Cigars provide smokers with a tasty and pleasant way to relax and have a good time. However, as new and veteran cigar enthusiasts can attest to, the quality of a smoke—or lack thereof—directly impacts the overall experience.
Stated in short, low-grade cigars “leave a bad taste” in one’s mouth.
To help smokers puff the best cigars, let’s explore five important qualities to look for during the purchasing process!
1. Adequate Storage-Space Humidity
Particularly when shopping in a brick-and-mortar cigar store (online distributors’ humidity levels are often available for checking), tobacco lovers should be on the lookout for proper humidity levels—that is, air that’s moist enough to keep stogies fresh. Hygrometers calculate the air’s relative humidity, and anything between 65 and 72 percent is suitable for cigars.
Smokes that aren’t kept in properly humidified spaces will become dry and stale—a point that affects taste, burn quality, and more. Thus, first and foremost, shoppers should verify the humidity level of the humidors that contain for-sale cigars.
Dry cigars are not worth buying.
2. Personally Pleasing Wrapper Shade
There is no bad outermost leaf—or wrapper, technically speaking—for cigars. With that said, different wrappers and shades bring with them different flavors and strength profiles, and smokers should bear this information in mind when shopping.
As a general rule, the lightest tobacco wrapper, Connecticut,contains mild flavors and isn’t especially strong. Maduro wrappers, on the other hand, are characterized by a black color and are full-bodied and distinct in terms of flavor. The closer intermediary wrappers are to either end of the spectrum, the more predictable their taste and strength will be.
Be sure to buy a cigar that’s personally appealing, strength- and body-wise.
3. Smooth Wrapper
Additionally, smooth wrappers are telltale signs of reliable cigars. Wrappers that are flaking, chipping, and/or very “veiny” (veins are simply lifted sections of the wrapper—they don’t look unlike veins on the human body) generally indicate poorly crafted smokes.
Moreover, poorly crafted smokes sometimes taste poorly and usually have trouble burning the whole way through.
4. A Noteworthy Brand—or a Recommendation
It’d be ill-advised to purchase a cigar without being a fan of its brand and/or receiving a recommendation from a professional, a friend, or a reviewer.
As is the case with wine, beer, food, and a whole lot else, preference is everything when it comes to cigars. Buying a noteworthy brand of smoke will help to guarantee both quality and personal appeal.
Thus, the Acid brand is known for infused—flavored—cigars. For as excellent as Acid stogies are, someone who’s in the market for an old-school cigar—say, a Romeo y Julieta—probably won’t be satisfied with the former.
Buy a noteworthy brand of cigar–or base a purchase off of a recommendation that covers quality and taste characteristics.
5. Affordable Pricing
The aforementioned Romeo y Julieta cigars—the same stogies that Winston Churchill smoked whenever possible—don’t cost an arm and a leg. Similarly, Acid, Rocky Patel, and many of today’s other leading brands can be had for $12 or less, when a box is purchased.
Cigar stores need to mark individual stogies up to turn a profit, but really steep costs—more than $20 per smoke—aren’t indicative of a must-try item. Rather, they’re indicative of disrespect on the part of the cigar’s creator, and more times than not, overly expensive cigars are underwhelming.
Sticking to affordable cigars is a surefire way to save cash and experience the best tobacco.
These tips are certain to make the cigar-purchasing—and cigar-smoking—process as straightforward and fruitful as possible. With warm weather arriving presently, there’s never been a better time to grab some friends, grab some cigars, and enjoy life.