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 buy cigars, I’m intimated by the vast array of smokes before me. Admittedly, I am indecisive. Having too many choices is paralyzing. As a connoisseur, I’m drawn to quality: I want to enjoy my cigar. But also, I’m trying to save money; is the extra money worth it? Will I really be able to tell the difference? Granted, expensive doesn’t automatically mean better, but with things like cigars and wine, you generally get what you pay for.
As a rule, higher priced cigars are of higher quality. But they might be overpriced. I’d love to spend less, but when things are too cheap, I begin to worry. Like when you go to gas stations and find burritos for only 69 cents. It kind of creeps me out. Why isn’t it more? What corners have been cut to bring me this tasty burrito for such a low price? Similarly: what fabulously rare and fresh ingredients have been put into it if it’s a five-dollar variety?
This is when I realize I’ve been standing there too long. I love the wonderful and delicious aroma of walk-in humidors, but it is slightly intoxicating. Spend too much time in one, and you begin to wonder what corners have been cut to give you such a good smoke at such a low price.
And the reality is, probably some corners have been cut, albeit some corners are cut more gracefully than others. The reason good cigars cost more is because they’re aged longer. A quality wrapper might be aged seven and half years before the cigar is even rolled. Then, the rolled cigar is put in a cedar room and aged for 90 days or more.
This two-step aging process mellows out the flavor of the tobacco. A cigar might be made using leaves from 20 plants and aging marries the different types of leaves, creating harmony between each one. The different leaves blend together and create a complex flavor.
So the great mystery has finally been solved. There are certainly other factors involved, but a good cigar is one that has been properly aged. The next time you find yourself in an intoxicating humidor with a plethora of cigars have faith in your decision. I’m no capitalist, but go ahead and spend those extra 3 or 4 dollars and buy a quality cigar, one that has been aged and made with love. It will be worth it.