People Behind the Profile — @stogielads

Carl and Ruben took Instagram by storm, there is no other way to put it. Probably the youngest blood on the cigar community and with immense knowledge about cigars. They are very active on their account with giveaways (in which we had also the pleasure to participate), partnerships, and even a very entertaining podcast. They have no filter when talking about cigars and that is the way it should be, don’t you think?

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

What motivated you to start producing content for the community?

How is the cigar scene in your country?

Do you prefer having a cigar alone or with others?

Enjoying a cigar: inside or outside?

We’re going to talk about cigars, no matter their origin. However, we have to ask: Are you more of a Cuban or a non-Cuban cigar person?

Ruben: Through testing many different cigars from various origins I’ve really learned to appreciate the differences in taste that each region can produce. I still have several regions to explore but so far I still lean toward Cuban cigars when talking strictly about region-specific preferences.

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

You recently started a podcast. How is it going so far?

If someone reading this wants to start a podcast also, what is your main advice?

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

Ruben: My first ever cigar was a Macanudo Diplomat which was a much nicer cigar than I realized at the time. The situation however was not ideal as I smoked it outside on a friend's patio while trying to stay out of the rain that was pouring down. However, the experience was intriguing enough for me to want to continuously explore more. The moment that really ignited my passion was when Carl moved back to Sweden and we had access to a beautiful patio overlooking the Swedish archipelago that became our haven for cigar smoking.

What’s the best cigar you have ever had?

Ruben: When talking about the best cigar, the entirety of the surroundings of the occasion leaves a much stronger imprint of the cigar experience. Aside from the experience that Carl mentioned, which is also one of my favorite cigar memories, the time we visited James J. Fox in London and had the possibility to smoke a Quai d’Orsay Coronas Claro in their lounge is an experience that stays undefeated in my book.

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

Ruben: I remember that we paired the cigars with an espresso or two which might not be the perfect pairing for that given cigar but still went very decently. If I were to have that cigar again I might try it out with champagne.

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

Ruben: Before lighting up the stick I generally like to take in all aromas from the wrapper, test out the draw and note some flavor from dry-haling. I also like to think about the journey the cigar has taken to reach my hands at the point. I am constantly amazed by the craft that goes into every single cigar and how that makes every stick unique. And like Carl, I also toast my cigar slowly and detailed so I give the stogie the best conditions for a good burn.

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

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?

Ruben: It’s crazy the number of good cigars that come to mind when thinking about this question, some cigars that we could probably never get a hold of! Out of all the amazing gifts we’ve gotten from so many awesome people, @3_amigos_cigar_club and @cigarkingsweden gifted us a Cohiba Talisman each.

And the worst?

Ruben: For lack of bad gifts, I’ll have to say a cigar that Carl and I bought very early on in our cigar smoking days which I don’t even remember the name of. We bought it at a corner store type of place and definitely wouldn’t gift it to my worst enemy today.

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

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

Ruben: A cigar that has always impressed me is the Ramon Allones Specially Selected. This question is extremely difficult but the RASS was the first cigar that came into mind.

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

Ruben: In the early days of our cigar-smoking we knew as much as that the cigar needed to be cut and it needed to be lit. We had read up plenty on the lighting, the basics at least, to slowly light the cigar and not torch it (though it might not seem like it taking Carl’s answer into account). However, we had not paid as much attention to how the cutting should be done. Of course, this wasn’t embarrassing at the time since we didn’t know any better, but looking back at some of the cuts of our cigars I can’t help but cringe at how much we took off the top.

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

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

What’s your favorite cigar accessory?

Ruben: Every time I get to use my leather carrying case that Carl gave me once for my birthday I automatically feel more chipper!

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

Ruben: As mainly outdoor smokers the torch lighter often comes in clutch.

Talking about accessories, tell us more about your merchandise. What inspired you to produce it?

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

Ruben: I have to second Carl here and say, Ochocinco. An extremely fun and active guy on social media, and he even replies.

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?

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

Did something surprise you in the cigar community?

Ruben: So much about the community surprised me since we hadn’t really been in the community before we started the page. Before then I had basically only followed the biggest cigar pages out there and hadn’t discovered the “real” community like we have today. The biggest surprise is how open and social this community is and also genuinely interested in the hobby. With the results at hand, it’s not difficult to understand that such a dedicated community would follow suit from this unique and loveable hobby.

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

Ruben: I don’t think I’ve tried a cigar that I’ve thought was very overrated. There have been some cigars that have fallen short of expectations but didn’t really have anything to do with the public hype around them. An underrated cigar though is the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 which for a very low price was extremely enjoyable, especially paired with a Porter. This pairing as a whole is very underrated in my opinion.

What brand have you never smoked and probably never will?

What is your “Unicorn” cigar?

Ruben: A Bolivar Gold Medal would be extremely cool to come across, or getting your hands on one of the 4000 original Cohiba Behikes would leave any cigar-lover speechless.

What are your Top 5 favorite cigars?

  • #1 Cohiba Siglo V
  • #2 Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2
  • #3 Padron 1926 No 35
  • #4 Bolivar Belicosos Finos
  • #5 Rafael Gonzalez North Star

Ruben: In no particular order these are my top 5 regular production cigars:

  • Juan Lopez No 2
  • Romeo y Julieta Churchill
  • Trinidad Reyes
  • H.Upmann Mag 46
  • Ramon Allones Specially Selected.

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

A message to the community
Thank you very much for giving us a bit of your time by reading this article. It really means the world to have you with us. If you want to follow our daily activities head to our Instagram, where we try our best to bring the community together by sharing our love and knowledge for cigars. Have a great day.

Please note that smoking is bad for your health and we do not encourage it at all. These articles are written to show the differences between cigars and never to influence anyone to start smoking. If you are a cigar smoker, please respect others around you.

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