I was talking with my father yesterday, and an interesting subject popped up. I don’t recall what exactly brought it on, but we managed to get to talking about the selection of seconds that were available from select manufacturers. Mid way through our discussion I made mention that this would make an interesting little write-up on Stogie Review, however it probably wouldn’t make me many friends in the industry.
The discussion with my father revolved around the definition of a second. By second, I mean a cigar that isn’t up to snuff and is rejected from the primary assortment. So we have these seconds, available nationwide from catalog companies, but what are they?
At first I thought that perhaps a second was a complete cigar that was made up of second rate tobacco. For instance, perhaps when the tobacco is graded it is sorted into three piles, premium, second rate, rejected and sold off as scrap. This should, in essence, make a cigar that was similar to the original but made up of inferior product.
While this situation may not be ideal, it seems like a great way to use up second rate tobacco and leverage the name of the cigar it is modeled after. I would think that these seconds would be similar in taste to their premium counterpart, but may have some construction issues.
When I read up on these cigars, it would seem that this isn’t how they come to be. It seems that in some cases, the premium is rolled then some of the stock is rejected for not being up to snuff. This would also be acceptable in my mind. You are bound to find some problem sticks in the quality control portion of manufacturing.
My concern begins to rise, however, when I see the sheer volume of available seconds. Take Rocky Patel for instance, he has Factory Selects, Seconds, and at one time had Off Color. Perdomo has a lineup of Mistakes and Remainders. The concern isn’t that they exist, but that there is an entire line of seconds available across the big catalog companies. I can’t help but wonder if their rollers continually make that many problem cigars that an entire line can be created. And if so, what is the likelihood of some of these being missed and finding their way into premium boxes? Granted, these seconds are not always available, but there sure are a lot of them listed across the web.
Available At Famous:
- Rocky Patel 2nds Classic
- Rocky Patel 2nds Original
- Rocky Patel 2nds Rosado
- Rocky Patel Classic 2nds Maduro
- Rocky Patel Factory 2nds Sungrown
- Rocky Patel Selects Classic
- Rocky Patel Selects Original
- Rocky Patel Selects Rosado
- Perdomo Remainders Natural
- Perdomo Remainders Cameroon
- Perdomo Remainders Habana
- Perdomo Remainders Maduro
- Perdomo Remainders Rosado
At Cigars International:
- Rocky Patel Fusion Seconds
- Rocky Patel ITC 10th Anniversary Seconds
- Rocky Patel Nicaraguan Factory Selects
- Rocky Patel The Edge Counterfeits
- Rocky Patel Vintage Seconds
- Rocky Patel X-Outs
- Perdomo ESV Seconds
- Perdomo 2 Mistakes
- Perdomo Overuns
The volume of the lines makes me wonder if some of the premium lines aren’t actually a byproduct of making seconds. It would be one thing if the seconds were available at a handful of cigar shops which sell a couple dozen boxes per month, but we are talking about mail order stores that do hundreds, if not thousands, of boxes per month.
Perhaps I have the wrong idea and these seconds are cigars that are ordered by these large catalog companies. It is possible that when the order comes in, apprentice rollers are put to work knowing that their product is not going to match the quality of an experienced roller.
This article came about as a bunch of “what if” scenarios. I don’t know how seconds come to be, I just get my information by reading the catalog copy. Whatever they are, or however they come to be, there are simply an amazing number of these cigars out there for the purchase.