Cigar smoking can be a lot of fun. There are plenty of different cigar strengths, tastes, and smoke densities, with each offering a different smoking experience than the last. However, people who are just getting into the art of cigar smoking are not going to be able to know the ins and outs right off the bat.
Thankfully, there are plenty of books about cigars and cigar smoking out there, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the best. If you’re looking to add a book about cigars to your library, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about the best books about cigars and cigar smoking.
- Books About Cigars and Cigar Smoking
- Final Thoughts
Books About Cigars and Cigar Smoking
The Ultimate Cigar Book: 4th Edition by Richard Carleton Hacker
The Ultimate Cigar Book is a classic on the titular subject and discusses everything from the processes used to make and store cigars to the etiquette, accessories, and everything in between. This book would make a perfect gift for the beginner cigar smoker.
This book will make for an interesting read, indeed. It is, of course, chock-full of information regarding cigars, from their history and various brands, to how they’re made, how to purchase them, how to store and smoke them, as well as regional habits and preferences. For all intents and purposes, this is the beginner’s guide to cigar smoking.
However, the book does not read like a standard interest and history book. It is more like a conversation. You should go into this book as though the author was talking to you in a smokeasy while you relaxed with your own stogie, thus hearing his experience and point of view regarding the hobby.
While the examples in this book are useful, some of the metaphors used are not used commonly enough for the average person to understand, which may put a lot of readers off. For instance, the way the author describes the word “different” is, “The way a Beef Wellington is different from a Chateaubriand”. If you’ve never heard or had either of those foods before, you’re not going to understand the metaphor.
Overall, this book is a great source of information that would be extremely useful to the budding cigar enthusiast. There is a lot of information to learn within, and the author has dedicated a lot of time including as much accurate information as possible, especially regarding foreign cigar-smoking customs.
The Cigar Companion: Third Edition – The Connoisseur’s Guide by Anwer Bati and Simon Chase
The Cigar Companion is the perfect study guide for those wishing to unlock the delicious undertones and delicate intricacies of handmade cigars. The book includes the history of cigars, a guide for buyers, and profiles of 70 top brands of quality cigars, complete with high-quality, full-color photographs.
For the cigar aficionado, this companion book will prove most useful. It details the qualities and rates the most popular cigars from Honduras, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, just to name a few. This is a great way to learn more about the history of the cigar.
One of this book’s main drawbacks has nothing to do with the contents of the book itself but rather with the inevitable progression of time. A lot has changed in the world of cigars in the 25 years since this book was written, meaning that some of the information contained within may be somewhat outdated.
For example, Nicaragua is now a force to be reckoned with in the cigar business. Regardless, this book does a great job of providing insight into the history of the world’s major cigar brands, including pictures of the best sellers and clear, easy-to-understand ratings for each cigar mentioned.
The read is fun and informative, and it shouldn’t take you too long to get through the entire book. It describes in detail the expensive and complex processes that are involved with the creation of premium cigars. It also provides clarification for some of the more confusing aspects of the cigar industry, like the difference between the ever-conflated shade and type of cigar wrappers.
Holy Smoke by Guillermo Cabrera Infante
Using fact, fantasy, fiction, and puns, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, the author of Holy Smoke, recounts the history of the cigar and the inner workings of cigar smoking. The book also discusses the process of manufacturing cigars, as well as the history of tobacco.
Holy Smoke, by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, is a 300-page wordplay that is filled with puns and an outrageous, sidesplitting celebration and history of the cigar. It’s a book that so many readers and reviewers can’t help but misunderstand, so you’re going to have to pay special attention to this one if you decide to add it to your library.
This is a passionate book, indeed. It’s rich and juicy and makes the current crop of books found on coffee tables around the world discussing the same subject seem inconsequential. The author is a native of Cuba, which is where Columbus first observed the locals enjoying cigars.
Infante is quick on the draw, recounting the history of cigar smoking as if in a narrative that is relaxed and playful. He discourses on how the leaf is grown and manufactured, as well as various forms of what he describes as the ‘horizontal chimney’. This is a great book for anyone looking to learn more about cigars while also having themselves a good laugh.
Binders, fillers, wrappers, shops, shapes, manners, cigarettes, snuff, pipes, and ash are all discussed in the addictive text that is filled to the brim with puns. However, you shouldn’t expect to learn much about the modern stogie, as this book was released back in 1997, so some information is almost certainly outdated.
Memorable Moments in My Life by José O Padrón
Jose Orlando Padron spent a lifetime building Padron into the famed global brand that it is today. This book provides an intimate look at the legacy that the legend created, from his childhood in Cuba to his US immigration in the wake of the Castro revolution. This is a great spin on the classic subject of cigars.
A few months before his passing, Jose Padron, founder of Padron Cigars, published his memoir. It was one of his lifelong goals to write a book, and one of his heroes was Cuban liberator Jose Marti, who said, “There are three things that each person should do in their lifetime: plant a tree, have a child, and write a book.”
Memorable Moments in My Life is a fascinating look at the author’s life, being an untraditional memoir that is a compilation of key events in his life rather than your standard autobiography that is organized in chronological order. In the book, Padron touches on the Cuban Revolution, founding his cigar brand in Miami, and establishing the company in Nicaragua after he fell on some hard times.
He also discusses his efforts to secure the release of political prisoners from Cuba, attempts on his life, and how the boom in cigars affected his business. Furthermore, he gives some insight into his views on the production of cigars, running a company, and how one should treat their family, employees, and customers.
Any cigar aficionado will appreciate this book, which is a work of art in and of itself. There was no sparing of expenses when it comes to the printing, and the book comes with full-color inserts, photographs, and a ribbon for you to mark your page.
The Ultimate Havana by John Lantigua
Private detective Willie Cuesta is hired to find the missing son of a famed cigar manufacturer, Carlos Espada. He discovers a grueling rivalry between two conglomerates in the tobacco industry, a counterfeit cigar ring in which the man missing might have been involved, and a murder.
This novel deals with the business of counterfeit cigars and is the second to feature Willie Cuesta, a Cuban-American detective. Because Cuban cigars are restricted in the US, there is already a large market in supplying consumers with counterfeits.
This novel takes things a step further and deals with those who not only smuggle cigars but also use fake labels to fool their customers into believing that the expensive cigars they just bought illegally are authentically Cuban. However, in reality, they are not.
This is a fantastic novel and is a great read for anyone who wants to learn a lot about the cigar industry while also enjoying the thrills of a chilling investigative story. It is a great read for both beginner cigar smokers and professionals alike.
Let’s be honest, we could all do with a little more reading in our lives, especially since we live in the age of technology and social media. If you’re a cigar smoker or want to start smoking cigars, why not enrich your life with some books about the subject? And if you have a friend who enjoys the subtle art of cigar smoking, one of these books will be great for their man cave or study.