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whiskey drink with smoking cigar on wooden tableOver the last couple of years, I have been hosting a cigar and brown liquor night for friends, colleagues and colleagues who have turned into friends. The event has grown over the years and it’s a great way to connect and to meet new folks.  Inevitably, someone will ask me what is the best cigar or bourbon or single malt out there. My answer is usually some variation of “I have no clue,” and I frequently get a confused look in return.

A while ago I hosted a friend and his wife for dinner at my house; they said they had never had Indian food! My friend, who is a sommelier, graciously volunteered to bring the wine. He brought some excellent wines, and I opened a couple of bottles of my own as well. During dinner he confessed that he thought his wine selection was better than mine, though as a sommelier, he expected that to be the case. But he was wrong. Aside from the technical aspect of how the wine paired with food, I reminded him of one of the early lessons he gave me on wine: drink what you like. Considering we were each drinking what we liked the most, we both had the superior wine selection according to our tastes.

I have had $3 cigars that were amazing, and I have had pricier cigars that I just could not finish because I thought they were horrible. People tend to believe that the more expensive something is the better it will be, but I disagree. Your like or dislike is your individual opinion based on your tastes.

Just like any cigar, whiskey, sport, player, chocolate, etc., people like certain things and dislike others, for their own reasons. It is no different in the professional world; people prefer doing business with people they like, and tend to avoid doing business with individuals they don’t care for. But others may enjoy working with the person you don’t agree with and avoid working with the person you choose to do business with- it’s all about perspective.

For the record, I’ll try to answer the question the best I can: for bourbons, I tend to reach for Weller and for single-malts I lean towards Macallan. Cigars I gravitate towards Liga #9 by Drew Estate, but all of this can change, it really depends on my mood!

“Good taste doesn’t exist. It is our taste. We have to be proud of it.” – Franco Moschino

Have a great weekend.

Vijay

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