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The art of the cigar

Tulsa Hills Cigar Cellar and Market can help you find the perfect smoke

Article by Nancy C. Hermann

Photography by Bill Hermann

Originally published in Tulsa Lifestyle

Cigar lovers often wax poetic when describing the pleasures of a good cigar. Their experiences are tactile. Dreamy. Famous cigar smokers — Sigmund Freud among them — have frequently compared cigar-smoking to romance. And it’s not just men who opine about the virtues of lingering over a Perdomo or Montecristo. “There’s something about smoking a cigar that feels like a celebration,” reflected actress Demi Moore. “There’s a quality, a workmanship, a passion that goes into the smoking of a fine cigar.”

Andrea Gardner, General Manager of Tulsa Hills Cigar Cellar & Market, oversees the operation of the store, and also is an impassioned consumer and connoisseur. “My first cigar was a Romeo y Julieta Reserve Real — an excellent smoke for newcomers,” she recalls with relish. “It was a spontaneous purchase while I was vacationing on the Isle of Capri. I remember sitting at a café in a beautiful, cobblestoned Italian piazza and being absolutely blown away by what I was tasting and feeling. At that point, I was in love.”

Cigar-smoking has grown in popularity among women and young adults, advises Gardner. She notes many people enjoy the socializing aspect of it, while some prefer to use it as form of relaxation. “A good cigar calms me down and helps me detox from everything else going on in my life. It forces me to sit still and be present in that moment.”

Stepping inside the 300-square-foot humidor at the Cigar Cellar, browsers are surrounded by 900 premium, hand-rolled cigars from 57 brands.

“Customers should have no difficulty finding ‘the perfect smoke,’” assures Gardner. “We have profile tags on each cigar that identifies characteristics such as the country of origin, wrapper tobacco, taste profile and body, which is the intensity level.” There also are three Certified Retail Tobacconists, including Gardner, on-staff to guide customers in their selections. The store’s stock includes big names like Arturo Fuente, Perdomo and Drew Estate but also harder-to-find boutique brands.

The Cigar Cellar offers one-stop shopping in its location on the west side of Tulsa Hills Shopping Center. Customers might choose to pair a cigar with a wine or other liquor from Tulsa Hills Wine Cellar next door. Both are locally owned and feature bar and wine accessories, and “Made in Oklahoma” specialty foods and gifts. 

“As with wine, what people look for in a cigar can vary by individual,” she explains. “Each person’s palate is unique and each experience with a cigar is distinctive. In general, when people buy a premium cigar, they are looking for quality craftsmanship and often something that has specific taste, aroma or even burn characteristics.” 

Gardner appreciates the attention to detail involved in producing a superior product. “Every cigar is a beautiful, handcrafted piece of art,” she says, with devotion. “I love getting a new smoker in the store because it is exciting to be at the beginning of what may become a life-long love affair. We can teach that person how to get started and guide him or her in finding something they will love.” 

To find out more about the Cigar Cellar & Market visit TulsaHillsCigarCellar.com.

Famous cigar smokers — Sigmund Freud among them — have frequently compared cigar-smoking to romance.

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