So you have a special day coming up, for this particular day there isn’t a doubt in your mind that a gift is in order. You’ve always wanted to get the gift of cigars from your significant other / kids / parents / fiends, but you knew that day was probably not coming anytime soon. It isn’t because you don’t deserve the gift, the problem is the gift giver isn’t a cigar fanatic such as yourself and they don’t know where to begin.
The purpose of this post is to help remedy that situation. For anyone with a couple of cigars under their belt, this article may not seem very useful. To the non smoker, this short article will be just the primer they need to successfully make a cigar purchase that will light up your eyes.
Anniversary gift from my wife a few years ago
On behalf of the person you are buying cigars for, first let me thank you. The fact that you are making this effort means everything to the person on the receiving end of your gift. Chances are very good that, regardless of what type of cigars or accessories you purchase, they are going to bring a smile to the recipients face.
The purpose of this short article is to provide you with some basic information on selecting and storing cigars and cigar accessories for that big day; be it a birthday, holiday, anniversary, or just because, rest assured you will be prepared.
Cigars are natural products that can be very finicky at times. They are very reactive to both temperature and humidity. Fluctuations in one or the other could be the difference between a great smoking cigar and high priced mulch. The most important thing to remember is that if you are comfortable, the cigars will be comfortable.
Think of it this way, you go out shopping one day and swing by the local tobacconist for a gift. You purchase five cigars that were fairly expensive and need to run into the grocery on your way home. It is the middle of summer and for convenience, you toss your gift into the glove box of your car. After thirty minutes in the store you come out to find the cigars very soft and squishy compared to what they were before your quick stop. If you would mind sitting in a hot, closed up car for thirty minutes, so would your cigars.
This is just the same with a scenario involving a cold winter day. The problem in both cases is how the temperature affects the relative humidity within the cigar. Anything outside of about 67 degrees Fahrenheit and 65% relative humidity (plus or minus about 5 degrees in temperature and 7% relative humidity) for more than a few minutes may cause damage to the product.
So when buying cigars as a gift, the first thing to know is that if you are comfortable your cigars will be comfortable.
Where to buy:
So now that you know the first rule of cigars, the next step is to know where to purchase these temperamental items. Depending on how well you know the person you are buying the gift for, you may know if there is a local tobacco shop in your area. If there is, half of the battle is over.
For those people that are not fortunate enough to have a quality tobacconist nearby, you have a difficult road ahead of you. There are countless online retailers that have terrific deals on cigars year round, the problem comes to knowing which retailer to use and how to go about selecting the very cigars you wish to purchase.
To tackle the first problem, listed below are retailers in which I have used in the past. I have been happy with my dealings with each retailer listed. These companies have a solid track record and I would expect you to have satisfactory results.
For Cigar Accessories I would recommend the following
To recap, you now know that if you are comfortable, your cigars will be comfortable, and you know where to go about purchasing your gift of cigars and cigar accessories.
What to buy:
This is the absolute toughest part of the entire gift process. Taste is a very subjective thing, you are aware of that simply from the approach of food. You may love one dish while someone else may think that it is terrible. The same principle applies to cigars.
If you live under the same roof as the cigar smoker you are buying for, begin to take notice of the bands on the cigars they smoke. Go beyond the looks and make a note of any wording that may be on the band. You may think that the shiny white band with fancy lettering may be very distinct, but you will quickly learn otherwise when it comes time to find that same band later.
If you do not live with, or spend much time with this person, things are going to be much harder. It would be like ordering French food for yourself while having never spoken the language or tied that type of food. The end result is a gamble that may or may not pay off.
If you have a tobacconist in your area, you have an advantage. Goto this store and speak with someone who works there. First explain that you are buying a gift for someone and ask if they are a current customer. If they are indeed a customer, the employee can make a recommendation based off of their past purchases. If they are not, the tobacconist will be more than happy to help steer you in a good direction.
In the event that you do not have a tobacconist local to you and you are ordering your cigars online without knowing what this person enjoys, your job is going to be a bit harder. Rather than going to the website to order, give the above mentioned places a call and speak with a customer service representative. Explain to them that you are unsure of what to get and your budget. Most importantly, stick to your budget and don’t allow anyone to talk you into spending more than you planned.
In any case where you will be storing these cigars for a few days, ask for a Water Pillow or Boveda Pack to go along with those cigars. They will be used to help maintain your gift.
How to store:
At this point, you have gotten over the hump of selecting a cigar. The good news is that it is all downhill from here. From here you will have to store your gift for a few days. Hopefully you did not make your purchase too far in advance and will be giving the wonderful gift of cigars in less than a weeks time.
Remember the most important thing about cigars? If you are comfortable, they will be comfortable. You will want to find a place within your home that maintains a fairly steady temperature of about 65 to 67 degrees. A closet will normally work out just fine.
Place your cigars, along with the Water Pillow or Boveda Pack inside of a ziplock bag. Then place that ziplock bag inside of another ziplock bag. This will prevent any of the humidity within the cigars from escaping and causing them to dry out.
That is all there is to it, I told you it would all be downhill from here.
In some situations you simply may not be able to choose which cigar to purchase. You may not have a local shop or the slightest idea of what they may like. In this situation, accessories make excellent gift. They often times last much longer than a box of cigars and can be customized for the individual.
Just like any tool that would be used around the house or garage, you want to make sure you select something from a reputable manufacturer. There is nothing worse than being given an accessory as a gift only to have it break within a months time. This creates an awkward situation for both parties.
If you are going the route of a cutting device, I would suggest buying from the following manufacturers. Their products have been around for some time and have an unbeatable lifetime warranty.
If you decide to go the route of lighters, you can expect a quality product and warranty from the following manufacturers.
If you are still concerned about what to purchase, feel free to browse around this website for cigar and product reviews. If you still require some assistance, we are more than happy to help. Head over to our contact form and ask away.
Know that simply by going this far will have
put a smile on that special persons face.
8 thoughts on “Giving the gift of cigars”
If you’re looking to give gifts, go talk to your local tobacconist. Some manufacturers have special gift packs available that the store doesn’t normally carry.
For example, a friend came to me. He wanted to give his groomsmen a nice cutter and some cigars for a gift. In the Xikar catalog, they have a special box that will hold a cutter and 5 cigars. I ordered the special box with cutter for him (didn’t cost anything extra for the box), sold him the cigars to fill them up, and he had a unique gift in a perfect presentation.
Great article. I have ‘special folks’ that I’ll be sharing this article with! 🙂
“Fluctuations in one or the other could be the difference between a great smoking cigar and high priced mulch.”
Hilarious but true!!!
Great post, Walt. I’m sure this post well create many excellent gifts for many BOTL’s this Xmas!
Great post, Sir Walt. And thanks for the mention 🙂
This is a great article, and I hope the right people read it 😉
Nice job Walt. But I want to know when you are going to detail SR’s participation in the Independent Cigar Media Alliance? I like the idea as it gives each participant more weight overall in the cigar community. I can’t wait to hear more.