How to Find Good Cigars at Cheap Prices
Whose cigar is it anyway?
To answer this question we first need to look at how we choose new cigars.
Many of us buy cigars based on the brands we like. This would seem to be a reliable method of finding new, high-quality cigars. Yet sometimes we are surprised to find a cigar from a familiar brand that does not meet our expectations. For example, the Rocky Patel brand has dozens of cigar lines, many of which are dissimilar in taste. Conversely, Padron makes many lines that all share a common flavor profile and consistency. How can this be? The answer seems to be less about the name ON the cigar (the brand), and more about the name IN the cigar (the blender). Rocky Patel Cigars utilize the skills of myriad cigar blenders, while Padron has a single source (the Padron Family) from which all of their blends emerge. From this perspective, we can see that the sensibilities and experiences of a particular blender will forge a style of cigar making that is uniquely personal to his/her taste.
Following this logic, we can turn things around and see an important pattern that could guide us towards finding cigars we will enjoy. If we know who the cigar blender is, and know of other lines he/she has rolled, we can follow the work of the blender as opposed to following the brand. This approach could, in turn, reward us with new cigars of flavor and construction that are consistent with what we already enjoy. This could increase the number of successful new cigar purchases, while possibly diminishing the number of cigars returned to the vendor (or for that matter, thrown out).
This is where the Robustojoe Cigar Blender Database is useful; to show who blends which cigars, and to give the smoker a point of reference when making new cigar purchases.
What about good/cheap cigars?
Familiarity with cigar blenders is key to finding good, inexpensive cigars. When new cigars are launched, they are often offered at big discounts as a way of gaining a foothold in the marketplace. Being “blender aware” allows us to anticipate quality cigars before they become popular and to take advantage of promotions that would have otherwise been overlooked.
Knowledge is power.
One important step to finding good cigar deals is having access to special offers from a variety of sources. Most online cigar vendors have email-only specials that are circulated to its membership, as well as newsletters with useful information regarding blenders and new cigar releases. Signing up for email notices, while not recommended for some websites, gives cigar smokers an advantage when seeking special deals. Additionally, some cigar mail-order catalogs contain profiles of new blenders and start-up cigar companies.
Another resource is the "one-day-special" found on many cigar websites. They almost always have great deals and it’s good to check them often…they change daily or even hourly, as is the case of CigarMonster.com.
One exceptional way to get great cigars deals is on cigar auction sites. These sites invariably yield good value and the best prices can be found in the lots that offer large quantities of cigars. Perhaps because of vendor over-stock, some lots have hundreds of available cigar bundles. We can get a much better deal when going against one hundred and fifty bidders than we could against just one or two. I suggest checking often…premium brands can come and go and at super bargain prices.
Also, it’s good to keep an eye on Five-Pack deals. In some instances, it's cheaper to buy four “fivers” than a box of twenty. One example is “Five Cigars for the Price of Three.” In this deal, a fiver of the Perdomo Cuban Parejo Rothchild is $18 while a box of twenty costs $89.99. That’s a savings of $18. But it’s always good to check the math. Sometimes what is presented as savings is, in fact, not any savings at all.
Reading cigar magazines is another good way to find useful information and bargains. Each month cigar ratings are published and will often contain low priced cigars with a 90-plus score. Again, rather than relying solely on the review, we can make a better-educated choice on a new cigar if we know from whom it was blended. But even here, the prices shown are full retail and will not be as low as an email special or auction sale.
When looking for cigar bargains, due diligence has its rewards. But not everyone has the time or the inclination to do the research. To those people, I suggest asking someone who enjoys doing the homework and he (or she) will be happy to give you recommendations.
It is in this spirit that the new Robustojoe feature, Under-The-Radar Cigars, was created. It contains a list of resources for cigar bargains and will also, when available, have links to specific deals. (Note: This is not a sponsored link, and is presented only as a way of spreading the word about good cigar bargains. No guarantees are made, as these are solely subjective suggestions.)
So the bottom line is this: Good cigars exist at any price point and they are there for the taking. By doing the research, or by simply asking around, we cigar smokers can continue to indulge our passion and still have money left over for the groceries.
This article has been re-posted and edited by permission of the author. It was originally published at Robustojoe.com under the title, "Under-The-Radar Cigars (or A Guide To Finding Good Cigars On The Cheap)."
Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.Show all Gary Korb's Articles