Highlights of Winston Churchill
(A) Sir Winston Churchill started smoking cigar in his early 20s during his trip to Cuba in 1895
(B) Romeo y Julieta and La Aroma de Cuba are his two favorite brands
(C) He smoked 8 to 10 cigars per day and the two days expenses of his smoking equals to his official biographer’s weekly salary
(D) In his study room, he had 3000 to 4000 cigars well stored and organised by several Cuban cigar suppliers
(E) Sir Winston Churchill had to smoke so frequently that once he required to smoke cigar on an aeroplane
(F) Sir did not quite care about the ash so he always left a trail of ash behind or sometimes on his clothes. Quite so often left his clothes on fire because of burning cigars.
(G) Sir invented “bellybandos” to wrap the unlit end of cigar to prevent the unlit end was too moisten by his saliva.
It was in the Caribbean that Churchill’s cigar smoking began in earnest. Having arrived in Havana in November 1895, along with a fellow officer named Reginald Barnes, and having been stood up at the docks by the Spanish commandant who was to have met the two men, Churchill and Barnes took a room at one of the best hotels in town and spent the next several days living off of little more than two of the local specialties, oranges and cigars. From that point on, Churchill favored Cuban cigars above all others.
As Larry Arnn, an assistant to Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer, has said, “Thereafter, cigar and Cuban were synonymous for Churchill.” Indeed, among Churchill’s favorite brands were Romeo y Julieta and the now-defunct La Aroma de Cuba. He had a number of regular suppliers of Havanas who kept him well-stocked with cigars throughout his life, even during the prohibitive years of war. And at Chartwell Manor, his country home in Kent, Churchill stocked between 3,000 and 4,000 cigars, mainly Cuban, in a room adjacent to his study. The cigars were kept in boxes on shelves with labels reading “large” and “small,” “wrapped” and “naked” to distinguish the cigars’ sizes and whether or not they were wrapped in cellophane. Not surprisingly, Churchill spent a great deal of money on his cigars over the years. As one of his valets, Roy Howells, wrote in his book, Simply Churchill, “It took me a little while to get used to the fact that in two days his cigar consumption was the equivalent of my weekly salary.”
Throughout most of Churchill’s political career, he was inseparable from his cigars. And he went to great lengths to make certain that he would not have to abstain needlessly, even for short periods. On one occasion, while serving as prime minister during the Second World War, he was to take his first high-altitude airplane flight in an unpressurized cabin. According to biographer Gilbert, when Churchill went to the airfield on the evening before the flight to be fitted for a flight suit and an oxygen mask, he conferred with the flight expert who was to accompany him on the journey and requested that a special oxygen mask be devised so that he could smoke his cigars while airborne. The request was granted, and the next day Churchill was happily puffing away at 15,000 feet through a special hole in his oxygen mask.
Churchill typically smoked between eight and 10 cigars per day, although he did not constantly smoke his cigars but often allowed them to burn out so that he could chew on them instead. In this manner of consumption, the cigars often became mauled and frayed. To address this problem, Churchill devised what he called a “bellybando,” which was a strip of brownish paper with a little glue on one end. To prevent the cigar from becoming excessively moist and to keep it from fraying, he would wrap the bellybando around the end.
The bellybandos also made it somewhat easier for Churchill to smoke so many cigars every day, because they limited direct contact with the tobacco and, therewith, Churchill’s intake of nicotine. Churchill smoked his cigars down to about the last one or two inches, and, later in life, when he spent much of his time in the country at Chartwell, his staff would save all of the ends of his cigars in order to give them to one of the gardeners at Chartwell, a Mr. Kearnes, who liked to break them up and smoke them in his pipe.
Source from Cigar Aficionado