Angel Ramos, known to many as Angel Bespoke, is a leading man in the role of style icon. He wouldn’t tell you that though. Very much a man of humility, few unfortunately get to know him personally. Well, I’m one of the lucky few to call him a mentor, and friend if you will. He’s taught me a few things about life and a few things about enjoying it. I’ve always thought myself to be well cultured and well versed in manly past times. Yeah, not so much after sitting with Angel for a few hours. We talked about cigars, who to enjoy them with, and what he drinks while smoking them. Nothing says staking out time for yourself like sitting down, lighting up fine hand rolled tobacco and sipping on the finest spirits.
[one_half padding=”5px 20px 0 20px”]NW: I never knew anything about cigars, until my father taught me a thing or two. When did you first “learn” about smoking fine cigars?
AB: I started smoking cigars back in 2003, but I didn’t really start “appreciating” & “understanding” the difference in types of cigars and what makes one a good smoke until about 2006.
NW: You’re known for having a good smoke on you, more often then not. What are your favorite cigars?
NW: Do you pair any specific smoke with a certain drink?
AB: I personally love to smoke while enjoying a good bourbon, oakey scotch, or a nice full body red. Occasionally, I might be enjoying a beer, however it would have to be an artisan craft beer. But that’s not to say I would advise pairing a beer with a cigar. [/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”5px 20px 0 20px”]NW: As someone who keeps a strict plant based diet, how does your taste for Spirits change or, does it affect you at all?
AB: I definitely thinks it changes the experience and enjoyment of food & wine. For instance, years ago I would love a great steak with a beautiful red and understood why they both paired well, however I wouldn’t say there’s anything in particular that pairs with any drink. Certainly not a kale salad (haha)! So I would say- it doesn’t affect my taste at all.
NW: When you have a great drink, what are the things you look forward too? (Company, solitude a certain place?)
AB: Definitely the ambiance, at least for me, plays a huge roll. It helps me relax and think… Think creatively; think about things I can adjust, etc. Even though I’m a child of the 80’s, mentally and in spirit, I’m a child of the prohibition period, so I love an oak style, piano, jazzy type bar to enjoy a drink and smoke. The ambiance has to speak to me because it feeds back inspiration for me to design and create beautiful sartorial ensembles. I am very picky with who I smoke a cigar with, which is why I try not to smoke with anyone I don’t know. Enjoying a cigar is personal for me and for me to sit there with someone it typically is a close friend, client or colleague.[/one_half_last]
Sage advice for me at least. I’ll be seeing Angel again at Pitti Uomo in January 2014, and we look forward to sharing a few drinks, laughs and good company together again.
*Image by special request from Karl E. Guerre | guerreisms.com