Smoking cigars is typically perceived as an expensive hobby. They exude a certain elegance that some believe is reserved for sticks with a higher price tag. However, many manufacturers now offer a range of cigars at an affordable price to suit all budgets, so lighting up a fine cigar doesn’t have to be a luxury strictly for the wealthy.
Cheap cigars certainly serve a purpose, but why would you go hunting for value-priced stogies in the first place?
Why choose cheap cigars?
There’s a time and a place for cheap cigars. They offer a safe and sensible introduction for beginners. Just like boxed wine for wine newbies, cheap cigars allow individuals to try cigars with different strengths, bodies, and flavor profiles without breaking the bank.
The novice cigar enthusiast can also explore various cigar brands and sizes. Many brands garner reputations for unique aromas, presentation, and flavors, so cheap cigars let you experiment affordably and find a brand or style that matches your palate preferences.
Are cheap cigars good?
While some low-budget cigars might not be of fantastic quality, many provide a cheap and cheerful experience.
You can pick up some excellent cigars from acclaimed brands for $5 or less. The lower prices often reflect an increase in production or a drop in demand, representing a steal for your humidor. More expensive cigars do not eclipse production demand, or their prices would drop too.
Many cheap cigars come with basic, no-frills packaging, contributing to their lower price. This is because it’s more cost-effective and faster for cigars to be packaged and shipped in cellophane bundles.
Manufacturers of premium (and pricier) cigars won’t scrimp on the packaging, particularly as customers pay close attention to their appearance and style. After all, people “buy and consume with their eyes.”
Aside from the packaging, is there a notable difference between cheap and expensive cigars?
Cheap cigars vs expensive cigars
Expensive cigars aren’t always necessarily the best smokes, but there are numerous reasons why they command a greater price tag than cheap cigars.
It’s important to know that cigar boxes can add as much as $1 in cost to a single cigar. A high-quality cedar box comes with its own distinctive aroma, but ornate packaging isn’t always a guarantee for great taste.
Don’t judge cheap cigars on their packaging or expect flawless construction — perfecting these elements will drive up the cost. It’s the cigar flavors that will determine whether or not you’ve got value for money.
Premium aged tobaccos
The maturity of a cigar contributes to raising its value, as the aromas and flavors heighten over time. It can take years for renowned cigar makers to transform their tobacco seeds into the gourmet blends that grace top-shelf smokes, and time equals money.
Even after the time-intensive cultivation process, no shortcuts are taken, as cigars still need to be rested for at least a month before being shipped to retailers.
Incredible skill goes into making the finest cigars and establishing a reputation for superior craftsmanship. Many brands have invested in state-of-the-art facilities to keep themselves at the forefront of cigar production, rolling out multiple layers of quality control to ensure they produce the best cigars.
Hiring the best brains in the business and training new workforce to perfect rolling techniques also comes at a price. In other words, a premium cigar requires premium preparation.
Such is the rigorous checks and fine details that premium cigar manufacturers implement on quality control, cigars can get rejected for a number of reasons. These could be visual imperfections or a failure to meet draw testing or weight standards. Manufacturers want to eliminate as much waste as possible, which is why some of these rebuffs make for good cheap cigars.
Cigars produced in small quantities are desired by cigar lovers around the world. Whether it’s a sought-after blend or limited edition smoke, these are not cigars that everybody can get their hands on. Rare cigars cost a lot to make as they are made to stand out and carry an air of prestige.
Even though taxes will never impact a cigar’s quality or taste, they can make a difference to its affordability. State tobacco tax can be especially expensive, sometimes 60% or more of the retailer’s cost.
Thankfully, there are some anomalies, notably in states like Florida and Pennsylvania, where cigars are exempt from the tobacco tax. Tobacco taxes fluctuate widely based on county, federal, municipal, and state duties.
Are cheap cigars worth it?
Depending on your experience, a cheap cigar could be just the tonic. What’s just as important is understanding what you’re getting for your money and, most importantly, whether it delivers a flavor profile that satisfies you.
For newcomers, cheap cigars are a great (and economical) way to educate your palate. You’re bound to not enjoy some flavors you come across, but at least you’ve not spent a fortune to find out what they are.
In most cases, a cigar with a higher price will be impeccably constructed and deliver a flawless burn and consistent flavors. But don’t let this deter you from lighting up a cheap cigar. Some low-budget smokes have become classic humidor fillers for enthusiasts, surprising with their refined flavor bouquets at barely-believable prices.
A cheap cigar can offer great value not just for stogie newcomers, but also connoisseurs craving a reliable everyday smoke or a few quick draws to enjoy after a hard day in the office. While creating a premium-quality cigar at a lower price is challenging, it’s not impossible.