There’s nothing like walking into a premium cigar shop. The aroma of well-aged tobaccos and the sight of cigars as far as the eye can see immediately kicks our senses into overdrive. But, there are many advantages to buying cigars online like price, selection, and convenience. Many online retailers offer free shipping too. In today’s landscape, the option to buy online is more essential than ever.
Whether you’re buying cigars for Father’s Day or your next golf outing, it’s helpful to know what to look for online. In a cigar store, a salesperson is there to answer your questions and recommend the best cigars. In lieu of a face-to-face transaction, the best sites for buying cigars online are easy to navigate, well organized, and stocked with a huge selection. Images and product descriptions are up to date. And, finding answers to your questions is straightforward. Arm yourself with the basics before you make your next online cigar purchase.
What Cigar Brands to Buy
One of the first things to catch your attention when you’re shopping for cigars is the band. The cigar band identifies the brand. There are many cigar brands to choose today. On the best retail sites, you will find an index of all the cigar brands for sale with matching photos and brand descriptions. Navigating the list seems daunting at first but don’t be alarmed.
Dozens of classic top-selling brands like Ashton, Arturo Fuente, Padron, My Father, and Macanudo will stand out. You will also encounter well-known Cuban-legacy brands, including Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, and Cohiba to name a few. A Cuban-legacy cigar refers to a brand that originated in Cuba but an alternative version of the same name is produced (usually in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua) which is legally sold in the U.S. (And, yes, Cuban cigars are still illegal in the U.S. due to the trade embargo, but you’re not missing much. Cubans are overrated.)
The best cigar sites clearly identity the most important details behind the cigars they sell. You can easily distinguish a cigar’s strength, country of origin, and wrapper leaf. You will find a picture of the cigar with a product description and tasting notes. Take the guesswork out of buying cigars by reading customer and staff reviews too.
Choose the Right Cigar Size
Cigars come in different shapes and sizes. A cigar’s shape determines how long it will burn for. A cigar’s shape also influences its intensity. Cigar dimensions are measured by length and ring gauge. Length is measured in inches and ring gauge is measured in 64ths of an inch (1/64). The most common shapes are Robusto (5 x 50), Corona (5.5 x 44), Toro (6 x 52), and Churchill (7 x 48). Exact dimensions vary between brands.
The names of the shapes will vary as well. For example, a Robusto from Ashton is called a Magnum. Unique naming conventions make it easier for shoppers to identify the exact brand and size they’re looking for.
If you want to smoke for 30 to 40 minutes, choose a Corona or a Robusto. If you want to smoke for over an hour, go with a Churchill or a Double Corona (7.5 x 52).
Different Cigar Shapes
Cigars are also made in ultra-thick shapes like Gordos, which are typically rolled in a ring gauge of 60 or fatter. Figured shapes, called Figurados, are not uniform. They taper at one or both ends. Tapered shapes concentrate a cigar’s flavor for more intensity. Arturo Fuente Hemingway is one of the most famous Figurados ever created. Some brands are known for box-pressing cigars. Padron is the most famous example. Box-pressed cigars are placed in a press which squares off the shape during the rolling process.
Do you like cigars that are stronger or milder? The best cigar sites include an easy-to-read “strength-o-meter” with the cigar’s product description. A strength-o-meter is a simple visual tool that identifies the cigar’s strength with a thermometer-like graphic. Avoid getting blindsided by a powerful cigar by seeing where it lands on the strength spectrum: mild, medium, or full-bodied.
How much do you want to spend? Price is one of the biggest motivators behind online cigar sales. Big online cigar retailers often sell cigars at deep discounts. Because of their immense buying power, online companies often negotiate lower prices from cigar manufacturers. They pass the savings onto consumers to gain their loyalty. Depending on where you’re shipping your cigars, you can also save a huge amount of money on tobacco and sales taxes by ordering online.
Premium handmade cigars start at roughly $1 per cigar or less for clearance brands and inexpensive bundles and go all the way up to $50 per cigar or more for an exclusive or ultra-rare brand. You don’t have to spend a lot to get great cigars, though. You can shop a ton of top-rated cigars in the $5 to $15 price range.
Quantity of Cigars
How many cigars do you want? You can buy cigars individually, in full boxes, and in samplers. Most cigars are packaged in boxes or bundles of 20 or 25 cigars. Typically, you get the biggest discounts when you buy a full box.
If you’re buying a larger quantity of cigars for a wedding or a big event, make sure you have a humidor or a humidification bag to store them in until you smoke them. Cigars need to be humidified to stay fresh. Ideal conditions for cigar storage are 70% humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cigar samplers include anywhere from 3 to 20 cigars. You can build your own sampler too. Buying cigars samplers online is the best way to try new cigars and save money without committing to a full box of one blend.
Another huge benefit of shopping for cigars online is convenience. Shop around the clock for your favorite brands at the lowest prices and get your cigars shipped for free – fast and fresh right to your doorstep. You don’t have to leave your man cave or search for parking. Because your purchase history is stored, it’s easy to keep track of the cigars you liked the most when you’re ready to buy more.