In this audio podcast, Dominican Republic native, Francisco Batista, talks to Gary Korb about his gig as General Manager and Premium Cigar Master Blender for Agio Caribbean Tobacco, whose brands include Royal Agio Cigars’ highly-acclaimed Balmoral and San Pedro de Macoris cigars. Click and listen now!
2018 CA REPORT: Best New Cigar Accessories for 2018
Have you ever run out of gas on the highway? Grabbed a flathead screwdriver when you needed a Phillips-head? How about buying skim milk when you really wanted that sweet, sweet whole milk? Not having the right tools and supplies is a killer, especially when it comes to cigars. Having the right type of cutter, a stronger flame on your lighter, or the best burning butane is as essential to cigar smoking as the cigars themselves.
However, the biggest problem when shopping for cigar accessories is that there seems to be an almost limitless supply of them out there…and for whatever reason, it’s in our nature to want to collect as many of them as we can for our smoking toolbox. So today, we’ve narrowed it down to the most innovative and eye-catching accessories that we think are worth adding to your stash. These are the latest inventions that are destined to make the cigar life an even more enjoyable experience: hi-tech hygrometers, smart humidors, LED lighters and more await you in this Best New Cigar Accessories list below…
Colibri is historically known as a staple in the lighters game, even earning themselves a posh cameo in the James Bond classic The Man with the Golden Gun. However, 2018 marks their 90th anniversary and big changes to the Colibri portfolio, namely the cutting-edge Quasar Line. Each Sci-Fi themed offering in the line features a pyramid design and is “named after the mysterious sources of light and energy that emanate from the farthest galaxies of the universe.”
Quasar Punch Cutter
Function and fashion on-the-go, the Quasar Punch offers three unique blades, a 7mm, 9mm and 12mm, all packed into one rectangular shape. The front shows four pyramids, the first three correspond to a blade on the opposite side while the fourth pyramid functions as a handle. When the fourth pyramid is opened, the blades expand from the body. Then, when pushed back down, the blades retract, and the cigar cap is ejected from the inside of the blades. Quick, easy, and efficient.
Quasar Cut Double Blade Cutter
Using the same hobnail design as the Bond lighter, the Quasar Cutter is another innovation for the books. Double-guillotine in style, this Quasar features razor sharp, one-of-a-kind open-surface blades that allow only the cutting edge to slice through the cigar. The hobnail design makes for maximum grip and ease of use for any cigar up to a 62-ring gage.
Quasar Table Top Cutter
The ultimate cutter for any cigar smoker, the Quasar table-top cutter is a two-in-one combination of the Colibri V-Cut and S-Cut cigar cutters. With the trademark pyramid body style, this desktop cutter is made in an all-metal frame while the bottom is lined with a rubber gasket to ensure no slipping and preventing any damage to your table or desk.
How it works:
The cutters are engaged by pushing down on the pyramid, releasing the cutters with both blades ready in unison. The V-Cut or wedge goes as deep as 7mm on a 60-ring for a full draw. The straight cut touts an equally sharp cut on cigars up to a 70-ring. Additionally, the top pyramid that holds the blades runs on oiled quad pistons, ensuring the smoothest action when in motion. But, how do you clean it? The bottom features a twist cap the collects the discarded tobacco clippings.
If you thought using a Cigar Oasis was limited to the folks with a cigar stash that numbers in the thousands – it turns out that these new upgrades are just as useful for wiring your desktop humidor into the Internet of Things…
Cigar Oasis 3.0 Cigar Humidification System
Cigar Oasis stepped into 2018 with the launch of their 3.0 series. With an option for everyone, Cigar Oasis comes in four varieties; Excel, Plus, Ultra, and Magna- each for a different sized humidor. While the Ultra (50-100 cigars) and Excel (100-300 cigars) are perfect for any desktop humidor, the Plus is designed with an excess mindset at 300-1000 cigar capacity for table humidors and the Magna is for the true aficionado with 10-60 cubic feet of humidification for cabinets and armoires. The latest updates include:
- Enlarged backlit LCD display with readings
- Built-In Wi-Fi with Smart Humidor®
- Brand new, upgradable, App for remote monitoring & control
- Soft-Touch button control
- Updated colors, design and feel
- Micro-USB connection with streamlined ribbon cable connector
- Constant LCD displaying of humidity, temperature and low water alerts
You know Boveda for their 2-way humidity control packs – already a cigar biz standard, they’re now included in many box and bundle selections to keep the cigars inside factory-fresh until they get to your house. Boveda has also expanded their product to include packs for maintaining the proper humidity of wooden musical instruments, coffee and various foodstuffs, and weed…or rather, “herbals.”
Boveda Butler Smart Sensor Kit
After revolutionizing humidifiers with their 2-way humidity packs, here comes the Boveda Butler – a new smart sensor that’s going to change the game once again. The Butler Smart Sensor is a cost effective, compact new way to monitor your humidor from your phone. The kit comes complete with a one-step calibration kit for easy and accurate readings and a free app for Android and iOS smartphones. For under $20 you can set the parameters of your ideal humidity and temperature and the Butler app will alert you via push notifications when humidity dips, or even when you need to replace your Boveda packs.
Orion Double Flame Torch Lighter
While Lotus has a generous offering of lighters, the most exciting debut for the year is the Orion. True grit and power in a sleek hot-rod look, the Orion features dual jets angled inward to make a pin-point flame. The durable all-metal body functions as high as 7,000 feet above sea level and features a single action push-button ignition and a built-in 10mm punch cutter.
Cut and Light Station
Perfect for poker night, big herfs, lounge owners, and casual smokers, Lotus brings the Cut & Light Station as an innovative way to keep all of your accessories in one place. This easy-to clean acrylic ashtray holds up to three cigars with built in slots for simple storage of your cutter and lighter.
Icon Triple Flame Torch Lighter with LED Screen
Vector brings the future of cigar lighters to present day with the ultra-sleek and high-tech Icon. A 2018 IPCPR debut, Icon features a high-intensity triple flame torch ignited by a simple touch of the LED screen. Worried about torching your pocket? There’s a safety feature that prevents ignition while the top hatch is closed, so ease those fears of scorching your trousers. Recharge with a standard USB cable and you’re ready to go back to the future!
Stinger Single/Dual Flame Torch Lighter
Single flame or dual flame; why not both? Another IPCPR debut, Vector gives you the choice with Stinger. With two jets at the top of the lighter, the right-hand side always ignites while the fuel knob controls the left-hand jet. Whether you want more flame or less, you’ve got it under control with Stinger. The sleek, ergonomic design makes for easy use and comes in four futuristic finishes: Gold, Black, Gunmetal and Orange.
Last but certainly not least, Xikar closes this accessory piece with their High Performance line. Initially launched in 2017 with their Burnout ashtray, the company followed through this year with three scorching new lighters and high performance fuel to complete the set.
HP3 Triple Flame Torch Lighter
Just like a hot-rod, this triple flame HP3 has an ergonomic body with “sharp lines and aggressive curves” that make me want to do burnouts in the parking lot. The two outer jets have an eight-degree angle toward the inner center jet, producing a powerfully focused flame. Additionally, this high performance lighter has an over-sized fuel adjustment wheel, EZ-View red fuel windows, and a pull-down ignition.
Turismo Double Flame Torch Lighter
Like a vintage Coupe Deville, this lighter was engineered for maximum comfort while smoking on the go. With pocket-friendly dimensions, a protective flip-lid and over-sized fuel tank, this double-flame lighter makes for one heck of an accessory whether you’re touring the streets of Europe or heading to the neighborhood BBQ. The all-metal body is highlighted by a pair of grip-enhancing side panels that utilize the hand’s natural progression. With a slightly recessed flame for maximum wind resistance and an over-sized fuel knob, this lighter is everything you could want in high performance.
Verano Flat Flame Torch Lighter
Xikar’s first flat flame lighter, the Verano has the “power of a double flame, breadth of a triple flame, and fuel consumption of a single flame.” With an elegantly simple design, Xikar engineered this lighter with the latest in modern accessory technology. Verano is the culmination of maximum fuel efficiency, performance, and the renowned craftsmanship of Xikar.
Purofine High Performance Butane
One of the more exciting new offers from the High Performance series. This newly formulated butane fits the need for those mountain dwelling cigar smokers who live at over 7,000 feet above sea level. In addition to having less than 15 parts per million impurities, this butane will give any old lighter an instant boost with a more robust and powerful flame. Xikar claims this High Performance butane can even extend the life of your lighter by helping to prevent misfires and clogs in the fuel line. See how it works here.
And there you have it, the hottest new accessories from some of biggest names in the business. Keep this list handy as we come into the holidays and keep your eyes open for more!