Cigar Buying Guides

2018 CA REPORT: Cigar Advisor 2018 Holiday Gift Buying Guide

Ahh, the joy of Christmas morning…finding a box of cigars under the tree is a magical moment. Santa has delivered: cigars are luxurious; that’s why we smoke them. It’s why we share them with friends. The gift of cigars is a celebration in the making – more than a present, you’re giving the gift of relaxation and pleasure. And on behalf of cigar lovers everywhere, we appreciate that.

Maybe you’re shopping for yourself – if that’s the case, a veteran like you knows the names here, and you know a sweet deal when you see one. But if you know less than the mall Santa does about cigar gear, the BOTL on your list will appreciate the fact that you recognize his, or her, enthusiasm for the cigar life and want to give them something special. For us cigar lovers, nothing beats the thrill of a Secret Santa that “gets you.”

So if you’re not well-versed in premium cigar speak, we recognize your shopping dilemma: “What’s good?” These cigar gift ideas are ALL good: we’ve pulled a wide range of picks, from stocking stuffers to statement pieces, all of them accessible to any budget, and each bearing the Advisor stamp of approval.

With so many good gift ideas to talk about, we’ve kept the list at 5 selections apiece. If you’re still not convinced by the two dozen-plus picks below, look to Famous Smoke Shop for more gift suggestions for cigar lovers…or hit us up on social media, and we’ll tell you what’s on our wish lists – maybe that’ll spark a great idea you can use. Now let’s get hunting…

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Our Top Cigar Sampler Gift Picks…

Even the most finicky, dyed-in-the-wool cigar smokers like variety, and that’s where a great cigar sampler comes in as one of the most appreciated gifts. The collections below illustrate the diversity demonstrated by five of the world’s leading cigar makers. And these are just the tip of the match. You’ll also find a multitude of other fine samplers on our site at low Famous Holiday prices. – Gary Korb


90+ Rated Rocky Patel Variety Sampler

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If there’s one man in the cigar business who’s created a cigar for every conceivable taste it’s gotta be Rocky Patel. Want proof? It’s right here in this collection that stars 14 cigars, all of which have earned a rating of 90 points and higher by our very own Famous Smoke Shop customers. From the zesty Sun Grown, to the sumptuous Vintage selections, to the exuberant The Edge, there’s so much going on in this fabulous flavorfest, it’s hard to decide where to begin.


Best of Arturo Fuente Sampler

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Show us a cigar smoker who doesn’t smoke Arturo Fuente cigars and we’ll show you someone who doesn’t know what they’re missing. Arguably the ultimate gift for the new and experienced cigar smoker, this 12 cigar sampler hits on all cylinders by offering six of Arturo Fuente’s most popular selections—four mellow Chateau Fuentes, two Double Chateaus, two savory Chateau Sun Grown, two of the fanatically popular 8-5-8 Flor Finas, and a pair of luscious Hemingway Signatures. Need we say more?


Drew Estate/ACID 14 Cigar Super Sampler

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Some cigar smokers dance to a different drummer, forgoing the traditional and opting for the unconventional, which is why this 14 cigar Drew Estate sampler is designed to be a smash hit with the so devoted. Included are three of ACID’s most popular sticks, three cigars from the Natural by Drew Estate line, and the Nicaraguan estate coffee-infused Tabak Especial, all presented in pairs. There’s no better way to make the nonconformist cigar smoker’s holiday extra-special.


Best of CAO Variety Sampler

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CAO has one of the most prolific cigar selections in the industry, but what really sets them apart is how they’ve spanned the world to find the most extraordinary wrapper leaves. This 15 cigar sampler includes a big slice of CAO’s flavorful fleet by covering the entire range of strength, complexity, and those luscious wrappers in mostly Robusto sizes. It’s the perfect gift for both CAO disciples and cigar smokers who crave variety.


Padrón 8 Cigar Maduro Sampler

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Here’s a gift that simply cannot miss. To the avid cigar smoker, this eight cigar sampler from Padrón is like manna from Heaven. Rolled and box-pressed to perfection in dark, oily, naturally sweet maduro wrappers, the cigars represent the finest Padrón has to offer, including three sizes each from their highly-rated 1964 Anniversary and Serie 1926 selections, plus two core line cigars, the 6000 Torpedo and 4000 Toro. Suffice it to say, this one’s a no-brainer.

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Our Top Humidor Gift Picks…

Do you know someone who keeps his cigars in things like storage bags, plastic containers, picnic coolers, and the like? Well, here’s your chance to upgrade them to a traditional cigar humidor. We doubt you’ll get any protest out of them, either, because there’s nothing like that new humidor smell of Spanish cedar. All of the humidors below are well-built, fully accessorized, and reasonably priced. Plus, you’ll find many more excellent choices on our website. – Gary


Craftsman’s Bench Rustic Humidor

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Think flannel shirts, work boots, weathered tools, and oily rags. This Craftsman’s Bench humidor is perfect for that special someone who puts in a long workday and is rarely seen without a cigar in close proximity. Handcrafted with a warm, down home appearance, the humidor comes fully accessorized with thick Spanish cedar walls, a top tray, humidifier, and hygrometer. When it comes to getting the job done right, you need good tools. That’s what makes it the ideal case for keeping cigars at the peak of flavor.

Capacity: 90 cigars


Bally II Glass Top Humidor

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Watch the cigars grow in this well-made, large capacity, glass top humidor designed for admiring one’s fine collection of primos below. The glass is embellished with a swanky, gold diamond pattern, plus, the Spanish cedar-lined Bally II comes fully-equipped with a top tray, divider, humidifier, and an easy to read analog hygrometer mounted into the front of the box. Clearly, a welcome addition to every cigar smoker’s lifestyle.

Capacity: 100 cigars


The Deauville Tobacco Leaf Humidor

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Gotta love the leaf. No one will doubt what’s in the box when they see this beautifully crafted, high-capacity Deauville humidor adorned with a tobacco leaf and wood tile inlays on the lid. Lined with a Spanish cedar interior, it’s just what devoted lovers of the leaf need to keep their precious primos in perfect smoking condition. Also included are twin top trays, dividers, humidifier, hygrometer, and a spiffy, tasseled skeleton key.

Capacity: 125 cigars


Orleans New York Humidor

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Opulent enough to reside in a Park Avenue penthouse, this high-capacity “New York” humidor from Orleans is a real stunner. The trunk-shaped case has an attractive curved top accented by a blonde wood burl inlay bordered by wood tiles. Thick Spanish cedar walls line the interior, plus twin top trays, dividers, humidifiers, and a hygrometer are also included. Bottom line: This humidor adds a slew of style and grace to the ardent cigar lover’s smoking domain at an impressively affordable price.

Capacity: 150 cigars


The Foot Locker Humidor

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For the cigar smoker who can never have enough cigars, the Foot Locker has become a must-have for the ultimate cigar enthusiast. The Spanish cedar-lined interior is big enough to hold almost an army’s worth of cigars, it’s built to last generations, plus it includes two sets of top trays for individual cigars, dividers, and plenty of room below for boxes. When it comes to serious cigar storage, the Foot Locker’s got it all.

Capacity: 400 cigars


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Out Top Cigar Cutter Gift Picks…

If you’re not well-versed in cigars, you might find all this gear a little (or a lot) intimidating – and that’s OK. Our job as Cigar Advisors is to help acquaint you with our world of Cohibas, Montecristos, humidors and here, cigar cutters. I’ll level with you: to the uninitiated, a few of these cutter picks carry a price tag that might make the heart skip a beat; but cigar guys and gals know that a good cigar cutter is an investment in smoking satisfaction. And I’ll bet that you, or that special someone on your list, will really like these as much as I do… – John Pullo


Vertigo Big Daddy Cigar Cutter

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It used to be that huge-ring cigars could only be cut by punch; now, jumbo cigar satisfaction is on hand with the very stocking-stuffable (and exceedingly affordable) Big Daddy 80-ring cigar cutter. Using the classic double-blade guillotine design, the business end is versatile enough to accept premiums rolled as large as 80 RG. For under $4 a piece, it’s worth it to grab extras to pair with every cigar gift you’re giving this year.


Colibri Cut Black with Red Wood Handles

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Let your mind’s eye wander to that classic mahogany-paneled cigar lounge we all have in our heads. There’s a comfortable leather chair to sit, smoke and…well, whatever it is you do at your favorite smoke spot. This Colibri Cut is that classic lounge vibe, updated: red wood-trimmed handles control sleek, black-plated blades that close tight in an aperture that handles up to 62RG smokes. What sets this Colibri apart: the main body of the cutter has been rubberized for durability and grip. A great gift for the cigar lover who’s ready to step up to more pro-grade hardware.


Xikar Xi3 Phantom Spalted Tamarind Cigar Cutter

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Xikar calls it “Mother Nature’s gift to cigar smokers.” Tamarind is a fruit-bearing tree that grows throughout Southeast Asia and parts of Africa; logs resting on the damp, warm conditions of the forest floor give way to fungi that color the wood in these unique, exotic grain patterns called spalting. One of the sharpest tools in the shed, this Xi3 scores points on personality alone – a woodworker’s delight that will be gladly appreciated.


Dual V-Cutter Table Top Cigar Cutter

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We’re cutting cigars, not splitting the atom – but that doesn’t mean we can’t whip out some heavy machinery do it. Place the head of the cigar in either of the two cutting areas (+/-52RG and +/-58RG) and give the lever an easy pull – your cigar is prepped and ready to smoke with a clean, classic cut. A great gift idea, and an envy-inducing conversation piece, to be sure.


Xikar XO Black On Black Cigar Cutter

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It’s what the Professor, Gary Korb, called “a real gem of cigar accessory” when he reviewed the XO cutter upon its release in 2016. Actually, they had him at hello: “When I first saw the Xikar XO cutter in Xikar’s monthly newsletter, I thought, ‘Now that’s cool…’ Next-level ergonomic design meets 440C stainless blades that have a Rockwell Hardness Rating akin to high-performance kitchen knives; if it’s good enough for a sushi chef, it’s plenty good for your puros. Choose black-on-black for a sleek, tactical look, or one of a dozen other colors to match your cigar gear.

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Our Top Cigar Gift Set Picks…

There are plenty of great gift ideas for cigar smokers; but if your aficionado’s name has been permanently etched onto the “Nice” list all year, let’s dig into five top cigar gift set picks that are well worth a splurge. Each of these combos is packed with attention-getting essentials, including a humidor, so your giftee can smoke good cigars with good friends…because that’s what the holiday season is about, after all. – John


Xikar Bullseye Gift Set

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Meet your new hunting buddy. If a victory cigar seals the deal on a successful hunt, set your sight on the Bullseye set: a 5-cigar traveldor, limited edition Xi2 cutter and Linea single flame torch, all treated to a woodland camo finish. Having your favorite cigars in tow can make for a very satisfying couple of hours up in the tree stand, meaning there should be fewer tears shed over the 8-pointer that got away…


Famous Deluxe Sampler

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Getting your first real humidor is a rite of passage…but adding cigars will make this a true milestone Christmas gift. The Capri humidor is a Famous staple for first-timers; we’ve paired it with a fan-favorite 10 cigar sampler that includes easy-smoking selections from Romeo, Rocky, Oliva, JdN and Baccarat. But before you think the double-bladed guillotine is just another cheapy plastic throwaway cutter, it’s actually the mini-but-mighty Vertigo Big Boy – a durable, wallet-friendly favorite that easily cuts up to 64RG cigars.


Xikar High Performance 2 Gift Set

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Cigars are art; for many of us, so are cars. If your cigar smoker is a car guy (and especially if he’s a Ford guy), this Xikar lighter and punch combo evokes the Guardsman Blue stripes-over-Wimbledon White dressing of the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 – the same ride that ignited a new round of the pony car wars. The double-jet Turrim lighter offers horsepower aplenty for lighting most any RG cigars; combined with a punch that looks like a spark plug, it’s the must-have cigar gift for any serious wrench-turner.


Starter Humidor Kit #4

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Be brilliant at the cigar-smoking basics. It’s easy to get distracted by the tchotchkes and “cigar toys,” but the only cigar tools a budding smoker really needs is a place to keep his or her stash fresh, and gear to get the cigar started. It’s all there in the Starter Humidor Kit #4, combining a highly-rated humidor that holds a manageable hoard (20 cigar capacity) with a triple flame torch, cutter and ashtray. I am usually reluctant to recommend a glass top as a first humi; they’re nice for viewing your cigars, but demand a little extra care and attention. But this one nabs good reviews, and the starter gear included is perfect for training your aficionado-to-be on the techniques of cutting and lighting cigars – before dropping big bucks on flashy hardware.


Xikar Arsenal Gift Set

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Lock n’ load: Xikar wins Christmas with this tactical cigar accessory gift set. The goodies list includes the Ultra Mag cutter-lighter combo, which rates highly as an EDC piece on its own (they connect magnetically to make a single, easy-travelling piece); the refillable pen doubles as a bleeder tool for your lighter, and the tactical flashlight is the icing on the cake. It’s all secured in a 24-count travel humidor, making it easy to hunker down for that next herf.

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Our Top Cigar Lighter Gift Picks…

The one thing that cigar lovers will spend all their money on is, well, cigars. So, giving the gift of a really nice lighter is both thoughtful and practical. Some guys have an assortment of cheapos, and a quality lighter will make them feel special. And if they happen to own a nice one, well, adding another one to their repertoire is all the more grand. All five lighters listed below feature a different number of jet flames at varying price points, giving you a nice choice for just about anyone. – Tommy Zman


Xikar Volta Quad Lighter Bronze

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Everything about this lighter screams “cool”, and what a unique gift it makes for the true cigar lover. This heavy duty, well-made table-top beauty, delivers four blazing razor-pointed jet flames for lighting your prized cigars. The over-sized push button igniter makes lighting-up a cinch as the adjustment wheel brings your flames to the perfect height. Perhaps the coolest feature is the camera aperture inspired lid that opens and closes to bring on the heat. And of course, there’s the XIKAR lifetime guarantee.


Xikar Trezo Triple Flame G2

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The technology behind this aerodynamic, triple jet Trezo is amazing, as it’s designed to fire up any sized cigar with a good clean light. Just push down on the single-action button with your thumb and two jet flames point inwards at an eight-degree angle, placing the flames directly where you want them. It sports a protective flip-top cap, a large fuel viewing window, an over-sized tank, and again, the XIKAR for Life guarantee.


Lotus Orion Orange Polish

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Lotus is known for outstanding quality, and the Orion makes for a gorgeous and most thoughtful gift. We love that polished retro look combined with the latest technology. The single-action push-button ignition delivers twin pin-point torch flames that makes it perfect for toasting the foot of your cigar, then giving it a full light. It features full metal housing, a fuel level window, and an 8mm cigar punch built right in.


Alec Bradley Table Top Lighter/Burner

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There are those cigar lovers who you know, where any ordinary run-of-the-mill lighter just ain’t gonna cut it. So, when you want to blow ‘em away with something really special, the chrome-plated, table-top, kettle lighter from Alec Bradley is the choice. With its push-button ignition, it gives you a Bunsen-burner type flame that will last for a full two hours. And the hurricane lamp adjustment knob lets you bring the flame to your desired height. Ok, now I want one.


Vector Quattro Gunmetal Satin

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This innovative and cutting-edge beauty looks like the kind of lighter that astronauts would bring along to enjoy a smoke on their way to Alpha Centauri. The ultra-modern gunmetal casing houses four powerful laser-jet flames, it’s wind resistant, and altitude tested up to 14,000 feet (ok, so space travel is out). The Quattro also features an easy-release push-button igniter, fuel viewing window, and a fold-out, 6mm punch cutter. And, it’s backed by Vector KGM’s limited no-proof warranty.


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Our Top Cigar Gift Picks…

It’s funny how giving a box of cigars as a gift to a lover of the leaf is like handing them a chest of solid gold bars. When they crack open the lid, an etheric light shines upon their smiling faces, much like opening Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase in Pulp fiction. Find below five premium selections that I personally would be elated to be on the receiving end of. Trust me when I say that the wow-factor will be off the charts. – Tommy Zman


Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro Exclusivo

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New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft handed 1964’s out to his players when the Pats won the Super Bowl. Aged for five full years, this flawlessly box-pressed Nicaraguan gem is dark, oily and sweet, brimming with notes of rich cocoa and coffee bean. So, just know that you will impress the hell out of people when you give them the cigar that a Billionaire gives to millionaires. Damn, you actually just might keep them for yourself.


Montecristo White Toro

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The Monte White is quite the elegant smoke. And even though it sports a silky, mellower Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, that Nicaraguan and Dominican inner core gives this cigar an epic amount of rich flavor. Smooth and creamy with an ultra-toasty aroma, it’s a cigar I’ve even seen full-bodied smokers enjoy. Nutty and woody with a touch of sweet spice, it goes terrific with a nice cup of coffee in the morning or your post-dinner whiskey of choice.


Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story

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The immortal Ernest Hemingway loved his cigars as they relaxed his mind while writing. It’s been said that he chose his cigar size based on the amount of time he’d be working that day, and how he would have loved the Fuente Short Story. At 4 x 48, this diminutive perfecto is bursting with full tobacco flavor as a bit of pepper hits the palate at the start, then rounds out with notes of cedar and spice. And those luscious Cameroon grown wrappers make for an amazing creamy sweetness.


Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado

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I think you make one hell of a statement when you give someone the most thoughtful gift of the number one rated cigar of the year from 2014. The Serie V Melanio is almost like smoking silk, displaying a buttery smooth flavor and draw. Wood, cocoa, dark roast coffee and caramel lace the taste buds as the cigar is very full-flavored but not strong, whatsoever. The Ecuadorian Sumatra outer leaf is thick and oily and literally talks to you upon opening the box, saying, “smoke me, now.”


La Gloria Serie R No. 6

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On my trip to the General Cigar Factory in Santiago a few years back, I sat next to the torcedor who was rolling these brawny beasts. I was mesmerized as he meticulously wrapped the thick, oily Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf around that full-bodied blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. As the floor manager observed me drooling like a dog over a pork chop, he offered me a handful of sticks and I’ll never forget those earthy and dark wood flavors. What an absolute treat.


We hope this guide has helped point you in the direction of a top-notch gift for your favorite cigar fanatic – even if that fanatic is you. Remember: in addition to being the tools of our trade, gifts like these have special meaning for cigar lovers. From all of us at Cigar Advisor, Merry Christmas…Happy Holidays…and happy smokes!

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Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff

The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 75 years of premium cigar smoking experience. Traversing the tobacco landscape like smoke-shrouded Avengers, they wander (mostly because the fat one ate the map) in search of new leaf adventures armed with nothing but torch lighters and runcible spoons as their weapons. Each is equally knowledgeable on the matters and pursuits of the cigar lifestyle, with his own unique and capricious insights on various luxury, sports, automobiles and entertainment affairs - all served with good counsel for your reading pleasure.

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