I’m back at my desk after a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I’m a little more tan, a little more achy yet far better rested then when I left the office on Friday.
Here in the United States, Memorial Day serves as the kickoff to summer, even though summer doesn’t begin for 22 more days. Here in the northeast, the weather complied. It was as if a switch went off, with the mercury zooming. We immediately went from a rainy spring to summertime temperatures, and just in time.
I spent much of the weekend outdoors, with several parties and family activities that worked well for smoking cigars. My first great cigar of the weekend was an old classic, an Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 3. This is a cigar that’s been on the market since the 1970s, and it’s one of the best made by the Fuente family, who are celebrating 100 years of history this year. It’s cigars like this that have made Fuente cigars so popular—the Don Carlos is rich, refined and balanced, with a touch of orange peel flavor. What a wonderful cigar. I smoked it on a leisurely car ride on Saturday morning, just before watching my son march with his fellow Little Leaguers in our town parade.
Later that day, I took the family to a nearby beach. At first I thought it would be a rainout—thunderclouds were threatening, but the storm stayed clear. One of my friends, who loves cigars, saw a few stogies in my shirt pocket and suggested we fire up. Soon there were about five of us, pulling together chairs on the beach and smoking cigars. I lit a Flor de las Antillas Robusto, a great new cigar made by the Garcia family in Nicaragua.
This may sound funny, but my best cigar moment of the weekend involved a cigar that I didn’t smoke.
Yesterday I played golf with my brother, my cousin and a friend. The day was spectacular, very hot, with not a cloud in the sky. My brother is a chef, so he works most weekends and holidays, and his schedule makes it hard to him to get out on the course as often as I do. I always love a day on the golf course, but when I get to play with my brother it’s a very special day indeed. He was hitting the ball very well. We chose a long drive hole on the back nine, and our two drives were considerably farther than those of our playing partners. I thought I had him, and I joked that my ball took a photo of his as it flew over. When we got out to where the balls had landed, his was 15 yards past mine. And I was proud to lose to him.
“Let’s have a cigar,” he said. I reached into my bag and looked at the selection that I had brought, and pulled out a Humidipak. Inside was one Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill, our Cigar of the Year. We gave it 96 points on our 100-point scale, a classic smoke.
“Here you go,” I said. “You’re smoking this one.”
He lit up, quite happily, and we finished the round.
Sometimes, your best cigar moment is all about who you’re smoking with, rather than what you’re smoking. And sometimes the best cigar is one that you give away.