People Behind the Profile — @anthonyengelen

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

Hey guys thanks for the invite! I’m Anthony Engelen. I’m a professional MMA fighter and online coach, 36 years of age, originally from The Netherlands, and happily living in Bali, Indonesia with my wife and 2 doggos!

What motivated you to start producing content for the community?

I’ve been a cigar enthusiast just for almost a year now. Asides from the act of smoking a cigar and enjoying the taste of it, I like the whole bespoke lifestyle around it as well. It’s something I’ve always appreciated. And now, in combination with my newfound passion for cigars, this goes well with creating some content for my social media.

How is the cigar scene in your country?

Indonesia is a tobacco-producing country. And with a population of 272 million people, the tobacco industry of Indonesia is the 2nd largest in the world by retail volume.

Do you prefer having a cigar alone or with others?

I do prefer enjoying a cigar with one or more good friends.

Enjoying a cigar: inside or outside?

Inside, that way you can really enjoy the flavors betters.

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

Cuba.

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

Since I don’t live in the US I’m not affected by this. Although when it’s lifted I’d expect a huge increase in demand of course. And with the current Covid pandemic already making it impossible for Cuba to meet the global demand, it’s probably not a good idea to lift the embargo right now. Imagine what it would do with the prices of Cuban cigars!

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

The first cigar was a locally produced Dos Hermanos Churchill. Over at my favorite cigar bar El Laguito here in Bali. My friend liked cigars so I took him with me to El Laguito. I’ve never been there before but I know the owner Roy from back when I was living in Jakarta.

What’s the best cigar you have ever had?

Tough one… What’s the “best” cigar? The most expensive? The best tasting one? Or one that reminds you of a certain moment when you smoked it?

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

I like to pair my cigars with a good whiskey or rum, or an old-fashioned or negroni.

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

I make sure I have a good drink ready. My lighter is filled and my schedule is cleared for 1–2 hours!

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

Since I’ve only started my cigar journey a year ago I'm still a bit in the exploration phase. I’ve narrowed it down where I have a few permanent favorites, but I still try to buy some brands and types that I haven’t tried yet.

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?

The Romeo & Julieta Reserva Cosecha 2008.

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

I’d say as for investments goes, watches would be the safest option. When it comes to cigars and cars, if you buy a box of rare Habano's and don’t touch it for 20 years, then yes it might be a good investment. But once you open it and smoke a few… Same goes with cars. Cars are probably the worst investment. Unless you are buying a rare classic better invest your money in crypto.

Plume and mold. Same thing?

Had to research this one, and according to what I just read, it’s the same.

Cut and light or light and cut?

Cut and light.

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

Anything Trinidad.

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

The only mistakes I've had so far is when I encounter a cigar with a terrible tight draw, and I try to poke it with whatever I can find laying around the house in order to make the draw a bit looser, but then having to give up 20 minutes later because it's not working… Note to self, get a cigar draw tool!

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

That they have a decent collection or regulars, some special/limited editions, the price is fair and their knowledge is 2x more than mine!

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

I'm blessed to live in Indonesia where we are free to smoke almost anywhere except hospitals. So if I want to enjoy a cigar in a restaurant or in a bar, that’s possible.

What’s your favorite cigar accessory?

My Colibri V-cutter.

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

Torch.

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

Eddie and Edward Sahakian. When I started my cigar journey, the first videos I watched on youtube were from them. I learned a lot from them. And they are just so proper, friendly gentlemen. I’d love to go to London and enjoy a cigar in their presence!

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?

If people don’t mind smoking a fake cigar then I'm not going to stop them. They have to deal with it not me. But for those who think they are buying an authentic one, and instead, they are smoking who knows what, that is a problem.

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

I think it’s growing. More people are associating cigars with a more positive lifestyle instead of an unhealthy one.

Did something surprise you in the cigar community?

Yes, it surprised me how friendly and welcoming it is. If you meet someone who is smoking a cigar, you for sure will have something to talk about with him or her!

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

I personally think Cohiba is a bit overrated. Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful cigars, but a bit on the pricey side… Expensive doesn’t always mean better.

What brand have you never smoked and probably never will?

I'm open to giving anything a try. You can’t judge something if you haven’t tried it!

What is your “Unicorn” cigar?

Probably a Trinidad Fundadores 1998, Trinidad Robusto Extra or the Davidoff Dom Perignon 1980.

What are your Top 3 favorite cigars?

  1. Trinidad Media Luna
  2. Trinidad Esmeralda
  3. Partagas Serie D No. 4

What are your Top 5 favorite Instagram accounts?

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

I’m thoroughly enjoying my cigar journey and I'm looking forward to meeting more interesting like-minded people and enjoying good cigars with them!

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