The Best Cigars for the Money

It seems that some people just have too much money. And I don’t necessarily mean “wealthy.”

No, I mean people that just throw money away when it comes to picking out a decent cigar.

There are two ways to blow money when it comes to buying cigars.

1. Buy overpriced cigars or

2. Buy cigars that are too cheap.

Frankly, I am not sure which is the greater sin, so let’s start with the first one.

Twenty years ago, things were different. Your cigar choices were limited in two ways. One, there were just a lot less cigars out there and two, you were pretty much victim to whatever your local cigar shop deemed appropriate to carry.

That has changed.

There are lots of cigar companies out there…big and small. The big boys like Avo are putting out quality cigars at a variety of price points. New start-ups like have figured out how to create quality cigars and an amazing price.

So, at the end of the day, you don’t need to pay $20 a stick for a quality cigar. Heck, you don’t even have to pay $15.

Secondly, stop chasing cigar that are under $4.00 a stick. I mean really. What kind of quality do you really think you are getting? For the most part (and yes, there are a couple of exceptions but probably not yours) anything under $4.00 a stick is the bologna of the cigar world – you just don’t know what you are getting.

My advice to the first group is try some lesser expensive cigars. Stop trying to prove yourself to the world via showing off the right “label” and actually enjoy a better smoke.

As for the second group. If it is a budget issue, just skip a cigar here and there and double your budget. You will have a much better cigar experience and stop blowing money on crappy sticks.

Cuban Crafters 3 Blade Black Cigar Scissor Cutter

We just put in a order for what could be one of the coolest looking cutters on the planet. 

Course, we are just wondering if it will work in “real life.” [Read more…]

Perdomo Habano Review by J Bebb

On Sunday afternoon I took advantage of a bright crisp fall day to have a
seat in the garden, share a glass of single malt with my daughter and light
up a wonderful cigar-the Perdomo Habano with a Corojo wrapper in a 6X60
gordo size.

The cigar is wonderful to look at, a light sheen lets it almost
glow. This Nicaraguan puro is well constructed, firm in the hand with a
great cedar-y smell in the pre-light. [Read more…]

Top Five Cigars For Fathers Day

What Dad really for Fathers Day is some great cigars to add to his humidor. So forget getting Dad yet another tie that he will no doubt only wear when someone makes him.

Here are five great choices you can pick up this year for Dad (in no particular order).

Liga Privada Flying Pig / Drew Estate – Not for beginners, this cigar is a hot seller among those preferring a full body smoke.

Nomad Renegade / Nomad Cigar Company* – From what we understand, the Renegade contains the same blend as the rest of Nomad line…and yet, this one has risen to the top.

San Lotano Oval / AJ FernandezWhat? It is oval? Yea. You know, odd shaped, kind of like Dad himself.

Alec Bradley Tempus / Alec BradleyTough to single out an Alec Bradley that Dad will love…this one will surely do the trick!

Room 101 OSOK / Camacho – One Shot, One Kill (OSOK). Dad will like the name alone.

If you think Dad is fully stocked on cigars, he can never have enough. But, if you are looking for a really cool cigar accessory, check out the 3D Mayan by Xikar.

Finding the Best Cigar Cutters

Sure, you can use a razor blade, an x-acto knife or a pocket blade; you can even just bite and tear to remove the uncut end of a cigar.  Probably uncouth, but not without it’s value when you’re far from home with an unclipped cigar and a powerful urge to smoke. [Read more…]

Be a Cigar Smoking Professional

Even before you know what you’re doing, you can ‘look the part’ of an accomplished cigar smoker.  These are the four essential items you will want to have.


There are just some things a cigar smoker can’t do without. This is one of ‘em.  Sure you can chew off the end of your cigar (like they do in the movies) and just spit it out, but nothing says you’re a true connoisseur better than pulling out your own personal cigar cutter.  (Also see How to Cut a Cigar). [Read more…]

Tips for New Cigar Smokers

New to smoking cigars?

Don’t worry.  Even Winston Churchill had to start somewhere!

Cigar Secrets is filled with lots of information about choosing cigars, lighting  smoking them, accessories, etc.  But this page is devoted to answering the questions many ‘virgins’ ask.  A Cigar Newbie’s FAQ, if you like.  (And don’t be too hard on yourself – some of the, shall we say, more ‘experienced’ cigar smokers who are reading this site could do with a refresher in these basics too.)

So start here and keep on reading.  And why not enjoy a good smoke while you do? [Read more…]

Getting to Know Cigar Wrappers

Of the three major cigar components – wrapper, binder and filler – it’s the wrapper leaves that readily present themselves for inspection when you’re making your purchase.  Some industry experts claim that up to 75% of the flavor of a cigar comes from the wrapper – so be sure to get to know them well.  “Kick the tires” so to speak of each new stogie you buy.

To pass muster, wrapper leaves should be thick and have an oily feeling.  They should possess a smooth and uniform color, with small veining running throughout the leaf.  The veins should be subtle, not prominent, and no blemishes should mar the leaf. [Read more…]

Cigar Smoking Origins

Where were YOU in ’92?  Not 1992…1492!

Before you grandfather’s grandfather was even a sparkle in HIS grandfather’s eye, Christopher Columbus was out discovering America and something else, too – tobacco!  From lowly tobacco came the most elevated of pleasures – the fine smoking cigar.

It really was the beginning of a whole New World!  Cigar popularity burned a path back to the continent, setting Europe afire before finding its way back to America again.

When Victoria was queen, cigars were king in England, but their enjoyment was limited to private clubs and residences.  [Read more…]

How are Cigars Made?

Let’s start at the beginning…

Fun fact:  Two tablespoons of seed can produce 10 acres of cigar tobacco!

First comes the harvesting of the leaves, in itself a thoughtful and careful process.  Leaves that are harvested from the bottom of plants (Valdo) have the mildest flavor.  Middle level leaves (Seco) which are the largest leaves and some say best tasting, deliver milder flavor, while the top leaves (Corona) have the greatest exposure to the sun, and therefore the most pronounced taste.

Fun Fact: Valdo, Seco, and Corona only apply to Sun Grown tobacco. In Cuba, wrapper tobacco that is grown in the shade (under cloth) is called Ligero (light), Seco (dry), Amarillo (yellow), and Viso (Glossy).

These pre-sorted leaves are re-sorted according to size and texture.  They’re bundled and hung to dry (cure) for 6-8 weeks.  During curing, the tobacco leaves must be able to release moisture and (sweat or ferment) rid themselves of toxins like ammonia and other chemicals that develop during the process.  If proper fermentation has not occurred during curing, the resulting tobacco will not burn steadily and will have a harsh, bitter taste.

In preparing premium cigars, the blender will carefully sort and strip the three components of a smoke – the filler, the binder and the wrapper.  All this must be completed prior to the creation of the unique combination (recipe) of tobacco and wrapper that will result in a perfect smoke.

The blender assembles a special combination of tobacco leaves to make the filler.  Depending on the type of cigar, its size and ring gauge, there may be as few as two and as many of four tobacco leaves in the mix.  Blending is an art unto itself.

The next art is shaping, and the ‘hand’ of the expert is revealed in a consistent shape and texture.  A buncher forms the filler leaves into a neat cylindrical shape.  A binder leaf comes next.  Then, the entire cigar is placed into a mold to gently and slowly ‘massage’ it into a perfect cigar shape.

When the shape has been achieved, a roller applies the outer wrapper leaf of tobacco and voila – cigar perfection…almost.

After the cigar maker has ‘introduced’ the elements of the cigar to one another, the stogies are placed in the “marrying room” for a 3-week (minimum) honeymoon together.  The ‘marrying room’ is actually a tobacco aging room, usually made of cedar, in which temperature and humidity are carefully controlled. During this time, Nature brings the various tobacco components together to synthesize their best qualities into the richly layered taste of a fine cigar.  Lots of things go into how cigars smoke with this being an important step! It is not uncommon for some growers to skip this process – a serious mistake to true cigar connoisseurs.