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Cigar Aficionado

Ohio Blue Tip Matches

You don't have to be a phillumenist to appreciate the newly rebranded Ohio Blue Tip Matches—just a cigar enthusiast.

While the current cigar accessories market offers a deluge of options to light your premium cigar, purists opt for the simple match. Not only are matches cheap, but they never run out of butane and force you to slow down and focus on properly toasting a cigar's foot. (See what I mean in Gordon Mott's video "Three Matches.")

So when the Jarden Corp., owner of the Ohio Blue Tip Matches brand, quietly removed Blue Tips from the market in February of 2011 to focus on its other match brand, Diamond Matches, cigar and pipe enthusiasts who have come to rely on the tiny wooden bringers of fire bemoaned the day. But they did not go quietly into the good night, so to speak.

Instead, the purists took to Internet message boards, simultaneously lamenting Jarden's decision while asking where they could purchase the few remaining boxes. Jarden took note of this chatter, and the company recently re-released Ohio Blue Tip Matches with all-new branding and a higher-quality matchbox, but the same recognizable blue-tipped matchstick.

It's likely you've seen the original Ohio Blue Tip Matches box at some point in your life, most likely in a kitchen drawer or on a camping trip. After all, the Ohio Match Co. was founded in 1895 by E.J. Young and has been in business ever since, with ownership of the company changing hands a few times.

Original Ohio Blue Tips Matches Box.
The original box of Ohio Blue Tip Matches.

The new Ohio Blue Tip Matches box is sturdier than the original, meaning you don't have to baby it in fear of crushing it. The box comes in three new designs, including one of a junkyard dog flexing its bicep and wearing a spiked collar while standing in front of an American flag.

Like the original box, the new one slides open to reveal 250 wooden matches. The sticks are grouped together by a piece of cardboard that reads "Burn baby burn...". On both sides of the box is an updated solid-strike strip that Jarden claims is of higher quality than the old version.

The matches themselves, though, are still the same high-quality Blue Tips. While they are not strike-anywhere matches, the Blue Tips still perform well indoors, where smokers are likely to be using a match anyways. We found the match burns for about 20 seconds, which is an optimal amount of time to light up a smaller-ring gauge cigar like a panetela or corona. For fatter cigars, simply strike two or three matches at once to create a larger flame.

For $3.50 a box, it's tough to find a better match to light your cigar.

Ohio Blue Tip Matches made in the United States and are available at Meijer, True Value, Ace Hardware and Mid States Hardware.

"I can't find these matches anywhere. Iv been trying to for awhile." —May 21, 2013 15:40 PM