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Aficionados on Aficionados

Hanging at the Aficionados Cigar Lounge

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They’re manly men.  They have names like Tom, Chuck, and Richard. They hold down manly jobs titles like mechanic, firefighter and retired IRS.

And in their spare time, they like to hold large, smelly, cylindrical things between their lips and suck.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a lawyer or a mechanic; you’ll always have something to talk about,” says Jerry Kelley at Hanging at the  in the Thunderbird Trading Post [7121 Waller Rd. E.].

“When you smoke a cigar, it totally relaxes you; the chemistry lowers your blood pressure,” says Kelley.

“Too much can get you sick, though,” he cautions.  “There’s a wide variety of tastes and flavors,” he adds. 

While you can find Swisher Sweets at Aficionados, Kelley likens them to Boones Farm wines.  Basically, mass-market cigars are machine made of lower quality tobacco — “floor sweepings,” per Kelley — with additives and fillers.

And what about the manly men — the cigar aficionados — at Aficionados?


 spoke with a group of them, primarily to ascertain which of them would go on the “Men of Aficionados” pinup calendar.

Ryan, the youngest of the group at 25, is a mechanic.  He smokes cigars because “they’re tasty — yummy.”

Jerry, self-proclaimed “den dad,” comes to Aficionados pretty much daily from Gig Harbor.  “It’s my home away from home,” he confides.

He says the beauty of cigars is “you can smoke one for about an hour.  You get all the taste and less effort” than with cigarettes, and he adds, “it gives you that mellow feeling.”

“Cigarettes will kill you; cigars won’t,” quips Charlie, who prefers not to give his last name.

Charlie, whose claim to fame is singing the national anthem at cock fights, puts in his two cents about the flavorful habit. “Some people think size matters.”  Naturally, the name Monica Lewinsky comes up, and then the subject shifts. “Cigars are like cars,” Charlie says. “Not all of them can be Mercedes.”

But all of the men present agree that some of the best cigars they’ve tasted haven’t been the highest end. Coming frequently to the lounge and tasting different things have helped them discover that fact.  So does the monthly “blind tasting” on the first Tuesday of every month.

But it’s not just the cigars that keep the gang coming back to Aficionados: it’s the gang itself.

“Ninety-five percent of the people who walk through that door will become good friends,” predicts Charlie through a cloud of smoke, and the others nod in agreement.

[Aficionados Cigar Lounge, 7121 Waller Rd. E., Tacoma, 253.531.8814]

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