A Cigar with Al-Saadiq Banks

When one thinks of cigars, the thought quickly goes to the strong smell that some would turn up their nose to. But for the true cigar aficionado, their is more to lighting a stogie and blowing smoke. It has become rather trendy in the recent years amongst men and women. And if you are following the masses, this trend can be not only confusing, but expensive too. To gain a bit of clarity we sat down with Cigar enthusiast and Crime Novelist Al-Saadiq Banks, who explains his guilty pleasure…

KG: How long have you been smoking cigars?
ASB: I lit my first cigar back in 2004. Before that I had never smoked anything in my life.

KG: What is it about cigar smoking that you enjoy?
ASB: It’s the relaxing experience that I enjoy the most. It is a 2-hour vacation from the world. Just me and my thoughts, swirling in the smoke …My personal therapy. Before smoking, I was a walking time bomb full of frustration and now I simply inhale, exhale and chill.

KG: In your opinion what are the key components for a good cigar?
ASB: Size, strength, flavor. I go for the double toro size because they provide me with an hour and a half to two hours of smoking pleasure. The exact time I need to unwind. I enjoy medium to full strength. I also like the amount of smoke that double toro size cigars provide with just the slightest pull of the trigger. I smoke a wide range of cigars, all having different flavors, not flavor like sweet but flavors like, nuts, leather, vanilla, non-smokers wouldn’t understand and it could sound crazy. I would say I’m a Maduro lover over all, it has a slightly sweeter and smoother taste.

KG: What is your favorite cigar and why?
ASB: My favorite cigar changes ever so often because your pallet changes. I started off smoking the really strong ones but once I learned how to appreciate a cigar, my taste changed. I would say right now my all time favorite cigar is the Avo Heritage. It’s smooth, creamy, full of smoke and has just the right punch I need.

KG: Describe your cigar smoking process by steps.
ASB: It’s simple, I bite the tip off cowboy style, spit out the leaf and spark it up.

KG: As a cigar enthusiast, what trends could you see in the future with the cigar industry?
ASB: I don’t really follow the trends of anything. I’m more of a traditionalist. Cigar smoking for the trendy smokers will be over by the winter time as they will be onto something else cooler.

KG: As a writer, when did you introduce your readers to the world of cigars?
ASB: I introduce my readers to my life as I live it. I first made mention of cigars in my book Block Party 3.

KG: If you could create the perfect cigar,what would it be?
ASB: I don’t want to create cigars. I thought I did, but I would rather just enjoy them.


For more information on Novelist Al-Saadiq Banks visit: http://aalbc.com/authors/al-saadiq-banks.html

Follow Al-Saadiq on Instagram @AlSaadiq