MT. PELIER, VERMONT
For Carey McClure, the decision to go professional was not an easy one. “I love just hanging out and smoking a cigar with the guys, but I also realize I have a gift and I need to respect that.”
For McClure, it started at a local cigar social when he was noticed by a scout for Partagas, a cuban cigar manufacturer. “We knew he had potential,” Garcia Sanchez, scout for the cuban tobacco house told The Daily Flogger. “He has one of the best draws I have seen in 20 years and the swirl from the smoke in his exhale is very powerful, very unique.”
From here, McClure will embark on a world tour, competing in professional “smoke offs” in almost 20 countries before heading to the finals in Jamaica.
“There are a lot of guys out there who are legends. Stubby Rodriquez, Marty “Robusto” Shell, and Maria “The Puffer” Hernandez. To think I am going to be smoking with and competing against these people is mind blowing.”
Still, at the end of the day, even with endorsements from Cigar Aficionado magazine and Bic lighters, he knows he is still an underdog. “I try to remain humble and do my best. When it comes down to it, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
Other times, it is worth $50,000 the grand prize at this year’s International Smoke Off.
Photo credit: Alex Brown cc: by