Our friend Shary Rahman is a man unlikely to shy away from a strong smoke. We have turned to him to explain the most misunderstood of cigar-flavour profiles, and hopefully converts you to the cause.
I do like my Cigars to pack a punch! Having been smoking cigars for the sheer pleasure and joy of it for well over the last 25 years I have definitely developed a penchant for strong-tasting cigars… the stronger the better for me! My palate today for stronger Vitolas – made so my the generous abundance of the ligero leaf on the blend – is as well-oiled and equally enduring as that of a turbocharged supercar. What is it that attracts me to such a potent mix of tobacco and heady flavours from Havana’s finest to the more concentrated nuances of New World Cigars?… It’s the strength coupled with the deliciousness and flavour that permeates these wonderful organic creations and the feeling of contentment that comes from smoking one of these stronger Vitolas.
Of course to be able to enjoy a stronger creations is down to practice and building oneself up to the task. It is not something to shy away from…. The taste of a strong cigar is not necessarily any different from that of a mild one, but the strength of it is what really accentuates this taste to a level where one can truly absorb and appreciate the flavour of the tobacco that has been used in creating such a fine cigar. The strength allows you to taste the little details and the nuances that make a strong cigar a truly great one to smoke….Generally for myself I would always like to start my day with a Partagas Serie D No.4… which complements a rather grand breakfast followed by something like a stick or 2 of the Trinidad Topes (more medium to full than full) for lunch, which is specially nice to enjoy over a long lunch with good company and conversation. The experience is what I would call seamless and near to perfection… On a list of even stronger cigars I would rate the Bolivar Royal Corona or the Bolivar Belicosos Finos as some of the strongest Cubans out there but the strength of these behemoths of the Cigar World are perfectly balanced with a rich deliciousness that can be enjoyed and experienced to the fullest only after a truly rich and meaty meal…When it comes to Limited Edition Cigars,the strong one that immediately comes to mind would be the Cohiba Robusto Supremos from 2014 which have truly come of age and have matured to become one of the best strong smokes out there provided you can still get your hands on them…And one more that comes to mind would be the tantalising Bolivar Belgravia, the UK Regional Edition from 2015 which are currently smoking beautifully and really succeeds in flying the flag for what a true deliciously strong cigar should be… pure smoking greatness!