When it comes to cigar accessories there is one that you simply can not do without. If you’re in a bind and find yourself without a cutter, a pocket knife, fingernails, or even teeth can open up the cigar. They may not do the prettiest job but the job gets done.
You really can’t say the same when it comes to lighting your cigar. Unless of course you’re Les Stroud or Cody Lundin and can whip up a fire with an old shoe lace and a couple of sticks. If you don’t have a means of making fire, you’re out of luck.
Because of the importance of lighters to cigar smokers, the market is flooded with them. If you were to walk into your local tobacconist you’d probably find a dozen different shapes and sizes. Go online and you’ll find thousands of lighters to choose from.
Because of the variety, lighters tend to be a lot of fun to review. When I had the opportunity to check out the Colibri Astoria Triple Jet Lighter, courtesy of Lighter USA, I didn’t hesitate.
This particular lighter is a triple flame model (as the name implies). Unlike many other triple flames, the jets on this lighter are arranged in-line. The two outside jets are angled inward while the center jet is vertical. This produces a broad flame that comes to a point. This shape provides more control and reduces the chance of scorching.
The lid, which covers the jets, is manually operated (by that I mean it isn’t tied to the ignition switch). The ignition is a pull-down button which is smooth and easy to operate.
Opposite the ignition switch is a double-blade guillotine cutter. The cutter folds down, out of the frame. When the cutter is out, the fuel level can be checked through a small window in the frame. This window in not visible when the cutter is folded into the lighter.
Like most ‘luxury lighters’ this unit has some weight to it. It feels solid in the hand and feels well constructed. The MSRP on the Colibri Astoria Triple Jet Lighter is $150.00 but is currently available for $135.00 with free shipping at Lighter USA.
The Colirbri Astoria has been my go-to lighter for the past few weeks. I’ve used it to light roughly 30 cigars and perform countless touch-ups. My biggest gripe with this lighter, as you probably would have guessed, is fuel consumption. I have a tendency to toast my cigars heavily during the lighting process. This lead to re-fueling after every four to five cigars.
Less of an issue and more of an annoyance is the fuel fill valve. I’ve become horribly spoiled with Xikar Lighters and think of their fill valve / tool-less adjustment as being ‘stand equipment’. The first time I needed to adjust the Colibri Astoria and realized I needed a tool was a major inconvenience. I use my Spyderco Delica 4 for a lot of things but the tip of the blade just doesn’t fit into the valve for adjustment and I was forced to wait until I could get my hands on a screwdriver.
The one area where this lighter fell short is in the do-it-all design. The double guillotine looks cool but I found it to be almost worthless. Despite the blades being sharp I found that they did more pinching than actual cutting. Perhaps this is due to the awkward operation of the cutter? Whatever the reason, I stopped using the cutter after five damaged caps and tossed my trusty Palio Cutter in my pocket whenever I went out with the the Colibri Astoria.
Despite the few issues I had with the lighter (Fuel Fill Valve, Fuel Consumption, and Cutter for those of you that have skimmed to the end), I was happy with my Colibri Astoria Triple Jet. Even though the flame comes to a fine point it is still a bit overkill for small ring gauge cigars. If you smoke Robusto and larger, the heat and precision of the Astoria are amazing.
Colibri had a bad reputation at one point in time. Their lower priced lighters seemed problematic but their more expensive stuff seems to be solid. In fact, I still have an Colibri that my wife bought me years ago and it works great.
If you are in the market for a luxury lighter for a loved one, give the Colibri Astoria Triple Jet some consideration. It is a little spendy for my taste but it looks and works great.
If you would like to win my Colibri Astoria Triple Jet Lighter, I’m going to need you to lend me a hand. Head over to Lighter USA, look through the products, and find one that you would like Stogie Review to feature next. Post the name of the product and the link in the comments section below.
On Christmas Eve I’ll randomly select one comment and that will be our winner. One entry per-person.