The cigar: a mark of sophistication, authority and good taste. The carefully selected leaves, the process of drying and rolling; the cigar is an artisan item, equivalent to a sculpture. With such a refined and elegant product, one would expect that the greatest and most important of men to be accompanied by only the very best cigars. The following men have established themselves as true icons and champions of the cigar.
Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston constructed his personal and political image around the cigar and the calm, authoritative air that it exerted. A seasoned cigar smoker since his time spent in Cuba as young officer, he stockpiled cigars throughout his life, amassing around 4,000 at his Chartwell home. His commitment didn’t end there though: he reputedly had a special flying suit designed for his high altitude, long haul flights so that he could enjoy an in-flight smoke. Throughout times of crisis and uncertainty, he would routinely strike up one of his Romeo Y Julieta cigars, emitting soothing, assured puffs of smoke that would relax a room full of anxious advisors.
Al Pacino firmly cemented himself as the icon of cigar smoking as Tony Montana in The Godfather. Since then, he’s referenced the world over when it comes to cigar etiquette. Strong, masculine and never one to play by the rules, Pacino is perhaps the biggest inspiration for men the world over when taking that crucial first puff of the cigar…
Castro and cigars are indistinguishable from one another. With a cigar permanently by his side since 1953, Mr Castro’s seemingly inextinguishable charisma and aggression has been perpetuated by his love of hand rolled tobacco leaves. In the country which is the home of the finest and most exclusive cigars in the world, Cuba, Mr Castro is a living advertising board for his country’s finest product but also living proof that cigars create an image of power and authority.
Threatening and brooding in his thick, guerrilla-like hand, Mr Schwarzenegger has become one of the most visible proponents of the cigar. Whether as Governor of California or as a bodybuilder in his beloved Gold’s Gym, he lives up to his own maxim that “I love to break the rules”. The contents of his humidor are ignited whenever and wherever possible, as he effortlessly glides from gym to café, a cigar an ever present feature in his bear like paw.
A cigar convert relatively late in life, Mr Nicholson is living proof of the therapeutic-like qualities that a cigar can have. After spending around most of his life as a cigarette smoker, Mr Nicholson switched to cigars after realising that smoking half a pack of cigarettes during a round of golf wasn’t actually doing him any good. Now an avid Montecristo smoker, Mr Nicholson not only feels more relaxed having kicked his cigarette habit but also his handicap has gone down to 12.