People Behind the Profile — @alex_kn_cigar

Thank you very much for accepting our interview, it is a pleasure to personally meet you. Who are you?

I am Alex, a 39-year-old cigar aficionado based in Switzerland. You could describe me as a huge fan of fast cars, champagne, and cheese fondue.

What motivated you to start producing content for the community?

Since the beginning of my cigar journey, I really enjoyed taking pictures of cool smokes, nice locations, and fun times with friends to smoke with. Then I decided to put them on Instagram to show the world how I like to have fun in my life.

How is the cigar scene in your country?

Here in Switzerland, there are a lot of cigar smokers compared to other countries. Sometimes you meet someone in a café, have a little chat, and enjoy a good cigar together. Many people like to keep smoking private — for example, I have a few contacts to smoke with, but we wouldn’t do it publicly on a regular basis.

Do you prefer having a cigar alone or with others?

I like to have little company, like 2–4 people. This allows having good conversations without any interruptions. To be honest, smoking alone is not really my thing — I leave that to others.

Enjoying a cigar: inside or outside?

Always outside — even in the winter months. I have built a nice outdoor lounge in my garden, sheltered from wind and rain and I have even installed a gas heater. In Switzerland, we have some very nice smoker lounges and from time to time I also enjoy smoking there with some friends.

We’re going to talk about cigars, no matter their origin. However, we have to ask: What is your favorite cigar-producing country?

Cuba — what else.

Imagine that the embargo on Cuba is lifted. What will happen next?

I honestly do not care too much about this fact. I am too far away to engage on this topic. Good cigars are always rare — that is a fact.

Usually, people have two first-time moments: the first cigar and the cigar that ignited the passion you have today. What were yours?

A friend once offered me a Bolivar Belicoso Fino — I know, a very strong cigar for the beginning — but this specific cigar sparked my passion for cigars.

What’s the best cigar you have ever had?

Without a doubt, a pre-embargo H.Upmann Noellas from the original glass jar. This jar was opened for the first time right before my eyes and — oh boy — what a fantastic smell. Yes, very good memories.

Based on that, what’s the perfect pairing for that specific cigar?

I did not pair this cigar with anything. I enjoyed it pure, which was a very good decision…

Everyone has their ritual when starting a cigar session. What’s yours?

I always like to build scenery for nice pictures, this can take some time! I always “check out” the fridge before I sit down…

Tell us about your collection. What does your humidor look like?

Well, over the years I have collected many cigars, boxes, and jars. Everywhere I go, I like to pick something up to age it and smoke it someday. I guess, everyone could find a cigar they like in my humidor.

When we meet someone, we usually give away one cigar as a gesture of good faith. What was the best cigar you have been offered?

Davidoff Château Haut-Brion, Cuba. Still extremely grateful until today for this fantastic gesture — thanks, my friend!

What do you think about cigars as a type of investment, like watches and cars?

I am not an investment advisor, but if you have the experience and the money to do so, it can be an interesting option.

Plume and mold. Same thing?

There is an interesting study from Rob & Greg & Jer (Australia), who came up with some astonishing results: BioTech Report №713806.

Cut and light or light and cut?

I always like to cut before I light the cigar. This allows me to extract some “cold aromas”.

You can have as many cigars as you want, forever BUT it always has to be the same. What would you pick?

Vegas Robaina Don Alejandro — my first name is even included, and it is an amazing cigar — never a bad choice.

We all made some honest mistakes on our cigar journey. Tell us about your most embarrassing one.

I “managed” to incidentally drop an original Cifuentes Cristal Tubo, which has survived for almost 50 years and I got it destroyed within only a few minutes in my possession…

As a customer, what do you look for in a cigar retailer?

Honesty is very important to me. I also like modesty and of course, a retailer needs to have good knowledge of Cuban cigars.

With the smoking restrictions in almost all places, do you see the private club scene growing?

Our smoking regulations aren’t that strict and therefore I am not too concerned about any changes for the time being.

What’s your favorite cigar accessory?

S.T. Dupont Le Grand Behike — what a wonderful piece of art.

Are you a soft-flame or a torch lighter person?

Usually, I am a soft flame person and I enjoy taking my time with a good smoke.

What is your favorite personality in the cigar community and why?

Max Ittenbach — we like to smoke cigars together on a regular basis and it is always a lot of fun and good conversations.

Fake cigars are a real problem, we see them popping everywhere. What’s your take on the counterfeit industry and what can we do to minimize the damage?

Very simple: buy at your local and official dealer which gets delivered by the official importer.

How do you see the future of Cigars on social media?

In my view, the cigar community on social media is growing and diversifies also with women and younger smokers who are also discovering this passion — I like to see that.

Did something surprise you in the cigar community?

Every cigar aficionado speaks the “same language”! No matter, if you are poor or rich, young or old, Cuban or non-Cuban smoker — we are all connected because we like to enjoy a “good cigar moment”.

What is the most overrated cigar for you? And the most underrated?

Davidoff ORO BLANCO — a good cigar, but far too expensive. The most underrated cigar — Romeo y Julieta Cedros de Luxe. Definitively a great cigar with high-quality standards and very balanced aromas.

What brand have you never smoked and probably never will?

Gurkha, I simply do not like the smell and they never appealed to me.

What is your “Unicorn” cigar?

I honestly do not have a specific “unicorn cigar”.

What are your Top 5 favorite cigars?

  • Hoyo de Monterrey Maravillas Colección Habanos
  • Robaina Don Alejandro
  • Punch ManTua Edición Regional Italia
  • Partagas Piramides Edición Limitada 2000
  • Cuaba Diadema

What are your Top 5 favourite Instagram accounts?

Finally, do you want to send a message to the community?

Not every expensive cigar is good and not every good cigar is expensive. Always enjoy these special moments with close ones and enjoy the good conversations!

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