What do you look for when you’re choosing a cigar? While it hasn’t always been this way for me, lately I find myself looking more and more at the company that makes the cigar as part of my selection process. I know, I know, it sounds a little crazy, but stick with me here for a minute, and I’ll give a little bit of my thought process.
Cigars have become big business for a lot of companies, and we’ve all seen the results. Big marketing campaigns, a lot of hype, and what seems like very little quality control or input from us smokers about what we’re looking for, or enjoy. These companies seem to have lost their soul, and while it may just be me, I’m getting a little fed up with it. When somebody in a corporation says something like “Well, everybody quit because they don’t want to work for us, but we’ve got all the recipes for the cigars, so who really cares?” I get a little bit upset. They just don’t get it. It’s not about the specific blend (although that helps), but for a LOT of us it’s about the tradition, the romance, the hard work and sacrifice by each and every one of the three hundred people that touch our cigars before we do, it’s not about the damn “recipe”.
So when I’m going through the humidor these days, it’s usually in search of a boutique blend. There’s a reason for that. When I started my shop this year, there were a few companies that supported me from the very beginning. They’ve been on the shelves since day one, and they’ll be on the shelves, front and center, for as long as I have the shop. These are the guys (and girls) that drove ungodly distances to be a part of our special preview night at the store. They’re the people who opened me up on terms when the store had NO credit history. They are the ones that don’t sell their cigars to Cigars International for less than they sell them to me for. Oh yeah, they’re also the ones that are making fantastic cigars. They’re making cigars that use unique fillers, new wrappers, innovative blends, and marketing that is not the requisite hot blond smoking a cigar. Most importantly, these are the people that are out representing the brand that they created. They care about us every day cigar smokers, and it shows in their quality, their care, and their interactions with us normal folks.
My point? The next time you’re in a nice humidor, take a few extra minutes and look around (or ask the tobacconist) for some boutique blends you haven’t smoked before. You have the rest of your life to smoke the same old stuff, take a chance and try some of the fantastic new companies out on the market today. You won’t regret it, I promise.
201 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
- On July 1, 2011
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