When looking for a cigar to smoke, and if you do not want to look like an amateur while doing so, you have to know where to find the right kinds of cigars, how to light them, and how to smoke them. It is not as easy as light, inhale, and exhale. And the first line of defense when it comes to looking like a cigar aficionado is to choose the right kind of cigar. A few brands of cigars to be on the lookout for are Montecristo and Cohiba, both Habanos cigars.
Montecristo hales itself as the world's most famous Cuban cigars in the world since before the 1950s, and its Montecristo No. 4 is, in fact, the most popular cigar in the market. Montecristo accounts for roughly 50 percent of the company Habanos' international cigar sales. The name comes from Alexandre Dumas' haled novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, a favorite book among the Havana cigar makers (torcedores) in 1935. Ranging in a number of sizes and styles, Montecristo covers the bases for all kinds of personal tastes or preferences. It is made exclusively from individually selected leaves from the Vuelta Abajo region, where some of the best tobacco is grown. After the leaves are individually picked, the aged leaves are hand-wrapped into the recognizable Montecristo cigar to make a long filler. The cigars of the best quality are usually handmade, which assures regular quality control. Long-filled cigars are also considered better quality since they are filled with long tobacco leaves throughout. This medium- to full-bodied cigar boasts a smooth taste and rich aroma that should appeal to newcomers to cigar-smoking as well as Montecristo cigar veterans.
The Cohiba brand of Habanos cigars was made for The Cuban himself, Fidel Castro, in 1966 at the world-famous El Laguito factory and is claimed to be the flagship brand of the company. The name is based on the Taino Indian word for the bunches of leaves being smoked by Columbus' men when they first landed in Cuba. The leaves for the Cohiba, just like for the Montecristo, are individually selected for the best taste and aroma from the San Juan y Martinez and San Luis areas of the Vuelta Abajo region. Unlike other Habanos cigars, the Cohiba filler leaves - the seco and ligero - go through the third stage of fermentation in wooden barrels for its unique flavor. Like the Montecristo cigar, Cohiba cigars are hand-rolled with long-fillers. There are two types of Cohiba lines - the classic line is medium- to full-bodied, and the 1492 line is medium-bodied and made to honor Columbus's voyage that leads to the naming of the Cohiba cigar.
It is hard to find Cuban cigars in the States, but if you can get your hands on them, particularly the Montecristo or Cohiba brand of Habanos cigars, they are internationally known as the best cigars in the business. Even if you are just getting started in your cigar interest, just knowing your cigar types will forgive any faux pas you make. And passing out Cuban cigars like Montecristo or Cohiba encourages any number of veterans to give you a helping hand in the learning process.