The Legendary De Nobili Cigar
I remember walking to the local park in my town as a kid, and watching these old men playing bocce ball and smoking these crooked little stogies. The aroma was pungent and filled the air with the essence of beef jerky, hay, and anisette. Now, that may not sound appealing but this wafting aroma was like perfume to my senses and really piqued my curiosity as to how they must taste.
As I got older (legal smoking age), I remember a local candy store had these little white, green, and red boxes on the counter with the name De Nobili on them. Upon opening this box of stogies, which at the time were know by non-Italians as “stinkers,” I first noticed how crude and brittle they looked, yet when I squeezed them, I felt some moisture. So of course, I lit one up and—boom!—they tasted just liked they smelled! The essence of charred wood, beef jerky, hay, and anisette filled my palate along with the air around me. Now I had a good idea what those old bocce-ball-wielding paisanos were smoking!
The famous Avanti company manufactures De Nobili cigars in Scranton, Pennsylvania, right here in the U.S.A. Since 1896, these distinctive dry-cured cigars are machine-made with a mellow, medium-bodied blend of 100% dark-fire-cured Kentucky and Tennessee tobaccos. From the Avanti website: “The De Nobili brand has always been New York’s Italian cigar, and a favorite of Frank Sinatra, who claimed he couldn’t handle fresh air. He’d ‘rather be around three De Nobili cigars blowing in my face all night.’”
Fast-forward years later, and the top-quality De Nobli stogie remains one of my favorite little smokes. I must admit that they are not for everyone, but if you are curious to experience that old Americana taste that millions of smokers still adore, I suggest you give them a try. And best of all, no bocce ball required!