I don't know about you but over the years my two vices; whiskey and cigars have produced friendships I don't think I would have made otherwise. Good people I call friends span multiple states from Kentucky to Indiana, Texas and North Carolina.
I'm in the middle of a cigar tasting for the group and due to the completely sucky weather in the DC area, smoking outside is a non-starter. So, yesterday I swing by the local cigar lounge near my house to sit and enjoy and smoke and provide my review. About 30 minutes in to my smoke a gentleman comes in and sits at the table next to mine. Almost immediately, he hands me a cigar; a Montecristo Monte. For anyone who's a regular cigar smoker, this is not uncommon. Dimitri and I strike up a conversation and he says he's the local cigar rep for Altadis USA, maker of the domestic Montecristo brand cigar. We chatted like we were old friends, discussing different smokes, the art of rolling, binders, fillers, etc.
I had planned to sit and smoke my cigar and enjoy reading a couple magazines I was behind on but talking with Dimitri was a pleasant experience sharing our collective passion for cigars. It's hard to explain but there's a very social aspect to whiskey and cigars that goes beyond race, religion, politics, financial standing or anything else that unfortunately creates division among some folks.
For me, responsible consumption of whiskey and cigars is a celebration of life best enjoyed with friends, new and old regardless of who you are or where you come from.