High roller Lifestyle

My top five cigars

Written by The Eagle

This article first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2012 issue of World Gaming magazine.

It seems an almost universal truth that recreational gamblers enjoy smoking whilst playing. Smoking and the punt have gone hand in hand for centuries. One can easily imagine those crazy seventeenth century French aristocrats enjoying tobacco whilst spewing chips with reckless abandon.

Casinos all over the world go to great lengths to ensure players can enjoy whichever tobacco product is their chosen vice. Although smoking in indoor public places was banned from January 1 this year in Macau, only 50 percent of casino floors need to be smoke free, and even then only from January 1 next year.

The worldwide assault on smoking in public places has led to a re-emergence of dedicated smoking venues, such as quality cigar bars, which in turn has led to an increased appreciation of the fine art of the cigar. I present to you my review of the “top five” casino cigars, ending with my nomination for the finest cigar for practitioners of the felt.

For the review, I have of course selected only Cuban cigars. Anything else would be sacrilegious. We will stick to one size, the robusto. The length and width of the robusto makes it a perfect casino cigar, lasting between 25 and 45 minutes. Just enough time to enjoy that winning streak at the tables and take a break before lady luck abandons you. [Ed: actually the Montecristo no. 2 mentioned below is technically a torpedo, but it is very similar to a robusto in size and burn time.]

Number 5:
Hoyo de Monterrey


Given the hundreds of cigars around the world, coming in fifth is no disgrace. Allow me to present a milder smoke, the Hoyo de Monterrey. This fine cigar exudes a mild, sweet, light flavor with an easy draw through a fairly loose wrap. Unlike the others, the smoke plume from the Hoyo is less in your control. Be warned! As you enjoy the bliss, fellow players and gaming staff may give you the evil eye.

Number 4:
Partagas Series D


The Partagas Series D suffers the exquisite agony of fourth place – the best in the world not to receive a medal. This cigar exhibits a strong and masculine feel. You are likely to have more flavor with each draw compared to the others. Slightly more bitter, it can be considered a cigar fit for a man. It is not wound as tightly as some, so light up and enjoy a faster burning, flavorsome yet slightly more relaxed cigar, which should see you through in less than 30 minutes.

Bronze medal:
Romeo y Julieta


The Romeo y Julieta, the preferred brand of Sir Winston Churchill, is made of tighter tobacco. It is constructed to allow the smoker to control both the intake and the plume. More flavorsome than the Hoyo, and more tightly bound than the Partagas, you gain both friends and a longer lasting smoke with this one, qualifying it for a podium finish, albeit bronze.

Silver medal:


Cohiba’s distinctive yellow and black band instantly evokes a sense that some joy is about to be spread. The Cohiba started life as a homemade blend, given to Fidel Castro through one of his bodyguards by a local cigar artisan. Castro considered the flavor so appealing he established the Cohiba factory. The rest, as they say, es la historia. Upon placing the Cohiba in your mouth you are instantly impressed with the way the cigar has been constructed. Light it up and take a few draws and you’ll find an aroma and flavor that is hard to rival. Even after being imported half way around the globe, the Cohiba maintains its even burn. An unlucky second place finisher, it will take you a little longer than the others to finish, giving you enough time to clean up during a lengthy lucky streak.

Gold medal:
Montecristo No. 2


Montecristo is a name familiar to cigar aficionados with everyone having their own “favorite Monte”. The No. 4 is said to be an ideal beginner’s cigar whilst the No. 2 is the standard by which all other cigars should be measured. For me, we have a champion! This Montecristo robusto exhibits all the quality of the Monte brand. Slow burning and still very mild, it has a controlled plume and long lasting and consistent flavor, right to the very end. The Montecristo robusto provides ultimate control of both tobacco and smoke!

And here comes the disclaimer my editor has insisted upon. This information is only for those over the age of 18. Please only smoke where it is legal, and enjoy in moderation.