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Smoke Speak: Ontario Armstrong of No Chaser Magazine

Smoke Speak: Ontario Armstrong of No Chaser Magazine

By Rikesh Chauhan
Photography by Collis Torrington

No Chaser, a magazine spear-headed by the 'King of New York Street Style', Karl-Edwin Guerre, was always going to be something to pay attention to. Following the success of its inaugural issue, the eagerly anticipated second instalment launched whilst we were at Pitti this January. Guerre, as he’s known in menswear circles, has trusted a mere handful of talented people to join him in his venture to create a magazine that changes the menswear narrative, whilst showcasing style in relation to the modern world. Understandably, not just anyone can take the helm as Art Director for such an ambitious movement. Taking the mantle, therefore, is the brilliant — and brilliantly uncompromising — Ontario Armstrong, who we finally caught up with for our Smoke Speak series.

Ontario Armstrong smokes a Montecristo in his interview with EGM Cigars.

Memories of Your First Smoke

Wow. It seems like so long ago, thinking about it. My first cigar was probably back in 2013? It was an upscale cigar lounge in New York City and I was meeting a few people for drinks. By no means did I intend on partaking in smoke, but everyone insisted. To make a long story short, I wasn’t a fan in the beginning but after trying a few different cigars over the course of that year, I found what really works for me and have been a fan of cigars ever since.

What’s Your Favourite Cigar and Why?

My go-to cigar would have to be the Montecristo Edmundo. I like a medium- to full-body cigar, only because it’s a good balance for me and the flavour isn’t overwhelming. This may not matter to most but I also really like the size of this cigar. It’s big, but still practical enough for travels.

How Do You Find Calm in a Chaotic World?

It’s always been important for me to have my alone time. When the world seems a little too much to handle, I usually find a quiet space to myself, turn on something smooth and just reflect on the positive things that are going on around me.

Ontario Armstrong smokes a Montecristo in his interview with EGM Cigars.

Your Favourite Cocktail for the Springtime?

I’d say for the last few years, my go-to has been a good Negroni.

Best Place to Enjoy A Cigar Where You Live

There’s no place like home, really. Since the pandemic hit, I’ve been able to make my home the place I indulge in the simple pleasures.

Something You Regret Not Buying

Haha. Oh man, I still have nightmares about it today. I missed out on buying this beautiful vintage watch by Bulova. It was in great condition and the price was amazing. For whatever reason I told myself I would come back for it later, but when later came, it was gone! Lesson learned brother!

On that note, What Watch Are You Wearing Right Now?

A vintage Elgin manual wind that I’ve had for over ten years.

Ontario Armstrong picks from a selection of EGM Cigars.

What Does Success Look Like to You?

It’s changed as I’ve gotten older. Now, success is being able to find joy and peace in the things around you, and the opportunity to do what you love every day.

What’s Something Always Worth Paying For?

Good food! I’ve always told myself if I were rich, most of my money would (and should) go on food.

What’s In Store for No Chaser in 2022?

It’s looking really good! I think our goal this year is to continue to build on our partnerships and the No Chaser community of contributors. We have a lot of moving pieces going on in the backend, but I think everyone is going to enjoy what we have cooking for issue 3.

Keep an eye out for more from our Smoke Speak series, with some of our favourite people, and let us know who you would like us to feature next. For all your Cuban cigar needs, be sure to explore our collection now.

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