Expensive Cigar Discussion

Discussion in 'The Brown Leaf' started by Garlisk, May 14, 2019 at 9:05 AM.

  1. For me it’s a Partagas 150. Made in 1995 with 1977 Cameroon wrapper, they were expensive when they came out, and impossibly rare now. I have smoked two in the past and have 3 in my humi. Current price on the vintage market is about $150 per stick. Delicious. But not 10x better than a nice $15 stick.

    It’s like wine. Is a $50 bottle better than a $10 bottle? Yes, more than likely. Is a $500 bottle better than a $50 bottle? Almost certainly, but not 10x better. Diminishing returns. But fun to explore that end of the pool.


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  2. Riff Raff

    Riff Raff Contributor

    I am spoiled. I have spoiled myself. I agree with Micah, value is based on the individual. Since living in Germany for the last 4 years, I have only purchased what I can't get in the US (read Cubans). Don't get me wrong, there are any number of outstanding cigars that aren't Cuban. And I love them just as much as I love the Cubans. Padron are outstanding cigars as are Liga Privadas, Tatuajes, Illusione, Opus X, etc. I find that the non-Cubans tend to have a fuller, bolder flavor and can be very nuanced and complex. But I have a new found affinity to the CC's. They may not be as strong, and what they lack in strength, they make up in complexity. You can tell a Cuban the moment you light it. The inconsistency, tight or plugged draw, .....kidding. Although you do get some of that and you have to know what you are getting. There is an almost floral quality that I can only attribute to the terroir much like a wine. Something in the soil and the environment that cultivated the tobacco which gives it that unique experience.

    As for value, I am in a point in my life where I am open to all marcas, but lean towards the more expensive cigars. Usually the construction is much better, the quality is there and the skill in the rollers is apparent. That being said, I tend to stay away from some marcas because I find them to be too expensive for what you get (Cohiba for one). Others are grossly inconsistent (Hoyo De Monterrey - Cuban). But the fun is in the finding of your nirvana cigars. The first time I had a Romeo y Julietta Mille Fleur with some significant age on it......Heaven! Ramon Allones Special Selected with age? Fuggetaboutit!
     
  3. Partagas 150 (Hirsute reminded me of these)
    Opus X
    Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro
    Tatuaje Cabaiguan
    Florida Sun Grown (Drew Estate)
     
  4. For me, there are 4 categories of cigars. 1. Everyday mow the lawn, work on the truck smokes that I can get for a couple bucks or less a stick. These include DE Factory Smokes, HC Whites, Sosa and the like. 2. "After dinner" Just great smokes that I can usually get for around $5 or 6 a piece. My Father CT, Padron 2000, DE Undercrown, A.F. 8-5-8, etc. 3. Excellent smokes that I tend to smoke on vacation or celebrating small successes $100 + per box. Some are, A.F. Hemingway, A.F. Don Carlos (if I were rich this would be my go to smoke) Padron Anniversary 64. 4. "Top of the heap", $25 + each. I have a few of these in the humi and they are reserved for, weddings, birth of grand kids and BIG successes. A.F. Opus X, Padron 1926 Family Reserve and Cohiba Siglo.
     
  5. Opus X in its various forms. A rare treat for me.
     
  6. I've been smoking cigars for almost 17 years now. Always buy boxes and am usually smoking from about 10 boxes in my humidors (a coolerdor and two humidors).

    For the last 3 or 4 years I've been really disappointed in most of my favorite, top shelf cigars. They seem to have lost a lot of the flavors I've associated with them. The only brand that hasn't disappointed is Arturo Fuente.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I got tired of spending a lot of money on cigars that seemed to have lost their flavor and started smoking my pipes more...and without disappointment I must say.

    My guess is that cigars have been growing in popularity heavily since the 90s. I think the blenders are running out of the quality leaves and substituting something lesser. Just a guess.
     
  7. dont forget, when hurricanes hit the islands, and they lose their crop or leaves that are curing, it can have an effect down the road for a while.
     
  8. I ordered three Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas Torpedoes for $8 a piece plus shipling. Today in the mail I got a bill for an additional $42 (customs) for the three cigars. Does this count as an expensive cigar. :001_huh:
     
  9. Alacrity59

    Alacrity59 Moderator Emeritus

    Hello fellow Canadian. Luck of the draw kinda thing. You got 30 bucks worth of cigars. Likely the 42 bucks was 4 or 5 bucks GST you would have paid in anycase and something like an 8 buck processing charge and 29 bucks duty. Considering they can ding you for up to 200% you made out well and likely still well below what you would pay in a store here.

    I'm a little surprised they bothered charging you the duty etc. My gut feeling is they evaluate the volumes they are working on and sometimes wave through low value stuff.
     
  10. Yep luck of the draw. Most of my shipments sail through with no added cost so when you average it out, it’s still a great deal.
     
  11. Most expensive? Probably an original (first release) Cohiba Behike. I’m incredibly fortunate to be in a position to smoke whatever cigars I fancy - so across my 4 humidors I’m lucky enough to have an assortment of some of the finest cigars available - from sticks that range from $15 - $100+. In general, I find there are some really, really fantastic cigars under $10. For instance CAO makes cigars in the $5 range that are absolutely stunning and leave little to be desired.

    So why buy expensive cigars? Well, if you smoke a cigar from time to time and don’t pay much attention - a fine $5 (or less) cigar is just great. On the other hand, if you study it, and as you smoke it work hard to detect and document each flavor, and highlight it with your palate, take your time with it (one or two puffs every 5 min) and truly become a student of the experience and enjoy it to the fullest, you’ll find with some of the more expensive cigars, there’s far more depth and complexity - and they change/morph as you smoke it. One important word in that last run on sentence is “some” - as just because it is expensive, doesn’t mean it’s good. Also, everyone has different taste - so it might be “good” to most but “junk” to you. IE: I find Oliva Melanio’s to be mediocre at best, but most everyone else seems to be in love with them.

    The above said - there are a few exceptions. IE: any Padron Family Reserva (and most of the 1964 and 1926 standard lines), certain Davidoffs (Nicaragua, Signature, Winston Churchill Late Night, etc), certain Cuban’s (Cohiba Siglo VI, Montecristo #2, etc) - are generally loved by all.

    Personally - I’d rather have one really spectacular $20 cigar, than ten $2 cigars, with the added benefit of smoking isn’t great for me anyways, so less smoking isn’t a bad thing. That said there’s amazing inexpensive cigars out there, and absolutely nothing wrong with them. If you are working on your palate and building up to noticing the smaller nuisances - you won’t get as much from the more expensive cigars. Sure, they’ll often have a noticeably superior build quality (especially with Davidoff and Padron) and depending on the model, be smoother and creamier - but overall you likely will experience a diminishing marginal utility around the $10-14 mark. Now a days there are so many absolutely incredible sticks at reasonable prices, it can be excessive to go above the $15 mark unless it’s a special occasion, or turning into a serious hobby.

    All the above said - even though I consider myself on the more extreme end of the enthusiast scale - if I’m not in an environment where I’m alone and only focused on the cigar, I’ll never smoke a stick over $20. In general, if I’m walking the dogs, hiking, in a windy area (makes the experience less enjoyable and it burns faster or prone to burn uneven) I will rarely smoke a stick over $10. I have a small collection of about 100 cigars that fall into that category - and are designated for that specific purpose.

    Enjoy what you’re smoking - and don’t worry too much about what you’re missing out on. Now a days, most of the hand rolled premium cigars (anything in the $5 range) are pretty fantastic. A ~$5 CAO Brazilia Gol! is still one of my all time favorites and aside from the fact that the flavor doesn’t evolve or morph throughout the smoke - it leaves very little to be desired.
     
  12. @joel The CAO Brazilia Gol! was the cigar that got me to branch out from Connecticuts. Fantastic, and I try to always have some on hand. Thanks for that write up.
    As a tobacco enthusiast, it looks like I will have to spend a few hundred on pricy sticks...just to know. I'm particularly interested in Padron 1926's (everyone mentions them), and trying a few cuban sticks at some point...
     
  13. Padron 1926 is one of my favorites. Smoke it every once in a while.

    The other two pricey cigars were cohibas. Siglo series and a behike 52.
     
  14. Thank you sir for sharing your knowledge and experience.


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  15. I don’t smoke cigars very often I’m more of a pipe guy. In my humidor I have some AVO Classics, AVO #2, various rocky patel sticks and about a dozen pairs of Fuente Opus X and Anejo sticks.

    I think in the $10/stick market AVO is the best. They Classics are complex and tasty. Anymore I purchase my sticks from cigarbid unless my local shop trots out some aged or vintage boxes for whiskey night.
     

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