A solid Fall pairing: let’s savor these last few weeks of cigar weather by enjoying a cigar with a little extra flair, and kick a beer in there while we’re at it. Monte meets IPA, in this edition of Happy Hour.
2018 CA Report: How to Build a Well-Rounded Cigar Collection in 3 Easy Steps
How to Build a Well-Rounded Cigar Collection in 3 Easy Steps
By Fred Lunt
So, you’ve got this great cigar humidor. But you look inside, and you notice it’s lacking in certain areas…maybe you’ve got plenty of yard-gars, but not enough good “sharing smokes” for when friends are over. Or, you’ve got too much of a certain brand, too many full-bodied cigars, or too many of one size, etc. The key to building your cigar collection is having the right assortment of sticks to fit every occasion. How can I have a well-rounded cigar humidor, you ask? Well I’m here to clue you in on the essential basics of a balanced cigar humidor – it’s easier than you think!
Before we take the plunge into stocking the cart, you’re going to have to take a step back and figure out some key factors, so you can keep that humidor full of premium cigars at any time. One of the most important factors to remember is to shop for what you like and for any occasion. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Know the Cigars you like
While I assume you have a general idea of the cigars you like, you need to really think about which ones you want to keep on hand. I suggest taking a pen and paper and writing out the best cigars you’ve smoked. After you’re done, try to find similarities between them: are the cigars you like best made by the same brand or from the same country? Do they have similar blends or flavor notes? Take this into account so you know what to look for – this will hopefully give you an idea of a budget. Speaking of which…
Step 2: Establish a budget
Nobody is made of money; and if you are, you should seek medical attention immediately. Developing a budget is essential to balancing your cigar humidor, giving you a clear amount of dollars to set aside each week, month or year that you can put toward patching up the weak links in an unbalanced or underfilled humidor. Your cigar allowance will, of course, vary by your spending comfort level and tastes; after all, one man’s yard-gar is another man’s Padron. Use your budget to guide you while bagging bundles or clipping coupons for special occasion cigars.
Step 3: Buying the right cigars
Today’s cigar world is unlike any other; there’s literally thousands of cigars on the market to choose from. While knowing the base flavors, strength and price helps when buying, it’s important to know the main staples of cigars you’ll find in every smoker’s humidor. As a wise unknown once said, “smoke for the occasion.” So here I’ve laid out the main occasions to buy for, effectively giving you a well-rounded humidor you’ll never tire of.
Note: (Prices are noted on a scale of $ – $$$$$. A single $ equates to the $20-50 range, while $$$$$ is $200+)
Work smokes…AKA, the Yard-gar. Because not every cigar is going to be a Fuente Opus X; in fact, most of the cigars you’ll smoke will be under $3 each. The yard-gar varies on your budget but for the general public, the term is generally applied to a bundled second, overrun, closeout or budget cigar you can mindlessly enjoy while toiling away on the job or doing chores. They may not be pretty to look at, but they get the job done. Keep 10-20 in your humidor depending on the season.
Famous Nicaraguan 3000
Cigars are best enjoyed with friends over a campfire or around a table with lively conversation. Of course, not all your friends are big cigar smokers and you don’t really want to shell out $10 per cigar only to find them half smoked in the ashtray the next morning. As a part of being a good host and BOTL you’ll need to keep a shareable cigar in your humidor for guests – preferably a smoke that’s both budget friendly and good quality. After all, nobody likes a cheapskate. Keep 10-20 on hand, if you have the space.
La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age
Every Day cigars are the ones that exist in your humidor solely for your enjoyment. Consistent, tasty, and reliable, these are the cigars you smoke with your morning coffee, while you’re walking the dog or with your after-work cocktail. You’re going to want a healthy supply in your humidor. I recommend picking a brand that hits all the points of your palate, and enjoys regular discounts when it’s time to restock – giving you the most bang for your buck. Keep 15-20 ready to go.
Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua
These “every now and then” cigars are what I call mid-shelf treats. We all need a carrot at the end of the stick – a special treat to enjoy on an evening out or just to shake things up. These mid-shelf treats are the ones in your cigar collection that you look forward to smoking when you’ve got the time and the mood is just right. Keep 5-10 in your humidor at any given time.
Padron 3000 Maduro
Special Occasion cigars are the rarities – the cigars you ogle but only smoke on the right occasions. Events like anniversaries, holidays, vacations and the like are what the special occasion cigar is all about. A good many of us save a special corner in our humidor for these; often times they’re gifts, defunct brands or limited editions or just plain splurge cigars. Keep 1-10 of these in your cigar collection for when these rare occasions arise.
Winston Churchill The Late Hour by Davidoff
Olivia Serie V Special V Figurado
Now that you’re armed with this cigar shopping knowledge, go forth and seize your dream humidor. Share your cigar collection essentials in the comments below!