Listening to music while puffing away on a premium cigar is incredibly enriching. Music has the power to provide comfort and company in sad moments, unite cultures, and induce a wide range of emotions, from nostalgia and joy to defiance and melancholy. Similarly, a cigar will give you a mood-enhancing dopamine kick for an incredibly sensual experience.
While classic cigar pairings such as spirits and steaks are designed to harmonize the flavor profiles, music is instead an addition to our favorite smokes. The smoker’s mood often dictates the type of music chosen instead of the cigar in their hand.
The joy of smoking a cigar is enjoyed by four of the five senses — sight, smell, taste, and touch. Music in the background completes the magical five (hearing) to stimulate all the senses, giving two of life’s greatest pleasures a quite unusual yet unbreakable bond.
In this mini-series, we’ll press the play button on some classic tracks and offer some stogie suggestions to amplify your listening and spark great conversation.
We begin with an eight-minute mystical epic, shrouded in rock ‘n’ roll folklore – “Stairway to Heaven.”
Who wrote the song Stairway to Heaven?
British rock heavyweights Led Zeppelin were the architects behind “Stairway to Heaven.” It is widely considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time and appears on the band’s monolithic untitled fourth album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV (1971).
Guitarist Jimmy Page conjured the music for this wild and wonderful masterpiece, while singer Robert Plant penned the abstract lyrics that weave with biblical imagery.
Zep’s manager Peter Grant refused to bow down to Atlantic Records’ wish to release the song as a single, such was his belief that albums rather than singles would deliver greater riches and artistic freedom. Despite this, by the end of the year, it was the most requested song ever on American radio.
Everyone continues to offer their own interpretation of this timeless song, with its darkest supernatural myth suggesting that if you play the recording backward, you will hear satanic messages.
Thankfully, we can assure you that our excellent selection of handmade cigars is not the devil’s work. The next time you give “Stairway to Heaven” a spin, light up one of the sticks below and see if your thoughts bring “rings of smoke through the trees.”
La Aurora 107 Zeppelin
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium – Full
Binder: Dominican Corojo
Filler: Dominican Republic / Nicaragua
The La Aurora 107 celebrates 107 years in business for the Dominican Republic’s oldest cigar brand. With its stunning sun-grown Ecuadorian wrapper and four-country blend of tobaccos, the 4 x 58 Zeppelin vitola is topped with a pigtail cap. It has a deep cocoa aroma and, like “Stairway”, features a gradual and mesmerizing build-up.
Slow burning from a mellow and spicy beginning into a medium to full-bodied medley of cedar, dark chocolate, earth, and spices, it delivers an impressive hour of smoking bliss.
Please note that the La Aurora 107 Zeppelin size is unavailable at the time of writing, but we have the Robusto and Toro sizes that will also glitter like gold in your humidor.
Headley Grange Black Dog
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Habano
- Headley Grange Black Dog Dobles (6.12 x 50)
- Headley Grange Black Dog Estupendos (5.50 x 52)
- Headley Grange Black Dog Laguito No. 6 (6.50 x 56)
As we wind on down the road, we next look at a smoke that hits hard for Led Zep fans. Plant wrote most of the lyrics to “Stairway” at Headley Grange — a former workhouse turned recording studio, with the term “Black Dog” a reference to the lead-off track from their fourth album (inspired by a nameless black Labrador retriever that hung around the studios during recording sessions).
However, the Headley Grange Black Dog Dobles from Crowned Heads is an audacious attempt to taste like the thunderous drum introduction to yet another Zep classic on this LP — the closing song “When the Levee Breaks.”
Produced under the watchful eye of cigar legend Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, this beefy and beautifully crafted stick is cloaked in a delicate and luxurious Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Expect a rich and savory blend that echoes with decadent coffee, leather, licorice, and creamy oak flavors. Occasional fills of earth, hay, and nougat jump in and out of the nutty smoke, while a blast of red pepper tickles the nose.
Rich and savory, the Headley Grange Black Dog Dobles will fill you with around 90 minutes smoking time — enough time to play the immortal collection of songs on Led Zeppelin IV twice over.
Whether you are a diehard cigar enthusiast or considering taking up this beloved pastime, there’s still time to change the road you’re on. At JR Cigars, we’re confident we can get you what you came for and find a cigar that hits all the right notes.