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Author Archives: Matthew Rosen

Does Price Determine Quality for Cigars?

One the biggest mysteries is what separates a cheap cigar from an expensive one, and if that relates to differentiating a bad cigar from a good one. Part of the answer is that good cigars use better blend and higher quality tobacco. Good cigars are hand rolled instead of machine made. But there’s more to it than that. Whenever I ... Read More »

The Charm of an S. T. Dupont Lighter

The first thing I noticed about the S. T. Dupont Line 2 lighter was its size and weight. About 2 inches long and an inch and half wide, it fit perfectly in my palm, and felt so satisfying; heavy enough to give a feeling of substance, but not so heavy to be bulky or awkward. Just holding the lighter, feeling ... Read More »

When Diplomacy Fails With Tobacco Beetles

Tobacco beetles (Lasioderma serricorne) are nasty little buggers; left to their own devices, they will eat tobacco, lay eggs in cigars, and make cocoons, completely destroying your cigars in the process. Because their eggs hatch quickly, in 5 to 10 days, and tobacco beetles can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, it is important to act at the ... Read More »

The Five Best Cigar-Related Father’s Day Gifts

According to a recent study by the internet cigar retailer WhatsKnotToLove, Father’s Day — that shameless day of the year when wives, daughters and sons have to publicly humiliate themselves in a quest for a gift they know will go unappreciated — has become a national epidemic. More than sixty million American Fathers are affected by a disappointing Father’s Day, ... Read More »

The Ten Things to Know About Cigar Wrappers

The cigar wrapper isn’t just one more component to a cigar — it carries the majority of the cigar’s flavor and nearly all of its aesthetic appeal. In fact, publications like The Cigar Encyclopedia and Cigar Aficionado suggest that the wrapper is responsible for 60% or more of the cigar’s flavor and value. With more diverse wrappers being released than ... Read More »

Lessons From Cusano: Bringing Upward Mobility to Independent Cigar Makers

Both cigar retailers and producers are basking in the warm sun of rising cigar sales. As stalwarts like Altadis, USA continue to report solid growth in their earnings, independent cigar makers like Cusano and Alec Bradley are having to hire more employees to meet demand. These independent producers are discovering they are part of a changing world in which the ... Read More »

Five Steps to Blind Tasting a Cigar

For cigar aficionados at the dawn of the 21st century, it’s difficult to find anything but greatness in the increasing availability of quality, handmade cigars throughout the world. Where once there was a small, Cuban-centric industry controlled by an elusive elite, there is now a blossoming global trade that is supporting the addition of fresh new players eager to highlight ... Read More »

Cracking Down on Cigar Counterfeiters

In the most rewarding new industries, there is often a convergence of factors that make them lucrative and sustainable. Factors like the emergence of new technologies, a ripening of the consumer market, or a political climate that spawns laws and regulations that give a particular business model oomph can revolutionize an industry. Over the last two decades, the counterfeit cigar ... Read More »

Time to Invest in Cigars?

It would be an understatement to say that the current economic and political climate in the United States is not conducive to growth in the cigar industry. The founding fathers are wincing in their graves as taxes on cigars and pipe tobacco invoke memories of a certain point in the nation’s history when the King of Britain was told to ... Read More »

Cigar Industry Bands Together to Fight Taxation

From New York to Denver to Washington State, tobacco taxes are sweeping the nation. For small business owners, particularly the colorful and stylish sort that tend to run independent cigar stores, maintaining viable profit margins can be a struggle even when the winds blow in their favor, let alone when the culture of mainstream America is rallying against them. Here ... Read More »