How to Pick the Perfect Cigar Gift

While it may not be your initial thought when you think of Valentine’s Day, the simplicity of a single fine cigar can be a unique and special surprise for someone you love. Cigars provide the perfect mix of luxury and allure, standing out against other “regular” gifts such as jocks, socks and candles.

Celebrate with a Stogie

So often we find it impossible to buy gifts for the man (or woman!) who has it all, but a cigar is timeless. A single cigar can be kept and appreciated for days, weeks, months or even years to come. Cigars have long been a symbol of celebration or victory, dating all the way back to the 10th Century, where Mayan calligraphy illustrates civilians puffing on tobacco leaves for pleasure. Since then, the cigar has evolved tenfold, yet cigars have remained synonymous with special occasions. Some such occasions include weddings, to mark the birth of a newborn, sporting victories, promotions at work, business deals or on special holidays. A cigar can also be representative of luck and good fortune. Generally, in this instance the cigar is kept as the owner works towards achieving the goal and is only smoked once he has been met with success.

Choosing the Winning Cigar

1. Visit a Tobacconist

Avoid purchasing cigars from the supermarket or your local 7/11. These are often base-level cigars and are likely to be of poor or, at least, lesser quality than that which you’d purchase at a dedicated tobacconist. There is a reason the cigars sold everywhere are cheaper than those sold at a tobacconist. They may contain preservatives that dull the flavour and obstruct the smooth texture of the smoke. When purchasing as a gift, you want to give a quality cigar, so you want to make sure the cigar is 100% tobacco.

If you make a purchase from a serious tobacconist, you will also have the expertise of the vendor, which when you’re not an expert yourself is highly beneficial.

2. Sniff Out a Good Make

The next step to choosing a winning cigar, is checking the smell and feel of a cigar. The smell should be pleasant to the nose as the scent plays a big part in the flavour.

3. Caress, Don’t Squeeze

It’s important to be very gentle with the products the shopkeeper allows you to handle, but you will generally be able to get a good idea of the quality of the cigar by squeezing very gently. The cylindrical shape of the cigar should firm but should also give a little between your fingers. Inconsistency is a warning sign for a poor-quality cigar. It shouldn’t have any lumps, hard or soft spots.

4. Sleek Sensation

The wrapper should also be pristine and smooth to the touch. Dry spots or discolouration is another sign of the kind of cigar you don’t want to purchase. Some variation of the colour is natural, but any drastic changes should be avoided.

5. Ask For Help

Pick a longer, milder cigar if you’re not sure what your loved one prefers, as they tend to have a cooler burn. These are generally found in a lighter brown wrapper. While, for experienced smokers, a wider ring gauge (diameter) and darker skin will deliver more complexity of flavour. If in doubt, ask the tobacconist for help!

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