Want to try a cigar? Don’t get caught out with dodgy deals or fake tobacco; take a look at our top tips for buying cigars to ensure that you enjoy the quality smoke you deserve.
Find a Reliable Retailer
When you’re looking to buy cigars online, you might be worried that your purchase won’t turn out to be the premium smoke you’ve been promised. Cuban cigars have long been the victim of fakeries, so you want to ensure that what you’re buying is the real deal.
If you’re shopping online, check the reviews available for the store from customers. References to cigars tasting bad, burning poorly, or the appearance being off are red flags to look out for.
Look Out for Proof of Legitimacy
Look for cigar retailers that can provide an EMS guarantee. EMS stands for English Market Selection, and it is used to identify the quality of cigars that come from Cuba for the British market. This should help to guarantee the validity of cigars being sold.
When shopping in person, you can always ask to inspect the cigars before you purchase them. Pay close attention to the wrapper leaf – if the wrapper looks poor quality, dull and overly veined, then it might be fake.
One of the easiest ways to tell if a cigar is a fake is to look at the cigar band. If it’s obviously badly printed or missing holographic elements, then it is unlikely to be a legitimate cigar from the brand.
Consider the Quality
Once you’ve found a retailer that you’re happy to make a purchase from, you need to decide which cigars you’d like to buy. While not always the case, premium-priced cigars tend to be of premium quality. Cigars of around £10 and over will typically be hand-rolled from long filler tobacco, and will offer complexities and fullness of flavour.
Cheaper cigars are often machine-made and can be rolled with chopped short filler instead. Less technical skill goes into making these cigars, hence the lower prices. While these cigars are often less rich in flavour, some people do still greatly enjoy smoking them. They can also be more convenient for some smokers to buy, as they are often available in larger packs rather than as single sticks.
Pick a Size to Suit You
Size matters when it comes to cigars; a long and thick cigar will take a long time to smoke, and the flavour will be less concentrated, developing and evolving as you smoke it. Smoke times for larger format cigars are typically at least an hour, so you need to have that time scheduled in to enjoy it to its fullest.
If you’re in a rush, don’t have time for sitting around smoking, or just want something quick you can enjoy on the go, then picking a smaller, thinner cigar is key. A thin, short smoke will take less time and will have a more concentrated, punchy flavour.
Think About Flavour
While the best way to discover the type of cigar you like is to try them out, when you’re buying your first cigars or new types of cigars, you can consider your preferences with other products.
For example, if you like dark chocolate with nuts in, seek a rich, full-bodied cigar with nutty flavour tones. If you’re more into white wines and lighter treats, a light-bodied cigar with floral or herby flavour notes might be more for you.
If you’re not sure what you like, order a few bestsellers from different cigar brands from Cuba, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua and see which ones you enjoy best. Take notes when you smoke each one, so that you can refer back to how you felt while smoking them.
We hope these tips help you to find the right cigars for you!