In a previous article entitled “Cigar Misconceptions: Which one would you do away with?”, we were all reintroduced to common cigar related myths and misconceptions that we have all heard one time or another. In fact, there was most likely a time in our past when we spread some of these fallacies ourselves.
In each part of this Quelling Cigar Misconceptions series, I would like to shed some light on some of the most common myths and misconceptions. I hope that we can all learn a little and help those that are not aware.
Misconception: You need to spend a lot of money for a fine cigar.
Submitted by Jerry
This seems to be a very common thought among nonsmokers or those that are mildly into the cigar hobby. My assumption would be that the people that feel this way have extremely limited experience with cigars and relate their few negative cigar experiences to the inexpensive cigars picked up on a whim.
Without putting any effort into researching your first purchase, it is very easy to select a cigar that you will not enjoy. Most of this comes from inexperience and the fact that first time buyers have a tendency to shop for bands.
We have all been guilty of shopping for cigar bands at one point or another. In fact I still do it fairly often, it is how I’ve discovered some of my favorite and least favorite cigars. What makes this type of shopping easier for those of us who have been smoking for more than a few months, is that we have developed an understanding of what we may be able to expect from the manufacturer of that cigar as well as the flavor characteristics of the wrapper leaf on said cigar.
When inexperienced shopping is paired with simple sticker shock, a new smoker can easily be overwhelmed and feel forced into just trying what is inexpensive and looks appealing. This sort of result can be avoided if a reputable tobacconist os consulted on the potential likes and dislikes of a new smoker.
Suggesting one cigar over another, for any person, is difficult without knowing their previous likes and dislikes. It is my belief that a tobacconist has a terribly low chance of recommending a cigar, that they will enjoy, to a first time buyer if he/she samples only one cigar. Setting a price ahead of time and selecting a small variety will greatly increase the chance of finding something that will keep them coming back to the hobby.
Getting back to the misconception at hand
Anyone that has smoked more than a handful of cigars knows that this misconception is completely false. If you are in the market for an inexpensive cigar and don’t know what to try, check out the following.
- Retails for around $2.50 per single
- Offers rich and complex flavors
- Medium body
- Retails for around $2.00 per single
- Has a nice Nicaraguan spice that is just enough without being overpowering
- Medium Body
- Retails for around $2.00
- Fantastic economic smoke that goes very well with coffee
- Mild-Medium Body
If those suggestion don’t pan out at your local shop, don’t be afraid to ask the person behind the counter for some advice.
On the other side of the fence
In an article entitled High Priced Flops: Which one do you regret most?, we learned that not all high priced cigars are as good as their supposed to be.
Check out what some of our readers had to say
I spent $37 each on 2 Stradavarius Robusto Majors. I found these to be exceptional! An exceptional waste of $74 that is! I cant say that the cigars weren’t good because they were quite nice, but no more so than plenty or other sticks at a third of the price. Im gonna save up a little and try one their violins. Maybe i’ll have better luck smoking one of those!!!
While in Switzerland a couple years ago for several weeks I bought four Cohiba’s (from an island not to be named). I paid a price too embarrassing to admit, as I look back, even given the better Swiss exchange rate at that time. Although they came from a good tobacconist and appeared to be properly humidified, the taste of the first might as well have been cardboard. The second one was the same. I gave the others away, warning the recipients and asking for their impressions. Responses were similar. After the fact, I compared the labels at a web site with much detail and pictures on spotting fakes, and I am confident they were genuine. Just not good. (The Dominican variety, while cheaper, don’t impress me, either.)
For me it has to be the AVO 80th. Last year I was looking for recommendations on a good birthday cigar and the AVO 80th was one of the recommendations I got that I was able to find in a local B&M. After selecting the only one that didn’t have significant battle scars, I brought it hope and lit it up. Good God was that cigar plugged! I would have been easier to suck soup through a brick than pull smoke through that cigar.
When I dropped by the shop again about a week later, the last injured stragglers were gone. To this day, I have no idea what that cigar tastes like, or whether or not it’s a good smoke.
Moral of the story:
The common misconception that you need to spend a lot of money for a fine cigar is completely false. Get out there and try a small variety before jumping to such a conclusion.
Read more from this series
Quelling Cigar Misconceptions: Part 2
Quelling Cigar Misconceptions: Part 3
4 thoughts on “Quelling Cigar Misconceptions: Part 1”
Another inexpensive smoke to try out: the Ashton Benchmade by Don Pepin Garcia. It is mixed filler, but you probably won’t be able to tell. At 3 bucks or less a stick with flavors you expect from a Pepin cigar, you may never smoke anything else ever again!
A couple of notes here.
Early on in my cigar quest I went to a great little shop in Harrisburg PA (Rae’s). This was a Mom and Pop, and Mom was very good at helping me pick out cigars based on what I told her I liked.
I asked her why she was so good at this and she told me that it was because she didn’t smoke! Explaining further she said that she had noticed that most smokers seemed to recommend the cigars that they liked, no matter what the other person said they liked. While her recommendations were based on the descriptions of the cigars vs. what the customer asked for.
That being said, when asked for advise by a 1st timer in a cigar shop I will often suggest a cigar I almost never smoke since it is a nice mild Dominican at a reasonable price.
The cigar? Montesino by Fuente. Why?
Well for one thing the shop owner is always happy to sell one of these, they are pushed to buy them by Fuente if they want other Fuente brands. So the markup isn’t too high.
As a result it will normally have some age on it, a good thing for any smoke and very good for the 1st time smoker.
Being a Fuente it is well made and not subject to burn problems that our new smoker isn’t ready to deal with.
Being mild it won’t overwhelm the new person and will keep them from embarrassing themselves at the end of the evening. Remember that most 1st time smokers aren’t ready for even a medium cigar. Remember that cigar that made you feel a bit ‘green around the gills’? You don’t want that to happen here.
Finally, I guess I should say that while I’ve picked out the Montesino as my 1st time smoker’s suggestion, perhaps each of us should put some thought into what cigar you would suggest.
I can honestly say that if every cigar on Earth costs the exact same amount that the lowly Villiger Export Maduro would still be one of my favorites. It’s everything a good cigar isn’t supposed to be, cheap, mass produced, dry cured, machine rolled, not Cuban or Dominican, hell the damn things are square They should be to cigars what a Fish Fillet from McDonalds is to seafood… but damn if I don’t really, really like those little things.