platinum.
Wellington Lee Washington, DC, USA, January 14, 2014 1:20pm ET
"lyrics about selling crack, killing cops, being a big pimp, etc"

It's very unfortunate that some people are so prejudiced/afraid/intimidated by rap music and African American culture as a whole that the automatic response towards Jay-Z without actually listening to his music, or knowing anything about him, is to assume that he promotes violence and criminality.

In America we call that Racism.
Racine Williams Gladstone, Missouri, United States, June 7, 2014 11:38am ET
Hey, To each his own . I know that I appreciate a good smoke . At the end of the it's all about what's good for you anyway. Now when you market it to the masses that's another story in it's own . In order to know what you're giving you must know what you're getting. This is only my opinion. Jay z , do what works my man but do it with an honest heart.

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