Buying cigars online.
The cigar buying process can prove to be a daunting task. With enough options to make your head explode, I've decided to help whittle your options down to five solid sources for buying cigars.
First off, let's cut the field in half and stick to online cigar purchases. Of course there are many fine brick and mortar establishments out there, offering great advice, selection, and a place to enjoy that cigar. But because we are not all blessed with the perfect, local smoke shop, I find online shops to have the best deals, prices, and availability. Shopping online is also a great way to build up a nice, healthy humidor filled with a variety of interesting smokes. With online cigar shops, you are typically given the option of buying your smokes in 5 packs, 10 packs, boxes, or singles. As you might expect, the larger the bundle, the more you'll save on the per-stick price. Then again, the smaller 5-packs allow you to get a good idea of a cigars identity while still allowing room for a wide variety of cigars.
As with anything, it's good to have options! You'll want to have a few shops that you can turn to for you're many cigar needs. Some shops focus on the price, with constant "cigar blowouts" and deals everywhere you look. While others focus on availability, stocking as many cigars you can think of; or even the shops that offer the rare and interesting, boutique cigars. Of course everyone has their own taste, some people will choose there shop solely based on the environment the shop provides. Take this all into account and you still have a sea of options, that's why I've boiled down a list of the top 5 online cigar shops. On any given day, at least one of these shops should be able to handle your stogie-hunting needs.
The best online smoke shops
In no particular order, here are my recommendations for the 5 best online cigar shops:
You'll know these guys right away when you see the bright yellow smiley face with a 5 o'clock shadow smoking a bog ol' stogie! These guys are one of the "super stores" of the cigar world and offer a humongous list of cigar brands. Cigars International even has a few sister sites that are worth a look, such as Best Cigar Prices, which as you might expect, has some of the best prices out there. Also, be sure to check out CI's mobile app as this is a great way to be updated on deals before they run out of stock.
What's the best thing about Cigars International?
Their Big List of Brands is possibly the largest out there, including a few exclusive cigars as well.
Atlantic Cigar Co.
These guys run a classy site, it's elegant and easy to navigate (a huge plus for me!). Atlantic Cigar Co. seems to appeal to the aficionado or the aspiring cigar enthusiast, featuring a unique selection of some of the newest and more sought-after cigars. If you're getting serious about cigars and want a place that doesn't mess around, give Atlantic a look; they offer some great sampler packs that even a connoisseur couldn't turn away from.
What's the best thing about Atlantic Cigar Co.?
A clean, easy-to-navigate site, featuring very attractive sampler packs.
Sort of like the Sears or JC Penny of the cigar world, and that's not necessarily a bad thing! JR Cigars offers a TON of cigar brands and accessories, even cigar auctions and great daily deals. On the other hand, they also stock pipes, e-cigarettes, coffee, tea, and even fragrances? Now if you want a one-stop-shop to cover all your flavors and smells, that might be right up your alley. These guys offer some of the best deals out there, but may not include the more rare and intriguing cigars such as Padron or Liga Privada.
What's the best thing about JR Cigars?
An old school site that offers great deals on classic, go-to smokes.
Famous Smoke Shop
Famous Smoke Shop is like a cigar super store that just so happens to carry the finer things as well, sort of the best of both worlds. These guys offer so many different deals it's tough to find a starting point. Their 5 packs are uniquely customizable, featuring samplers based on strength, manufacturer, price, and even shape! You can even customize your own samplers to really get an idea of what you like. Sister site Cigar Auctioneer offers some of the best cigar biding action out there and even has a free app so you'll never be outbid! And Cigar Monster (Famous' deal app) is one of the most addicting cigar apps, featuring a new cigar deal every hour, with a "cigar mashup" twice a day (all the days deals combined!). On the downside, you may notice repeating deals and find that some are simply not worth it. Still, keep one eye out, as they just may sneak a My Father 5 pack in there for a scary low price, they know how to keep you coming back!
What's the best thing about Famous Smoke Shop?
Deals deals deals! Including Cigar Monster, a free app that provides some of the best daily deals on the go.
Featuring shop owner Abe "MING" Dababneh as the site's stogie-lovin', friendly "mascot", these guys truly are a class act in the cigar industry. Seriously, every order I've received from Smoke Inn has been accompanied with a personal, handwritten note, they may even send a custom lighter or cigar cutter from time to time! But that's not what keeps me coming back, Smoke Inn is unique among the other shops in that they seem to be hand-picking their selections based cigars they would actually smoke! You won't find any Swisher Sweets here, these guys are passionate about cigars and it shows. In fact, Smoke Inn even has their own Micro Blend series, a line of cigars made by top-of-the-line manufacturers (such as Padron, My Father, Arturo Fuente, and Tatuaje) that are exclusive to Smoke Inn's smoke shop. This gives a chance for "the big guys" to try out some seriously unique, small batch cigars, it's like single barrel bourbon for the cigar world! This is my go-to shop for the newest, boldest, and most interesting cigars.
What's the best thing about Smoke Inn?
Exclusive cigars such as TAA cigars that only select retailers receive. Their Micro Blend series offers exclusive, experimental cigars from some of the best brands today.
Do yourself a favor and bookmark these 5 sites, maybe download a couple of the apps and your humidor will be filled in no time. I find that each one serves a purpose in the ongoing quest for a great smoke, because everyone knows a great humidor needs top, bottom, and mid-shelf cigars!