Top 5 Tips For Picking Out Amazing New Cigars
When girls get married, there’s a tradition that suggests they should wear, “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” While I have no idea what this magic spell is supposed to accomplish, I do know that a similar idea works great when you’re working to pick out a new blends to try. So here are my top tips for picking out new sticks when you visit your local cigar shop.
I. Something You Love
Of course decision making is easiest when you just go with what you know. Picking out ol’ reliable is a sure fire way to make sure you’re getting something you’ll enjoy. However, if you’re looking for something new to smoke, you can use your favorite cigar to help inform your decision.
If you’re looking to move on to something new, look for a cigar with the same wrapper leaf as your last favorite cigar. If you really like the Oliva Serie G Cameroon, look for other cigars with a Cameroon wrapper (AJ Fernandez New World Cameroon, or Arturo Fuente Hemingway).
One of my favorite cigars is the Fonseca by My Father. It has a Corojo wrapper, so it might make sense to try another Corojo cigar (and there are A LOT out there).
II. Something New
These days more new cigars are hitting the market than ever before. Even if you wanted to smoke every blend available, it would be nearly impossible with all the new blends hitting the shelves of cigar shops. And this fact makes new blends a prime hunting ground for a new favorite cigar.
Look for new releases from your favorite cigar companies, or new blends by your favorite blender. Regardless of what new cigar you choose, you’ll ensure yourself that you’re puffing on the cutting edge of the cigar industry’s best offerings.
For a new blend, I picked out the Alec & Bradley Kintsugi. It’s a medium+ strength blend that was crafted by Alec & Bradley Rubin. These guys are blending up a storm lately, and so far they haven’t been able to miss the bulls eye with their new cigars.
III. Something Unfamiliar
It’s always easiest and most comfortable to go with something you know. But the world of the unknown is filled with unexpected treasures. So when you’re looking for a new kind of flavor, you might think about looking for something you’re most unfamiliar with.
It’s a gamble. You might not always pick a winner with this one, but you also might expose yourself to a new kind of amazing flavor that you never thought you’d enjoy.
For this one, I picked out El Rey Del Mundo. I know very little about this cigar… other than the fact that it’s tasty, affordable, and has a Broadleaf wrapper. I first brought this cigar into Cigars Daily after we had some requests for it, and I was able to offer a great deal on it. It’s sold really well for the shop, and all because I tried something unfamiliar.
IV. Something Highly Rated
Highly rated cigars aren’t always going to float your boat. But they will give you a good idea of how reliable the reviewer’s rating is. If you find a cigar review channel or blog that seems to have good information, you can always put that info to the test by trying the cigar for yourself and seeing how similar your palate is to the reviewer.
This is the reason that I religiously work to tell people what my preferences are. As a reviewer, I like cigars that are mild, creamy, smooth, and sweet. So my input won’t be as vital to the full strength pepper bomb fans as it will to people who’s preferences align with mine.
For this tip, I chose Southern Draw’s Rose of Sharon. It’s one of very few cigars to have earned multiple 100/100 ratings from reviewers. I even gave it something like a 95. It’s a medium strength Connecticut with a slight pepper and lots of flavor. I also find a lot of people, who have similar palates to me and have fallen in love with the blend on my recommendation. There’s a lot to be said for reviews and ratings… but even more to be said when they match up with your preferences.
V. Something You’re Giving A Second Chance
Every cigar smoker on the planet will eventually bump into a cigar that you don’t like. Maybe the cigar burned poorly, had a bad draw, fell apart, was too strong, wasn’t strong enough, or had bad flavor. There are a lot of things that can ruin the experience with any blend. But one bad experience doesn’t exactly mean that the blend itself is bad. Sometimes it’s just that one cigar. Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to pick up a cigar that you formerly rejected and give it a second go. I have even experienced this for myself.
When I first begin working in the cigar world, I smoked a Cain Cigar. It was STRONG. It was so strong, in fact, that it made me as sick as I’ve ever been while smoking cigars. So I actually steered away from Cains for the better part of 5 years. Then, for whatever reason, I tried another one just a year or so ago. Only this time I knew about the strength, so I ate something before I lit up. It was only then that I realized the quality of flavor and construction that Cain Cigars bring to the table.
VI. Something For Your Dirty Mooch Friends
I know a lot of cigar smokers with mooch friends who are always trying to bum a cigar. I don’t think it bothers too many people, especially as most cigar smokers are pretty generous. However, it’s always frustrating when a friend asks for a cigar and then only smokes about an inch of the thing.
For that reason, it’s always a good idea to keep some more affordable sticks around to hand out to your friends. This one is also easy to do because there are so many great cigars out there that are just $3 – $4 per stick.
For this category, I chose the Rico Barato from American Viking Cigars. These cigars are roughly $3 a piece (depending on the size you choose). They’re also pretty damn good. These are the kinds of cigars that I’ll smoke when I’m doing work outside and don’t have the focus to really take in all the flavor.
How do you choose which cigars you’re going to try next? Drop a comment below!