Cigars have returned to the news, especially with the potential for more travel to Cuba opening up for American citizens. As bourbon has risen in popularity across the US and the rest of the Western world, cigars have risen up as a complement to fine whiskey. If you have a cigar lover in your life, a birthday is the perfect time to get into cigar buying. Buying cigars can be intimidating for those who are unfamiliar with the marketplace. After all, good and bad cigars look alike, and the things that make cigars unique and valuable are not readily apparent to the untrained eye. What should you do to make sure you buy the right cigars? Here are three tips to guide you as purchase that perfect birthday gift.
1- Decide on a Price Range
You might not be surprised to learn that cigars can come in a range of different prices. You can spend hundreds of dollars on the finest cigars in the world. You could also find something suitable for right around ten bucks per cigar. The first step is determining your budget.
If you’re going to buy cigars as a birthday gift, you should plan on buying at least a box. Boxes typically come with 25 cigars in total. Keep this in mind when putting together your budget. Most cigar lovers would rather receive a box of good cigars rather than one amazing cigar. That way, if you happen to love what you give them, they’ll be able to enjoy them over the course of a few weeks rather than just getting a tease of a taste.
2- Country of Origin Matters
Even if you know nothing else about cigars, you probably know that cigars made in Cuba are both more expensive and of higher perceived quality. Understand that while Cuban cigars are popular, much of the popularity has to do with reduced supply. For decades, it has been illegal to bring Cuban cigars back into the United States. This has suppressed supply while also making Cuban cigars an artifact of mystery. This is not to say that Cuban cigars are overrated or not worth your time. It is just to suggest that you might consider other options, as well
Dominican cigars are also well-regarded. They can provide similar quality to world famous Montecristo cigars from Cuba while also saving you money. One of the big problems with buying so-called Cuban cigars is counterfeiting. If you’re a cigar novice, you’ll have a hard time telling the difference between authentic Cuban cigars and the expensive knock-offs designed to trick people just like you. Many people choose to buy Dominican cigars specifically because they don’t want to worry about being ripped off on an expensive purchase of Cuban cigars.
While you’re looking to the Caribbean for cigars, don’t forget about many of the best American companies. Just as craft breweries and craft distilleries have popped up, many small cigar makers have gained steam in the US. These cigar manufacturers may toy with unique flavors. Don’t discount these options when making a big birthday purchase.
3- Accessories can Complete the Gift
If you’re buying for a real cigar lover, then chances are that person will have a humidor for their cigars. There are other cigar accessories that can help to improve the gift, though. Many cigar lovers collect cigar cutters. Others appreciate a great cigar torch to get their cigars going.
If you’re looking to outfit a new cigar smoker with a great box, you might consider purchasing a humidor to go with the cigars. You can find a fine wooden humidor for $100 or less in some cases. This is a great way to show that you care while also giving your would-be recipient the ability to preserve your gift.
Buying cigars either on the Internet or in-person can be a chore. If you’re buying them as a gift, you’d be wise to find a company you can trust to handle the transaction. While it’s not fair to say that the cigar world is full of crooks, there are fake products and disreputable vendors out there. Putting in due diligence will ensure that you get the most for your money when you buy cigars for a birthday gift.