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New cigar smoker needs help picking out his brand

Hello everyone,

     I am looking though site after site trying to learn everything I can about cigars. Alas, I feel I will just have to try a few before I can pick out what I want to smoke. However, I am hoping you may help me not waste too much money trying to find that one special cigar. I have tried a few brands so far and here is what I have come up with on my own. I have tried three cigars as of late that I could rate easily. My favorite of the three was the Playboy Toro cigar. I liked how easy it was to smoke and how smooth it felt. Second was the Onyx Robusto which felt similar in my hand but had a bit more spicy taste to it. Over all, I wouldn't mind trying these two again. The third was a Trinidad Paradox Churchill. This was my least favorite most likely due to how long it took to smoke and how seemingly foreign to me it was. I wouldn't mind trying another Churchill once I learn a bit more down the road. So, do any of you wise veterans have a few pointers or suggestions for a newcomer like me?

Thank you
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Comments

  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Avo Take Five sampler. You get five smooth cigars and different wrappers to taste. If you like a specific one, you might find you like cigars with those wrappers in general. Look for samplers that have 5-10 cigars in them, with 1-2 per blend. My main suggestion would be to call the staff at Cigar.com and have them put together a sampler for you. The service is excellent, and they always take care of their customers. Don't buy 10 packs that are good deals, because if you don;t like them, then you are stuck with 9 more lol. Once you get started, you can trade openly with folks here. My last suggestion is this... Look at that contact box next to my name, pull the drop down that says private message, and send me a message with your address.
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    catfishbluezz:
    Once you get started, you can trade openly with folks here.
    How can you trade here? This seems interesting enough to try in the future.
  • beatnicbeatnic Posts: 4,133
    ?? smells
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    Love the quote, and I hope its true with one 2 yr old duaghter and another on the way Smile [:)] By the way, you don't happen to know who said that?
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,633 ✭✭✭✭
    JReese:
    Hello everyone,

         I am looking though site after site trying to learn everything I can about cigars. Alas, I feel I will just have to try a few before I can pick out what I want to smoke. However, I am hoping you may help me not waste too much money trying to find that one special cigar. I have tried a few brands so far and here is what I have come up with on my own. I have tried three cigars as of late that I could rate easily. My favorite of the three was the Playboy Toro cigar. I liked how easy it was to smoke and how smooth it felt. Second was the Onyx Robusto which felt similar in my hand but had a bit more spicy taste to it. Over all, I wouldn't mind trying these two again. The third was a Trinidad Paradox Churchill. This was my least favorite most likely due to how long it took to smoke and how seemingly foreign to me it was. I wouldn't mind trying another Churchill once I learn a bit more down the road. So, do any of you wise veterans have a few pointers or suggestions for a newcomer like me?

    Thank you
    i have been smoking cigars since late 2005ish i have yet to "find that one special brand"

    verity is the spice of life. Every time i open the humidor i look and figure out what i am in the mood for today. sometimes its something strong and spicy, sometimes it is something smooth and creamy. sometimes it is rich and sweet and sometimes its is something coffee. The situation often aids in that decision. what time of day is it? am i alone or am i with friends? what have i had to eat?
    in short, dont settle into one cigar or brand. you will miss out on tons of good things.

    i have a a few blenders that i tend to like but they have more than one brand. I have a little over 300 cigars in my collection at the moment (thats low but im trying to make room for a huge order i plan on making right before the holiday pass). of these 300 i would say that the most of one cigar that i have is 25 (a box or two in long term aging storage)

    dont get me wrong, you can have your favorites. just dont feel the need to stick to one brand.

    if you want to learn more about things stick around this place. there is a ton of info.

    you can start by clicking on the link in my signature line at the bottom of this post. there you will find everything from advice on developing your palate, to my blog, to links to the annual holiday pass that i do.


    i hope good cigars find you.
    i know they will.
  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    catfishbluezz:
    My last suggestion is this... Look at that contact box next to my name, pull the drop down that says private message, and send me a message with your address.

    Sweet mother of pearl, that didn't take long!!
  • alienmisprintalienmisprint Posts: 3,964 ✭✭✭
    I agree with Kuzi, I don't think there is that "one special brand". What you can do, however, is find out out what type of cigars you prefer. I have found 5 Vegas to be one of the best cigar brands to start with. If you email one of the sales reps here on Ccom, I am sure they can set you up with a vrey nice 5 Vegas sampler that would run the gamut of cigar archetypes. I would recommend asking for 2 each of the Gold, A, Classic, Cask Strength II, and Miami. I guarantee it won't be terribly expensive and you should get a taste for a few different wrappers, bodies, blenders, and strengths.

    Keep in mind also, tastes change over time. When I first started in the hobby, I leaned very hard towards maduros. A little while into it, I started craving sumatra wrappers more. More recently, I find myself drawn to habano wrappers and rarely smoke a maduro.
  • CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    This is a question a lot of new enthusiasts ask and while it's a good one it can't be answered with any certainty because not everyone has the same tastes. Todays market is filled with so many types and brands of cigars that to narrow the field is nearly impossible and I've been smoking cigars since 1966. Trying out cigars is much like trying to find the right shoe...something you like and fits you and your taste is your guide. New hobbyists should try mild cigars so you can acclimate your tastes for the tobacco so you don't get overwhelmed by the strength/body of let's say...a medium to full. You will adapt to the flavor and strength of it by trying various brands...complex cigars that tend to have more than 2 or 3 flavors and then there are cigars with just one flavor profile. Experiment with as many as you can afford...take notes as to what you like and then research cigars that tend to have those same profiles. As much as we'd love to tell you what is out there we can't really TELL you what that perfect cigar is. It's all about the journey to find what YOU like.
  • Roberto99Roberto99 Posts: 1,077
    All really good advise. I would second catfish's advise to stick with samplers and 5 packs. Also keep in mind that sometimes it takes a couple of samples with a cigar before it can be crossed off the list.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 7,107 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hey there J Reese

    The easiest and best way, of course, is to have a good cigar store nearby, staffed by affable cigar geeks who know their stuff. You go in and say: "I liked that Playboy Toro. What else should I try along that line?" If you don't have a good cigar store nearby, call up cigar.com and ask them. Treat them like your sommelier; that is, let them know what you like to eat and what you drink and what you are apt to be doing when you smoke. They can put a selection together just for you.

    Otherwise, follow the ingredients. Your fave is the Playboy Toro. So what's it made of? Google up Playboy Toro Cigar and you discover it's sold by the cigar giant Altadis and made by Don Diego. (http://altadisusa.com/cigars/playboy/playboy-don-diego) from Connecticut wrapper and Dominican filler and binder. There arfe scores and scores of Connecticuts to try; and Dominican fillers abound.

    Then try similar ingredients. Connecticuts are nice and mild; but so are Sumatran wrappers. Or try different treatments of the same thing. A Connecticut can be natural (brown) or maduro (age blackened). Or try different twists. For instance, a CT wrapper, a Dom filler, but a touch of ligero for kick. Or different sizes, cause a corona will smoke differently from a toro of the same blend, cause it has a different proportion of filler to wrapper.

    If you encounter someone who smokes cigars, go out of your way to tote him a Playboy Toro. Say: "This is what I like. Fire it up. Taste that? Now, what else should I try?" He'll prolly dig round his humidor and hand you three for every one you brought, cause he's learned the joy of handing out cigars along the way.

    Keeping notes of the different sticks you try really helps a lot. Any questions along the way, ask Sensei Kuzi.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,633 ✭✭✭✭
    webmost:
    Keeping notes of the different sticks you try really helps a lot.
    this is an understatement.

    best advice i have seen so far.
    take notes. great advice there.
    webmost:
    Any questions along the way, ask Sensei Kuzi.

    im not the end all when it comes to your cigars. smoke what you like. but if you do have a question ask the forum at large. the knowledge here is awesome.

    however, if you have questions you want to ask me anyway i will always respond to a PM. usually within a 24 hour time frame.

    i just want people to be happy with what they smoke. if i can help along the way i have then paid forward what others have done for me.
  • macs-smokesmacs-smokes Posts: 587
    Everyone has given sage advice. I will tell you from my own experience tastes can swing from mild to medium to full in weeks.

    I chewed for about 16 years. So that may have had something to do with that. I am still trying and learning about my pallet.
  • The_KidThe_Kid Posts: 7,871 ✭✭✭
    JReese:
    Hello everyone,

         I am looking though site after site trying to learn everything I can about cigars. Alas, I feel I will just have to try a few before I can pick out what I want to smoke. However, I am hoping you may help me not waste too much money trying to find that one special cigar. I have tried a few brands so far and here is what I have come up with on my own. I have tried three cigars as of late that I could rate easily. My favorite of the three was the Playboy Toro cigar. I liked how easy it was to smoke and how smooth it felt. Second was the Onyx Robusto which felt similar in my hand but had a bit more spicy taste to it. Over all, I wouldn't mind trying these two again. The third was a Trinidad Paradox Churchill. This was my least favorite most likely due to how long it took to smoke and how seemingly foreign to me it was. I wouldn't mind trying another Churchill once I learn a bit more down the road. So, do any of you wise veterans have a few pointers or suggestions for a newcomer like me?

    Thank you
    Ive smoked all three of those, and I can say theres nothing wrong with your palate. To me the paradox was boring!!!!!!!!, Now I dont mind a consistent smoke, but the paradox just didnt do it for me. WIth you liking those two I would say, try Oliva connecticut reserve, Perdomo Lot 23 and Lot23 Maduro, Some AVO stuff, and def the macanudo 97 and 06 vintage lines. Now go forth and conquer. ;o) oh and Welcome
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 8,077 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Try as many as you can. There's a new cigar popping up every week. It's almost impossible to keep up.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 8,077 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh and you want to stay away from that catfishbluez fellow, he's trouble. JK. Welcome to the forum
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,274 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the forum. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had here from a great group of guys. And yes, you CAN have a favorite cigar, but you're not obligated to settle down and marry her, forsaking all others, keeping only unto her. You can fool around with any other cigars you'd like and your favorite cigar won't mind a bit. LOL
  • reggie713reggie713 Posts: 2,521 ✭✭✭✭
    What Bob said! I've been smoking for about a year and a half, and I e had a dozen favorites so far
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    What does "aging" a cigar do to the taste?
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    You all have been more than kind giving me a wealth of information on cigars that i just wouldn't have understood otherwise. I am so looking forward to the beginning of school so that the wife understands me sitting outside with a cigar and my homework for hours on end. I still have a few questions for everyone however. First, my aging question above. Second, since my local cigar shop isn't the most friendly should I try to find another or just use the staff here or another website? And finally, what is everyone's thoughts on relighting a cigar? Again, thank you all for your valuable insight and sharing your expertise. I look forward to my next light.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    JReese:
    You all have been more than kind giving me a wealth of information on cigars that i just wouldn't have understood otherwise. I am so looking forward to the beginning of school so that the wife understands me sitting outside with a cigar and my homework for hours on end. I still have a few questions for everyone however. First, my aging question above. Second, since my local cigar shop isn't the most friendly should I try to find another or just use the staff here or another website? And finally, what is everyone's thoughts on relighting a cigar? Again, thank you all for your valuable insight and sharing your expertise. I look forward to my next light.
    I would not return to a cigar shop that didn't make me feel welcome, or appreciate my business. I don't know exactly what you mean by not friendly, Do they seem annoyed if you ask a question about flavor profiles or strength of cigars? Or follow you like they think you are going to steal... There's a places that I haven't gone back to because they said "Are you going to buy anything" after I was there for just a few minutes. I said " Not from You"
    ... Some clerk do not know much about cigars or even smoke them, That's okay with me, I just wonder why they have the job. Most of the time cigar shop owners and sellers love what they do and will talk your ear off about what they like and lead you to what may appeal to you. I live in an area that has many cigar shops around..These guys love to have customers walk through there door, and make you want to come back.
    Relighting a cigar... Mine seldom go out, because I am a fairly aggressive smoker.. If it does go out, purge it before you relight.. Blow into the cigar and you will see smoke that was in the cigar come out the end. I clip off the burnt end and start fresh.. I never relight a cigar , say, ten minutes later or the next day..
    Aging cigars, changes the flavor profile by sort of taking away the harshness, or "bite" in the cigar. Once the sharpness is gone the flavors seem to come out more. It can blend the flavors together and makes them taste smoother. You have to try it for yourself.. Buy two of the same cigar and make notes of what you thought about it the first one .. Then smoke that same cigar six months or a year later.. It will be different.
    A year from now you will be answering these questions for some new guy.. Welcome, by the way.
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    thank you kaspera,

    To answer your question, yes he does seem annoyed that i ask anything about cigars only telling me that i have to smoke more to figure it out and not explaining anything. I know he used to smoke cigarettes a few years back when I first tried to ask him about cigars, but because of his answer then I was delayed in smoking cigars until lately when I just had an urge one day. Now he is the only smoke shop i know of and when i returned he was yet again unhelpful and somewhat disconnected from the whole experience. I will look up others since i doubt i will return.

    Thank you also for the information. your answer to my aging question makes me want to try aging that paradox or the onyx i tried to see if it helps the taste. Oh, and relighting the paradox a week later, even being kept in a box with a cup of water in it, wasn't the best idea I ever had but it sure hit the spot nonetheless lol

    Thank you so much for sharing
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    Your welcome Mr. Reese. A half smoked cigar a week later Blaah. You need to start fresh. I know you spent good money o the cigar, and you hate to waste it.. My advice wait 'till you have more time to spend with it, or go smaller.
  • New smoker here as well. Its just been trial and error for me. Everyone's taste buds are different. Some people love peppery sticks, some love leathery ones. I personally am a 'top shelf' cigar junkie and find that in most cases you get what you pay for. Yet that is all relative based ( again ) on what you like in terms of taste and strength. Full bodied, medium, mild? My taste buds have always been more picky than others and I cant just grab a 'decent' stick and enjoy it. After trying around 7 different well known brands I've found out exactly what type of cigar I like and what strength ( 5+ year aged maduro's). Its cost me a bid more money since I purchase them in singles from my local shop, but now I know what to look for online in bunches of 10 or more.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,633 ✭✭✭✭
    JReese:
    What does "aging" a cigar do to the taste?
    in very general terms, it smooths it out. spice becomes more and more subtle. lighter more delicate flavors can come out. power tones down a bit.


    not all cigars age well.

    age wont make bad cigars good. the overall flavor profile is still there, it just smooths out and settles it down.
  • roland_7707roland_7707 Posts: 2,834 ✭✭✭
    Padron64Groupie:
    New smoker here as well. Its just been trial and error for me. Everyone's taste buds are different. Some people love peppery sticks, some love leathery ones. I personally am a 'top shelf' cigar junkie and find that in most cases you get what you pay for. Yet that is all relative based ( again ) on what you like in terms of taste and strength. Full bodied, medium, mild? My taste buds have always been more picky than others and I cant just grab a 'decent' stick and enjoy it. After trying around 7 different well known brands I've found out exactly what type of cigar I like and what strength ( 5+ year aged maduro's). Its cost me a bid more money since I purchase them in singles from my local shop, but now I know what to look for online in bunches of 10 or more.
    Welcome Groupie, glad to have ya here.
    One God, One Truth
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    Just picked up two sticks with a conn wrapper, the first was an oliva robusto. And it was awesome! I was surprised how well it smoked and how I just kept sitting there enjoying it till there was nothing left but a nub. The second one will be a foundry wells. I am salivating at the thought of smoking it tomorrow while fishing, shooting, and horse riding in the countryside.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,274 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What?! Fishing AND shooting, AND riding? AND Cigars! And being out in the country? Damn! What a day! Now, if you could just blow something up,............THAT would be a perfect day ;)
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oliva is a solid brand! I dont think youd be too disappointed with any of their offerings. As catfish said, as far as smooth connies go, Avo's are worth a try. Those are some of my favorites!

    Good luck in school! Ill be starting next week too! Cigars are homework is the way to go.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    Yesterday was grand, but i did encounter something interesting while smoking the foundry. The outside wrapper was almost too loose and didn't want to smoke evenly and where I was holding it it was coming apart rather easily. Does this happen to many others? or could it have been that the cigar was too dry?
  • JReeseJReese Posts: 14
    Yeah! My first sampler and humidor are on the way! Talked the wife into it yesterday. I'm so excited. No more keeping the sticks in a random box lol
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