If you love cigars, then you may be considering building a collection. Different people will collect cigars for different reasons, one of the most obvious being that they will have something to smoke on special occasions or whenever they feel like it. Another reason you may want to build a collection is for the same reason people collect fine wines—the finest cigars can grow in value over time.
Regardless, here are some tips that will help you get started buying cigars and curate an impressive collection.
Buy a Humidor
Buying a humidor is the first thing you should do before building your cigar collection. Humidors help to keep cigars under the right conditions, such as ensuring the humidity is just right.
If a cigar is not kept in the right conditions it can quickly become stale, lose its flavor, its burn, and may become impossible to smoke. A humidor doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, and you can probably find something that suits your needs for less than $100. However, you may want to invest more if you want to build a large collection over the years.
Consider buying a cigar cutter and a lighter. Guillotine-style cigar cutters are usually the best option, and you should invest in a good quality cutter that’s also large enough to cut most cigars. Butane cigar torches are widely considered to be the best type of lighter for a cigar. Such a lighter will help you light the cigar evenly, and it won’t transfer any unwelcome flavors into the cigar.
Decide Your Budget
It will be difficult to build much of a collection if you blow most of your budget on one cigar, but you should probably spring for some higher-end cigars to add some quality to your collection as well as quantity. To find the right balance, first decide how much money you are willing to spend and how you plan to budget over the months and years. From there, you can start planning your collection strategy.
Try Out Sampler Packs
If you want to keep a selection of your favorite cigars to enjoy later, try out some sampler packs first. Sampler packs will give you a variety so you can explore the types of cigar you like most. Fill out your collection with a few of your favorites so you have something that will fit every mood and occasion.
Also try out cigars that are infused with herbs, spices, and other ingredients, like the Acid Kuba Kuba. Infused cigars are rich in flavors that you won’t find in most other types of cigar.
Learn What Complements a Cigar
A well-aged cigar can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. With something so valuable, it’s best to make the most of it, so find out what complements a cigar well. Cognac and scotch in particular make good companions for cigars, and some pairings go better than others. If you’d rather avoid alcohol, try looking for a fine coffee instead.
Keep a Cigar Diary
You’re likely to come across many types of cigar as you build your collection, and it can be difficult to remember what you thought about a particular cigar you tried years ago. Keep a journal to help you remember which cigars you’ve tried and what you thought of them. Make a note of their flavors, and keep a list of your favorites.
Also keep records of every cigar you bought, along with any paperwork that came with the cigar. This will reassure potential investors that they are buying the real thing.
Remember That Expensive Is Not Always Best
It might be tempting to start looking at expensive cigars to fill your collection, but this is not usually the best strategy. For many people, the real quality of a cigar is found in how much they enjoy smoking it—not how much they paid for it. In truth, there are some superb cigars that can be bought at low prices.
Another reason to keep a few cheaper cigars is for when you have company. Friends will often want to take a look at your collection, and some will also want to try them out themselves. This could get very expensive if all you have are pricey varieties, so having some cheaper ones also is a great idea. Of course, giving friends a cheaper cigar does not mean you’re giving them a bad cigar.
Alternatively, you could look for something with more of a kick, like CBD flower, and they may be less interested in your cigar collection.
Look for Small Holes in the Leaves
Cigars are prone to infestation from lasioderma serricorne—also known as the tobacco beetle. Although the tobacco beetle is harmless to humans, the same cannot be said about cigars. If just one contaminated cigar makes it into your humidor there’s a risk that your entire collection will be rendered worthless.
Before buying a cigar, inspect the leaves for tiny holes where tobacco beetles may have entered, and if you notice any holes don’t buy the cigar. If you find small beetles in your humidor, separate the cigars immediately and hope for the best.
Buy in Boxes
While you can buy cigars individually, they also come in boxes, and boxed cigars present a great opportunity for you to experience how a cigar can change in taste as it ages. If you have a cigar once a year or only on special occasions, then try keeping notes to see how the taste compares with previous cigars you smoked from the same box. Leaving your cigars in their box will help flavors to develop, and you can keep the box inside a humidor to help keep them in excellent condition.
If you are investing in cigars to sell them for more at a later date, avoid the temptation of opening the box because even breaking the seal can decrease the value of the collection. If you want the best of both worlds, you should consider buying two boxes: one as a future investment, and the other for your smoking pleasure.
Learn Which Cigars Make a Good Investment
If you are collecting cigars with financial gain in mind then it makes sense to do your research. Which types of cigar appreciate in value the most? How do you recognize a well-made cigar? Which brands are the best?
One tip is to look for special edition cigars that some manufacturers release each year. These special editions can become sought after in the way wines of a certain vintage become sought after. Try and buy them as soon as they are released so you know they are in good condition, and keep them safe in your humidor where they will gradually age.
A cigar collection can be for your enjoyment, for financial gain, or maybe a bit of both. It can also be done by people on modest budgets as well as the wealthy. Regardless of your reason for starting a collection or your budget, the tips above should help you to begin building a collection that you can be proud of. Don’t forget to be well prepared so you can store your cigars in the right conditions and know how to look for the best cigars.