There’s still a great deal of uncertainty, but one thing is for sure – humans are nothing if not resourceful.
With the advent of lockdown, the internet really came into its own, didn’t it? Those with shares in Zoom looked like soothsayers and we all gathered around our screens to, as Billy Joel might say, ‘forget about life for a while.’
Sautter has been no different and has embraced this new frontier to host events that wouldn’t have seen the light of day in the past. Who’d have thought Laurence would have sanctioned a New World cigars section on his website, let alone host a series of events where manufacturers from countries such as Nicaragua are able to showcase their special products and methods.
There’s still plenty of Cuba action, too, of course; and the bi-weekly Instagram Live shows featuring Laurence and Nick Hammond continue unabated – that is apart from a holiday or two, hospitalisation or a technical glitch. A regular gaggle of friends and inquisitive newcomers from all over the globe tune in to listen to whatever poppycock Nick and Laurence decide to talk about next. And there’s lots of cigar talk, too, of course, as well as a weekly quiz in which LD demonstrates his generosity by gifting cigars to those whose cigar-related knowledge performs best under pressure.
Sautter’s famous YouTube review channel has been warmly welcomed since its return to action after a long la- off following lockdown; at the moment, shows are going up virtually every day, so if you have a spare half hour or so and fancy a laugh and a subtly diversive diversion, then Sautter YouTube may be just for you.
There have been online humidification courses; Cuban know-how; events with New World cigar makers; photoshoots at Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds; tasting and blending sessions; and much more besides. The industry as a whole reports that cigar sales remain strong; after all, what else are you going to do if you don’t fancy heading out and are recommended to work from home?
The truth is, we’re all just making it up as we go along, to a certain extent. The key thing is to keep up morale and keep moving forward. We should be grateful for small mercies – and our love of cigars can play a big part in that.
Use your cigar time, however often and wherever it may be, to take stock and be thankful. We are here and moving onwards, and the future will be brighter. Look out for each other, remain calm and thank your cigar for the solace and redemption it offers you each and every time you light it up. There aren’t many things that’ll calm and de-stress you like a fine cigar.
Support your cigar merchant, wherever he or she may be, and stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow cigar lovers to fight this blight of Covid. Join in the Sautter chats, if only to hear a friendly voice; and reward yourself perhaps with the latest YouTube larks at the end of a long day.
It’ll all be time well spent, and you’ll be with friends.