Ever heard of a cigar sommelier?
There are about 250 master cigar sommeliers in the world.
That is because there is a very rigorous training and certification process.
This course is not for the novice. It is mainly for the cigar industry professionals; who open their own shops or lounges and want to better serve their community with their knowledge.
I met one of these cigar sommeliers online recently.
His Instagram name is cigars_andcoffee but in real life his name is Bradley.
A young man, who lives in Perth, Australia.
Here is our interview:
BSW: Good afternoon Bradley, thank you so much for sitting down and chatting for a bit.
Can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself.
CaC: No problem, I'm originally from Scotland and I'm part Scottish and part African. I live in Perth, Australia and I'm 30. I was born with mild Cerebral Palsy and I moved to Australia when I was five years old. My mom has S.A.D, which means, Seasonal Affectedness Disorder) so we have to live in a warmer climate because of it.
BSW: I see you brought a cigar with you. What are you going to smoke?
CaC: I have a Crowned Heads Mil Dias.
BSW: Can you describe it for me?:
CaC: It is a medium-bodied cigar which will go very well with the Latte that you are drinking. It is sweet and has a rich complex flavor profile.
BSW: Well I am going to have to try that one.
CaC: What are you smoking on?
BSW: I am smoking on Monte Cristo White.
CaC: That's a nice one.
BSW: So let's get right to it. Why did you decide to start smoking cigars?
CaC: I started smoking cigars because i was fascinated about the history and culture of the cigar industry. I also wanted to know how the cigars were made.
BSW: What do you get out of smoking a cigar?
CaC: Relaxation. Time for myself and also I get to find like minded people.
BSW: So it's 11 am here in Australia and moving into the early afternoon. What time do you normally like to enjoy a cigar?
CaC: Generally around this time. I like it around 10 am and 10:30; with breakfast.
BSW: So let's talk about being a sommelier. Was it hard and how did you decide that you wanted to do this?
CaC: The reason I became a cigar sommelier is because of my passion and my interest in the cigar industry and the culture as a whole. Having this on my resume would benefit me greatly in finding work within the cigar industry. Whether brick and mortar or at a restaurant, where smoking is allowed. The course was very intense but interesting at the same time. I specifically took my time with the course because I wanted to get it right. I found that it drew me in more as I was learning about the industry and the tobacco itself. Plus the benefits are that I can work in the cigar retail business or the hospitality business.
BSW: When did you decide to launch the Instagram page and why?
CaC: At first my IG page was built around bartending and as I got into the cigars I transitioned it to the cigar page. I founds that when I did that, I got more and more contacts and people reaching out to me because they liked my posts and the knowledge I gained as I progressed in smoking cigars.
BSW: How is the cigar culture in Australia?
CaC: ?There is a very limited cigar culture here in Perth because where I live, it isn't a very heavy presence. It's hard to find people of the same mind as me. For instance, here in Perth, we only have one cigar lounge and it is extremely hard to get approved to build cigar lounges because of the anti smoking laws.
BSW: Wow, that makes it very difficult for people to enjoy cigars. I guess that is why you smoke mainly at home. What is your favorite cigar?
CaC: My favorites are Viva La Vida Jester by Tabacalera A.J Fernandez Cigars De Nicaragua and S.A & Drew Estate Undercrown Maduro.
BSW: I see I'm going to have to try those. Do you have one that you don't like?
CaC: There isn't one that I don't like, per se. It might not fit my palate or flavor profile that I enjoy.
BSW: Give me the process for smoking a cigar.
CaC: It's really quite simple. You have to learn how to smoke a cigar before you even try to do it because there is a significant difference in the way to smoke a cigar and how to light it. It's not like lighting a cigarettes. There is a science to it but once you learn how to cut, light and smoke it; it's one of the simple pleasure's that you will enjoy.
BSW: Wow, has it already been an hour. My cigar is almost done and so is yours; so I guess that means that our time is done. I thank you so much for sitting down with me and telling my readers all about this cigar life. We are now, BOTL and SOTL. (brothers of the leaf and sisters of the leaf)
There you have it! Next week we will get more into the world of cigar smoking with another interview.
Stay reading and stay with me.