THERE was a time when a change of seasons brought about a slew of cigar articles on what smokes went with what particular time of year.
Many of these had been pilfered, poached and pillaged to such a degree that they were a real magpie’s hoard of gold nuggets buried amidst an avalanche of flowery bullshit.
It’s good that the click baiters and plagiarisers have wandered off in search of new prey, but a shame that people don’t really talk about seasonal smoking anymore, because it is a real thing and can greatly aid your appreciation and enjoyment of a fine cigar.
A few easy examples spring to mind; Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2 on hot afternoon; a smouldering Ramon Allones Specially Selected on Bonfire Night; a charming Por Larranaga Petit Corona to wile away a morning stroll through autumnal leaves.
But seasons play a huge part in our existence – particularly here in dear old Blighty, where we tend to have more clearly demarked seasons than many places (at least we used to; has global warming buggered that up for good?)
There is both a physical and a psychological tug of war that goes on all the time when it comes to the seasons and how they make us feel and behave. Have you noticed, for example, how you don’t really fancy eating salad in the cold, dark days of winter, yet eulogise over the feta in your Greek salad while enjoying an island sunshine break? Or how when you come home after a long, tiring day in the depths of winter, the smell of a simmering beef casserole can change your mood and energy levels in an instant?
The fact is, there is a hibernation side to being human and the cold, dark days make us want to curl up somewhere warm with comfort food while glorious, sunny, clear blue spring mornings make our spirits soar.
And while we may not consciously recognise it, our mind may also lead us into selecting a certain type of cigar when perusing the humidor. If one could collate figures, I’d be willing to wager that Maduro or dark-wrapped cigars sell far better in the winter, or in colder climates than warmer ones in the US. They are perceived as being stronger, bolder, punchier cigars and on a hot day, sometimes you just feel like eating, drinking – and smoking – lighter.
Spring is a time of renewal and fresh, vivid flavours. Montecristo is one of the most popular and reliable Cuban brands on the market of course, but we feel it lends itself particularly well to spring with its woody, bean notes which are clear and unambiguous. You may also find that Sancho Panza gives a particularly good account of itself at this time of the year.
Winter is all about the big, bold smokes for us, so go big on your Partagas and your Bolivar during the short, dark days, and save the lighter, creamier, nuanced cigars for contemplative enjoyment on those long, golden afternoons and balmy evenings.
Finally, all this is purely subjective, of course – feel free to smoke whatever you like, whenever you like it. But considering the effect of changing seasons on the palate is just another small part of enjoying your cigar hobby – ask your Sautter cigar expert for their opinion and see what new and enlightening suggestions they can conjure up for you.