Morning cigars are either something you know about or something you don’t.
They could be described as being a bit ‘Marmite’; you love ‘em – or you hate ‘em.
For some, nothing quite comes close to their first cigar of the day. To others, the thought is merely repulsive.
“There’s nothing like that first cigar in the morning,” enthuses El Jeffe, Laurence Davis. He loves a cigar at any time of the day, to be honest, but none of them ring his bell quite like that morning smoke.
“Your palate is fresh, your mind is fresh, the cigar just kickstarts your day. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning.”
There’s a general consensus that you should start with a light cigar and get gradually heavier throughout the day, though many Sautter regulars think nothing of firing up a full-bodied specimen before they’ve contemplated a full English. (If you’re interested, El Jeffe’s morning cigar of choice is the Montecristo Open Eagle).
But as a Summer rain shower pattered down over the Mount Street rooftops this week, we pondered the art of the morning cigar. What makes it work? How does one go about selecting such a smoke which won’t chew you up and spit you out before your day has barely begun?
The consensus here is that to go smooth and light is the favourable option. And the consensus is that a good breakfast first is also a pre-requisite. We’re not all Laurence Davis, who monsters down his Open Eagle before he’s broken his fast. The man’s hardcore.
A small, light and delicate cigar is very popular – although many morning smoke fans cojoin their selected smoke with a morning cup of coffee so it has to be able to withstand this. The ever reliable Hoyo de Monterrrey Marque is an obvious choice. The legendary Epi 2 maybe a little on the large side, but the Petit Robusto fits the bill very nicely. And if even that’s too much of a mouthful first thing, why not search out the diminutive but still handrolled du Maire. It’s a little masterpiece, a tiny cigar yet with a surprising body and complexity. And it comes in the dinkiest little cabinet box you’ll ever see. It’s not a cigar you see often, but when it’s good, it’s great. Speak to your friends at Sautter to see if they can source you some with a little age.
As the morning segues into lunchtime, something a little larger can be contemplated perhaps. The under-rated Raphael Gonzalez Petit Corona is another overlooked smoke, but it’s consistent, medium and toasty and livens up the palate beautifully. Or perhaps a cheeky Ramon Allones Choix Supreme if you’ve had a really good brekker and you’re ready to get a great day rocking and rolling.
Finally, as with anything, experiment with your breakfast smoke. You’ll find something that’ll fit the bill if you look hard enough, whether for you its kippers and a Fonseca or Eggs Benedict followed by a sweet and biscuity chewy Por Larranaga Petit Corona.