An occasional cigar smoking friend recently asked me how many cigars come in a standard cigar box. My answer was there isn’t a standard. 20-count boxes are common, but I’ve seen enough boxes between holding between 21 to 25 sticks to make me wonder if 20-counts are really the most common. And then there’s been the growth in 10-count boxes in recent years. We really should call those “half boxes”, but the increased accuracy probably doesn’t help sell “boxes”. (I don’t have a beef with 10-count “boxes”. In fact, I like them.)
The variation in box-counts lead me down the track of all the unusual boxes I’ve seen over the years. Not just unusual in number of cigars the boxes hold, but in the appearance, and even the function of the box. Especially cigar boxes with an identity crisis- they may hold cigars, but they’re really something else. An art piece perhaps. Or something functional like a humidor or an ash tray. Perhaps a combination of things in addition to being a delivery vehicle for premium tobacco.
Of course there’s the annual Tatuaje Monsters series in decorative coffin boxes. There’s also the recent AVO 90th Classic Covers with a box that looks like a record player and doubles as an ashtray. And La Flor Dominicana has a couple of really solid entries with their 1994 Beer Stein and the incredibly detailed curing barn aka “Casa de Tobaco” box/humidor. (Which reminds me, I still want that beer stein, I never got around to buying one.) But my all time favorite unusual cigar box is the Sancho Panza “Branch of the Tree Cabinet” humidor from the 1970’s. It’s such a gloriously impractical eyesore that I can’t help but love it. (My wife would never, ever let me have one, even if I could find one.)
But what do you think? What’s the most unusual cigar box you’ve ever seen? And more practically, when it comes to “normal” boxes, what’s your preferred box count?