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Smoke Speak: Mikael's Cigars

Smoke Speak: Mikael's Cigars

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I'm a proud father of two living in the beautiful city of Gothenburg, Sweden. With over two decades of experience in the tech industry, I currently serve as the CTO at a small but mighty digital studio. I'm passionate about using technology to solve complex problems and improve people's lives.

So how did you get into the cigar world?

Since childhood, I've been captivated by the allure of cigars. My grandfather was a pipe smoker, and I would relish the scent of the smoke that filled the air whenever he lit up. Unlike cigarette smoke, which I find unpleasant, cigars possess a certain mystique that is difficult to articulate. There's something almost magical about them, like carrying a campfire with you wherever you go.

In addition to their unique aroma and flavour, cigars have a way of fostering connections between people. It's difficult to argue or feel tension when you're sharing a smoke with someone. This is a tradition that dates back centuries - Native Americans smoked peace pipes during negotiations as a symbol of goodwill and camaraderie. Overall, cigars have a rich cultural history and can evoke a sense of nostalgia and camaraderie. Whether enjoyed alone or in the company of others, there's no denying that there's something special about these time-honoured treasures.

Do you remember your first cigar? Or the first you really noticed and enjoyed?

As a teenager, I tried a cheap cigar out of curiosity, but it wasn't until a trip to Bali in the late 1990s that I discovered the pleasure of a high-quality Romeo y Julieta cigar. Since then, I've explored many different cigars, but that first experience will always be special to me.

What's the cigar scene like where you live?

In the pre-pandemic era, my town was home to three thriving cigar lounges that provided a fantastic atmosphere for enthusiasts to relax and indulge in their passion. Unfortunately, like so many other small businesses, all three were forced to close their doors due to the pandemic. However, thanks to the hard work of my friend Richie, the cigar scene in our town has been revitalised. He just recently launched Sweet Leaf Cigar Club.

Where's your favourite place in the world to smoke?

At home by the pool, in a bistro in Paris, or at a piazza in Italy.

What's your favourite cigar lounge?

Despite only having visited once, I am absolutely enamoured with Havana Cigar Exchange in London. The atmosphere is simply enchanting, and it's clear that the people who work there are truly passionate and knowledgeable about cigars.

Most intriguing cigar you've smoked this year so far?

The Bolivar Gold Medal is a cigar that truly defies expectations. In fact, if I hadn't known better, I never would have guessed that it was a Bolivar. It's a magnificent smoke that is both complex and deeply satisfying. Despite my admiration for this cigar, I'm a bit sad that I missed out on the opportunity to buy a box. The Bolivar Gold Medal is a true gem, and I know that any cigar enthusiast would be lucky to have a box in their collection.

If you could only ever smoke one cigar for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

The Montecristo No. 2 is a cigar that never fails to impress. It's truly amazing and pairs well with almost anything, but for me, it's especially enjoyable with a cup of coffee. There's something truly special about the combination of the rich, complex flavours of the Montecristo No. 2 and the deep, rich flavours of a good cup of coffee. It's a pairing that I never get tired of, and it always feels like a special treat.

Whether you're a seasoned cigar aficionado or a newcomer to the world of cigars, the Montecristo No. 2 is a must-try. Its exceptional flavour profile and versatility make it a favourite among cigar enthusiasts the world over, and it's easy to see why.

Favourite book and why?

"The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz" by Eric Larson is a truly captivating book about an extraordinary man. Sir Winston Churchill was a complex figure who never ceases to fascinate me, and this book provides a deep and insightful look into his life and legacy. Larson's writing is both engaging and informative, and he weaves together a fascinating narrative that captures the spirit of the times and the people who lived through them. Whether you're a history buff, a fan of Churchill, or simply looking for a good read, it is an excellent choice. Through its pages, you'll gain a new appreciation for Churchill's character, his determination, and his unwavering commitment to his country during one of its darkest hours. It's a book that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone interested in the life and legacy of one of history's most fascinating figures.

Besides cigars, what are some of your other favourite interests?

I cherish spending quality time with my loved ones, and nothing makes me happier than being with my family. Apart from that, I am an avid chess player and enjoy taking leisurely walks. In fact, this summer, I'm planning a hike in Italy or southern France with my dear mother, which I'm really excited about.

What's something always worth paying for?

While time may be priceless, investing in quality products can be a wise decision in the long run. Whether it's cigars, food, coffee, or watches, paying extra for quality is often worth it. It's better to have one item of superior quality than two of inferior quality since you'll cherish it more and take better care of it.

What's in store for you for the rest of this year?

This year, my family and I have exciting travel plans. We're heading to Spain to reunite with some dear friends we haven't seen in a while, and we're looking forward to spending quality time together. Additionally, I hope to visit Italy again and indulge in one of my favourite pastimes—smoking a cigar at a beautiful piazza after relishing a delicious Italian meal.

What is your rule to live by...? 

Dress well and respect others.

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