An Ambassador Answers: Monica Irani

Cigar Keep's global community requires legendary figures from all over the world to join us in spreading the news and championing the cause of togetherness. This time, we speak to Monica Irani – financier and art patron with a passion for cigars and wine.

What kickstarted your passion for cigars?

From a young age I always admired watching my brother enjoying a cigar, particularly around a celebration. Seeing the thick, luscious smoke curling into the air, taking in one of the most unique scents I have ever encountered. These moments were imprinted in my memory and senses. When I began university I joined a local cigar club and this really kick started my zeal for the subject matter. Much like wine, there is so much that goes into producing a beautiful cigar, from the soil to the storage. This fuels my curiosity as I’m constantly learning. The best part is that everyone has their own unique experience with cigars, whether it’s their first or fiftieth smoke, it’s often around a shared experience be it a birthday, holiday, or a simple lunch on a terrace. You’re taking a moment to enjoy, to savour. Who doesn’t love celebrating life? That’s what cigars mean to me. 

What is your favourite cigar?

I have many favourite cigars! So many that I’m giddy just thinking about them. My current favourite smoke is the Partagas Maduro No 2- bold, I find it well-rounded and consistent. Last year I had the pleasure of trying the cigar they released in 2015 for their 170th anniversary, it was sensational. I also crave the creaminess-with-hint-of-spice of a Trinidad Vigia from time to time. That, along with the Behike 52 were some of my favourite smokes. 

Do you have a favourite lounge or terrace to smoke in?

My favourite place to smoke by far has to be 5 Hertford Street in London. I love their cigar lounge in the winter and their terrace in the summer. It’s very easy to explain why, because my two wonderful dogs are welcome to accompany me there, it always feels like a home-from-home. Aside from that, being somewhere close to the energy of nature, whether overlooking the mountains or watching the waves break on the beach at sunset, those would be some other favourite places to smoke and begin my evening. 

What is your most memorable cigar moment?

A memorable cigar moment was in April 2020, mid global lockdown as the pandemic took hold. I found myself smoking a Partagas Series E on Broadway, in the heart of New York City, with the sun streaming down and not a soul around. Hopefully, I’ll never experience that again, nonetheless is was an exceptional experience that I reflected on with a wonderful cigar. Now I’m looking forward to making memorable moments with Cigar Keep.

What cigar do you think is underrated?

My palate favours medium to bold smokes. In the past I tended to shun cigars that had a lighter smoke. Though now – much like the evolution of my wine preferences – I’ve grown to appreciate different cigars for different cravings, settings or time of day.