What's a good option for a gift of cigars?
September 9, 2014 1:52 PM   Subscribe

One of my dear friends is getting married and I'd love to give him a some nice cigars. I'd love some recommendations as to how best to allocate around $200 bucks on such a gift, whether a box or a few more expensive ones.

Please give me your suggestions on how you'd suggest I go about this. My first thought was a nice box of cigars but I realize I might be able to get fewer, more special ones instead. We used to live in the same town and would have a cigar every couple of months, but I've both moved since then and don't really remember the brands he enjoyed the most. I know preference wise he is more towards the longer smokes and prefers something that I'd say is a lighter maduro.

He does have his own humidor, cutter etc. and is generally open to new things so I wouldn't be interested in buying him a humidor or tools and feel comfortable that whatever I do get him will be well received as he didn't have a favorite brand when we smoked together.

Lastly, the wedding is in Boston, I'm in SF and he's in Chicago so I'm not certain how best to work out the logistics for this weekend. Usually I'd just go to Iwan Ries but am no longer in Chicago. I've never been to Boston and don't have a cigar shop out here that I'd trust over metafilter.

Would love to hear your cigar suggestions! And let me know if I left anything important out.
posted by Carillon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you're going to have time to shop while in Boston, head over to Harvard Square in Cambridge and go to a place called Leavitt & Peirce. It's a cigar shop and it's fantastic. The people who work there will be able to point you in all the right directions. I personally would suggest perhaps a box of Montecristos but they'll know more than I would.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love the smell of cigar stores, not so much cigars, but hey, to each his own.

Why not a Iwan Ries gift certificate? That way he doesn't have to take them on his honeymoon, or fool with them in his luggage.

Montecristos, Macanudos and Cohibas are great. These samplers they have look pretty cool. Get a few and maybe have them mailed to him before the wedding. He can put them in his humidor.

Get a few to bring with you to the wedding and you can enjoy them together one evening.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2014

$200 is box money; you should find a very good, not cheap, not ultra-premium, box of (20-25) cigars in that range. If you see the box you want but it's stretching the budget, let the proprietor know and he could possibly discount you to close the sale-- it's normal enough.

I'm going to have to contradict Ruthless Bunny: Cuban Cohibas are great (by accounts), but the Cohibas you can buy nakedly on the shelf are not great; they're mass-produced Dominican cigars.

Longer cigars: shop for lonsdales or toros, in terms of cigar shape, but you can also shop by length and ring gauge, which are measured in inches and 64s of an inch. A cigar of medium length, such as a corona, is about 5.5"x 42, and that takes about 45 minutes to smoke. Longer or wider usually means a longer-duration smoke (the variable you can't easily account for is how dense).

Any chance you can get a picture of his humidor from his future spouse, or a list of some brands found there? That would be a big help to the cigar-shop proprietor.

One new smoke that has excellent flavor in the mild-to-medium area that I'm recommending is the new line from Drew Estate: Herrera Esteli, an excellent Nicaraguan smoke. Connecticut (light-colored) wrapper. Comes in a Lonsdales and Toros as well as a few other shapes. If you're in doubt, err on the side of Lonsdale, I think.

I don't think you can go wrong with Drew Estate smokes (except for the sweetened flavored stuff, Acid and Naturale) or RoMaCraft cigars (particularly Intemperance).
posted by Sunburnt at 4:01 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I did get a inside source that says he's been enjoying a fuente gran reserva recently if that helps.
posted by Carillon at 8:42 PM on September 9, 2014

Best answer: I dropped by my shop to have a smoke and ask people there if they had any suggestions.

All 3 guys there, including the owner, suggested Ashton. Specifically, La Aroma de Cuba, the Aged Maduro (sizes vary, the #60 is a long smoke at 7.5")

Another they recommended was Diamond Crown. They've got 3 lines, from mild to strong: Diamond Crown, Julius Caesar, and Maximus. They make larger smokes, up to 8.5" in all 3 lines.

Fuente Gran Reserva is a mild-to-medium like most Fuentes. If he's smoking those, I would avoid the Maximus, above, but La Aroma would be great.

They're a little hard to find because of a limited release, but Arturo Fuente Anejo is an excellent premium cigar. The wrapper is a madura Connecticut leaf that was aged in a cognac barrel. I bought one of these in Vegas, and I was sure the lady in the shop was blowing smoke up my ass about that, as it were. It's legit, and it's a really good smoke. But they only release them at Christmas and Father's Day. However, cigar shops are champion hoarders. I don't think you'll find a box for $200, though, but you can definitely afford a handful of those beauties.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:13 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

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