Today we interview Head of Sales and Marketing, Ross Colman, to discover more about his role here at Havana House, what first sparked his passion for cigars and what advice he would give to first-time stogie smokers:
Tell us a bit more about yourself and your role at Havana House?
My main role at Havana House is sales and marketing, the online side of the business is growing extremely fast and involves constant development. We also have seven shops in the United Kingdom with over 550 years of tobacco trading behind them, so I’m involved with in-store events and social media, spreading the world of cigars, whisky and the finer things in life. It’s an honour to be involved in the tobacconist’s world because the history is so rich, and I think it’s important to uphold the traditions and practices of this craft.
What first sparked your interest in cigars?
I have always had an interest in craftsmanship, I like to see and enjoy products made with love and passion. Cigars are crafted for enjoyment, and you can share that experience with others. It’s amazing to see a product with such a high level of craftsmanship available at such an affordable price. If my passion was for handmade fashion items, I would have to save a lot more!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working on something I’m passionate about is very important to me, it makes waking up and going to work so easy. My love for cigars makes every week new and exciting, I feel blessed to have such a job, and I want to give back as much as I can.
What is your favourite cigar?
The one I am smoking right now – the search for a favourite cigar is an endless one. I want to try everything out there and simply having the time to do so makes each cigar I smoke my favourite one. If I had to pick a cigar to fill a humidor, it would probably be the Punch Punch. Such an unpredictable Cuban cigar that can deliver intense cocoa style flavours, but not always. I like the unpredictability of it.
Do you have a favourite smoking spot?
I regularly check the National Geographic picture of the day and whenever there is a beautiful vista I can imagine sitting there enjoying a cigar. I always enjoy a place that allows you to reflect on not only yourself but the world around us. You will normally find me in my back garden, reclining in my chair and looking up at the night sky. I’m fortunate to live in a place with low light levels, so the sky is stunning. When you’re alone with a cigar you really can appreciate the craft and love that goes into the creation of such a product, it really does speak to you, and it’s easy to hear the whole story when you’re in a quiet place.
What do you like to pair with a cigar?
I think this is a very personal one – if you don’t like whisky then pairing a cigar with it won’t suddenly make you love whisky. My go-to beverage is normally coca cola or lemonade. I find the carbonation and sweetness really go well with the natural flavours of a good cigar. If I am smoking a blend with ligero, I find sparkling mineral water is a great palate cleanser because when a cigar is strong in flavour, you can’t go toe to toe with a beverage. Let the cigar win and keep your palate clean to get the very best out of what you’re smoking.
If you had to liken yourself to a famous cigar smoker, who would it be and why?
I am a huge comic book fan, so I would love to say Wolverine, all I’m lacking is the adamantium skeleton and ability to regenerate. I would like to say Arnie (Schwarzenegger), but I’d have to free up way more time for the gym!
When you’re not providing advice on a range of top quality cigars, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Finding new products to sell on our retail site and shops. This takes me to lots of new countries and always gives the chance to try new spirits, food and cultures. I also have a season ticket at Arsenal so enjoy following the highs and lows of my football team throughout the year.
What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?
I managed to get my hands on a Montecristo A from 1998, and it was one of the best cigars I have ever smoked. A true masterpiece of cigar rolling, over 9 inches of ever-changing flavour and progression with a final third that blew even my best expectations out of the water. I can’t wait to smoke another one.
Finally, what is the most important piece of advice you would give to a budding cigar aficionado?
Smoke everything! The best way to explore the wonderful world of cigars is by broadening your smoking palate. You have so many cigar-producing countries so try different blends and wrappers to see what really smokes well. You might not find everything to your taste, but every new cigar will give you a new experience and memory.
If you would like to know more about Ross and the team here at Havana House, get in touch on our social media channels with any questions! Alternatively, browse our extensive range of premium cigars on our website today to find your perfect smoke.