To smoke, or not to smoke? That is the question of Hamlet Liberation, the third major release from Hamlet Paredes who said: “I wanted to create something different, something liberating.” Made with an Ecuador Habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan-Honduran core blend, did our Review Panel sing its praises? Click now for the answer…
CA’s Best Cigar Gifts: 2015 Buying Guide
Cigar Advisor Editors’ Picks: Best Cigar Gifts 2015
By the Cigar Advisor Staff
Still searching for that just-right gift for your cigar-smoking pals? The Advisors are here to take the guesswork out of buying cigar gifts and have curated a series of selections that fit three very important criteria:
- Tasty as all hell
- Useful for cigar enthusiasts of any experience level
- Won’t break the bank, as each package of cigar gifts you see below goes under the tree for under a hundred bucks.
Your giftee gets the fun and excitement of opening cigar stuff for Christmas; you play the hero, coming away with the best-gift-ever for under a c-note. That, friends, is a win-win indeed.
Don’t want to drop a hundy on your giftee? No problem: take our Advisors’ cigar gift picks and go à la carte, choosing the one that fits your friend the best. Major plus: no awkward clothing size questions.
Note: prices and availability current as of Dec. 10, 2015.
Jonathan’s Recommended Cigar Gifts
Got a boss who you need to shop for with that bonus check he so conveniently handed you 2 weeks before Christmas? How about a relative or boyfriend who sucks to shop for? Problem solved: cigars as gifts. Let me help you keep it under a Benjamin with my mix n’ match picks for the best cigars and accessories for giving; these’ll have your money go further than Rudolph’s weird red nose can carry Santa’s tubby backside.
You can’t smoke cigars without adding a little fuego, and the Vertigo Cyclone lighter puts out enough BTUs to cook a 96oz Porterhouse from 50 yards back. Okay, maybe it’s not that intense, but with a triple flame design and large tank, this high powered, ultra-wind-resistant lighter is a solid go-to that lasts long between refills. It’s a must-have for any serious cigar smoker at a newbie price.
Perfect for anyone on the go, the Cigar Caddy 3540 keeps cigars smoking fresh for months on end without any hassle of maintaining this sleek and ultra-durable crush proof cigar carrier. This travel humidor features foam cushions to keep 15 cigars safe and sound, with an air tight seal to trap moisture in while maintaining a waterproof depth of 100 feet. We tested it ourselves. Let’s just say it was an impromptu test, and I’ll never go fishing with Gary again.
Even non-cigar smokers know Montecristo is THE brand to have.
“What are you smoking?” says not-yet-envious friend.
“Oh, just a Montecristo.” your recipient replies.
“Holy Mackerel! Did you get a promotion?!?” responds now-envious friend.
Nope, he just has a killer friend/relative/lover who shopped at Famous and got these bad boys for him at a steal. Plus he’ll get a flippin’ sweet cutter out of the deal!
Cuba is hailed as the birthplace of cigars and has been known to churn out some of the best damn smokes in all of histogie (that word, my friends, is known as a portmanteau of the words “history” and “stogie”). And to pay tribute to the small island nation and their passion for the smoky brown stuff, we created a little number including 6 cigars from 3 of the most renowned companies that were originally founded in Cuba. Between Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, and H Upmann, you’ll be hard pressed to find a sampler as epic or highly rated by our customers as this collection at a price this low. It’s a great addition to those Montecristos I listed above, which also hold their roots in Cuba.
The Bottom Line:
Your loot for this entire list is 10 cigars of Cuban ancestry, with a cutter, lighter, and a case to hold everything! BOOYAH!
BUT WAIT! I’m not done yet, Kemosabe! I’m trying to get you some extra scratch off your bill, remember? So check it out: coupons. My goodness, you just struck oil, my friend! What are you going to do with some sweet cigar cash back? Manicure? I won’t judge. My fingers look like they belong on the cover of Sweet Lookin’ Hands Quarterly. The ladies love it and you will too.
You savvy shopper, you.
Gary’s Recommended Cigar Gifts
If I had $100…
…to spend on a holiday gift for someone who loves cigars as much as I do, I would probably get them some excellent cigars and a really good travel case. I thought about a cutter or a lighter, both good gift ideas and things that you can’t have too many of. Then again, one of the reasons you can’t have too many cutters and lighters is because they eventually break or get lost over time. I would want my giftee to have something practical; something big enough to keep it from getting lost behind the couch, and durable enough to last through years of use.
So, let’s start with the travel case. Then the question becomes, “How many cigars should it hold?” I’m going with the Xikar 15 count cigar humidor. Fifteen cigars is a nice round number: you can put almost a whole box of smokes in it, and a case that holds 10 or less cigars may not be enough depending on the length of the trip and/or the smoking habits of my giftee. It also provides enough space for a good variety of smokes, like, 5 mild, 5 medium, 5 full, or any combination in-between. Secondly, the case is made to take a licking and keep on ticking. It’s airtight, waterproof, and the foam beds keep the cigars safe and secure in case it’s dropped, kicked, or drop-kicked. And finally, at under $31, I have enough scratch left over to get some cigars my giftee will really appreciate.
Now for the smokes…
At under $25, I’m going for the Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Flor Fina maduro 5-pack. Not only is this cigar one of my all-time favorites, but I haven’t met a cigar smoker yet who wasn’t equally crazy for them. The 6″ x 47 shape is perfect and the smoke is sweet, with a nip of spice and perfectly balanced.
That leaves me with enough cash for some more excellent cigars, like the Flor de Las Antillas Toro 5-pack, the “#1 Cigar of the Year” in 2012. Made at the My Father factory in Nicaragua, this 6″ x 52 Pepin masterpiece is box-pressed to perfection in a gorgeous sun grown Nicaraguan wrapper that caps an all-Nicaraguan core. The smoke is full-bodied and magnificently complex; a rare treat most any savvy cigar smoker would cherish. And at under $32 for the fiver, I’ve still got about a dozen simoleons left over.
The Bottom Line:
That’s how I’d spend my $100. Now all I have to do is place the cigars inside the travel humi and wrap it all up.
John’s Recommended Cigar Gifts
Ringing up a hundred bucks on cigar gifts doesn’t take much; as you know, top-shelf boxes can go for twice that. But here’s the rub: the noob cigar guy on your Christmas list may not want 20 of the same something (variety is the spice, and all), or even appreciate them if they’re new to cigars. Veteran smokers are easy – you know what they like. But what if the receiver of your smartly-selected cigar presents lies somewhere in between? This. You do this. And you give the best package a hundred bones will buy…
I am a firm believer that everyone should try to vary their cutting style, from time to time, even if just to see how different your favorite cigars may smoke. I am also a firm believer in the idea that you shouldn’t invest a ton in something if you’re not sure if it’s for you. This punch cutter satisfies my practical side: nice and cheap, looks nice, works fine and you’re not out a stack of lettuce if you decide a punch isn’t for you…or if you lose it, which you will.
Age and experience are the teachers of quality – and RyJ have gobs of both, as evidenced by this 4 corona cigar sampler. From Romeo’s patented mild 1875 to the more intensive Reserve Maduro, you’re giving the gift of variety – affordably – with a top name that’ll make your buddy think you spent a ton.
I own one myself, and use it extensively; but if you’re still not convinced, I’ll tell you it’s right-sized for a long weekend or just to have a few good smokes within reach, like 3 of those Romeo coronas I mentioned above. Built-in hygrometer is a major plus, and classes up any smoker’s setup on looks alone.
If there’s one place to make an investment, it’s in a new cigar lighter. The splurge-worthy XiKAR Tech Triple fits the bill, as the triple flame is perfect for lighting any size cigar. Easy to use, as you can see the remaining fuel level and auto-opens so lighting cigars is an almost error-free affair. Added value: XiKAR’s lifetime warranty, in case your friend is reckless and/or accident-prone.
Sometimes you don’t have an hour to enjoy a cigar; sometimes where you’re going doesn’t make it convenient to take a travel humi. Problem solved by Scranton, PA’s Suraci family, who have been turning out these dry-cured Toscano treats for nearly 100 years. No humidification required, full in body and tasty as all get-out. I think everyone should try them once. Bonus: as cigar gifts go, Parodis are conveniently stocking stuffer sized.
The Bottom Line:
Throw in a Little Debbie at 60¢ from the snack machine in the break room (pairing chocolate with cigars is a very underrated exercise), and you’ll be grinning with satisfaction – with 8 cents to spare.
Tommy Zman’s Recommended Cigar Gifts
You want quick; you want easy. I’m here to do both, with these easy choices: lighter, cutter and smokes. Just because the person on your shopping list is tough to buy for doesn’t mean we can’t find ‘em a plethora of primo gifts for not a lot of bread.
Every cigar guy loves carrying around a nice lighter and this bad boy is going to make them think you spent a lot more money that you did. The ultra-manly design is rugged looking while sporting a dual torch flame and a built-in cigar punch at the bottom. Trust me here that this one says “I’m a serious cigar smoker and I don’t mess around.” Anyone who loves his precious smokes will think you are the holiday hero.
I love this item and your gift recipient will as well. Not only does every cigar lover need a good, reliable cutter, but he needs one wherever he might just happen to be – and this one is on a key chain ring so cutting your stick, any time, anywhere is never a problem. The cylindrical blade is razor-sharp, high quality steel, guaranteed for a mammoth amount of fresh cuts. Then there’s the fact that it’s made with XIKAR quality – as cigar gifts go, everyone will know you are a most generous and thoughtful human being.
When you give a real cigar guy (or gal) a 5-Pack of these premium hand rolled beauties, they will instantly know two things: 1. You sure as hell didn’t cheap out on their gift, and 2. They are in for five magnificent cigar smoking experiences. With premium aged Nicaraguan filler inside, and dark, oily, supple Nicaraguan Habano wrappers, these sublime treats from Oliva cigar company are complex, perfectly balanced and highly rated by all who smoke them.
The Bottom Line:
So I went over a little. Hey, it’s Christmas – live a little. Your buddy is worth it.
Hassle-free cigar gifts, as curated by the experts. Any of these are a sure-fire way to win your Secret Santa this year…of if you’re shopping for yourself, steal these ideas and beef up your 2016 cigar smoking experience!