If you have been into cigars for more than a couple of days, I’m sure you are familiar with the term Premium Cigar. This term gets thrown around alot in the industry and I thought it would be great to talk about it a little bit and see if everyone could help me refine my definition.
Just like I did with the article on Boutique cigars, I posted a daily discussion topic on the Stogie Review Fan Forums asking how everyone would define the term Premium Cigar. There were several interesting responses that were thought provoking.
Actually I’ve always accepted that term loosely as ad speak to mean any cigar that’s pretty hand rolled with long filler. For me though it would be any reliably good boxed/bundled cigar. I would consider the Tornano 1959 Gold to be a premium cigar, though it’s only three or four bucks a stick by the box. I also consider the Obsidian a premium cigar even though it can be had for less than two bucks a pop on cbid. Free Cuba, not so much.
Anything above a bundled smoke, and under $10 a stick. At $10 you hit super premium, and and at the $18 mark or so, you hit ultra premium.
The common denominator here seems to be focused on price, although Ratters makes it apparent that some of the more affordable smokes would also be considered premium cigars in his mind. I agree with this way of thinking and tend to look at it in a similar light.
I have no problems calling the Flor de Oliva Gold and Corojo premium cigars when they both come in at under $2.00 each if purchased by the bundle. The same goes for the Perdomo Fresco and Lot 23. But if price isn’t that big of a factor in my mind, what is the difference between a Tatuaje Serie P and a Dutch Masters?
I always thought of a premium cigar as hand rolled with long filler, also anything that does not fall into the bargain category. I see “top shelf” or “super premium” as the ones that cost more than id like to spend. Im hesitant to dismiss all bundled smokes since there are always exceptions to any rule, while most would fall in the bargain category, there are some id put up there with premium smokes. I left out prices since you can have a fairly large price range for the same cigar line depending on size, take the opus x, you can pick up one of the smaller sizes for 8-12 bucks while some of the more rare larger sizes can go over 100 bucks, so you could put them in many categories just depending on size.
In Matt’s definition, he makes mention of Hand Rolled and Long Filler. I think this is also a great way to define a premium cigar, although there are a handful of affordable mixed filler cigars that I would also consider premium. The first example that comes to mind is the previously mentioned Tatuaje Serie P. Another example would be the Ashton Benchmade. Both cigars are quality products but come with mixed filler.
A hand-rolledcigar that goes above average in construction, draw and taste. That covers several price points obviously, but i have had $5 cigars that fared better in these categories than some higher priced sticks i have tried.
MSUTbone has a definition that is practically the same as mine. A premium cigar can cost very little and be made of mixed filler or long filler, but it needs to have been created by hand for me to feel as though it is a premium product.
What is your though process on what makes a Premium Cigar, Premium?