I was having a discussion with Josh this morning about blog content and he asked me a great question. He wanted to know my stance on rare stogies, like Liga Privada #9 or Opus X, in my collection and what I did with them. I thought the topic was interesting and he mentioned that when he was a kid he collected numerous different things, as did I. Comic books and baseball card for example (personally I had a complete collection of Marvel Comics series 3 Trading Cards, and still do for that matter). Yeah I know I am a geek, but I choose to embrace it. One of my dad’s closest friends had the most extensive vinyl collection I have ever seen (mine kicks ass too BTW), but he was of the mindset that they were collectable. He would open them with a razor to preserve the plastic sleeve and play them one time only. While he was playing them, he would record them onto cassette tape, and that is how he would listen to them. His goal was to preserve the original integrity of the record so that at some point in the future, they could be resold in their original condition. Although I see the appeal, what’s the point? They were designed to be enjoyed and used. I did have a few comics that I never took out of the plastic with similar intent. I have no idea where they are now, so little good it did me to keep them nice.
I have had this discussion over the phone with quite a few pipe guys over the years too. I sold a guy a very expensive Dunhill pipe that he had no intention of ever letting fire touch. To him it was a more of an investment into art than it was a new pipe acquisition. I can kind of understand that, but then again this art is functional. It would be like getting a Ferrari only to keep it in a garage and never drive it. It is almost an insult to all of the engineers that were involved in its production. If I were going to never drive it either, I would spend 1/10 the price and just have a non functional shell made of fiberglass pained to look cool. I have quite a few one off pipes, but trust me all of them are used, some beyond restoration.
In respect to cigars, sometimes I am guilty of “collecting” in the respect that I like to buy in pairs or more if I can. Typically this is more scientific than anything else. I will try one right away and take notes while I let the other one rest for a while, sometimes a few years if I can hold out. Then I try the same cigar with age and see how it matured. Some are remarkable, while others simply have darker cellophane due to age. Some never make it to my humidor; I buy with intentions to smoke immediately. I do have a few well aged cigars in my humidor for one reason or another though. Some were given to me and I just have not tried them yet. I do have a tendency to buy a lot of one or 2 if I like them and I know I can’t find them easily as well. Some of those are 4 or 5 years old at least. I am too curious however to hold onto those rare gems. I guess that’s why I buy the in pairs. I like to say, “Yes I’ve tried that”, rather than “yeah I have a few of those in my humidor growing plume”.
Here is what Josh has to say on the topic:
Illusione MJ12, and many others. Each time I open it looking for a smoke, I find myself frozen in a collector’s coma, unable to reach for these high-end sticks and wind up settling for something cheap or something I’ve received complimentary from a vendor. Will these sticks be so much better if I hold onto them for a few years, or should I smoke them now and savor the memories?
I know that there are some obvious milestones in our lives where even a collector such as myself can feel comfortable lighting up a twenty-plus dollar cigar. But what about the days in between? How do you decide what you smoke?
My feelings are, if you buy stuff based on the hearsay that it’s good but hold onto it, what’s the point? Don’t you want to experience what others are talking about? I am not saying go jump off a bridge, but at least say you got in the water. If you enjoy it, then grab a bunch for future reference. A collection is not worth anything if you wait too long or never enjoy it.
What’s in your collection and why are you holding onto it?