How to Shop for Cigars

How to Shop for Cigars

When you are planning to shop for a nice cigar to enjoy, your best bet would be to make a visit to a cigar shop in your area. As you shop around, you want to avoid the cigars in drug stores or supermarkets. There is a reason why they do not cost much, as they are not of the highest quality compared to what you will find in a cigar shop. The tobacco used in the cigar that you want to buy should be made and rolled using 100% tobacco. However, if the cigar you want to purchase looks suspicious, then just ask the shop clerk about it. They will usually have the answers. You do not need to feel intimidated about how to shop or purchase a cigar or worry if there is a certain code to abide by because the method to buy one is pretty straightforward. Below, we explain the steps that you need to take while shopping in order to find a high quality cigar to enjoy.

Find Out Information 

As you arrive and enter the cigar shop, you need to find out as much information about the cigar shop and the cigars they offer to you. This is done by asking as many questions as possible. The staff in the cigar shop have probably heard every type of question imaginable concerning cigars, so yours may not be unusual. Not only that, you are providing information about your own preferences so when you return, the shop may have exactly what you are searching for.

Ask If You Can Light Up 

Being a true cigar lover involves having the ability to light up while inside the shop. However, it is a good idea to inquire about it being allowed or not, especially if it is your first time in the shop. It is also important to keep in mind that the cigar shop is under the county or city jurisdiction. This is good to know if there is a law against lighting up. 

Purchase The Cigar First If Lighting Is Permitted 

Being able to light up while shopping is a nice feeling of freedom. But it is courteous to purchase your cigar first. When you plan to smoke your cigar and it is in a cellophane wrapper, it is a good idea to remove it so that the humidity within the humidor can penetrate your cigar. After the humidity has penetrated the cigar, you will be able to enjoy the full flavor. 

Deciding on your Cigar Strength 

 The cigar’s strength is arranged in either a mild, medium or bold. These classes are identified by the amount of nicotine each has. As you shop, you will see these three types available and can determine if you enjoy the cigar or not. Your mood and environment also play a role in which type of cigar will work the best. So you do not need to worry about what others think when they smoke a bold cigar while you enjoy a mild one. 

Deciding on the Flavor 

 When shopping for your cigar, you also need to keep the flavor in mind. You may discover that some cigars have a sweet taste while another may be spicy. Be sure to be prepared for the flavor you plan to enjoy because the smoke and aroma will envelop you during and after you smoke it. It is best to try at least one of each flavor and then decide which one works best for you.

Determine How Long The Cigar Lasts The length and ring gauge of the cigar will be the determining factor in how long your cigar will last. So if you want to enjoy a cigar for a while, then you should look for one that has a 50 ring gauge and is at least 7 inches. This will be able to provide more than an hour of cigar enjoyment. Pairing Your Cigar A great tasting cigar will always become greater once paired up. These great pairs can result from the following alcohol.

Bourbon, Cognac, or Rum 

Having a good bourbon, Cognac, or rum will always make for a good pairing with a cigar. Having a cigar that is full-bodied works the best with cognac and dark rum, while bourbon also pairs well with a full-body cigar due to its aroma slowly being released without having any heaviness. For the bold cigar, it pairs well with a Cuban rum. The thing that matters the most here is that the spiciness of the rum is able to smooth out the boldness of the cigar. 


Having a wine paired while smoking a cigar is a great way to enhance your experience of the cigar taste. With that, it is important that neither of these items overwhelm each other. In order to enjoy a bold cigar, it is best paired with a port wine, Bordeaux, or Amarone. With a Riesling or Chardonnay, it will call for a much milder cigar with a light-body. A mild cigar will work well with the white wines. Bold cigars will be paired well with a red Cabernet, while a Merlot will match perfectly with a smoke that is much sweeter. 

Choosing the Cigar 

The humidor that you visit will likely be staffed with a knowledgeable cigar expert to offer you with the most up-to-date information concerning your cigar of choice. You should get to know this individual if you plan to buy from their shop often. You will be able to play off of their experience while you enjoy new flavors. In order to choose the right cigar, you need to be able to recognize a few things. If the cigar shop helps you a lot with choosing the best cigar, then you are on your way. If not, then you will greatly benefit from knowing the following: 

The Intensity of the Cigar

When you are considering a cigar, you need to contemplate on how intense the cigar will be. This intensity level can range from a mild taste to a full-body flavor. Although a cigar should never be inhaled, the intensity of the cigar may be even more intense if you have never smoked a cigar before. 

The Occasion for which it is smoked

It is good to keep the occasion in mind when choosing your cigar. When your occasion is known to be at a high price, then you should go with a cigar that also has a high price and richness. Although the price does not suggest high quality, many have not regretted obtaining the Arturo Fuente Opus X or the Padron 1926 Anniversary. 

Behaviors You Should Avoid While Shopping For Your Cigar

While shopping for your cigar, there are a few behaviors that you need to avoid. 

Refrain from Handling Them Too Much 

You may feel tempted to handle different cigars to examine them as part of your decision process. However, it is highly frowned upon by the cigar shops. This is especially true today with a higher amount of hygiene concerns to worry about. Plus, it is considered to be rude to search through a box of cigars just to find one that is perfect. When you feel like examining more than one cigar, make sure that a shop employee does it. 

Do Not Touch Your Nose With The Cigar 

Similar to touching multiple cigars with your hands, the same applies with your nose. If there is a wrapper, then you should have no problem obtaining the smell regardless of how close the cigar is. If you intend to buy the cigar, then feel free to sniff away. 

 Do Not Be Tempted To Give a Squeeze 

 There is a misconception that a cigar will have more freshness if it is a lot softer. However, this is not true. Regardless, there are still many who continue to test cigars in this manner. It is best to resist and just give them an observation without having to touch them. When a cigar is soft, it is not fully filled. You will not find this issue among brands that are premium, although there may be an occasion where filling was done incorrectly. Normally, if a cigar is noticed to be filled incorrectly, the other cigars in that batch will be examined and returned if necessary. No matter what, if squeezing is done, the integrity of the cigar is reduced and makes it an unattractive cigar for someone else to purchase and enjoy. When you have picked your cigars for cigar smoking, have them at the payment counter. You can then have the shop staff examine them all for their freshness and firmness. Make sure to express any and all concerns instead of rummaging through each cigar shelf. 

Do Not Bring Foreign Cigars to Smoke 

A major rule to remember is that the cigar that you purchase from the shop should be smoked. This means you should not bring in a cigar to smoke that you purchased elsewhere. In fact, it can be seen as an insult when the shop owner is trying to make a profit and lower their own overhead. But they know this can only occur when the cigar that you smoke is one that they sold to you for smoking in their shop.


Shopping for a cigar can be an easy task if you know what to look for and already have your preferences set. But if you are shopping for the first time, then it is ok to take your time. Ask questions and experiment! Hopefully, this article provided some good tips for shopping for cigars.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema and May Complicate Pregnancy.
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