After spending a week in Edmonton at the Canadian Country Music week I have to admit that I wore myself down to nothing. Late nights, adult beverages and meetings that lasted long into the nights and then a long drive back to vancouver resulted in a flu of biblical proportion. I found myself laying in bed, sweating, coughing and drinking as much fluids as I could possible take in but the worst of all of it was the total waste of money I spent on cigars that I simply couldn’t taste in the days following.
This morning I woke up with no residual sick feelings at all and so after breakfast I decided to celebrate with a Cohiba Siglo IV and a cappuccino on the deck. Wow, what a difference this cigar was after the others that simply were fine but lacked any subtle nuances of flavor because of my inability to taste. This corona gorda with a 46 ring gauge and a length of 5.6 inches opened up with a nutty tobacco taste that was creamy and slightly earthy. The older Cohiba line was only slightly present in this cigar and by that I mean that it had the Cohiba spice that I love so much but slightly milder and easier to take in the morning.
I loved every puff as it moved into the final third with vanilla and subtle honey and it made me wonder why I smoked anything at all in the days before. This might have been the best Cohiba I smoked this year, I still have a few more from this box from ’08 and a large part of me wants to start tomorrow the same way I started today but I don’t believe I’ll be able to re-live this morning’s experience with the same excitement and passion so maybe I’ll dig around my humidor for another Cuban and see what tomorrow brings.
So my rant about not being able to have a cigar while I golf in Surrey, B.C. was a bit premature since its just the Vancouver courses that will not allow any kind of smoking….. for fire reasons….. Yeah, right!!!!!! Fire?? I’m wondering when was the last time a Vancouver golf course went up in flames because a lit cigarette butt or cigar butt was dropped into the rough.. I’ll tell you one thing about golfing in Vancouver, BUY WATERPROOF FOOTWEAR !! I’m serious, unless you have a passion for soggy feet while you’re tromping around, looking for your ball, you better be prepared for wet, damp and soggy patches of ground. Fire?? Give me a break!!!
So I’m golfing with my buddy, Paul, and he tells me that he’ll be going to Cabo this winter and he’s wondering if I want him to bring back a few boxes of Cubans for me.. Well sure I do, but he’s not a cigar smoker and doesn’t really know a thing about the topic and to him, a cigar is just a cigar and they’re available everywhere in Mexico…… Can you hear the evil Alfred Hitchcock music start???
I haven’t been to cabo and so I’m thinking that the best place to start is the internet.. The last hour or so has been spent looking around at the different sites describing different people’s experiences with cigars in Mexico. I feel quite optimistic in that I can probably point Paul in the right direction but there are a few things that have me wondering if Cabo is the best place to pick up Cubans. One of my concerns is the tax rate that Mexico has when importing Cuban cigars.. It seems that for every $100 spent on Tobacco, they tack another $100 for tax…….. Soooooooooo, although I can direct my buddy to a LCDH, I’m wondering if I should simply wait for a trip to Cuba, or at least another friend going there.. Havana or Veradero has authentic Cubans available for the careful shopper so I may just wait…
Sometimes the easy option in life isn’t always the best option!
Well tomorrow we’ll be having a great day of weather in Vancouver, who knows, maybe one of the last great days of the year for golf and a Siglo I in the great outdoors. One problem though, the City of Vancouver has now banned smoking on all public beaches, parks and golf courses. Are you kidding me?????? No cigar smoking on a golf course??
I think its about time I make a statement and light one of those beautiful Cohibas anyway and see who will be trying to stop a calm and agreeable law-biding citizen as he hits a little white ball on a golf course with a small Cuban burning on the dash of the golf cart!!! I have to dig my heels in and continue a tradition that has been carried on since golf has been invented.
Now I know that I have no right to foul up anyone’s air when they are sitting in a restaurant, bar, bank, church, bus depot, airport, department store, shopping mall or movie theatre but GIVE ME A BREAK, I’m going to be on a fairway in the middle of an open air golf course and I KNOW that I won’t be bothering anyone!!!!! Come and get me!!!!! Whoever you are, wherever you are!!!!!!!!
I can’t go down without a fight!!!!!!
The best cigar I smoked last week was a Cohiba Robusto that I lit up just before the Canadian Country Music Awards. I was standing around outside the Rexall Centre in Edmonton, the weather was warm, not much wind and I was reminded once again as to why this could be my favorite cigar, smooth, a bit herbal and very balanced.
I had a great time sharing my cigar with a few friends as I did my best to introduce cigar smoking to the many cigarette smokers that were part of the entertainment and crew who waited for the show to begin. I have some friends in a successful Canadian country band called “Doc Walker”, who love smoking cigars and they gave me 3 Romeo y Julieta No. 1′s in aluminum tubes. I smoked one of these on the drive back to Vancouver the next day and I was very impressed with the quality of that cigar. These are good ol’ Canadian cowboys who love to have a good time and always put on a terrific show.
The Awards show itself was great to see live and I believe the highlight of the night was when “One More Girl” hit the stage. They had a 9 piece band that played live and sounded great while the girls, Britt and Carley, sang impeccably. The girls won their first award in the “Rising Star” category which once again reminded me that they will have a bright and long career. But I always knew that.
More cigars were smoked after the show with a few different singers at some of the late night jams that always take place during that week of industry festivities. Hearing Canada’s finest musicians play off the cuff with members of other groups is always a big treat and always delivers some of the finest performances of the week.
Next year the Canadian Country Music Association will be holding it’s awards show in Hamilton, Ontario and anyone wanting to have a great week should buy some boots, maybe a hat and a clean shirt and get ready to have the time of your life.
Here I sit in Vancouver on my last day in the Pacific North-west typing and puffing away on a Cuban as I try to imagine what will be revealed in this week-end’s Canadian Country Music week in Edmonton, Alberta, the host city for this year’s Canadian Country Music awards Show on Sunday night. I love attending this event and as years go by I see a ton of familiar faces, hear some great late-night jam sessions with Canada’s premier players and smoke beautiful Cuban cigars with more and more friends that I’m trying to convert into full-on wild eyed cigar smokers.
The weather in Edmonton will be rather OK for cigar smoking outside some of that city’s country music venues so I’m not afraid to load up my humidor with some of my better Cubans as I know I’m going to have a lot of opportunities to smoke, listen, drink in almost perfect conditions that just may NOT require long johns and down filled jackets. The city has some very well stocked stores but before I leave I’ll probably drop down to “The Vancouver Cigar Company” and see what Cuban favorites I can take to Alberta.
The country music industry has contributed some very big participants, through the years, in North America’s country music scene and this year I know I’ll be seeing and listening to some of Canada’s singers, home from their new neighborhoods in Nashville to entertain, compete and talk to the rest of us who support this industry. Names like Shania ( only one name needed ), Anne Murray, Hank Snow, Terry Clark, Derick Ruttan have represented our country very proudly and contribute loads to the genre of music that more and more people listen to these days.. Hey, let’s face it, country music these days is nothing more to Def Leopard with fiddles. Something huge happened to country music when rap came out, people switched their radio stations over to Country music stations and the industry adjusted to these new listeners.
Now lets get back to the cigars for a moment…… There are still a ton of cigarette smokers out there who are very open minded about having smoke in their systems but still don’t have a clue as to how great Cuban cigars taste. My passion here is to mill around the different smoking areas at this annual event and stick the odd cigar in someone’s face that really need it. This is something that we should all do to improve the health, enjoyment and well being of our friends out there. I will probably take my supply of Cohiba Robustos, Esplendidos and Silgo I’s ( for those short windows of opportunity for smoking ) and enjoy them with some of Canada’s movers and shakers, VJ’s, promoters, agents and general yahoos…….
Wish me ( and my liver) luck!