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Savor Cigars in The Hardy Room for a Sensational Evening

The Hardy Room

The word aficionado is often equated with cigars. Those who know their cigars … well … they know their cigars. A few words of encouragement here: Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be intimidated by those who know them, and don’t be intimidated if you don’t know them but find yourself curious. Cigars can be enjoyed by almost everyone.

At Nemacolin, The Hardy Room is a fabulous night spot to get to know cigars. Whether you’re marking a special occasion, consider yourself an aficionado, or find yourself wanting to try something new, The Hardy Room and The Cigar Shop next door are the perfect spots to take it all in.

Like bourbons, scotches, and other whiskies, every cigar has a story. There’s a lot that goes into that story, and it’s far more than whether it’s from a particular country. There’s the soil for the tobacco, the tobacco itself, the wrapper leaf, the roller, the purveyor, and so much more for the budding aficionado to explore.

But like many who stop by The Hardy Room for the ambience, art, or an engagement with friends, the story of the night is about sitting with people you care about and savoring the vices of a beverage and some great conversation. Connoisseurs and novices are welcome to come in to sip, savor, and smoke. With an extensive menu of swills and cigars, your perfect pairing awaits.

Ty Kinter, The Hardy Room / certified whiskey specialist and cigar expert

The Nemacolin Times connected with Ty Kinter — beverage manager, certified whiskey specialist, and one of our cigar experts — to unwrap the mystery, terminology, how to choose a cigar, and a bit of the rest to get you ready for a sensational evening.

Q: Many people know that Cuban cigars are banned in the U.S. unless they were imported before the embargo in 1962, or during a brief personal-use reprieve from 2014 to 2017, but what other countries are known for producing premium cigars?

A: The Dominican Republic and Nicaragua are known for producing premier cigars, but they also tend to pull tobaccos from Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Cameroon, and Mexico. When Fidel Castro took over Cuba, most of the major cigar-making families fled the country while taking Cuban tobacco seeds with them. Nearby countries came to adopt those families, where most still reside today, and those generational seeds produce some fabulous varieties.

Q:  Please share an overview of the variety of cigars available for purchase at Nemacolin.

A: We have 55 different offerings in The Cigar Shop, ranging from infused standards like the Acid Blondie to rare and hard-to-find cigars such as Partagas cigars from 1972. Prices range from $14 to $5000, and our team is here to help anyone find their perfect cigar.

Cigar - Acid Blondie
The Acid Blondie is a tiny, delicate smoke that is a great cigar for any smoker. The wrapper is Sumatran, and it pairs well with a London Dry Style Gin. The size is 4 x 38, and it's priced at $14 in The Cigar Shop.
In addition to the Partagas 1972 mentioned above, the Partagas 160 Series: Robusto Major, Vintage 1977 is a part of the rare and hard-to-find collection at the resort, with each box is also numbered and autographed by the roller. The wrapper is from Cameroon, and it pairs well with bourbon. The size is 5 x 52, and it's priced at $195 in The Cigar Shop.

Q: If a cigar is strong or mild, what does that mean?

A: A mild cigar has less-intense flavors and affects the body much less than a strong cigar, which typically has rich, full-bodied flavors. In general, the lighter the wrapper leaf is, the lighter the flavor will usually be, often containing hints of cream, floral, or citrus. Whereas darker cigars have had longer sun exposure and fermentation times which often imparts the flavors of coffee, chocolate, wood, or leather may be a part of the profile.

Q: You mentioned body. Can you explain the differences in the body of a cigar in regard to its strength?

A: Simply put, while the terms body and strength are often used interchangeably, strength tends to refer to nicotine content while body refers to smoke density and the flavors on the palate. Stronger or darker cigars tend to have higher levels of nicotine due to the type of leaves used. Other factors include the soil the tobacco is grown in and the way the tobacco is picked and fermented.

Q: Can you explain how binders, tobacco, and wrapper leaves all contribute to the quality, flavor, and strength of a cigar?

A: Wrappers contribute a large portion of flavor with the cigar and tend to use the highest quality leaves. We often focus on the nationality and seed of the leaf (which usually differs from the tobacco inside) to generalize the expected flavor profile. The binder is the backbone of the cigar as it holds the filler in place and contributes to the overall structure of the cigar. The filler is where we get the strength. Tobacconists will use blends of different portions of the tobacco plant to affect the burn time and strength of the cigar.

Q: Is there a best cigar for beginners interested in exploring taste and aroma?

A: For a good beginner cigar, I usually recommend the Macanudo Vintage 2006 for its strong notes of cedar, and the Avo Uvezian Robusto for its creamy, peppery, and somewhat nutty flavors.

The Macanudo Vintage 2006 is one of three famous Macanudo vintage selections at the resort, with the 2006 being the mellowest of the three. It provides notes of cedar, cream, and a delicate spice. The wrapper is a Connecticut Shade, and it pairs well with scotch. The size is 5 1/2 x 52, and it's priced at $31 in The Cigar Shop.
The Avo Uvezian Classic will deliver a mild body with expressive floral notes accompanied by spice and cream. The wrapper is a Connecticut Shade, and it pairs well with a Young Speyside Scotch. It's available in two sizes: 5 1/2 x 50 and 7 1/2 x 52, and it's priced at $28 & $31, respectively, at The Cigar Shop.

Q: How does choosing a cigar feel similar to choosing a wine or bourbon?

A: Cigars are similar to wine and bourbon in terms of what we look for in choosing a product. The three questions I ask are:

  1. What do I like?
  2. What am I feeling?
  3. What’s the occasion?

If you’re doing a cocktail hour before dinner, I would choose a light cigar, just as someone might choose an aperitif wine like a sauvignon blanc. To close out an evening, people often have a wine or bourbon they prefer, and that could influence their preferred cigar, too. We can help you select a cigar that will make you happy.

Q: How does choosing a cigar differ from choosing a wine or bourbon?

A: Cigars are different primarily in that the time commitment is based on the length and thickness of the cigar as well as the cut. Longer and thicker cigars tend to burn for a while, so picking a cigar to fit the timing of the occasion is necessary. The cut influences the timing of the cigar as well. Straight cuts tend to burn faster than V-cuts and punch cuts which draw the breath and the smoke through a cigar in a different manner.

Q: What else would you like guests to know about choosing a cigar from The Cigar Shop or enjoying cigars in The Hardy Room at Nemacolin?

A: We are dedicated to helping you find the right cigar for your time in The Hardy Room. We’re also here to help you with choosing a gift, taking a box or selection of cigars home with you, or with storing your private collection of cigars in one of our humidors. When you need assistance or have questions about cigars or beverages, our team is more than happy to help.

Cigar Humidor in The Hardy Room

At The Cigar Shop, you'll find more than 50 cigar offerings ranging from decadent and flavored cigarillos to rare and indulgent finds. Cigars come in all different shapes and sizes, and sizing is simply measured by length and diameter. Some people enjoy various shapes of cigars based on the mouthfeel, choosing a torpedo (a pointed top), or a pyramid (a cigar that flares outward toward the bottom) over a standard cigar. Whatever cigar shape and size you choose, we would be pleased to assist in pairing cigars in The Hardy Room with your favorite spirits, whether whiskey, tequila, rum, brandy, or cognac.

The Hardy Room and The Cigar Shop are located just beyond the lobby of The Chateau. The room is open for quiet reading or relaxation during the morning and afternoon and during the evenings and late-night for bar service and cigar selection.

For more information, connect with our team at 724.329.6188 during evening hours. The Cigar Shop can be reached afternoons and evenings at 724.329.6185. For any questions about your upcoming stay, a Resort Reservations Specialist is happy to assist you at 724.780.2156.

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