Posted: Aug 28, 2009 12:23pm ET
What do you consider a bargain-priced cigar? A $5 smoke? One retailing for $4? Less than $4? Or maybe it’s simply a cigar that gives you a great smoking experience for less than you would expect.
Every year at Cigar Insider, we survey cigar shops from around the country to get an idea of the buying habits of the premium cigar smoker. This year price was a major concern. “People are buying cheaper cigars,” said Craig Cass, who owns four Tinderbox stores in (and around) Charlotte, North Carolina. “The $10 guy,” he said, “is now at $8.” Others agreed.
Everyone seems to be making do with a little less in their pockets today, so finding some bang for your buck in your neighborhood walk-in humidor is extremely welcome. Looking over the new cigars from the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers trade show, various cigar companies have come out with cheaper smokes this year, no doubt in response to the ailing economy.
Brick House, a new J.C. Newman Cigar Co. brand, is made in Nicaragua from all Nicaraguan tobaccos. It comes in four sizes and sells for $4.75 to $5.75 per cigar. “We are in a recession, and post SCHIP,” said Eric Newman, president of the Tampa, Florida company. “I want to offer the marketplace a very flavorful cigar with a lot of spice, between $4.75 and $5.75. Everybody can’t afford a Diamond Crown.”
Altadis U.S.A. Inc. has a new bundle brand called Casa de Garcia, which comes in four sizes, all of which retail for $1.50 each. Philip Wynne has a Miami-made cigar called Poor Boy, selling for $5 to $6.50—quite a bargain for something rolled on U.S. shores.
Other companies have released bargain smokes by mixing long filler with short filler, a cigar known colloquially as a Cuban sandwich. Topper Cigar Co. has the new Silverdale, retailing from $2.50 to $3.85, made in Nicaragua, with three sizes. Tabacos Baez Serie SF (the SF stands for “short filler”) is a three-size line with prices just under $3. You can read more about all these new smokes in Cigar Insider.
Some companies have long given bang for the buck. Regular Padróns are typically available for around $3 or $4 each. Oliva Cigar Co. built its reputation on bargain-priced cigars, and the company always makes our Best Buy list when we do our Top 25 each year. Our reigning Cigar of the Year is a $5.25 smoke, the Casa Magna Colorado Robusto. And it’s hard to find a better value than the old fashioned Punch Rothschild.
Are you looking for bargains more than before? And what’s your idea of a value-priced smoke?
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