Aaron Sigmond is on a roll. Literally. Fresh off the publication of Sea Time, aka the coolest watch book of the year, the author and bon vivant has come out with an equally impressive volume on the world's finest cigars and cigar culture that's a compelling purchase even if you're not a smoker yourself.
The Impossible Collection of Cigars, published by Assouline, is the latest larget format addition to the French luxury publisher's opulent Ultimate Collection series of limited edition, hand-bound books on subjects like motorcycles and modern art.
Priced at $995, the book features hand-tipped and authentic cigar bands and comes presented in a cigar box-style slipcase making it a true design object in its own right. The Impossible Collection of Cigars is centered around the world's 100 most exclusive smokes, envisioning "the ultimate humidor brimming with the most remarkable cigars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from the most prestigious makers."
"Like the pop of the Champagne cork, the flick of the lighter or the strike of the match and the first draw of the smoke are synonymous with celebration, relaxation, and camaraderie," the publisher notes. "A luxurious pause from the world around, an exceptional, hand-rolled cigar has cemented itself as a civilized passion and genteel hobby over the course of centuries."
In addition to the cigars and brands themselves, the book features prominent stogie enthusiasts through the years, including JFK, Alfred Hitchcock, Winston Churchill and iconic architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (above), who once declared, "I only have three essentials. Dunhill cigars, martinis and expensive clothes," and who was rarely seen without a smoldering Cuban.
Including the world's top tobacco farms and factories where the finest leaves are cultivated and then handled by the master cigar rollers called torcedores, the book highlights famous names such as Nicaragua’s Padrón, the Dominican Republic’s Arturo Fuente, Davidoff of Geneva, and of course Cuba's Cohiba, making for an epic journey into the world of cigar culture.
"What makes a cigar so special that it’s worth inclusion in a volume like this?" Sigmond asks. "Cigars aren’t as obvious a choice as other subjects surveyed in the Impossible Collection series. What makes them special in the galaxy of luxury consumables? Curiously, this was by far the easiest question to answer. Among all of life’s most delectable little luxuries—Beaufort cheese, 18-year Scotch whisky, XO Cognac, vintage wine, fine Swiss chocolate, Hacienda La Esmeralda coffee—hand-rolled, long-filler, aged cigars are unique because each one is made singularly, one at a time... Cigars are matchless, as it were, in the sense of being truly handcrafted."
Much like a fine cigar itself, "this book can be savored in solitude, with the company of only your thoughts, or with others," Sigmond notes. "As I have said on more than one occasion, 'The comfort of a good book , paired with a good cigar, can never be overstated.'"