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2019 CA Report: Top New Baby Cigars – Best It’s a Boy & It’s a Girl Cigars
Cigar Advisor Guide to It’s a Boy & It’s a Girl Cigars
It’s the greatest cigar tradition of all time: handing out cigars to welcome the arrival of a new baby. Some have argued this custom has fallen out of favor, or just been “forgotten” as a novelty – but the custom of giving out cigars when a baby is born is still alive and well, because we cigar enthusiasts are a proud people, and we embrace tradition – which means it’s our responsibility to uphold it.
Handing out cigars is a new dad rite of passage…and it’s one of the most special cigars you’ll ever share with someone else.
We’re taking the time to look at New Baby cigars because the stats tell us that your special delivery is probably on its way very soon (the CDC keeps tabs on this birth rate by month data). More babies are born between August and October than at any other time of year, because… well, do the math: winter is for lovers…it’s cold; and Christmas excluded, there’s not a lot else to do, frankly.
So we’re using our time today to make sure you’re prepared, and not running around at the last minute looking for some cigars to hand out. We’ll explore why we give cigars when a baby is born, and take a look at your best It’s a Boy & It’s a Girl cigar options that fit every new dad’s budget…because those baby bills are going to add up, and fast.
Why we give out cigars when a baby is born
An article on new dads passing out cigars, published in 2016, pointed me to a Richard Reed book titled Birthing Fathers: The Transformation of Men in American Rites of Birth. Part of the social psychology behind why we hand out cigars to welcome a new baby is tied to the age when men were excluded from the delivery room: smoking cigars was a way to help pass the time (and calm the nerves) in the waiting room. And sharing cigars to announce the birth of a baby “gives recognition and vent to the pride, relief and excitement that men feel as they become fathers and recognize a new one in their midst (p.94).”
Whether the handouts ever got smoked, well, that didn’t matter – it’s more about sharing your joy of taking your next step in life. Besides, taking part in the longstanding practice of cigar giving is a hell of a lot more fulfilling than a hashtag on Instagram.
Why are cigars celebratory?
We smoke a cigar to savor the overwhelmingly positive and emotional moments that come with life’s victories and achievements. It’s why you treated yourself to a top-shelf luxury smoke after you landed a promotion at work.
The Pats burned Padrons to celebrate their fifth and sixth titles; MJ torched a Cuban to celebrate bringing a trophy to Chicago. Now, I am by no means an athlete – but if an occasion calls for celebration, whether it’s sealing a big deal, or experiencing a rite of passage like graduation or getting married – the cigars come out at my house. No wonder, then, that the cigars would come out to welcome a child into the world.
Origins of the tradition
The custom of new fathers giving out cigars when a baby is born has been around for hundreds of years, actually. A little digging traces a similar practice back to the indigenous people of North America, who exchanged gifts (tobacco included) to celebrate a birth.
Then, we fast forward to the 1800s, when childbirth took place at home (hospitals were few and far between). While a midwife or doctor was helping your wife through the birthing process, you waited in another room of the house with your supportive friends and family.
Women were sometimes included, but it was usually only a men-only custom (sorry, ladies). And once your son was born, you handed out the cigars. That’s right: originally, the tradition (supposedly) only extended to celebrating the birth of a male child (again – sorry, ladies).
In more modern times, you’d be stuck in the waiting room of the hospital until the nurse called your name; and when the baby was born, you – the proud new father – would hand out cigars to those waiting with you. Believe it or not, there was a time when you could buy New Baby cigars at the hospital gift shop – one of the reasons savvy cigar makers seized on the New Dad cigar-giving tradition, making special “It’s a Boy” and “It’s a Girl” cigars in the 1950s. (Bring cigars within 100 feet of a hospital today, and you’d probably be wrestled to the ground by security.)
Of course, no one documented these cigar traditions at the time – so while we all know cigars are handed out when babies are born, consider this a hand-me-down version of history…trust as much of it as you want.
Who buys the cigars when a baby is born?
If you’re the new dad, you do – this is your gift to hand out when your baby is born. Truth is, you can give any cigar…but these are special. Not just because of the band, but why you bought them.
A new parent’s budget appreciates a variety of price points, reflected in these eight “It’s a Boy” & “It’s a Girl” cigars. Some are top shelf smokes that will give you the most memorable cigar experience of your time on this earth; I’ve also included some of the cheapies, perfect handouts for the people who may not even smoke them. Each have names you know – and in most cases, the blends are the same as their everyday counterparts.
No matter which cigar you choose to hand out, thank you for keeping the tradition alive – and congratulations!
Whether it’s a boy or it’s a girl, these Alec Bradleys make a great celebration cigar – and these have three things going for them: first, it’s a smooth-smoking Connecticut that’s easy on any palate. Second, these Honduran handmades are 6” x 50 Toros – a very popular size. And last but not least, the box is the ultimate keepsake: that square on top is actually a picture frame, where you can print a snapshot of your new arrival (which will be met, of course, with a chorus of oohs and ahhs). And when the cigars have been handed out, it makes for a top-notch keepsake box that holds all the trinkets and treasures, like her delivery room wristband and a lock of hair from her first haircut. An endearing time capsule.
A specially-wrapped version of Fuente’s ginormously popular Brevas, their mixed-filler cigar. It’s an easy-smoking Dominican blend wrapped in delicate Cameroon wrapper – which ensures that even your casual cigar buddies can take part in this celebration. Fuente “It’s a Boy” cigars are clad in a cello with blue print, “It’s a Girl” is in pink. A great handout cigar when a baby is born, not just because the price is right – but because as Fuente is a tradition in its own right. And you’ll still get to keep some coin in your pocket to get that college fund rolling.
I would consider Ashton’s New Baby cigars to be the handouts for your closest of friends and family…this top-shelf Dominican selection is clad in genuine Connecticut Shade, and smokes toasty-sweet and mellow. This is a glass tubo presentation, in two sizes: a 6 ½” x 44 Lonsdale, or 6” x 49 Belicoso, with “It’s a Boy” or “It’s a Girl” stickers affixed to the tube. If you’re keeping your circle of celebration small, this is a connoisseur’s smoke that your VIPs will be more than happy to partake with you.
If anyone can tell you about the celebratory experience of smoking a premium cigar, it’s Rocky Patel. Fitting, then, that RP gets into the spirit with a New Baby Boy and Baby Girl cigar. Best I can tell is that it’s not far off from the Edge Connecticut, except that it’s made in Nicaragua; medium in body and shrouded in an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, this creamy smoking Toro offers up toasty tastes of nuts and wood. Bonus: it’s a legit premium at under $4 each, which is great now that you’re forced to divert cigar money to the diaper budget.
Romeo y Julieta
RyJ takes part in the New Baby cigar tradition with their Reserva Real blend, one I consider to be a cut above the regular-run Romeo. And for the presentation, Romeo y Julieta really goes the extra mile: each cigar is wrapped in a cedar sleeve printed with “It’s a Boy” or “It’s a Girl”, then sealed in a glass tube for safekeeping. A keepsake for sure; but if you do decide to break the seal on this 5 ½” x 44 Corona, expect a Dominican long filler blend that pairs well with sweeter beverages, if you’re planning on adding a toast to your new arrival.
Historically speaking, Cuesta Rey is a cigar “fit for a king” – Spain’s King Alfonso XI, to be specific. Over 100 years later, Cuesta Rey is here with It’s a Boy and It’s a Girl cigars to announce the arrival of your prince or princess. To make these Caravelles, JC Newman takes a mellow blend of Dominican tobaccos, rolls them into a skinny 6 ¼” x 34 Panatela, then finishes them in a Connecticut wrapper; blue or pink storks are featured on the cellos. At under $1 a piece, this old school Dominican fave is great if you have many with whom you’d like to share your good news. Your dad might have even passed these out.
If it’s more about the tradition than it is about the cigar itself, consider these sub-$1 souvenirs. White Owl was one of the first cigar companies to make “It’s a Boy!” cigars, around 1953 – so all the more reason to consider these mellow Coronas, in “It’s a Boy” and “It’s a Girl” foil wrappers, from one of the kings of machine-made cigars.
Another JC Newman entry for your New Baby celebration…Factory Throwouts are mellow budget bundles, machine made in Tampa with a mix of Dominican fillers under Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrappers. Each stick comes in baby bottle-printed cellos: blue for “It’s a Boy” and pink for “It’s a Girl” cigars. An affordable way to carry on the New Baby cigar tradition, as these Throwouts will run you about the same as a box of bubble gum cigars.