How to Smoke Like Churchill

The statesman who saved the world has been dead for fifty years. Take a pull on his legacy.

The Arthurian legend says the spirit of the man whose seat marked the de facto head of a round table will reincarnate when England is in need. That spirit abandoned the body of one Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill 50 years ago on Sunday, leaving the United Kingdom to grieve over the man that stood toe to toe with Hitler and put his cigar out on the Fuhrer’s re-drawn map of Europe. The tributes and smoke will become thick this year as statesman and publicans offer tributes to a man who wielded a cigar like a sword.

The first “Churchill” cigar was the Cuban Romeo y Julieta, which were rolled big (7’, 47 gauge) and favored by the Prime Minister, who fell in love with them on a trip to the island in the forties. These long-smoking works of art have a special place in English history and in the smokeshops of London, but the oversized tobacco torch has been passed, courtesy of communism, to Davidoff, which has spent almost a decade try to create the perfect Churchillian smoke for their extremely aptly named Davidoff Winston Churchill line. The first of these megaspliffs was released in 2007, but the company has given the product an intense second look over the last year.

The new Churchills, released by happy accident only a few weeks prior to the golden anniversary of the dark day of Winston’s passing, still utilize Peruvian tobacco but exchange the woody, oft-overlooked Dominican binder with a sweeter, spicier Mexican leaf. The result is surprisingly tasty—and Davidoff was smart in retooling the packaging to look and feel more like the famous white-label. 

The cigars are already in some of the nation’s pre-eminent smoke shops and should be available nationally by late February. Our recommendation: Go find one. Smoke it for Churchill, the man who saved the world while becoming the unlikely poster boy for the cigar industry. Let’s see King Arthur do that.

Photos by Kurt Hutton/Picture Post / Getty Images