Blasting the PastDecember 11, 2012

Gregory L. Pease, Associate Editor
I’ve been smoking through quite a few of my vintage cigars lately, some, now reaching their prime, the last few from boxes I’ve savoured over the years, others, from fuller boxes that are just starting to hit their stride, and that will offer me some fabulous smokes over the years to come. This, I cannot lie, is not a bad thing. What may be a bad thing is that in the three decades I’ve been smoking and aging cigars, I’ve seen a lot of things come, and a lot more go, and one thing that has always been in the back of my mind is the overworked cliché that all things change. Therein lies my gripe, and a guarantee of at least some small degree of future sorrow. Not all change is good, or welcome.

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Once is Never EnoughFebruary 16, 2012

Gregory L. Pease, Associate Editor
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, if only for my own benefit:
A single experience of something worthy of deeper consideration is always insufficient for critical evaluation. One cigar, one bowl of pipe tobacco, one sip of a great whisky does not, cannot, tell the whole story. This was brought home in rather bold relief just the other day when I was smoking the second example of a really good cigar, and found myself enjoying it even more than the first. Here’s the back story.

One of the perks of my job as Associate Editor of a cigar magazine is that I get the occasional free cigar to smoke. (Yeah, okay. Nothing is ever really free.) Sometimes, it’s a single, and though I always appreciate them, I am not likely to write about them, especially if I don’t have much good to say, because it’s unfair to harshly judge a cigar based on a single sample. (The probability of one bad cigar in a box of good ones is higher than the probability of a good cigar in a box of dog rockets.)

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Whither Thou, Corona?January 16, 2012

By Gregory L. Pease, Associate Editor
What fate befalls thee, Lonsadale?

As I begin this, I’m thoroughly enjoying an Alec Bradley American Classic in the portly (6×60) Gordo configuration. Those who know me at all well will recognize, immediately, the import of what I have just written. Yes. It’s true. A big, fat cigar and I are making nice with each other. A year or so ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead smoking something this big, let alone admitting to it in such a public way. But, it seems I’m not quite as narrow-minded about cigar sizes as I once was, and this is a really good smoke, so I can admit, with relative impunity, to expanding my horizons a little.

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It’s a Tough Job …

By Gregory L. Pease, Associate Editor
You’d think it would be the easiest thing in the world, and the best job ever, right?
Smoke a cigar, write some comments about what it tastes like, what it smells like, what it burns like, how much you liked or didn’t like it, and give it a score from a 100 point scale. Simple? Not quite. Since we’re a real magazine, not just another cigar blog, we’ve got a responsibility to our readers to be as fair, as professional, and as objective as possible. We want all our reviewers to deliver commentary and ratings that can be relied upon consistently by our readers. In other words, though we might each like different things (we do), and we might each describe the same cigar differently (we do), we should each wind up assigning that cigar a fairly similar score. That’s where things can get challenging.

What makes Cigar Chronicles reviews different?

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Havana FantasyNovember 2, 2011

By Gregory L. Pease, Associate Editor

Writing for both a pipe and a cigar publication not only allows me to wear two of my favorite hats, but it also gives me the opportunity to express two different voices.
It’s often thought that pipe smokers love agreement, while cigar lovers enjoy the smoke of heated controversy. While there may be some small grain of truth to this, I think all such broad-brush generalizations are unfair to the groups about which they are made. But, this month, I’m running with it, and diving in to splash in the pool of controversy, exploring what I’ll call the Cuban Mystique, and how it’s been used, or abused, to sell cigars, and to sell the sophistication of today’s cigar smoker a few cents short. Granted, this is a more germane topic to US smokers than to those in the rest of the world, but I live here, I’m writing this, and I can’t legally enjoy the precious jewels of Cuban origin because of a presidential decree, executed by JFK in February, 1962, minutes after he’d laid in a sufficient supply of his own favored smokes. El Bloqueo has been in effect ever since.

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Settling InSeptember 28, 2011

By Gregory L. Pease, Associate Editor

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Cigar Chronicles. I’m thrilled to be a part of what promises to be a fun and exciting place for cigar lovers everywhere. The past months have been frantic, interesting, educational and, most of all, a total blast. For those who don’t know me, and for those who do, but might be surprised to find a pipe tobacco guy’s name on the masthead of a cigar magazine, here’s a little background.

My love for the cigar (we’ll ignore the semi-drunken teenage follies with plastic tipped supermarket smokes) goes back to about 1980, beginning on the same day that, as a freshman both in college and to the world of fine tobaccos, I walked into the fragrant, smoke filled shop of Drucquer and Sons, at the time, Berkeley’s premier tobacconist, to begin my schooling on pipe smoking. Little did I know that I would also simultaneously embark on what would turn out to be a lifetime (so far) relationship with fine cigars.

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