What Cigar Does Big Boss Smoke? – 6/29/2013

Snake-Smoke-0-1024x811Big Boss is one of the most iconic video game characters for his duel role as a hero and a sympathetic villain. With Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zero and The Phantom Pain on the horizon, gamers are excited to once again take on the role of the Legendary Soldier. Yet one thing some gamers have always wondered is what cigar does Big Boss smoke?

A lot of gamers have asked this question on message boards but no clear answer has ever been given. Most people have just listed common cigars followed by a discussion about what cigarette Solid Snake smokes and after that everyone just gives up. Someone has even asked this question on Answers.com to no avail.

Besides being an avid gamer (also a Metal Gear-fan) who has written about video game culture; I’m also an avid cigar smoker and a cigar critic in the Bay Area. I’ve had the opportunity to sample a verity of premium cigars, meet respected people in the cigar industry, and blog for the Campbell Cigar Club.

To answers this great cigar riddle I visually examined the cigar Big Boss is smoking in the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, then compare and cross match it with other cigars. With the small details given, the cigar Big Boss is smoking has the following details:
* It has a pyramid figure (often mistaken for a torpedo figure)
* It has a mild to full-bodied strength (based on the cigars texture)
* Its of Cuban origin

The cigar brand, Habano (a reference to the Cuban state tobacco company, Habanos S.A.), is obviously fictitious. However given the amount of details and hidden content in the series, the cigar has to be inspired by a real brand.

With the details presented, I have speculate that the cigar was inspired by the H. Upmann No. 2 along with some details of the Montecristo No. 2. Both brands are among the most popular and sought after Cuban cigars while being almost identical. Besides being having a pyramid figure and identical ring gauge, the two cigars also share a similar designed cigar band. Both cigars are also well known for having a smooth draw along with a cream and ceder flavor.

It’s also no accident that the cigar Big Boss is smoking is inspired by an H. Upmann as it was also the favorite cigar of President John F. Kennedy. A day before authorizing the trade embargo against Cuba; President Kennedy had Pierre Salinger, White House press secretary, acquire 1200 H. Upmann’s. The Kennedy Administration is also credited with establishing the modern special forces to combat the rise of communists insurgences in Asia and Latin America.

With the historical context along with his background in the Special Forces and being a protege of The Boss; it could be speculated that Big Boss was given a few H. Upmann No. 2 as a gift from President Kennedy.

This is however not the same cigar he is smoking in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Despite several good opportunities to examine the cigar band, I was unable to identify or guess the last cigar Big Boss smoked in Guns of the PatriotsI was able to identify the cigar smoked in The Phantom Pain. After closely examining the cigar featured in the trailers and E3 previews, its obviously a generic Cohiba based on the yellow, white and black decor of the the cigar band.

All the conclusions are based on the details presented and critically analyzed using my knowledge of premium cigars. Other gamers who also have a rich knowledge on cigars are welcomed to present their own hypothesis on what cigar Big Boss smokes.

Written for GameBeats
06/29/2013
Original Article: What Cigar Does Big Boss Smoke?

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About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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