Enjoying a Cigar with The Hogtown Rake

“Because we were having a mid-morning smoke, I chose a cigar on the milder end of things. These Quai d’Orsay panatelas are from a 2007 box, right around the time they were discontinued by Habanos S.A. It is a crying shame that these are no longer available because while mild in strength, they explode with flavour, especially with almost ten years of age. I also find thinner ring gauge cigars the most elegant.

I cut the cigars with a Laguiole cigar cutter, which are hand crafted in France. This one is inlaid with bone and is an absolutely lovely object to look at, hold in the hand and use.

I always test the draw of my cigars right after cutting, of course, to determine if I need to take a bit more off. This is especially important with panatelas which, being more challenging to roll than larger ring gauges, can sometimes be a bit tight.

Being such a thin cigar, I tend not to light them with torch flames which can singe the cigar. Instead, I used the traditional method of a split of cedar wood from a cigar box. This method is tricky, with far less control, but it’s also more fun.

This method is tricky, with far less control, but it’s also more fun.

A panatela needs to be smoked slowly and I actually prefer to smoke them when I’m on my own, so I can really focus on the subtle yet varied flavours. The long size means a smoking time of over an hour with a lovely journey along the way.”

Pedro Mendes is a freelance writer and founder of the Toronto-based men’s sartorial site The Hogtown Rake.

Article originally appeared on Casa di Sartoria and has been republished with permission.

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