Before lockdown, I visited a couple of cigar bars, terraces & smoking lounges across London, some of which I posted about here. Whilst I like smoking solo, I realised pretty quickly that I don’t know of any other cigar smokers. During the lockdown, I started signing up to various cigar groups and events. I joined a variety of online herfs in the hope of finding and being part of a community of cigar smokers.
As a member of the club, you can taste a cigar with others and compare thoughts without having to take the leap of faith into buying a box. There is a £20.00 per stick limit, so prices are pretty affordable too.
At the time it looked like they were closed and not taking on any new members, so I registered my interest.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and Matt announced on his Cigar Club LDN instagram page that memberships were opening up. I immediately completed the form, I paid my £20.00 membership fee and awaited on next steps.
At that point, I was added to the Cigar Club LDN slack channel, a community of other cigar smoking members. This felt much more modern than the typical forum style communities out there. I quickly introduced myself and it was nice to be greeted by other members.
Next up it was announced that the next monthly meet would feature a coffee-infused cigar… here’s Matt’s description of it…
“February’s stick is the Tabak Especial Oscuro Robusto from Drew Estate. This stick is Nicaraguan tobacco infused with Nicaraguan coffee! Drew Estate has taken the art of blending coffee and cigars to new heights. Slowly infusing rich tobaccos with the finest Fair Trade harvest coffees from the fertile mountains of Nicaragua, they have created a smoking experience that is pure tobacco velvet upon the palate with the perfect nuance of luscious espresso.”
Ring Gauge: 54
Strength: Medium Bodied
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Dirty Fabien from Drew Estate talks about this cigar…
Cigar ClubLDN also collaborated with 80 stone coffee roasters in Croydon so that members could smoke this cigar with a nice bit of coffee, the ‘India Bono Plantation’ alongside it.
So for just under an additional £20.00 we got a cushty cigar and some coffee. Unfortunately I was too late to grab one of the coffees as it was first come first serve.
Once our orders were in and dates for a Zoom session were confirmed… the next step was to wait for the delivery of this stuff.
A couple of days later, this nice little package arrived through the post…
So once all that was in place, it was time to start the Zoom call and light the cigars… as mentioned this time around I missed out on the coffee deal, so a few minutes before the call I was running around my flat trying to find some kind of drink to go with my cigar. I literally had nothing in the cupboards apart from some hot chocolate (haha, I know not the best idea but f*ck it, let’s give it a shot!).
The Zoom call was made up of a small friendly bunch of CigarClubLDN members including Jay Walking Josh, who is becoming a bit of a cigar quiz host legend (check out his weekly quizzes on Sautters Instagram Live).
There was some good chat.
I was initially put off at first by the foot of the cigar, which looked messy and not cut properly. But never judge a book by its cover, the Tabak Especial Oscuro Robusto was absolutely stunning to smoke.
Matt asked what my thoughts were of the cigar… I found it tricky to answer, as I mentioned I struggle with identifying flavours. It was definitely a sweet tasting cigar.
This helped me identify that the cigar I was smoking was sweet with a hint of chocolate dark and cappuccino flavours. I enjoyed it that much, I’ve actually purchased a few more. I suppose that’s the point of these clubs, to introduce to cigars you may have never smoked.
It appears that club members will be reviewing the cigar fully on the Cigar Club LDN instagram live next weekend… Sat 20th February 2021 at 2pm GMT. I look forward to the next few events.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of Cigar Club LDN sign up here!