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Picking Your Premium Cigars

Nov 17, 2007
Some premium cigars are so rich and flavorful that they're compared to fine wines. As well, there is a great deal of competition in this market, so manufacturers are always trying to come up with new blends of tobacco to tempt buyers. In this article, we'll examine fine cigars that are both delicious and have a wonderful bouquet.

The handmade premium cigar industry makes up less than 1% of the entire tobacco industry. The companies that make up this tiny segment include distributors, manufacturers, importers and retail tobacconists, and are mostly independent, family businesses.

Most people believe that Cuba has cornered the market on premium cigars, but hand rolled, well crafted products can be found all over the world. Each manufacturer has its own style and flavor and each brand also produces various lines. Cohiba, for example, offers three tiers, from basic varieties to rare limited editions.

The Dominican Republic is a hotbed of cigar manufacturers. Arturo Fuente tobacco is one of the most well known brands in the world. Arturo Fuente's history goes back to 1912 and the product is handmade in the Dominican Republic. The mild-bodied, big-ringed Diamond Crown ones were introduced in 1996 from the distributors of Arturo Fuente cigarettes.

Also hailing from the Dominican Republic are Fonseca, Avo, Cohiba, Griffin's and Davidoff Cigars. Davidoff, a celebrated brand, dates back to 1946 in Cuba and they are aged a minimum of four years, as well as being offered in five different series.

The highly celebrated Montecristo also originated in Cuba in 1935, but has been manufactured in the Dominican Republic since 1995. Opus X cigarettes are quite possibly the most sought-after on the market. The blend is vintage Dominican-grown with Cuban-seed tobaccos and a spicy, shade grown wrapper.

Most premium cigars are lovingly crafted and rolled by hand. Most high end brands are manufactured in Spanish speaking countries, so the packaging will bear the label of either "totalmente a mano" or "totally by hand," depending on the cigar's origin. After craftsmanship, determining the quality becomes a matter of personal taste.

To make sure that you buy a stogie that has been well preserved, shop at tobacconist or cigar shop and look for a store with a walk-in humidor. This will ensure that the product is fresh and won't be dried out or contaminated.

Premium cigars don't always come at a premium price. Fine cigars can range in cost from about $3 to $40 US. To guarantee a quality product, shop at a reputable retailer and opt for a high end brand with a solid reputation.

Going online and researching cigar ratings is a great way to distinguish between brands and many tobacconists' shops often offer samples. For an aficionado, experimenting with different brands is part of the experience of enjoying a good stogie.
About the Author
Mike Selvon has some great cigars articles for the smoker, where you can find out more about premium cigars. We appreciate your feedback at our tobacco blog.
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