Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Ever heard of a cigar sommelier?

Me neither.

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. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


When I decided to try a cigar, I was blown away at how ''creamy'' it felt in my mouth. 

Since that first puff, I had to learn all I needed to know about cigars and why people love them so much.

Surprisingly, I have found a lot of women are enjoying a great stick (cigar) and it has really opened my eyes to what people think and why people indulge in cigars.

Cigars are not a habit; it's a hobby. A hobby that takes time 

Cigars are not something for the faint of heart. It is for the person who wants a new level of relaxation.

It is for the person who wants to enjoy at least 45 minutes of quiet time, alone with their thoughts. 

Do you have the dedication to unwind, unplug and just BE?

Why 45 minutes?

Cigars are different sizes. They are:

Petit Corona4 1/240 to 42
Corona5 1/2 to 642 to 44
Panatela5 1/2 to 6 1/234 to 38
Lonsdale6 1/240 to 42
Lancero7 to 7 1/238 to 40
Churchill6 1/2 to 746 to 48
Robusto4 1/2 to 5 1/248 to 52
Toro6 to 6 1/248 to 50
Presidente7 to 8 1/252 to 60

The smaller ones are about 45 minutes in smoke time. The larger, anything over 5.5, is about an hour to an hour in a half. 

In the times we live in; who can actually put their phone down for 5 minutes; let alone 45 minutes. 

After smoking my first cigar, which was actually a cigarillo. Yes, that is actually the name of it. 

A cigarillo is a smaller cigar; about an inch in diameter and only takes about 15 minutes to smoke, but it is the same concept. Unplug, Unwind and Just Be.

More about cigarillo's in another post. 

Getting to know all that I can about cigars, I began what I normally do. 

I hit the internet and YouTube. 

Boy did I find out a lot of information. There are some amazing women who own cigar lounges, cigar products and who have taken on the male driven industry and come up with a cigar line.

This ride that I am on right now is amazing, won't you join me.

Please follow this journey and you will know more about the cigar industry and the people who are in in.

New past time

 In recent months, I began smoking cigars.

Yes, women smoke cigars.

After having Covid-19 and not having any sense of taste or smell for 6 months, (my smell still has not come back) a friend of mine introduced me to the 'art' of cigar smoking.

I have always enjoyed the smell of a nice cigar but since I didn't smoke, I never tried it.

Well, it is not like smoking cigarettes'. 

Cigars are not inhaled; they are only puffed on. Yes, there is a difference. Puffing a cigar is like sucking through a straw without swallowing. 

You fill your mouth with the smoke and then you simply blow it out. 

It is about the enjoyment and the relaxation. 

Smoking a cigar has also helped with my writing.

In my next novel; Matthew smokes cigars. He has a humidor in his home and with my new found love of cigars; I am patterning his favorite cigar to smoke after someone that I have met who is a Cigar Sommelier. 

Yes, there are sommelier's for cigars just like there is for wine. 

I will go into this more next week. I hope you take this journey with me and who knows; maybe I will convince some of you women and or men to give it a try.

Until next week, keep writing and keep reading. 

Monday, September 13, 2021


Since April, I have been dealing with being a ''long hauler''. 

Since having Covid-19, I still cant smell, my taste came back about three weeks ago but I continue to suffer with fatigue and the massive headache.

I'm a long hauler.

One thing that has gotten me through is my friends. The other thing that has gotten me through are books and the last thing that has gotten me through is cigars.

Yes, you read that right. CIGARS.

I camp a lot and some friends was telling me of the soothing effect that cigars have on their moods and how it just makes everything going on seem less important.

Expressing an interest, that I have always had, Walter and his wife Pam began telling me about the joy they experience when smoking cigars.

After they told me all of this; I told them that I wasn't sure I would be able to smoke it because I don't like inhaling.

That is when they told me that you don't inhale, you only puff. As in suck in a little then blow out. Even showed me and then they gifted me with my very first cigar. +TheStogieCo. Grape was the one they gave me and I loved it. I couldn't taste it, I felt it.

Yes, you feel the creamy, silky smooth vapor in your mouth. It feels like cold vanilla ice cream. Not that store brand ice cream, +HaagenDazs Vanilla. 

I have been in heaven ever since. Cigar heaven. 

It has helped me deal with the headaches and it has helped me deal with no smell. 

In the coming weeks, I will be talking to some people who smoke cigars and why they do, how they started and what it does for them. 

Stay with me cause this ride has just started.

This life change happened and oh, so did retiring after 27 years in the Charles County Public School System.

Yes, my life has changed and I am living my BEST LIFE.

What about you?