Cold Weather Puffing | Cigar Aficionado

Cigar Aficionado

Cold Weather Puffing

Cold Weather Puffing
Photo/Stulli

This was a frigid weekend in my neck of the woods. The thermometer dipped below zero for the first time all year (that's Fahrenheit, folks, not Celsius, and I saw an actual low of 4 below). That's the type of weather when you reach for your warmest coats, heaviest gloves and most peaty Islay malt. At night, while sipping my dram, I listened to the boards on my deck crack in complaint from the cold and heard the wind howl through the bare trees.

Temperatures of that nature are enough to drive a man indoors, and that includes my cigar. I love smoking outside, but not when the temperatures drop below freezing. It's uncomfortable, it's clumsy (hard to hold onto a robusto through mittens) and cigars just don't perform as well as they should. These are handmade items born in the tropics. When subjected to extreme cold, they struggle. Wrappers crack, moisture freezes, combustion slows. On top of all that, who really wants to puff away while shivering outside?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to forgo the cigar entirely. But this is the time of year to smoke inside. If you don't have a cigar-friendly home—and most of us don't—head to a suitable cigar shop or cigar bar. (Need to find one? We have an app for that.)

No cigar haven nearby? This is an ideal time to pay a visit to your buddy with the cigar-friendly man cave. Bring a bottle of Scotch. Peaty. Remember, it's cold out there.

Do you agree? Do you call an end to outdoor smoking when it's too cold outside? Or are you a hardier soul than me, and puff away, regardless of the cold?

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"Caol Ila, very nice choice of malt. A friend brought that over once for poker night and it was an absolute delight. Thanks for the comment." —February 23, 2016 16:56 PM
"As a denizen of "The Great White North" and a Canadian proud of the fact that cold is a state of mind, I must say my garage can be a place of refuge for a cigar. Do I slow my consumption of my cigars? Well, yes it's not even about the changes to the taste, it's about personal comfort. the Peaty Islay malts (One of my personal fave's is Caol Ila) and the cigar are for enjoyment, the cold weather almost forces you to speed through the process and that in my opinion is criminal. I long for warmer climates. Of course here in Winnipeg that definition is subjective and we can find a sunny day of -3 Celsius defined as balmy after a frigid winter. Till then though I'm longing for spring spending my days waiting for the snow on my deck to melt so I can find out how those "My Fathers" I've obtained have settled in my humidor. Dreaming of Summer - ACE" —February 23, 2016 16:54 PM
"David, Come join me friend!" —February 18, 2016 17:12 PM
"Thank god for a good local cigar lounge here in the suburbs of Chicago. I remember sitting on the deck in November, thinking "this is the last good cigar day of the year." Kind of a melancholy smoke..." —February 17, 2016 20:26 PM
"I live in Montana and regularly enjoy a cigar outside in sub 50 weather, which happens nearly year round. For sub 30 degrees and on down to below zero, I prefer to enjoy my smoke while sitting in my hot tub. There's nothing like enjoying a good cigar and a good scotch while snow falls lightly on my stocking cap and melts just inches above the water." —February 16, 2016 23:42 PM
"James, OK, that makes more sense. " —February 16, 2016 21:56 PM
"Brandon, I suppose I set myself up for your comment. I'm officially jealous. " —February 16, 2016 17:01 PM
"David, Not 50 below! Below 50 degrees. So 50 degrees F or less. I guarantee you are more hard-core than I am when it comes to smoking outside in the cold. I just can't sit there and puff if its too chilly out. Maybe if I had an outdoor heater..." —February 16, 2016 17:00 PM
"Sunny California, shoot it's 82 degrees here today. I am a little cold. Maybe no cigar tonight " —February 16, 2016 16:23 PM
"Sub 40? You're a tougher man than I am. Glad you have the propane heater for an assist. Thanks for reading and for the comment. " —February 16, 2016 15:30 PM
"James, 50 below? I'm clearly not ready for Green Bay. I like the sounds of that garage space turned into a smoking room. Creative!" —February 16, 2016 15:30 PM
"i disagree. zero is one thing, but i regularly smoke in sub 40 degree weather with the aid of a personal propane heater and i have seen no difference in the way a cigar tastes, burns, or performs. Actually i find the cigar performs much better in 35 degree weather than 90 degree weather.....mainly because when it is 90 in St. Louis it is generally 95% humidity." —February 16, 2016 14:59 PM
"Green Bay dweller here. When it's below about 50 degrees I lose interest in smoking outside. It starts to feel like work at that point. When I built my garage a few years ago, I used attic trusses. I have a 24'x12' room up there that is used for storage most of the year. But in the cold months I can fire up a gas space heater and light up a cigar. It's not nearly as pleasant as smoking outside in the summer, but it works. I even adapted my old CRT TV to work with a Chromacast so I can watch Netflix while I puff. " —February 16, 2016 14:42 PM