So you’re looking for a holiday gift for the cigar enthusiast. The first question a cigar shop owner might jokingly ask is, “How well do you like the person?” That’s because there are plenty of options at a wide range of prices. You can spend as little as $10 on a gift. If you like them, you can spend plenty more than that.
Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, or just because, shopping for a cigar smoker does not need to be a chore.
Novices and nonsmokers may feel overwhelmed when they first step into a cigar shop. They may get the same feeling scrolling through cigar catalogs online. Here’s a guide on how to shop for the cigar smoker in your life.
Holiday Gift Shopping Cigars
Experienced smokers can identify a cigar by its band, size, and color from across a room. To the newbie and the nonsmoker, all cigars look the same. However, newbies see oblong rolls of tobacco with an array of colored bands. Additionally, cigars come in different sizes, shapes, and outer wrappers. Finally, there are dozens and dozens of other brands.
Holiday gift shopping for cigars can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Where to Start Holiday Gift Shopping
Pay attention to your smoker. Noticing the size of the cigar is an excellent place to start. If you’re shopping in person, you’ll be able to narrow the scope of your search. Is the cigar short and thick or long and thin?
Peek at the cigar band if you can. Many cigar lines print their name on their bands or have identifiable designs and artwork. Then, you’ll at least be in the ballpark. Now it’s a matter of finding your seat.
Cigar employees are helpful, knowledgeable, and glad to answer questions. Boldness is challenging to determine because it can’t be identified simply by looking. Here’s where you’ll want to get an expert opinion.
Most cigar shop employees would advise you to err on the side of caution and go with milder cigars. If a smoker is not used to robust cigars, they probably won’t be able to handle a full-bodied cigar. However, someone who regularly smokes heavier cigars won’t refuse a mild blend.
Loose Sticks vs. Full Box for Holiday Gifts
If you’re wondering whether you buy loose sticks or an entire box of cigars as a holiday gift, it depends on how much you like the person. But, all kidding aside, the cost is a factor in cigars.
A box of twenty or even ten cigars will cost more than a selection of loose cigars. In addition, buying a box of cigars is risky if you don’t know the exact brand, size, and shape.
Cigars are agricultural products, and many shops, especially smaller ones, do not accept returns. Buy the wrong box, and you may be out of luck.
A wiser option may be to buy a variety of loose cigars. Of course, you’ll want to get advice from an expert. They’ll find a selection in the price range of your choice. Any cigar lover would welcome a mix of a half dozen cigars.
Gift Cards as Holiday Gifts
Consider a gift card if you know where your favorite smoker likes to shop (brick and mortar or online seller) or hang out but don’t know what they smoke.
Like any other retailer, most cigar stores offer gift cards. One advantage is your favorite smoker gets what they want. Another is if they are an excellent “shopper” and hunt for deals or watch for sales; if you get them a gift card, they stretch that face value more than what you’d pick out for them. The downside, like any other product category, is it just isn’t quite the same as a physical holiday gift you can wrap up (or, in this case, smoke right away!).
Holiday Gifts: Cigar Accessories
Cigar life involves accessories. Accessories make excellent holiday gift options if finding the right cigar proves too difficult or tedious.
Cutters and Cigar Lighters
You can’t smoke a cigar without a proper cut. But, if the smoker in your life is using a simple plastic cutter, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Whether choosing a scissor, butterfly, or V cut, a first-class cutter made with surgical steel, is a holiday gift any cigar smoker can use.
A lighter is an obvious essential as well. Refillable butane lighters can get expensive, but companies like Xikar and Colibri offer a variety of styles at different price points. Shopping for a lighter is more straightforward than shopping for cigars. However, there is a wide range of designs and colors.
Triple jet or double jet? Gunmetal or Black? Any shop employee can provide guidance. Reading online ratings is also helpful. Many companies make high-quality lighters that cost anywhere from $30 to $100.
Carrying Cases and Carriers
Frequent travelers, golfers, fishermen, and enthusiasts who take their cigars on the road can always use a carrier. These come in different styles and sizes. Some simple leather cases hold 2 to 4 sticks, perfect for the golf bag. Others are made of plastic and have solid seals and humidification sponges so cigars won’t dry out.
Every cigar collector could use a place to store and age their cigars. Prices will vary based on size, the exterior woods, and the type of finish, either high gloss or matte; this may seem aesthetic, but a quality humidor is not only for storage. They make a fine centerpiece for an office or den.
When shopping for a home humidor, be sure it has a good seal and interior woods made of nonaromatic cedar. Most will come with humidification sponges and an analog hygrometer. Upgrade to a digital hygrometer if you like the person.
Buying a holiday gift for the cigar lover doesn’t need to be stressful. You don’t even have to visit your local cigar shop. Cigar Life Guy has shirts, hats, jackets, and more if you’re too skittish to visit a shop. All net proceeds — 100% — go to Operation: Cigar for Warriors.
Photo credit: Cigar Life Guy