The holidays are fast approaching, and it can be daunting to shop for a cigar lover. With a little bit of guidance you can find a gift that will knock their socks off. I highly recommend going to a local shop and taking to an expert face-to-face – it can be difficult, though not impossible, to get custom recommendations from online retailers. A good tobacconist can listen to your questions and concerns and make a recommendation accordingly.
- A New Humidor – Chances are your favorite cigar lover’s humidor is already pretty full, so a new humidor can be a lifesaver. As an added bonus you can season the humidor before you wrap it and put it under the tree so it will be ready to go! Make sure you choose a humidor that is well made with a heavy and tight-fitting lid.
- A fancy cutter – The $5 cutters will get you by just fine, but if you want a statement piece go for something a little more upscale. As far as I’m concerned Xikar is the most solid choice around because of the lifetime warranty. You can even get a Xikar cutter with a custom woolly mammoth scrimshaw upgrade made by Louisville artist HutcH.
- A fancy lighter – Prometheus is the god of fire in Greek mythology, so it is apt that some of the best cigar lighters around come from a brand named after him. There are single, double, triple, and quad torches as well as cool flame lighters and cigar lighters with a punch built in.
- A fancy ash tray – You know those really cool cigar ash trays you see in smoke shops with the bowl and the ledges to set cigars? Those are called Stinky Cigar ash trays and they are pretty great. I’m so in love with my copper Stinky it’s a little sad. A great ash tray can elevate the whole experience of smoking a cigar.
- Cigars! – This is where many folks start to get intimidated. Don’t try to buy a whole box of cigars as a gift unless it is a 5- or 10-pack. Most cigar lovers would rather have an assortment of cigars they may not have tried yet. If you know what they typically smoke choosing the perfect cigar going to be an easier task – you go to that local tobacconist and tell him or her what the cigar lover for whom you are buying likes and the tobacconist will make recommendations. If you don’t know it gets a little more risky, but if you are just buying singles anyway most cigar lovers will try anything once. Many manufacturers make special holiday releases, and one of my favorites is the Arturo Fuente Añejo Shark, while Rosemary favors the Arturo Fuente Between the Lines.
If you want to be really fancy give the cigar lover in your life a trip to the Nicaraguan Cigar Festival in January, the Dominican Cigar Festival (ProCigar) in February, or a Drew Estate Cigar Safari in Esteli, Nicaragua sometime between February and May. If you prefer to stay stateside there’s always The Big Smoke.
There are gifts for every level of cigar lover in your life, from novice to pro, and at every price point. Don’t be intimidated by all the options out there and remember – your local tobacconist is there to help you!
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl