When we think of a premium cigar, we are drawn to the flavorful, handcrafted masterpieces of meticulously cured, blended and rolled tobaccos. Cigars have often been viewed as an implication of elegance and class, shared by members of a community within social circles and ceremonious occasions. The upscale nature of cigar smoking however, is built around the good nature and character of an individual, rather than prosperity or affluence. Through this gentlemanly demeanor, there’s a social protocol to cigar smoking that’s expected to be adhered to by both novices and well-seasoned smokers, within most smoking environments. But don’t take that disclaimer as a brooding warning— cigar smoking is a passionate pastime that welcomes any and all individuals! All they’ll ever ask in return in a little etiquette…


Cigar etiquette is simply polite and courteous behavior within these smoking circles. These indoctrinated rules stretch back to centuries ago, and some of which, amongst all the changes in environments and technology, still hold up today. Zino Davidoff was one of the first to publicize these time-honored traditions with an essay entitled "Zino Davidoff's Guide to Cigar Etiquette." Davidoff’s guide is one that does bear a few more of the guidelines that aren’t as emphasized in today’s culture, such as walking with cigars, or asking a fellow smoker to borrow a lighting device. But Davidoff’s insistence on lighting your own cigar, or the refusal to re-light cigars which have been smoked two-thirds of their course, have remained social strongholds. In truth, any premium cigar should be allowed to die with dignity, and we should all opt not to stick our nubs with a toothpick, and smoke them until there’s seemingly nothing left!

Since Davidoff’s essay, other prominent figures within the industry, or credible publications such as Cigar Aficionado and The New York Times, have issued further suggestions to maintain an upscale smoking environment. It’s often encouraged to let a cigar burn out on its own, rather than snubbing it out in an ashtray, or worse, between the sole of a shoe and the ground. Respect for any non-smokers should be taken with precedence, and can be displayed by regulating cigar smoking to designated areas or lounges, and properly airing yourself out before entering a non-smoker’s home, or a non-smoking institution. For the establishments or tobacconists that provide upscale venues to enjoy a cigar, respect these businesses by shopping with them, refraining to bring cigars acquired from another retailer. Limit smoking within these places to the areas they were built for. If this particular location has a walk-in humidor, try not to alter the air they’ve meticulously set by smoking within it. Go back out to the lounge and enjoy your cigar there with your companions, and be sure to follow any house rules while do so.

There are a few other actions that are almost universally frowned upon, for lack of a better term, within smoking circles. Always accommodate yourself with the right tools to appropriately prep your cigar. This means to make sure you use a cigar cutter or punch, as opposed to improvising with a knife, or savagely removing or puncturing the cap with your teeth. Try to bring your own tools as well, to avoid having to interrupt another smoker for theirs. Things do happen, and we are sometimes forgetful in nature, so do keep your cutter clean for anyone in need. Keep your cigars out of your mouth until they are completely ready to be smoked. This way, if you happen to borrow another smoker’s cutter, you’ll be using their blade on a factory-fresh cap, as opposed to one that was just removed from your lips!

Chain-smoking is something that’s been considered to convey a seemingly ‘addictive’ nature that one may want to avoid. To circumvent this rule in an extended smoking session, smoke your cigars slowly and peacefully. You may actually even enjoy them more this way! You might also want to consider waiting at least 15 minutes before lighting a new cigar, if you do have the time and desire to smoke a second. Ash is another major factor in cigar etiquette— always be hygienic, and use an ashtray and keep ashes orderly. Try not to over-ash or lavishly under-ash, showboating that long ash you’ve accrued in an otherwise calm and orderly atmosphere.

As for your personal behavior, respect the elegance of the cigar by re-lighting in your hand, and not your mouth. In fact, cigars aren’t meant to be wet, so refrain from dipping yours in a cordial or cognac for additional flavor. This action seriously diminishes both the quality of tobaccos of the cigar, and the work that went into both producing and providing it for you. Also, for the sake of your perception, avoid chewing on your cigar, or worst of all, clenching it between your teeth like the gangster stereotypes of popular, action-star B-movies.

Finally, there are some more chivalrous rules that are just considered good natured, such as returning any cigar loaned to you that goes unsmoked, bringing extras to share in celebration, not insulting anyone’s cigar or flavor preference, avoiding the need to sniff the body of a cigar, and most importantly, continually accepting complementary cigars without reciprocating appropriately. And for the love of God, when it comes to Cuban cigars, it may be wise to keep a don’t ask/don’t tell type of mentality!


When discussing cigars, one can not help but think of the beautiful little island in the Caribbean known as Cuba. For hundreds of years, the cigar tobacco from Cuba was seen as the pinnacle of quality and luxury. Since the embargo was enacted in the 1950s, the aura around these cigars has increased even more. Although today we have seen some top of the line products out of Nicaragua and the Dominican, Cuban cigars still have a mystical hold on cigar smokers everywhere. Now, everyone who has even heard of Cuba has heard of brands such as Montecristo and Cohiba, but today let’s take a look at some lesser known but amazing options that Havana has created.


Partagas Serie D No.4
While the Partagas Serie D is one of the best-selling Cuban cigars, it does not have anywhere near the popularity of Montecristo or Cohiba. Why this is remains a mystery, especially if you have ever smoked one. Ask an average smoker their favorite Cuban and they will probably say a Montecristo No. 2. Ask a true connoisseur, and the Partagas Serie D will most likely be the answer. It has a good deal of spice, but it is not overwhelming. In fact, there is a good amount of sweetness to help balance it out. This is one of the highest rated general releases ever produced in Cuba, and a definite pick for your Cuban cigar bucket list.


H. Upmann Coronas Major
H. Upmann is one of the oldest cigar brands in existence, dating back to the 1840s. Since then it has developed quite a reputation as one of the premium boutique brands of Cuba. In fact, this was the brand that John F. Kennedy bought moments before he signed the Cuban embargo. The Coronas Major is a newer size that was previously machine made. It is rich and creamy, with dabs of spice throughout. It is actually quite affordable, even for a Cuban cigar. If you have the option, these are an amazing choice for a daily smoke.


Bolivar Belicoso
It would be hard to find a Cuban cigar with more complexity then the Bolivar Belicoso. Besides maybe the Montecristo No.2, this is one of the best perfectos every to come out of the island. It starts of rich and creamy, then shifts to slightly spicy, followed by a sweet spice finish. I have yet to smoke one that burned bad or had a flaky ash. Great construction plus complex flavors equals amazing.


Obviously, many of you reading this cannot go out to purchase these cigars regularly. However, on your next vacation abroad, you now have a great list of cigars you can try without breaking the bank.


Adrian's Cigars



Adrian’s Cigars are Fine Costa Rican Cigars.  They were started by an American who attended the University of Costa Rica in the late 1990s.  While studying there, he toured many tobacco plantations, and after experiencing the flavor of Costa Rican tobacco firsthand, fell in love with it. 



 



Several blends were then created, and the company was launched in 2008.  Adrian’s cigars are all handmade in Costa Rica, and they are brought into the United States by a chain of retail stores in Central, Texas.



 



Adrian’s Costa Rican Puros are made from carefully selected tobacco that has been aged for over 7 years.  They are hand-rolled at just the right time that is needed to capture the very best character and flavor of the tobacco.  Adrian’s Costa Rican Puros have been specially designed with a compact ash that burns evenly, so relighting is never necessary. 



 



The tobacco that is used in making Adrian’s cigars is grown in two different regions of Costa Rica.  One of these regions is in the Mountains of Pursical.  The other region is located in the Southern Zone of the country known as Perez Zeledon. 



 



Adrian’s cigars have a fantastic taste that is a quick love for both new cigar smokers and veteran smokers alike.  The care taken in growing, curing, and hand-rolling these masterpieces certainly pays off.   One of the more noticeable qualities that anyone will very quickly notice when looking at one of these cigars is a very minimal veins in the wrappers compared to the wrappers of other hand-rolled cigars.  These wrappers give off a much stronger aroma and contribute to a forming smoother more even burn lines.



 



The wrappers are not grown in Nicaragua, however, but instead are grown in the shade fields of Ecuador.  Ecuador has long been known as an ideal area of the world for growing the most excellent wrapper leaves.  Ecuadorian tobacco leaves are renowned for both for their elasticity and special aroma.



 



There are a several specialized blends that are made by Adrian’s cigars.  The Connecticut shade wrapper burns very cool and slow and it gives a very easy draw with crisp ashes.  It features a mild to medium flavor.  Smokers love it for afternoon smokes or smokes before dinner.  It is also very aromatic as well so is a good way to unwind down to evening before bed.



 



The Havana 2000 (Criollo) Wrapper is very sweet when it is first lit up.  It offers the smoker a medium to full-bodied flavor.  One of the more interesting things about this Adrian’s cigar is that it gets stronger as it burns without becoming too strong. 



 



The Maduro Wrapper has been called a sexy, dark, and robust blend of a cigar.  It is by far the strongest blend in both flavor and strength.  This is a favorite after dinner or late night cigar for the serious smoker.  With an extra ligero aged to five years for an additional punch, the rich flavor and taste of the Maduro Wrapper can quickly replace a favorite with a new, but already classic tasting blend.



 



Quality matters to Adrian’s Cigars.  Every cigar is carefully, visually inspected, measured, and then weighed for quality assurance.  No cigar ever ships if it does not meet the strict QA requirements of Adrian’s Cigars. 



 



Our Main Cigar store is located in Houston Texas, however we also service all 50 states including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., El Paso, Texas, Dallas TX DFW, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Boise ID, Atlanta GA, Raleigh-Durham NC, Washington DC, Albuquerque NM, Huntsville AL, Fayetteville AR, Norfolk VA , Madison WI.



Agio Cigars



The very first cigar factory was constructed in the Netherlands in 1826.  Unlike other European governments that tried to control cigar manufacture, the Dutch let cigar makers pursue their trade unregulated.  The cigar industry was quickly spread over Europe, but it remained prominent in the Dutch province of Brabant.


In 1873, Agio Cigars was founded.  Today, it is the sixth largest cigar company in the world.   That is quite a lineage, considering that the entire cigar industry is not much older than that. 


There are many different lines of Agio cigars.  These cigars are made from some of the best tobacco grown in Indonesia, Brazil, and Cuba.  Agio cigars are very short that are good if you are looking for a relatively quick burn.  The most popular brands appear to be the Mehari brands, which are smoked in over 100 countries around the world.


Different Mehari brands go well with different things.  Some work very well with fine wine or stout liqueurs.  If you enjoy vodka, try the original Mehari Java, which has been famous throughout the world since 1976.  Java tobacco is frequently used to wrap Dutch cigars.  It is rather unique because it is not grown on plantations.  It is grown by private Indonesian farmers on small tracts of land.  It has a good flavor for those who prefer not to drink alcohol, being an ideal compliment to cold espresso or Chinese tea.


Others Agio Cigars, such as the Mehari’s Equador, taste better with beer or light wines.  The light-colored wrapper of the Mehari Ecuador gives it a very distinctive, yet also very mild flavor.  It is grown under cheesecloth to prevent exposure to direct sunlight. 

 

Still others smokers want a more exotic flavor with a strong aroma.  Mehari’s Brazil, for example, is an exotic Agio Cigar whose plants are grown in the open air and the high sun.  To add a unique, exotic flavor to the tobacco it is fermented for 3 to 8 months to give it a more aromatic taste and dark color.  This is a good cigar to smoke with your favorite brandy, cherry liqueur, or firm red wine.


In recent years, aromatic Agio Cigars have become highly popular with some people.  Individuals who are new to cigar smoking tend to favor them because they like the smell.  Both nonfilter and filter versions exist of these aromatic cigars exists.  Filtered cigars are rather unique, to say the least. 


These cigars taste great with teas, sweet liqueurs, or with any vodka drink.  The Sweet Orient line has been made with a Java wrapper that makes it fragrant and delicious.  It has a noticeable, yet mild flavor that is just right for the beginning cigar smoker just starting down the aficionado road. 


If you would like a more robust flavor, then mini Mehari’s Mocca combines the flavor or Arabica with Robusto coffee.  The harmonious balance between the two ingredients gives the Mehari Mocca a very different taste that has come to be adored by coffee and Ameretto drinkers.


If you love Caribbean dreams that are brought on by rum and tequila, you may want to get a box of Mini Mehari’s Dominicans.  Dominicans are especially made from Dominican Olor tobacco that has been carefully selected for its rich, aromatic blend.


Our Main Cigar store is located in Houston Texas, however we also service all 50 states including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., El Paso, Texas, Dallas TX DFW, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Boise ID, Atlanta GA, Raleigh-Durham NC, Washington DC, Albuquerque NM, Huntsville AL, Fayetteville AR, Norfolk VA , Madison WI.



Al Capone Cigars



Al Capone cigars are actually cigarillos.  They are named after the notorious Chicago gangster of the 1920s.  They are said to be short on stature, but very long on flavor.  Al Capone’s also give the smoker on the go the best bang for a buck.  They are quick, inexpensive, and sweet to the taste.  Serious Cigars offers both filtered and non-filtered versions. 



 



Al Capone Cigars are available in sweets with and without a filter and also in rum flavor.



Al Capone cigars are ideal for the smoker who is looking for a sweet, super quick, cigar on the cheap.  Al Capone cigars taste excellent and smell very good.  With a mild



 



Al Capone cigars are medium to full-bodied; these short smokes are comprised of Nicaraguan and Brazilian short filler leaves wrapped in sweetened Bahia wrappers. Available in either rum or cognac, Al Capone cigars make the perfect getaway cigar when you are low on time.



 



Al Capone cigars originate from Nicaragua.  The filler comes from the Condega, Jalapa and Estelí regions of Nicaragua.  The completed product is a full-bodied smoke that has a slightly sweet but smooth flavor. The leaves are afterward wrapped in sweetened Bahia wrappers.  The Bahia wrapper creates a very distinct aroma and lends the Capone a very special flavor and



 



Al Capone cigars were originally made in Germany.  However, as we have already noted, they are made by hand today in Estelí Nicaragua.   Today’s version is a 1996 continuation of the German original, and continues to earn high ratings among cigar smokers around the world



 



There are two basic flavors that smokers can select: Rum and Cognac. Both Rum and Cognac Al Capone cigars have been carefully dipped in the respective liquors indicated by their names.  Both of these cigars can be found purchased in filtered slims and non-filtered versions.  Even better, both Rum and Cognac lines can be obtained as either slims or sweets.



 



Many smokers like the non-filter cigars because they offer an extra bit of flavor for those looking for a quick smoke on the go.  The filtered equivalents have a milder taste and are also a favorite quick smoke by busy people on the go.



 



There is little that an Al Capone Cigar leaves to be desired.  It is characterized by a medium-bodied flavor that is just right for a smoke on a short break.  At the same time, there is always a sweet taste to any Al Capone.  The Sweets have an extra bit of flavor for those that want to truly seek pure pleasure in a quality cigarillo. 



 



Because of the rather quick burn time of Al Capone cigars, and their relatively short size, these fine quality cigarillos are best enjoyed during short breaks, while travelling from place to place, or at the end of a meeting before one returns to the office. 



 



Consider an Al Capone as a daytime moment of pure enjoyment and rich flavor anytime you have just a just enough time on your hands to take a break from the world and enjoy great flavor, great smoke, and a moment to yourself.



 



Cigar Store Locations



Alec Bradley Cigars



In Latin, TEMPUS means TIME.  The use of this term by Alec Bradley is deliberate, and intended to signify the importance of time in making one of the finest cigars.  Nothing is ever rushed in the creation of these fine and enjoyable smokes.  Everything is done methodically, and everything is done right the first time. 



 



Indeed, time is critical to everything in this process.  It takes al long time for tobacco to mature in the fields—but then again, that’s really the whole point.  It takes time for fermentation—another key ingredient to Alec Bradley flavor--to reach to reach the pinnacle of perfection.  It takes time for ingredients to age, and time for all the rich flavors of the tobacco to blend into one. 



 



Experience has taught the experts in this industry, and in the lives that we all live as aficionados of fine cigars, that time is the one thing we always seem to be running short of, and the one thing we strive to be grasping after.



 



The Alec Bradley Tempus was created to help us all make the most of the time we have—when we kick back at the end of the day to reflect on the time we have spent on this earth, and the time that all hope that we have left.



 



Alec Bradley Tempus originates in Honduras.  The company uses only 20% of the cigar rollers it produces in the creation of the actual Tempus brand.  Select tobacco that comes from a farm in the Trojes region of the country (located just north of the Nicaraguan border, is some of the best tobacco that comes out of Jalapa, Nicaragua.



 



Every cigar is rolled in traditional Cuban style.  Filler tobacco is used in the tubing, and a triple cap finishes the wrapper.  Five Cuban sizes are available in boxes of 20 each.  There are also a new unique shapes called Magistri. 



 



Alec Bradley's Family Blend



The Bradley Family Blend Cigars is made to accommodate the tastes of the fathers of the company’s three principal owners, Alan Rubin (President), Ralph Montero (Vice President), and George Sosa (National Sales Director).  It is available only in one size.  Every cigar is rolled into a 50 x 5 ½ Robusto shapes that is capped with a classic Cuban pigtail at the head.  It is made in a handsome chest of 50 cigars that bears the signatures of the owners.  This blend creates a medium-bodied, creamy-smooth, and very full-flavored aroma.



 



Alec Bradley Maxx cigars are very large, full bodied, and great to the taste.



 



Alec Bradley's Select Cabinet Reserve



The Cabinet Reserve has been created from mid and upper priming tobaccos that are handpicked to make a rich and balanced SCR line.  Alec Bradley's Select Cabinet Reserve cigar offers you smooth, bold flavors that come from the fertile tobacco farms of Honduras and Nicaragua. Its limited yield and dark caramel colored wrapper, adorns a skillful choice of premium leaves from the valleys of Central America that results in a perfect union of balance and flavor.



 



 



Cigar Shop Locations



Arturo Fuente Cigars



Arturo Fuente cigars are some of the most coveted and well-loved cigars in the world.  Every Arturo Fuente line has become highly famous in its own right.  All are highly sought after, including the Don Carlos, Opus X, Hemingway, and the Grand Reserva lines.  Arturo Fuente cigars are also all handmade using only the very best vintage tobaccos that is grown on a private family reserve in the Dominican Republic that has been set aside exclusively for the cultivation of this tobacco. 



 



There are multiple lines from which cigar aficionados can choose if you they to experience a full range of flavors and impeccable blends.



 



Arturo Fuente Don Carlos



For the smoker looking for medium-blend strength in a Cameroon wrapper, there is the Don Carlos line.  With Dominican filler, it is the personal favorite of Carlos Fuentes himself.  Known for its spicy smoke and flawless construction in a Colorado wrapper, it has received very high ratings for its excellent flavor and even burn. 



             



The Don Carlos No. 2 has also been given very high ratings for its dark, oily wrapper, spicy flavor, and earthy overtones—along with an excellent draw.  Aficionados praise it continuously for its abundance of smoke and its solid, medium body. 



 



The Arturo Fuentes, Don Carlos No. 4 is often called the small cigar with a BIG flavor.  It has received consistently high ratings for its aged leaf and its perfect roll.  Smokers are always that it is well worth the additional cost due to its top quality taste and appearance of the Cameroon wrapper. 



 



The Don Carlos Presidente has earned a reputation among many as being the very best of all Arturo Fuentes cigars.  It is renowned as a first class cigar in every respect, including its even burn, its excellent construction, and its perfect draw with a medium body.  It is characterized by a rich taste and a semi-sweet finish.  



 



Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva



The Gran Reserva is the flagship line for Arturo Fuente. These cigars are all medium-bodied and exceptionally smooth.



 



Known as medium strength cigars, they are available in either Cameroon or Connecticut wrappers.  With Dominican filler and binders, they offer reliable, consistent amounts of flavor and lots of smoke. 



 



The newest addition to this line is the Chateau Cuban Belicoso.  It has a Dominican filler and binder from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Brazil.  It comes in a Cameroon wrapper and is a great smoke for the daytime or for the evening. 



 



Arturo Fuente Hemingway



Cigar smokers all over the world love the Hemingway line of Arturo Fuente Cigars.  A smoker simply cannot go wrong with a Hemingway.  The strength of these cigars can range from Medium to Spicy to Complex.  The Colorado wrapper is exceptional in quality, and oily and smooth. 



 



The Hemingway line of Arturo Fuente Cigars is also one of those lines that can introduce cigarette smokers to the world of cigars.  It offers pure relaxation, laid back, stress-free moments, and long hours featuring continuous draws of contentment. 



 



Aficionados also love the Hemingway line for its dark Cameroon wrapper.  It is firmly rolled so that it burns with a nice, white ash.  Many say too that it features a unique blend of mild leather and coffee taste and call it a good hour smoke.  Overall, it is an ideal great Arturo Fuente cigar for first time smokers. 



 



One of our customers stated that he only smokes once per week, and that this is the only cigar he smokes.  He loves the mild start and solid finish rich that is rich with oils.



 



The Hemingway line of Arturo Fuente Cigars is a line that cigarette smokers can enjoy as an introduction to the world of cigars.  It is pure relaxation, kicked back, distressed, and long, continuous draws of contentment. 



 



Our Main Cigar store is located in Houston Texas, however we also service all 50 states including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., El Paso, Texas, Dallas TX DFW, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Boise ID, Atlanta GA, Raleigh-Durham NC, Washington DC, Albuquerque NM, Huntsville AL, Fayetteville AR, Norfolk VA , Madison WI.


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