My Biography

I am a musician, historian and Cuban cigar enthusiast. My first proper premium cigar was, I believe, an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature, back in 1993. (Fun fact: not knowing how to expose the head of the cigar for the draw, I recalled having seen in movies and television where people bite the end off. So I did likewise, biting off about half an inch of the cigar. It looked like a firecracker had exploded the end of my cigar.)

My first Cuban cigar experience was around 1997. Since then, I continue to learn all I can about Cuban cigars, and I have amassed a modest collection of cigars. In the early nineties it seemed that the number of NC brands was manageable; today it is simply overwhelming. It's comforting to know that with Cuban cigars, it's possible for one to be familiar with, or at least aware of, the entire Cuban portfolio. While I do smoke NC on occasion, I'm simply used to the flavour of Cubans and very much prefer them.

What was the first cigar you ever smoked?

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature (1993)

Which is your desert-island cigar?

Bolivar Coronas Gigantes

What is the worst cigar you’ve ever smoked?

Unfortunately, many cigars have vied for that title, so I can't pick out a particular one.

What is your greatest cigar-related memory?

General Lafayette Inn, Germantown Pike, Philadelphia, 2002: whilst enjoying an on-site-brewed honey mead, the stranger sitting next to me pulled a Churchill-sized cigar from his jacket pocket. My eyes widened as I asked him, "Is that a Cohiba Esplendidos?" He answered in the affirmative and offered me one. It was delicious, and that moment reflected the essence of premium cigars: reflection, relaxation, sharing, bonding.

What is your favourite cigar brand?


What is your favourite cigar accessory?

Bespoke cigar case from Jackson Leatherwork

What is your favourite cigar shop?

James J Fox London, for the selection, atmosphere, and neighbourhood.

What is your favourite lounge?

Ashton's Cigar Bar, Philadelphia

What is your favourite method of ignition?

Cedar spills

What is your favourite cut?