Life takes us down some interesting roads. I am confident that no one plans to fall in love with cigars but there we all were. The Howard G cigar event was supposed to start at six o’clock PM, but when I walked through the door, precisely on time, the festivities were already in full swing. Howard, the brand’s namesake, is a large, heavily muscled man with a generous smile and effortless charm. He is the ideal host in a perfect forum where adults can interact with others who share a passion for fine tobacco and convivial confabulation. The event drew a large but manageable crowd of cigar lovers excited to meet Howard G and experience his cigars. Howard was genuinely happy to meet and talk to everyone in attendance.
I can say without hesitation that The Magic Stick was one of the finest Habanos I have smoked. It was smooth in the extreme featuring cedar with light pepper and floral notes. General Manager Jason Falkenburg and Tobacconist Edca Quinones circulated, ensuring the happiness of patrons. From my vantage point, I witnessed people of different generations listening intently to one another while Men and women of dissimilar ethnicities laughed without reservation. Some were dressed in high fashion, taking every last detail into account; others were dressed casually with only comfort in mind. No one was out of place. And why should they be? Executive Cigars has something for everyone.
There are plenty of overstuffed chairs and an outdoor lounge overlooking Lake Monroe. Seasoned smokers enjoy a humidor that is skillfully curated and carefully maintained. The horseshoe-shaped bar dominates the real estate and is well stocked with bourbons, whiskeys, cognacs, rums, and wine. People are more inclined to start a conversation with strangers when they are comfortable and well cared for. In a world where nearly all media and internet outlets portray American culture as a battleground for two warring tribes of angry authoritarian agitators eager to ostracize each other as means to become the dominant paradigm, the cigar lounge is a welcome refuge.
The emergence of the third-wave cigar boom is a harbinger of hope. Boutique brands like Howard G are not only making well-crafted cigars; they are instruments of transformation. Some are well-known, some are not, but they improve the quality of life of those who enjoy them. Bertrand Russell once said that “To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.” You would probably agree if you were lucky enough to attend the Howard G event hosted at Executive Cigar in Sanford, Florida.