Cigars and Scotch, You Must Be Doing Rather Well?

EP Carillo Edition Inaugural 2009


A couple of months back, I was out running an errand and I must have walked past someone with an acute sense of smell. Having been fresh out of the cigar shop, I must have smelled ripe of cigars and grabbed the attention of a middle aged couple. As I made my way further down the isle, searching for an item, I overheard the two begin talking about cigars.

I tried not to eavesdrop too much, but the conversation basically revolved around a grandfather that used to smoke cigars. The conversation then changed direction and wound up focusing directly on a cigar misconception that every non-cigar smoker tends to latch on to, for one reason or another.

When the conversation took the direction of how only the wealthy could afford to smoke cigars, I was fortunate enough to have found my item and was making my way towards the cash registers. This misconception, along with the one about only old men smoke cigars, are the two I hear most frequently.

In the past, I’ve even had friends comment on how well I must be doing because I smoke cigars and drink expensive beer. In some instances I’ve had people over that seemed very uncomfortable with my offering them a cigar or drink. I would assume this was due to the cost of the items were perceived to be much more than they would typically spend on themselves. It is also equally uncomfortable to be offered money in exchange for the drink or cigar in question.

The truth of the matter is that my wife and I make a decent living but in no way consider ourselves wealthy. With our decent living, we have students loans, a car payment, a mortgage, and the expenses of day to day living to contend with.

Ten years ago, I would have probably shared this same outlook on cigars and expensive adult beverages. However, I like to think I have matured considerably since then. I no longer buy a case of beer with the intention to get drunk and carry on. The same goes for when I enter the liquor store, I’m not buying with the mindset that the bottle will be empty by the end of the weekend.

The last case of beer I purchased was Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. Due to the way Pennsylvania operates, getting a six-pack is very difficult. Because of my purchase consisting of a case, the cost was right around $55.00. Reaching for a bottle every now and again, the case wound up lasting me just under two-months.

The same goes for Scotch. My favorite thus far has been Macallan 12 year old Single Malt. The cost per 750ml bottle runs about $50.00. While the cost of this single bottle of whisky may give most people a serious case of sticker shock, I don’t mind spending that kind of money knowing that the bottle will last me two to three months, on average.

The common thread between these items and cigars is that they are meant to be appreciated. I don’t light up a cigar with the same mindset as a cigarette smoker, using it for nothing more than a nicotine delivery system. Time is set aside to enjoy what I have, and often times a nice craft brew or Scotch / Bourbon goes hand-in-hand with said cigar.

I’m not going to attempt to bore you with figures, but cigars are not as expensive as you may think. I generally smoke one cigar per day which averages about $5.00. When that cost is compared to smoking a pack or two of cigarettes per day, you can see that the price difference isn’t as far off as one might initially imagine.

What I am getting at here is that you may find things in life more enjoyable if you reverse roles sometime and give quality over quantity a try. By not smoking for nicotine and drinking to become intoxicated, I am able to appreciate the finer things in life without breaking the bank. Granted, the initial cost may seem high, but it all averages out in the end.

1 comments On Cigars and Scotch, You Must Be Doing Rather Well?

  • Well put. I don’t have a huge cigar budget, but I manage to have well stocked humidors and think nothing of gifting cigars, it just seems like the thing to do. Also, when one buys by the box, the per stick price is usually much lower than singles. I rarely but cigars that are more than $5 each, and I only smoke a few a week.

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