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How to choose the right cigar for you

With so many cigars on the market these days, it might seem a bit intimidating to sort through the endless varieties to find one that will deliver all the traits you desire. Taking a look at just a few criteria, however, can make the cigar selection process a smooth and incredibly rewarding experience.

THE CIGAR SOURCE

The first order of business is finding the right source to begin your search. While there are thousands of cigar sellers around the World, choosing the right purveyor is a crucial element that will guarantee the quality and condition of your chosen cigar. There are many counterfeit cigars on the market, yet the most reputable dealers should always provide only truly authentic cigar brands.

No matter if you are searching for the best Cuban cigars, fine Dominicans or you aren’t quite sure, don’t be afraid to inquire about more details. The best tobacconists are experienced in selecting cigars for customers and should be more than willing to help you discover your ideal smoke.

THE CIGAR TYPE

Once you have a cigar supplier in mind, you can better form a plan of action. Understanding the make-up of different types of cigars will help expedite the process. Cigars are comprised of three distinct parts: wrapper, binder and filler. The filler forms the inner bulk of the cigar. The binder leaf helps hold the filler in place. And the wrapper, or the leaf you see and feel, surrounds it all. Much like wine grapes, tobacco leaves will offer wholly unique characteristics determined by the country, region, farm or even plot from which each comes.

Understanding these differences will suggest just how a cigar might smoke, however knowing the wrapper type will generally provide the best insight. There will be exceptions, but a good rule to follow is that the color or hue of the wrapper leaf is a telltale sign of the cigar’s body or strength. Lighter colored leaves, such as Connecticut Shade wrappers, will most often deliver a mellower smoke. Darker leaves, such as Maduro wrappers, will usually be classified as fuller-bodied smokes.

THE OCCASION

Once you begin to formulate an idea of what type you might enjoy, you will want to consider the “where” and “when” of your upcoming cigar smoking adventure. Whether it is a Huddah Monroe-inspired cigar date at one of Nairobi’s cigar lounges or merely relaxing at home, knowing where you will be and how much time you’ll have will help to define the specifics about your continued search.  

THE SIZE AND SHAPE

When you decide where you will be and how much time you will have, you can choose from a broad spectrum of sizes and shapes to fit the occasion. Size is represented by the length and diameter of the cigar. Length can be measured in inches or millimeters, while the diameter or ring gauge is most often measured in 64ths of an inch. A cigar with a diameter of 50/64ths of an inch, for example, would be noted as having a 50-ring gauge. The larger the diameter, the slower the cigar will generally smoke.

The standard shape cigar, or Parejo, offers the most variety in terms of size. Traditional sizes can vary greatly depending on manufacturer, yet classic favorites include Corona, Robusto and the legendary Churchill size. Figurados, or shaped cigars, offer wildly unique offerings, including the nostalgic Perfecto shape, which tapers at both ends. Discovering the best size and shape for you will take some trial and error, but it is undoubtedly one of the most gratifying parts of searching for the ultimate cigar.

THE PRICE

The everchanging economics of Kenya affects every sector of society, whether the individual, corporate, entertainment or even sports leagues. The price, therefore, can be a determining factor for many aspiring cigar aficionados. And so, deciding what price point works best for your budget should receive a fair amount of consideration. Prices can vary from 4000 KS per cigar to hundreds of thousands of shillings for boxes of rare and highly treasured cigars such as the extremely limited Cohiba Behike series. And so, knowing how much you are willing to spend will further narrow the search.

Choosing the right cigar ultimate rests in your own personal preferences uncovered through experimentation. Just a bit of due diligence is all that is needed, whether you are just curious about the world of cigars or you are looking for the perfect complement to a rare “boy’s club”-worthy whiskey. By finding a reputable source, deciding on where the cigar is to be enjoyed and what style, size, and price point best fits the occasion, you will discover the best cigar for you. All that’s left is to sit back, relax and savor the moment.

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