What's the best way to get started developing your palate & filling your humidor?

ejgormanejgorman Monroe, WIPosts: 1,115 ✭✭✭
I used to go to the local cigar lounge about once a week while I was finishing school just to relax and enjoy a good smoke. I had a good friend that kept me well supplied with Ashtons and even the occasional Davidoff (yes, he was well off). Other times, I would just buy a stick at random from the guy behind the counter (their selection was so-so). I recently started smoking again. Career, wife, 2 yo...just need some me time again. We have no B&M nearby so I bought a humidor and seasoned it. I'm a relatively inexperienced smoker, but because of my previous experience I don't shy away from medium or full bodied smokes. I'm wondering what the best way to jump start my collection is? It seems silly to me to buy a mazo just because it's cheap. Should I look for good deals on 5 packs? Samplers? Singles?
East Side 2015
KLMOW Badge 8/2014
Team Trident 2014

Comments

  • blutattooblutattoo Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭
    Welcome buddy. At the risk of sounding cliche; you've come to the right place. Samplers are always a great way to start figuring out what you'll like. Once you get some idea of preferences you can move into fivers or even boxes if you've got the room for storage. Really your only limit will be budget. There are samplers for every price point. If you have some that you don't necessarily care for there is always the option to trade them, provided they aren't dog rockets. You can check out the trade/pass section and more than a few people would be willing to trade with a newbie. Welcome again.
  • PAtoNHPAtoNH Posts: 430
    I've been re-learning cigars in the last couple years too and agree that samplers are a good place to start. The move to 5/10 packs once you find something you like is pretty easy and the Daily Deal and Sprint page are a source of good deals… often better than the box price/stick.

    Ask lots of questions here and read reviews online and see if you find a common thread between your preferences and the information you pick up. When I started paying attention to specific blenders & factories, it helped me focus my approach.

    I still get amazed by new cigars I had never heard of, so it's an ongoing process if you want it to be. That said, I smoked the same 4 brands for about a decade before I realized that there were so many other options available. Now I'm playing "catch up".
  • curtiscr79curtiscr79 Posts: 861
    ejgorman:
    I used to go to the local cigar lounge about once a week while I was finishing school just to relax and enjoy a good smoke. I had a good friend that kept me well supplied with Ashtons and even the occasional Davidoff (yes, he was well off). Other times, I would just buy a stick at random from the guy behind the counter (their selection was so-so). I recently started smoking again. Career, wife, 2 yo...just need some me time again. We have no B&M nearby so I bought a humidor and seasoned it. I'm a relatively inexperienced smoker, but because of my previous experience I don't shy away from medium or full bodied smokes. I'm wondering what the best way to jump start my collection is? It seems silly to me to buy a mazo just because it's cheap. Should I look for good deals on 5 packs? Samplers? Singles?
    I hate to sound like a broken record here, however welcome to the group. There are a lot of good people here that will help answer any questions you have. I also agree with the other 2 responses, go for a couple samplers.

    If you don't mind sharing, what cigars have you had that you liked? Can you identify what makes you like a cigar yet? For example, I enjoy cigars with tobacco from Nicaragua. I enjoy the full flavor, rich, dark, oily tobacco.

    I have also found there seems to be different types of cigar smokers, some just like to kick back smoke a cigar with great people. There are also people that really get into trying to pick up on all the nuances in the flavor profile and to identify the different types of tobacco used. I have found myself to be a mixture of both. My passion for cigars started with a way to relax after a stressful day/week of work and hang out with like minded people. I am lucky enough to have a brick and mortar cigar shop only 15 minutes from my house that has a great customer base and a great guy that runs it that is really passionate about cigars and providing the best experience he possibly can. I am also a all or nothing kind of person so I'm trying to develop my palate and identify the parts of the cigars I enjoy so I can shop smart and be able to talk with the tobacconist and have a rally good idea what the cigar is like before even lighting it. This prevents me from wasting money on cigars I won't like.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,209 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to our forum Eric. Cigar.com (ccom for short) is great for picking up samplers. That's what I'd do if I were you. Then you can decide if you want a five pack. Then you can decide if a mazo or box is something you want to invest in. Also you could get involved with trading among the members here. Go check out the newbie trading thread to get started.

    Opulent Churchill Collection
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewcigar.asp?prod=SP-CIGASST219
    5 Vegas Collected Works II
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewcigar.asp?prod=SP-CIGASST250
    Carlos Torano Flight Sampler
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewCigar.asp?prod=SP-T8ASST20
    Best In Show Sampler
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewcigar.asp?prod=SP-CIGASST259&subcatid=Feat Samp
    Cuban Roots Sampler III
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewcigar.asp?prod=SP-CIGASST257
    Top-Rated Baker's Dozen Sampler
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewcigar.asp?prod=SP-CIGASST245
    2013 Cigar.com Awards Sampler
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewcigar.asp?prod=SP-CCAWMON13
  • ejgormanejgorman Monroe, WIPosts: 1,115 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the warm welcomes and the advice! It sounds like samplers are the way to go. Unfortunately, I never took notes on what I liked or didn't like about the cigars I was smoking, it was all about taking an hour or so to relax and unwind. I just ordered the awards sampler. It looked liked it would give me a good introduction to a variety of smokes. Once I start filling my humidor I'll have to check into the trading thread you mentioned Bob.
    East Side 2015
    KLMOW Badge 8/2014
    Team Trident 2014
  • PAtoNHPAtoNH Posts: 430
    good choice IMO!
  • Puff_DougiePuff_Dougie Mr. Rogers NeighborhoodPosts: 4,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the forums, E! You've definitely come to the right place. Awesome bunch of BOTLs here that are happy to help with any questions you have. You've gotten some good advice already. Browse the different threads and you'll learn more here in a month than you have anywhere else in a year.

    Stick around, get to know the other members, be sure to post in the Newbie Trading and Newbie Welcoming Threads and don't hesitate to ask questions.

    Also, check your Inbox. :^)
    "When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm, refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His name." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    When you like something, take note of the following:
    Blender-chances are you will like his other stuff
    Wrapper type and origin-if you like Sam Andreas Maduro, try other cigars with it
    Region-each region has unique flavors and we all tend to like one more then others
    Factory-this is kind of like blender, but often times a single factory produces for many blenders. For example, I like Plasencia made cigars.

    Everyone has different palates and tastes. Don't worry about detecting flavors, worry about what you like, then buy a fiver. Your palate will change, and you may not like it later, so fivers are small commitments. Trade for singles you want to try instead of buying fivers. Good deals often take up space that could be used for cigars you like... Budget is everything, no need to waste it on cigars you have not tried.
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭
    I agree with taking notes and getting 5 packs...I'd also like too say if you like a certain cigar read the review on it. This can help pin point some of the flavors you like! Most people will start too notice similarities in what they tend too grab for and this is one of the best ways too start
    Money can't buy taste
  • curtiscr79curtiscr79 Posts: 861
    ejgorman:
    Thanks for the warm welcomes and the advice! It sounds like samplers are the way to go. Unfortunately, I never took notes on what I liked or didn't like about the cigars I was smoking, it was all about taking an hour or so to relax and unwind. I just ordered the awards sampler. It looked liked it would give me a good introduction to a variety of smokes. Once I start filling my humidor I'll have to check into the trading thread you mentioned Bob.


    Any certain cigars you liked over another? Maybe even a brand you have liked? Maybe we could recommend a starting point on whether to look for Mild, Medium, or Full strength.
  • curtiscr79curtiscr79 Posts: 861
    Oh, and another good tip is to add some info to your profile in the BIO section of any cigars you have liked and many a few that you have readheard about that you want to try. We can let you know of any "Deals" that come up and could take advantage of.
  • ejgormanejgorman Monroe, WIPosts: 1,115 ✭✭✭
    A classmate started me out on Ashton classics and I remember enjoying those more than any of my random purchases. I already plan on starting with milder cigars and working my way up to find my niche. I doubt my palate could appreciate a really full-bodied smoke at this point. I'm sure my preferences will change over time and I'll eventually have sticks of every variety I enjoy depending on the occasion.
    East Side 2015
    KLMOW Badge 8/2014
    Team Trident 2014
  • curtiscr79curtiscr79 Posts: 861
    ejgorman:
    A classmate started me out on Ashton classics and I remember enjoying those more than any of my random purchases. I already plan on starting with milder cigars and working my way up to find my niche. I doubt my palate could appreciate a really full-bodied smoke at this point. I'm sure my preferences will change over time and I'll eventually have sticks of every variety I enjoy depending on the occasion.
    That is the way I did it. I started very mild and took it up a notch each stick until I thought it was to strong at which point I backed it down and went from there. Unfortunately, it will take a good handful of sticks to find your sweet spot.
  • brianetz1brianetz1 St. Louis, MOPosts: 4,135 ✭✭✭
    ejgorman:
    A classmate started me out on Ashton classics and I remember enjoying those more than any of my random purchases. I already plan on starting with milder cigars and working my way up to find my niche. I doubt my palate could appreciate a really full-bodied smoke at this point. I'm sure my preferences will change over time and I'll eventually have sticks of every variety I enjoy depending on the occasion.
    Right now cigar.com has some really good inexpensive samplers in their clearance page:

    http://www.cigar.com/sales/index.asp?t=clearance

    For about 60 bucks you could get a sampler with Gurkha Beauty, Padilla Miami Toro, Hoyo de Monterrey Dark Sumatra, Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto, Rocky Patel Decade Robusto, Camacho Triple Maduro Man O' War Armada, Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne Epicure, Nicarao Exclusivo Toro, Man O' War Ruination Robusto, CAO Concert Roadie, La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Cohiba Puro Dominicana Toro, 5 Vegas Relic Perfecto, Casa Magna Robusto, Macanudo Hyde Park, Inch Natural by E.P. Carillo #62, and the La Aurora Preferidos Ecaudor

    Those cigars give you just about every different type of flavor in a cigar out there and there are all kinds of different sizes and shapes with that pack too.
  • Puff_DougiePuff_Dougie Mr. Rogers NeighborhoodPosts: 4,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    And don't forget to get on the email list for the occasional "Kelly Deal"!!!
    "When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm, refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His name." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • ejgormanejgorman Monroe, WIPosts: 1,115 ✭✭✭
    Puff_Dougie:
    And don't forget to get on the email list for the occasional "Kelly Deal"!!!
    Forgive me for being new, but what email list and what is the Kelly Deal? Along similar lines, I see posts about "bombs." Is it considered bad to be bombed? Good? Indifferent? Does protocol require you return fire? And should one aim to please, expand horizons or just unload some sticks?
    East Side 2015
    KLMOW Badge 8/2014
    Team Trident 2014
  • Thanatos0320Thanatos0320 Posts: 578 ✭✭✭
    I would just try everything you can to find out what you like. Every time you smoke a cigar actually take the time and try to taste as much as you can and associate the flavors with something. The only real way you can actually learn is by doing it.
    ejgorman:
    Puff_Dougie:
    And don't forget to get on the email list for the occasional "Kelly Deal"!!!
    Forgive me for being new, but what email list and what is the Kelly Deal? Along similar lines, I see posts about "bombs." Is it considered bad to be bombed? Good? Indifferent? Does protocol require you return fire? And should one aim to please, expand horizons or just unload some sticks?
    Kelly sends out deals every so often that are usually too good to pass on. As for being bombed it means someone has sent you some cigars that were unexpected. After being bombed it is your job to call in the bomb squad to investigate what as happened (aka me) and hand the evidence over. Your losses will be replaced with swisher sweets
  • Puff_DougiePuff_Dougie Mr. Rogers NeighborhoodPosts: 4,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ejgorman:
    Puff_Dougie:
    And don't forget to get on the email list for the occasional "Kelly Deal"!!!
    Forgive me for being new, but what email list and what is the Kelly Deal? Along similar lines, I see posts about "bombs." Is it considered bad to be bombed? Good? Indifferent? Does protocol require you return fire? And should one aim to please, expand horizons or just unload some sticks?
    Look for the thread titled "Kelly Deal" in the General Discussion section. If you email Kelly and ask to be put on her mailing list, she sends out occasional "special offers" (the specifics of which are not to be mentioned on the forums).

    As for "bombs," I have a feeling you may learn about this sooner rather than later. In the forums, you will see references to "trades," "passes," and "bombs."

    Trade = an exchange of cigars between two members. Sometimes they are specific, and sometimes they are "blind," with each person sending a specified number of sticks they think the other will enjoy. (It helps if you list in your profile some of your likes, dislikes, "want-to-try"s, etc.)

    Pass = a package sent through a list of participants, where each one in turn takes a specified number of cigars, and adds a specified number before sending to the next person. The pass eventually makes it back to the originator.

    Bomb = an unsolicited gift of cigars to an unsuspecting "victim," sent with no expectation of "return fire." It is not good form to ask for bombs, and it is just good fun to act as though receiving them caused great and horrendous damage to one's mailbox, front porch, etc. A bomber should try to send something they think the receiver will enjoy... not unload "dog rockets" from the humi. Many members do, in fact, return fire, but the sender should not expect this.

    One word of caution from a newb to a newb: It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of these things, and even to feel pressure to participate. Make sure that you proceed at your own pace, and within the constraints of your own budget, and have fun getting to know the great people here.

    *You will also notice that "forum math" tends to get a little fuzzy. :^)
    "When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm, refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His name." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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