Cheap, Foul Gas Station Cigars I Have Endured

 gas station cigars

This page last updated 03/14/2019

A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke." --Rudyard Kipling

A few years back, when I was young and stupid, I enjoyed smoking cigars.  Not those expensive cigars
 that you need cigar clippers, humidors, and so on for.  I'm talking about gas station cigars: the ones in small boxes that are individually wrapped and made by machine.

I don't think I enjoyed cigars for the flavor: they put a bad taste in my mouth and made me sick to my stomach.  I enjoyed  the idea of sitting down, reading, and taking my time with something other  than working.  Oh, ad when restaurants allowed smoking, I enjoyed clearing out the rest of the place.

In the 19th century, there was a whole ritual to smoking cigars  There were no machine made cigars back then.  In their own way, the people back then had their own special kind of coolness..  Picture a smoking room, dimly lit by gas lights.  Around the room are interesting knick-knacks   from past generations, and from around the world.  There is a large painting of some family member, long dead, with a gilded frame.  There is a roaring fireplace to provide some heat., with  a throw rug made of some animal (usually a bear) in front of the fireplace. In an overstuffed leather chair is a gentleman in a smoking jacket, reading a thick book, pondering its meaning.  There is a fancy table sized humidor on his left (the kind with a cigar clipper, a naptha cigar lighter, an ashtray and cigar storage).  On a side table on his right is a fancy cut glass bottle of brandy and a snifter half full of it..  He has a dog at his feet.  Our gentleman has a cigar in one hand, which he smokes languidly.  In between puffs, he lays the cigar in an ashtray and swirls the brandy in its snifter, before taking a small sip of it.  Then he goes back to his cigar, and his book.

Nowadays, of course, people don't do things that way, and more's the pity.

Some people like brandy with their cigars.  I preferred a good sized chunk of cheddar cheese: the cheese would cut the flavor of the cigars.  My happiest memory was sitting on my front porch with a cigar and some cheese and watching the traffic go by.

 Why are cheap cigars called gas station cigars?  That's what cigar aficionados call them.  I usually bought mine at grocery stores or Walgreen's. 

My criteria for buying cigars-- they had to be

*no tips
*no filters
*available in boxes of 5 or 50 (no single tube cigars, and no cigars in plastic bags)

And Now, The List:

w penn
"America's great cigar."

These were the cigars I first started smoking.  They're still being made, but are very hard to find.  They had a taste like green grass, but they were cheap.  That was good enough for me.

king edwqard
"Smoke 'm."

Not too bad.  They were a definite step up from William Penns.

swisher sweets
"The sweet times start here."

Swisher Sweets Well, they did taste sweet. These were a fairly mild smoke; nothing distinctive.  Dopeheads like to hollow these out and fill them with marijuana.

dutch masters
"Step up to Dutch Masters, and smile, brother, smile."

A decent middle of the road cigar.

"Hey big spender, spend a little dime on me."

Who could resist a cigar sold by Edie Adams (wife of the late, great Ernie Kovacs)?  Sad to say, this was a rather forgettable cigar. 

"How can anything that looks so wild taste so mild?"

I tried these a couple of times, more for the uniqueness than anything else.  They were too expensive for my taste.  Another run of the mill cigar,  in every other aspect.

white owl
"White  Owl Invincible: the cigar that makes you feel that way."

Not a bad cigar, and not a great cigar.  It got the job done.

"Should  a gentleman offer a lady a Tiparillo?"

My uncle accidentally left these at my house, so I tried them.  I'm glad I didn't buy them.  They really didn't meet my criteria for cigars at all.  They were bland.  As to whether a gentleman should offer a lady a Tiparillo, not if he wants to see her ever again.

"Still an honest cigar."

These look like they would be some sort of super fancy cigar that you'd need to use a clipper on.  Not so!  They were rather forgettable gas station cigars.

roi tan
"The cigar that breathes."

I liked these more for the name and all the catch phrases  it had.  One would be enough, but they also had three more: "No biting off ends," "The hole in the head," and "Draws easily."  One catch phrase would be enough for most cigars, but not Roi-Tans.  These are no longer being made, unfortunately.

phillies blunts
"Put a pack of pleasure in your pocket."

I bought these when I couldn't find a brand I liked.  These were a big favorite among rappers.  When PCP was a thing, people would go to drug houses and hand the dealer a Phillies blunt.  He'd dip it in liquid PCP, and hand it back to the user.  Supposedly people would also hollow these out and put in marijuana.  These are the quintessential gas station cigars: stomach sickening, foul tasting, with a taste that lingers in your mouth for a couple of days.

Quitting cigars was easy enough: it was an occasional habit, and I was always working on some project or another.  And one day I realized I had stopped smoking.  My cigar smoking days are behind me now, and with my health the way it is, it's doubtful I will go back.  But oh boy, do I have fond memories of those times.