When we were in high school our first experiences with cigars were Swisher Sweets and wood-tipped Hav-A-Tampas. I never much liked either of them, and found that Certified Bonds suited me slightly better. A splurge meant a three-pack of Robert Burns in plastic tubes.
There was a period experimenting with pipes, but apart from this no other form of tobacco pleased me quite like cigars. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff — didn’t like them. I never inhaled cigars, and it took a while before rising income and my cousin Don’s tutoring led to greater understanding, and better smokes.
It’s forgotten now, but the bar at the Public House was cigar friendly for a very long time. Kremer’s would give us a wholesale-like price, and there was a humidor behind the bar where we kept cigars for resale. It boggles my mind in retrospect.
For while I smoked a “premium” cigar each day and regularly smuggled Cubans back from Europe. Gradually my consumption decreased, albeit without any conscious decision to do so. My only rule is to avoid lighting a cigar if there won’t be time to finish it in leisurely fashion. Accompaniment can be coffee, tea, beer or booze — or nothing at all.
I keep cigars as fresh as possible in a humidor at home, and smoke perhaps one every other week in summer, usually with the porch as window on the world. In winter, I visit Riverside Cigars on occasion when in Jeffersonville.
If memory serves, Jeff Mouttet launched Riverside Cigars just before the Sherman Minton Bridge closed for repairs in 2011. Match Cigar Bar next door came later, as did the sadly abortive New Albany expansion. But the Jeffersonville location is going strong, and both Jeff and his shop enjoy a well-deserved national reputation — as the podcast linked below illustrates.
Jeff and his staff do for me with premium cigars what I’ve always done with folks asking for an imported or craft beer to try. I explain to them in rough terms what I’m looking for in terms of size, wrapper and price — and they make spot-on recommendations every single time.
Of course I retain almost none of it, which is what makes it fun to ask again next time I’m there. Near the end of the podcast, Jeff is asked what sort of advice he’d give someone wanting to get into the cigar business.
He answers, “My biggest advice would be to be yourself, do what you do and do it well – and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.”
Exactly. I’m not a podcast devotee, but really enjoyed this one. Follow the link and have a listen — and smoke one if you’re got one.
Episode 64 Jeff Mouttet Riverside Cigar Shop
This week Jeff Mouttet was in Tampa for the Senate Committee Meeting and decided to drive the two hours east to be on the show.
We hear all about his Shop in Jeffersonville Indiana, what happened in Tampa and his views on the future of the cigar industry.
Halfway through this weeks episode we get a guest interviewer drop in and finish the show for Mikey and I.
As always we welcome your thoughts comments and show ideas on our FB page “A Cigar Hustlers Podcast”. You can follow the show on IG @cigarhustlerspodcast, Mike @cigarhustlers and Mike Too @fcc_Mike.
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