Five Crucial Tips: How to Choose a Cigar or Brand

Chances are if you have been a cigar aficionado for any length of time, you are very loyal to a specific cigar manufacturer, cigar brand, cigar wrapper or cigar vitola (size and shape). But what if you wish to switch to a new cigar or brand? Or you are new to cigars? Where do you start?

You can start by asking around the cigar lounge, researching online forums or blogs, and reading magazines like Cigar Aficionado or Cigar Journal. You can even read reviews like our Staff Picks. You might want to consider subscribing to a cigar sampler service such as Smoke With Us, which sends you six specially selected cigars each month. This service allows you to sample different cigars, which can help narrow down your search for a new cigar or brand. 

There is a lot to consider, however, there are some general things to keep in mind when selecting a brand and cigar. We suggest you use these five crucial tips when choosing a new cigar or brand.

Manufacturer: How long have they been in business? Do the owners come from a long line of experienced cigar crafters like Casa CuevasPlasencia, or EP Carrillo? Have their cigars received accolades such as Cigar of the Year? Also, just because the manufacturer’s lineage doesn’t span generations doesn’t mean their cigars are lacking. For example, Rocky Patel was an attorney who turned his passion for cigars into making premium cigars and becoming a globally recognized premium cigar brand.

Brand: When choosing a new brand, you may want to stay within a manufacturer’s wheelhouse. For example, let’s say you’re an ardent fan of Drew Estate’s ever popular Acid brand. But you want to try something completely different.  Since you are familiar with Drew Estate, you might wish to explore some of their other brands such as Liga Privada or Liga Undercrown. Exploring a preferred manufacturer’s various brands is a great way to expand your smoking horizon while sticking with a name you can trust. 
Reviews: There are many websites, blogs and forums that post cigar reviews. Also, most online cigar retailers have staff picks or customer review sections. And of course, you can always ask the associates that work in the stores or fellow aficionados. 

Personal Preference: This one is really up to you. Some things to consider are your experience with the brand, the cigar’s size/shape, the strength, and the blend, which is composed of the wrapper, binder, and filler. Also consider pairings, as the beverage that you choose to enjoy with your cigar will affect your smoking experience in different ways depending on the specific blend of tobacco contained within the cigar.

Cost: The good thing about cigars is that it is easy to find one that fits everyone’s taste and budget. If you like to smoke one or several cigars a day, consider buying cigars at cost or bundled cigars. Most of these cigars are made by some of the top names in the business so chances are you won’t sacrifice a great deal of quality for the price. The money you save by purchasing budget-friendly cigars can be used to buy pricier cigars, which you can enjoy on special occasions or as a treat.
In conclusion, when choosing a new cigar or brand there is a multitude of things to consider and resources available to help you in the decision process. However, the manufacturer, the brand, reviews, personal preferences, and costs are five things you should always take into account. Lastly, don’t forget part that of the fun of finding a new cigar is the hunt. 

Published on June 30, 2023.