The Cuban cigar has for a very long time been one of the most quintessential men’s luxury items in the world. While not always possible to attain, “Cubans,” as they’re often called, offer a rich experience that simply can’t be found in more run-of-the-mill varieties often sold in the States.
Those who are new to Cuban cigars often don’t know what to look for when they’re in the market for one. This style of cigar is far different than the standard fare found in America, so reading up on the finer points can be extremely helpful when it comes to making a purchase.
With the following tips on your side, you can find the perfect Cuban cigar for you, ensuring that you don’t waste money on the wrong product.
Understanding the regions in which Cubans are produced can have a huge impact on how much you end up enjoying your purchase. As with fine wines, this style of cigar can vary dramatically from one region to another, and some are considered to provide better quality cigars than others.
Pinar del Rio and Sancti Spiritus are the two most popular producing regions in Cuba, with each having a long history. The soil conditions in each of these regions is perfect for growing high-quality tobacco, and surpasses many other parts of the world. Knowing the region in which your cigar comes from may help you to more fully enjoy the product.
The Cigar Box
Believe it or not, the box your cigars come in can be a relatively important discerning factor of their quality. As fine cigar makers take pride in storing and selling their cigars in special boxes, you can ensure that those which are attractive and made out of the right materials are more likely to hold special cigars inside.
Look for cigar boxes that are made out of cedar; other materials can be used, but cedar is the most traditional. The box should be well sealed in order to keep the cigars at the proper level of moisture, as air leaks can allow oxidation to occur.
Odor and Shape
Finally, it’s important to take a look at the actual cigars themselves to ensure that they are of high quality. A quick whiff into a cigar box should provide a strong, pungent and sweet smell from the cigars; little to no smell indicates a lack of quality.
In addition, the cigars should all be of the same length, and their shapes should coincide with one another. As with scent, cigars that are of various sizes and shapes aren’t likely to be of excellent quality, unless they come from a very small producer who is known for variation. If you pinch the cigar, it should have some give, and its surface should be smooth.
While you can only bring $200 worth of Cubans outside of the country, this should be plenty for you to gain a handle on what makes these cigars so special and out of the ordinary.