A Puff of Humbug

I have read A Christmas Carol many times, but I can’t seem to recall is if

Ebenezer Scrooge smoked a cigar or a pipe, or even smoked at all.

Perhaps Mr. Scrooge (prior to his ghostly visits) would have been too penny pinching to splurge on a box of nice stogies for himself.

And after his epiphany, he probably would have given the money he would spend on cigars to charity.

I realize cigars are not the point in Charles Dickens classic Christmas tale. However, the General Cigar Company, based in Nicaragua, seems to think cigars would have suited Mr. Scrooge quite well. So well in fact that they released a holiday cigar under the brand CAO called Stingy Scrooge.

There is even some rather detailed artwork to go with the cigar. The label, which is about 4 inches wide, features a portrait of Mr. Scrooge with a scowl on his face and a cigar in his mouth, with a snow covered village in the background. I dare say, Charles Dickens could have even used this drawing as the cover for his popular novel.

Once you get past admiring the large label, it’s time to light up. Since the label takes up 2 thirds of the cigar, I would suggest removing it before you start. You don’t want to accidentally start smoking paper with your cigar.

To go with this cigar, I’m having a Christmas classic: eggnog with rum.

I start the cigar. There is a very strong pepper spice to start. This is followed by a medium cinnamon and clove taste. The egg nog goes nicely, the sweetness of the drink balances the solid spice flavour from the cigar.

There are five different tobaccos used in this cigar. The wrapper is a Connecticut Habano. For the filler tobacco, there are leaves from Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. There are no rules as to how many different tobaccos can be used in a cigar. I usually find the more variety used, the more spice taste you get. In the case of CAO, it feels like there is a Christmas bake-a-thon taking place on my tongue.

The Stingy Scrooge is definitely trying to capture the essence of Christmas spice. Personally, this cigar is not my style due to the continuous spice taste. Also, the flavour palate does not shift from one distinct flavour to another. Stingy Scrooge stays constant – aside from the blast of pepper in the beginning.

I would say that this cigar would be nice at a social Christmas gathering, where you smoke it just for show because you are not too concerned with savouring taste.

If you are looking for a very good cigar to truly enjoy on Christmas morning with a cup of coffee and a nice view of snow capped mountains look elsewhere.The Partagas Black Label would be my suggestion due it’s prominent coffee/chocolate/butter/ cedar pine flavour wheel.

However, going back to CAO, their holiday cigars are a tradition. Every year they release two kinds. Last year was Nasty Nutcracker and Rabid Reindeer. This year, pairing up with Stingy Scrooge, is Wicked Winter, which will be the topic of January’s Sips and Stogies.

For the time being, if you happen to come across a Stingy Scrooge, it’s worth a try. The aroma is nice, and the label will make for some good conversation.

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