Dave Yancey


Why I’m not a smoker, but I smoke Disclaimer:  Do your research on the effects of smoking on your health and consult with your doctor if necessary. The pleasure of cigar smoking has been around for centuries, with the first depiction of a cigar dating back to the tenth century. With the adventures of Columbus in the fifteenth century, cigars made their way to Europe, thus bringing the tradition of smoking cigars to the rest of the world. While tobacco has been linked to health risks such as cancer dating back to the 17th century, it wasn’t until the 1920’s that the first medical report linked smoking tobacco to lung cancer, and not until the 1950s and 60’s that it was confirmed that tobacco was considered to be a cause of a range of serious diseases. As you are doing your research, you will find in both the conclusion of the reports and the data sets that cigars are considered the same as cigarettes. You can determine this in statements such as the following excerpt from “Cigars: Health Effects and Trends Monograph 9,” published in Feb 1998 and last updated in Dec 2020. The smoke from both cigars and cigarettes is formed largely from the incomplete combustion of tobacco, and therefore it comes as no surprise that cigar smoke is composed of the same toxic and carcinogenic constituents found in cigarette smoke. Nowhere in this publication does it discuss the differences between cigars and cigarettes and how they are made. No mention of how cigars are 100% natural with no additional chemicals added as opposed to cigarettes. You will also notice that when looking at the data sets of this report and many other reports that the cigar smokers used in the studies, the majority are dual smokers, meaning they…

One of the joys of writing reviews on cigars, whiskeys, and the pairings between them is that you will often have the opportunity to try a new cigar or whiskey and pair them that you may not otherwise have. That is the case with Don V by Oscar Valladares. Cigar: The Don V is a collaboration between Oscar and Vick Shah, who owns the Norwood Royal Cigar lounge in Chicago. The Vitola I had the opportunity to smoke was a Toro, Maduro in shade, and a Honduran Puro. One thing that stuck out to me throughout the smoke was that it was consistent in its earth, leather, and gamey notes with very subtle transitions of cocoa between the first and second third and coffee between the second and final third. Whiskey: Makers Mark Private Select starts as a Makers Mark 46 bourbon, but then the selection begins from a choice of any combination of five different staves to finish the bourbon. The particular expression for this pairing came in at 108.5 proof and was aged between 5 and 7 years. The nose presented caramel and black cherries, while the palate brought buttercream oils with black cherries and cocoa. Pairing: You are looking for a marriage of the flavors with any pairings between a cigar and a drink. This marriage will either present through a complementary pairing where similar notes complement each other and enhance those flavors. Contrast pairings are another form of pairing that differs from complementary, where flavors will contrast and balance each other. The final style, which presents a nice marriage between the flavors, will be a balanced pairing, where neither cigar nor drink will impact each other and offer just a pleasant rounded experience. Through each third of the cigar, drawing from the cigar first and then…

PCA argues that the FDA does not address its questions lined out in the deeming rule regarding cigars. A study cited in the FDA Rule states that there is no statistically significant increase in health risk among cigar smokers who smoke 1 – 2 cigars per day.   Thank you, PCA for all that you do for our industry. For further reading please refer to the original article here.

Jack Daniel’s announces the release of their brand new Bonded Series which will include the two new permanent expressions of Jack Daniel’s Bonded Tennessee Whiskey and Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash Blended Straight Whiskey. Both expressions are Bottled-in-Bond which follows the stipulations laid out in the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, a bonded whiskey must be distilled at a single distiller in a single season, aged in a government bonded rickhouse for at least four years, and bottled at 100 proof. The Jack Daniel Distillery has been making exceptional American whiskey to the highest standards for generations, before and after the Bottled in Bond Act, dating back to the days of Mr. Jack himself,” said Chris Fletcher, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller. “Jack Daniel’s Bonded and Triple Mash are a nod to our heritage with a touch of innovation and craftsmanship. These whiskeys are another opportunity for both our friends and new drinkers to explore and discover everything Jack Daniel’s has to offer.” Read more here

FDA Announces Proposed Flavored Cigar Product Standards Rule If you’ve been following the news and proposed legislation around cigars and especially “flavored” cigars lately then you’re quite aware that the FDA has had a target on this classification. It started with vaping and menthol cigarettes and the proposed legislation has also included flavored or infused cigars.  Below is an excerpt from the article published on the PCA website. Today, the Food & Drug Administration and the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) announced their “Tobacco Product Standard for Characterizing Flavors in Cigars” proposed rule, which would prohibit characterizing flavoring in all cigars. On March 10th the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) was the first stakeholder group to meet with the Office of Management & Budget, Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, and Food & Drug Administration to raise concerns about this pending rule, ask for clarification on the specifics, and make recommendations about further research on international implications and impact on small businesses. PCA asserts that the agency still has left many questioned unanswered specifically on: characterizing flavor descriptors total small business impact foreign impact in cigar producing countries impact on minority owned small businesses “The FDA failed to do their homework in this rule and the document is filled with cherry-picked data that mirrors spoon fed talking points from anti-tobacco groups. The proposed rule is a mess that is ripe with potential challenges and reflective of an agency that is unable to prioritize its resources appropriately.” said Greg Zimmerman president of the PCA. For the full article you can find it here.

Cigars for Warriors and The Nubber have been recognized by Cigar Aficionado. Here at Leaf n Grain Society we are proud to have worked and partnered with W.D. Wade of The Nubber on a couple of projects and are proud supporters of Cigars for Warriors.  Head on over to Cigar Aficionado to read more about their recognition and then when you are done reading about them. Stop by each of their pages check out what they do and have to offer. Cigar Aficionado – Cigars for Warriors Celebrates 10 Years Cigars for Warriors The Nubber