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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Hats and Cigars: Flairing and Pairing by Michael Brown is a lifestyle guide and pseudo-memoir from a premier aficionado of all things hats and cigars. Like the gourmet pairings that most readers are likely familiar with, primarily in the form of food and wine, Brown is a cigar sommelier with a background in pairing cigars and a drink to complement it. This is what he does in this book as well, but he is able to branch out even further into an area of expertise that makes the experience truly stand out: his collection of hats. A hatter, a cigar enthusiast, and a libation specialist make Brown a triple threat in a world that has always felt a cut above the standard fare, sharing his expertise with us all.
"I don't use a hat as a prop. I use it as a part of me." - Isabella Blow, as quoted in Hats and Cigars. Michael Brown comes across as a guy so smooth, knowledgeable, and laid back in his conversational instruction that he makes me feel like I was just invited to sit at the cool-kids table as a Hats and Cigars reader. He states that he doesn't consider himself a man of fashion, his modesty being just another layer of an already polished persona, one which is clear as he wears a Goorin Bros. Cash Queen, smokes a limited edition Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial, and nurses a glass of Hennessy Master Blender Selection No. 3. The smoke snakes upward from his cigar like a sentient being, the constant companion of a man who knows how to live his best life. It's not an act. This is Brown sharing his lifestyle with the rest of us, and I cannot believe my luck in having this book land right in my lap. Very highly recommended.