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 our latest ambassador, Roula Naim.
What kickstarted your passion for cigars?
Honestly, it all started by turning my curiosity into a Passion, as I was always surrounded by many Cigar Aficionados, visiting several lounges and attending various cigar events. I remember smoking my first cigar stick back in 2010, on my open terrace, a Cohiba Behike 54, as I found it extremely beautiful with a nostalgic smoking feeling and I enjoyed every puff till I reached the point of smoking 8 Behikes per day...which caused me a critical health issue as I was obliged to reduce the quantity down to 3 cigars per day instead of 8. Since I’m Lebanese and I live in an Arabic country smoking cigars was always vulgar and not acceptable for a woman, but I was lucky that there have been men in the cigar industry who have supported and encouraged me. Then I realized that the history of women and cigars has fluctuated as time has changed and this industry is not only known anymore as male-oriented it’s become a mixture of both.
What is your favourite cigar?
Since our country is known as the source of Cuban cigars, so many brands and vitolas were always great to try and smoke but my first love for cigars was the Behike 54 then comes to the Bolivar Libertador, Partagas Salomones, Cohiba Talisman and Hoyo Double Corona but when I became brand owner for SP1014 cigar, I became attached to it because it’s the best non-Cuban cigar I ever taste, enjoying the 3 different sizes as my daily routine smoke.
Do you have a favourite lounge or terrace to smoke in?
There are many places that have been specially designed for the enjoyment of cigars but I can say that in our country people can smoke everywhere, there are no restrictions on this issue at all. Coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, clubs, lounges, hotels, cars, beaches, homes, parks, gardens etc. So when you have these facilities the best way that you really can enjoy smoking your cigar is by yourself or choosing the right person that appreciates and helps to create a beautiful ambience to smoke in the right place.
What is your most memorable cigar moment?
Every cigar has its own story, so for me, it’s all about the moment and who you are smoking with. But I will never forget the 1st time when I smoked my Behike, the excitement and happiness when I made the decision to enter this world without hesitation. The 2nd time when I received for the first time my SP1014 samplers, as my first try for tasting. That moment was and will stay forever unforgettable. It blew me away, I was so impressed and extremely happy and was sure that our SP1014 will make a big change in the cigar world under the project “ KILL THE INDUSTRY “. I was so touched and felt blessed and lucky to have such an amazing partner “ Sanj Patel “ an Icon in the cigar industry and Master blender that supported, believed in me and gave me this opportunity that totally changed my life. These two moments will stay always and forever memorable.
What cigar do you think is underrated?
Despite their wonderful flavours here are a few cigars I think are underrated. The Diplomaticos no.5, Sancho Panza Belicosos, Montecristo no. 5 and the Juan Lopez no. 2. I’m sure there are others. These are just off the top of my head.
View Roula's keep here.