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Cigars Introduction

An Introduction to a beginning

I was extremely excited about the advent of the Corona Cigar Company newsletter. Especially since the General Manager, Jeff Wojtanowski (don’t worry about the last name - you can call him JW), offered me the job of writing the cigar education portion of his newsletter.  There are no real cigar credentials.  You cannot earn a Bachelors degree, or a Masters, or a Doctorate in cigars, which is too bad because that’s what I would have chosen for my major in college.  But a cigar school does exist.  It is underground, and everyone who smokes cigars takes on the role of student and occasionally the role of teacher.  When I turned 18 I wanted a cigar – a good cigar.  And so I went to a local shop and told the cigar salesman that I wanted a good cigar for my birthday.  He helped me find an Arturo Fuente Spanish Lonsdale.  He showed me how to cut and light.  It was the beginning of my cigar education and upon my first puff I said, “This is for me.”  And I have smoked ever since.  My real education started a little over a year later when I was hired by Corona Cigar Company.  Jeff Borysiewicz, the owner of Corona, became my cigar mentor and through the years he has taught me many things, most importantly how to educate myself.  The most important lesson I received was that education comes from first hand experience of cigars – in other words smoke a wide variety of cigars and you will learn.  And I listened.   I learned what cigars I enjoyed and what cigars I didn’t enjoy as much.  I also started going to cigar events and talking with the men who made the cigars I smoked.  I have learned so much from people like Avo Uvezian, Christian Eiroa, Benji Menendez, Guillermo Leon, Jose Blanco, Rocky Patel, Charlie Torano, Jonathan Drew, and the list goes on.  I highly recommend going to every event you can and glean as much cigar knowledge as you can from the people who make the cigars.  I also read as much as I can about cigars – magazines, articles, interviews.  And I continue to learn from those who are members of what I like to term The Brotherhood of Cigar Smokers.  Induction into this Brotherhood is easy – you belong to it now – because you are a cigar smoker.  And we have an unspoken bond – and that bond is a love for cigars.
You may wonder why this short history.  Please forgive my self-promotion, but I hope reading this has made you think of your own cigar history.  How you started.  Who was your cigar mentor?  Memories of cigar nights and conversations with fellow smokers.  Because each of our cigar histories are important.  I love hearing other smokers’ histories.  How they started.  What their favorite cigars are.  And as we delve further into the newsletter I hope to bring you interesting tips, industry news, and fun stories.  I hope that in some way I can increase your knowledge and enjoyment of tobacco as we explore this world of cigars together.
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