Meet Robbert, Dr. Robbert as he is mostly known on Instagram where he developed a great profile mixed with fun, great cigars, and a lot of amazing moments shared with friends. His passion for the leaf is contagious and, to be honest, he was one of the first profiles when we first got into Instagram.
Thank you very much for accepting our interview, it is a pleasure to personally meet you. Who are you?
I am Robbert, a Dutch veterinarian who has been an aficionado for over 20 years now. Besides cigars, I have a passion for champagne, wine, and good dining.
What motivated you to start producing content for the community?
It started when I heard someone talking about the cigar community in a cigar lounge. I had no idea that there was such a large community. So one thing came from the other and I started to take pictures from almost everything I smoked.
How is the cigar scene in your country?
It’s great! I’m lucky to live in The Netherlands. As one of the former largest tobacco producers in the world Holland has lots of cigar shops and lounges. Also more and more young people tend to smoke cigars. Also, there are several cigar clubs, one of which I’m a member of (ResidentieSigarenGenootschap, The Hague). Unfortunately, I’ve heard the government is about to change tobacco laws making it a bit more difficult to smoke indoors now.
Do you prefer having a cigar alone or with others?
I prefer to smoke with friends. For me, it’s about sharing your nice sticks with good friends. Have a good time, drink some nice wine, champagne, or whiskey, and just relax.
Enjoying a cigar: inside or outside?
Inside for sure because the weather usually sucks in Holland. Luckily I have a garden house where I can smoke. My wife calls it the garden house, I prefer to call it my men’s cave.
We’re going to talk about cigars, no matter their origin. However, we have to ask: What is your favorite cigar-producing country?
Has to be Cuba, although I’ve never been there, I usually smoke Cubans.
Imagine that the embargo on Cuba is lifted. What will happen next?
I think this is not applicable for the situation in Holland, however, Cuban economics will tend to improve because it will be possible to sell Cuban sticks in the US.
Usually, people have two first-time moments: the first cigar and the cigar that ignited the passion you have today. What were yours?
My first was a Dutch short filler called “Ivory” from “De Olifant”. I’ve never smoked a cigar but I liked it instantly. It was during a party from a veterinary student association. The one that really ignited the passion was a Montecristo Double Edmundo. The size, the wrapper, everything about this stick was awesome.
What’s the best cigar you have ever had?
That’s a difficult question for I’ve smoked many great sticks. One of my favorites was the Cohiba 1966 EL 2011. Also, Behike 56 and Montecristo 80 are definitely high on my list.
Based on that, what’s the perfect pairing for that specific cigar?
I usually pair my cigars with coffee, red wine, and champagne. Pairing depends on the strength of a cigar, the age of a cigar, and of course the moment itself. Sometimes I’m just into coffee, like mornings and sometimes I’m in for something stronger. Champagne seems to never fail actually.
Everyone has their ritual when starting a cigar session. What’s yours?
I’m making sure there’s some music playing and the atmosphere is relaxing. Having all my accessories ready, a nice ashtray, and good company.
Tell us about your collection. What does your humidor look like?
I have a large standing humidor from Adorini (type Roma). It has two fans to have the humidity on point. I haven’t counted my cigars, but I have a lot! Lots of singles ranging from special editions, double, triple bands, and regulars. The top of the humidor is for all the singles. The bottom for full boxes. In fact, space is lacking so I have to smoke more or get myself a bigger humidor.
When we meet someone, we usually give away one cigar as a gesture of good faith. What was the best cigar you have been offered?
It was a Cohiba Behike 56. So generous, still thankful for that.
What do you think about cigars as a type of investment, like watches and cars?
I know people buy cigars and just sell them on the internet for double or even triple the money. I have never sold a single stick. I think cigars are for enjoyment.
Plume and mold. Same thing?
It’s not the same. Although plume is a kind of mold, the circumstances under which this occurs are different. Plume should be interpreted as the best aging moment of a cigar. Mold can be a problem. I’ve recently had an issue due to a defective sensor. Luckily I noticed it fast and I had some good advice from another true aficionado and Adorini sent me a new sensor right away.
Cut and light or light and cut?
Cut, light and enjoy.
You can have as many cigars as you want, forever BUT it always has to be the same. What would you pick?
I think this would be a Cohiba Behike 54. And yes again Behike, but I just like it that much. The 54 because it’s not too large and definitely not too small. If I had to pick a regular one it would be the Wide Churchills from Romeo y Julieta. This one just never fails.
We all made some honest mistakes on our cigar journey. Tell us about your most embarrassing one.
I can’t remember anything embarrassing, although I have been extraordinarily nauseous once after smoking a stick, I guess most of us have experienced this.
As a customer, what do you look for in a cigar retailer?
Knowledge is one thing, also the selection of sticks and kindness of the person in the store.
With the smoking restrictions in almost all places, do you see the private club scene growing?
Yep, what else is possible to do?
What’s your favorite cigar accessory?
My two ashtrays: H. Signature and W. R. Roth Company.
Are you a soft-flame or a torch lighter person?
Torch, let’s get that stick burning!
What is your favorite personality in the cigar community and why?
Fake cigars are a real problem, we see them popping everywhere. What’s your take on the counterfeit industry and what can we do to minimize the damage?
I think the best we can do is education. Learn how to recognize counterfeits and take on the producers of counterfeits hard.
How do you see the future of Cigars on social media?
I’m a bit afraid there will be a ban in the near future. Although more and more people (especially young) tend to enjoy cigars, the ban on tobacco is a fact.
Did something surprise you in the cigar community?
The kindness of the community, adaption, and knowledge. Always willing to help and even care for you.
What is the most overrated cigar for you? And he most underrated?
- Overrated: Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill Gran Reserva
- Underrated: Diplomaticos as a brand; such beautiful cigars!
What brand have you never smoked and probably never will?
What is your “Unicorn” cigar?
I’m lucky to have a few Punch ER Hong Kong Sir David.
What are your Top 5 favorite cigars?
- Cohiba Behike 54
- Diplomaticos El Embajador (RE Paises Bajos aged 2015)
- Diplomaticos El Diputado (RE Belux)
- Montecristo 80 Anniversario
- Montecristo Double Edmundo
What are your Top 5 favourite Instagram accounts?
Finally, do you want to send a message to the community?
Of course, I would like to thank all of my followers! And yes… Drink champagne, smoke cigars, and celebrate life!
A message to the community
Thank you very much for giving us a bit of your time by reading this article. It really means the world to have you with us. If you want to follow our daily activities head to our Instagram, where we try our best to bring the community together by sharing our love and knowledge for cigars. Have a great day.
Please note that smoking is bad for your health and we do not encourage it at all. These articles are written to show the differences between cigars and never to influence anyone to start smoking. If you are a cigar smoker, please respect others around you.