Upper ten having fun in luxury car, drinking champagne, smoking cigar.

Keep the Spirit of Summer Going by Throwing your own Stogie Party

Summer backyard barbecues are about to give way to crisp fall cookouts. But, fear not! You can always keep the spirit of summer going by throwing your own stogie party. A cigar party is a great way to introduce your novice friends to the hobby, expose your cigar enthusiast buddies to some of your favorite stogies and swap cigar knowledge like a pro. You will need a few items to make your event a success and, of course, the Cigar Ink team has you covered.

Food

First, what party is complete without food? A cigar party is no exception. The type of food you serve will depend on the goal of your party. Are you looking to have a variety of cigars to try? Then you will want to keep your food choices light. The perfect spread is an array of cheese, crackers and bread, fruit and veggies. If you are looking to do a more substantial menu, keep it light on the spices. Serve the lightest, least flavor-rich foods first and save the heavier, more flavorful foods for later in the evening. We advise this because you want the flavors of the cigars to shine, not the food. Tailor your menu accordingly.

Drinks

Cigars and drinks go together like cereal and milk…or something like that. Just as with the food, the type of drinks you serve will depend on the type of cigars you will have. For lighter, milder flavored stogies, you can pair with a sweeter white wine like Riesling or vodka and seltzer water mix. For bold flavored cigars, you can go for the traditional pairing of bourbon or full-bodied cognac.

Everything else

You wouldn’t throw a wine party and forget to include wine glasses, right? Similarly, you should not forget all the accessories needed for your stogie party. Ashtrays, cigar cutters, and good, working lighters are all essential to your party. If you are a true cigar aficionado, outfitted with your own humidor, make sure your cigars are ready (unwrapped and free to breathe) about half an hour before it’s go-time. Once your guests arrive, feel free to light up, drink up and eat up. Remember to keep the food light and have a variety of drinks to pair with each type of cigar you guest chooses.

You might think that summer is the best time for a cigar party, but there is never a wrong time to enjoy a cigar. You can feel confident in kicking the fall season into high gear with a perfectly planned cigar party. Once you have the first one under your belt, you will want to keep throwing stogie parties throughout the year. For the best choice of custom cigars online, be sure to keep Cigar Ink at the top of your list.

Young woman with cigar has a dinner on the beach

Cigars Aren’t Just for Men Anymore

Ladies, if you have ever strolled past a cigar shop and thought, “I’d smoke a cigar but I do not know the first thing about them,” then this article is for you. A lot of beginners, both women and men, are intimidated by the heir of sophistication associated with most cigar lounges. The choices can be overwhelming and include differing brands, flavors, sizes and more. It is no wonder that curious women pass by cigar bars and lounges, mistakenly thinking it is not a place for them.

Cigars are a great way to celebrate everything from the birth of a child to a new promotion. What’s been seen a traditionally male dominated activity has experienced more and more women joining in the fun. For the woman interested in taking their first puff, we have some tips that will transition you from a cigar beginner to a cigar aficionado.

Tip #1: Ask Questions

Make the manager of the cigar lounge earn his or her money for the day. You will be surprised at how much they know about cigars. Answering a few questions about your favorite wines, whether or not you smoke, and what scents you prefer will help them determine the perfect cigar for you. In most cases, your local cigar manager will suggest something mild like a Buccarat or Don Diego for a beginner.

Tip #2: Bring a Friend

Like everything else in life, learning about cigars is more fun with a buddy. Whether you bring a novice like yourself or an experienced cigar smoker, bringing someone along for your first cigar experience is a great way to make a new memory…and feel less intimidated.

Tip #3: Be Bold

Being bold does not mean coming into a cigar lounge and acting like you know everything about cigars. What it does mean is to approach the situation with confidence. You will not be the first woman to step into the world of cigars. You might think, “I wonder how many women actually come into places like this,” and the answer is: Lots! So, be bold, experiment with different cigar types and flavors and enjoy the experience.

Tip #4: Be You

Virginia Slim cigarettes had one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever because they knew their market and catered to it. If you are old enough to remember the slender cigarettes being advertised by women with a professional and glamorous edge to them, then you know what we mean. Some cigar makers have begun to recognize the market for women as a potentially big one and that is great for you. If you want to try a honey or mocha flavored cigar, go for it! You do not have to “run with the big boys” and get the most robust cigar in the lounge to prove yourself. Start where you are comfortable and with flavors that appeal to you.

It can be a scary thing to walk into a cigar lounge for the first time. However, following our simple tips can help make your first time smoking a cigar a great one! Cheers!

 

What are the Best Cigars to Smoke

What are the Best Cigars to Smoke

Since cigars have become somewhat of a social staple in society over the past few years, they’re no longer just for the seasoned smoker. Cigars represent class, character, as well as pleasure in a multitude of settings whether it’s after dinner, before you walk down the aisle, or even for a few round at the golf course. Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain and that’s that everyone should know what are the best cigars to smoke.

Today, there are thousands of different cigars available which means you shouldn’t be afraid to get real specific with what you like because it’s most likely available, or at least a possibility to obtain.  When it comes to choosing the right kind of cigar you want to ensure that you really enjoy it rather than just smoke to smoke.

When you choose a cigar, you want it to be well bodied, but not too strong because cigars can overwhelm your pallet. For a good and sturdy taste, we suggest medium/mild to full because it has a good level of strength that you should be able to sit on and enjoy.

Understanding the Cigar Aficionado Rating System

Cigar Aficionado Magazine rates cigars on a scale from zero to 100 and if you’re buying your cigars from a smoke shop, the rating you desire will most likely come up during the sale. Now, with that being said, let’s look the cigar rating system so you don’t waste your money.

  • Below 70 — Don’t waste your time even smelling these cigars.
  • Between 70 and 79 — You’re most likely looking at a commercial brand. Not bad, but not great.
  • Between 80 and 89 — Close to perfect.
  • Between 90 and 94 — Near Outstanding.
  • 95 to 100 — Classic, extremely high quality cigar.

When you’re determining what size cigar to buy, that all depends on the quality of the tobacco, the leaf, and how long you’re planning to smoke. If you’re bringing cigars to the golf course, then you can get a thicker cigar because you’ll have a few hours to sit on it, but if you’re just enjoying a stogie after dinner, you can go the thinner route.

If you’re looking to invest in high-quality cigars that you can customize for nearly any event or promotion, contact us at Cigar Ink. We make ordering cigars easy with our online ordering form that gives you creative leverage with whatever you choose to engrave into your smokes with our patent laser system.

Understanding the Different Types of Cigar Wrappers

Understanding the Different Types of Cigar Wrappers

There’s a general misconception regarding cigars for those who are not seasoned smokers and that’s the darker the cigar, the stronger it is. Well, that’s simply not the case – at all, actually. There’s more to a cigar than the wrapper, which is can have up to five of. The central part of the cigar is the tobacco and the filler, then there’s the binder, and then the wrapper.

The tobacco leaves that the wrappers are made from only help in creating a stronger end product. Simply looking at the color of the cigar should not be what sells you on whether or not you purchase a certain type. Instead, you need to look at the cigar as a whole.

However, that’s not what we’re going to focus on in this post, but rather we’re going to let you know more about the wrapping that holds cigars together and how you should let the different wraps dictate which cigars you should be leaning towards.

Cigar Wrappers Explained

At Cigar Ink we use two primary different types of tobacco leaf to wrap our cigars in:

  1. Habano
  2. Maduro

Now, although there are several different types of leaves out there, we find that these two types work best with our patent laser engraving system that allows us to customize our cigars for our customers. With that being said, what’s the difference between our two different types of cigar wrappings?

A fun fact about Maduro is that it technically isn’t a wrapper, but rather an adjective to describe if the leaf is ripe or not. Any wrapper can be “maduro.” So, if you want a wrapper that is maduro, you’re simply going for a leaf that has achieved an extensive level of fermentation. This fermentation process is where the natural oils within the tobacco lead are able to come to the surface. It’s when the natural oils come forth that the leaf darkens.

Habano leaf is more of a full bodied wrapper that’s a natural shade. If you’re looking for a more complex flavored cigar, then you should request to see cigars wrapped in habano leaves. They’re often lighter in color than maduro wrappers, but they’re still just as delicious on the pallet.

5 Perfect Occasions for Signature Cigar Smoking

5 Perfect Occasions for Signature Cigar Smoking

Cigars are a great way to celebrate any type of milestone, whether it’s a new birth or a wedding, the possibilities are endless. Of course, you’ll see cigar enthusiasts lighting one up on the golf course, but that’s expected. There’s a difference between simply enjoying a basic cigar versus enjoying one that’s custom engraved to mark the celebration. So, what are some of the instances where it’d be better to invest in some laser engraved cigars? We’re here to tell you.

5 Occasions for Custom Laser Engraved Cigars

  1. Your Own Wedding

    Sure, laser engraved cigars are great if you’re in the bridal party, but if you’re the one getting married, we’re going to go ahead and say they’re a must-have. Imagine the amazing photos that the wedding photographer can get of the groomsmen and the groom sharing in a pre-walk down the aisle smoke, or even the bride and her bridesmaids at the reception. It’s guaranteed you’ll look like the coolest couple on the planet with photos like that, especially the bride and groom smoking cigars that aren’t just labeled with their wedding date or initials, but personally engraved.

  2. The Birth of a Baby

    It’s actually a common custom that the father of a new born pass out celebratory cigars once that baby let’s out its first cry. Just like how you would get your initials engraved for a wedding, you can engrave “It’s a Boy” or “It’s a Girl” into the tobacco leaf of the cigar. Plus, if you really want to surprise people, keep the sex a secret until the baby is born, then pass out the cigars to let the friends and family know the sex.

  3. New Year’s Eve

    Why not ring in the New Year with a cigar that’s engraved with the upcoming numerical year? If you’re a big cigar enthusiast, you can even have one with the current year that you smoke before the clock strikes 12, and one after for the New Year.

  4. Birthday Milestone

    Whether it’s for an 18th birthday as a family tradition to have that first legal cigar, or if it’s a big milestone like 50 and up, cigars are a great way to celebrate. Plus we’re sure that grandpa (or even grandma) would love a cigar with his name engraved on it.

  5. Job Promotion

    Whether your business is taking off, or if you got a big promotion, it’s a great occasion to smoke a custom cigar. If you have a company logo for your business, that’s something we at Cigar Ink could work out engraving for you with our patent laser engraving system.

Need to Order Laser Engraved Cigars for a Special Occasion?

If you need to order custom engraved cigars for an upcoming occasion, visit us here at Cigar Ink. Not only do we offer custom engraved laser cigars, but we also offer gift sets that allow you to order the one of a kind stogie’s in bulk. If you need an elegant looking humidor to store your cigars and cigar accessories in, we offer those online as well.

5 Tips on Cigar Smoking Etiquette

5 Tips on Cigar Smoking Etiquette

There are plenty of great occasions in which smoking a cigar is an excellent way to celebrate. It allows people to bond over conversation that is more than the cookie cutter, “hello, how are you?” because cigars do last for a good amount of time, as many cigar aficionados are aware. Regardless of whether you’re at a celebration like a wedding or the birth of a newborn, or you’re just going to the cigar lounge to enjoy a handcrafted custom cigar, there is common etiquette you want to follow.

While some of the tips we’ve compiled at Cigar Ink may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many of the common courtesies get overlooked.

5 Cigar Etiquette Tips to Remember

  1. If a conversation is ongoing, don’t interrupt it. This goes beyond cigar smoking, but people who are engaging in conversation over a cigar are usually decently invested in the current conversation. Therefore, don’t interrupt, although you may be eager to jump in, give it a moment until the subject changes for you to dive in. Conversations over cigars, especially if they’re handcrafted should be calm, cool, and collected.
  2. Don’t compare whose is better. Everyone has their preference on taste, so unless you’re complementing on the cigar’s chosen – not commenting – don’t judge anyone’s style. If you’re just hanging around a cigar lounge, everyone has chosen their cigar for a reason, if you don’t like their choice, just don’t mention it.
  3. Don’t bring a cigar to a cigar lounge. If you’re going to a cigar lounge, we understand how you’d want to pull out one of your custom engraved cigars, but there’s a time and place for those and in someone else’s lounge where they sell cigars isn’t it. Buy from the lounge.
  4. Don’t comment on someone’s way of smoking. Each cigar smoker has their own habit, especially if their seasoned. However, regardless of whether their style is right or wrong, it’s best to keep that opinion to yourself. Let them enjoy their stogie the way they’d like the enjoy it.
  5. Don’t become an unofficial consultant. While complaints are bad, no one wants to have someone consistently commenting on their lounge, the way they smoke, or the cigars they offer. If the owner of the lounge is looking for advice on changing his shop around, he’ll advise who he chooses.

Need Well-Crafted Cigars?

If you’re looking for well crafted, custom engraved cigars for an event, celebration, or just to have, check out our website at Cigar Ink. Not only can we engrave cigars with logos, names, dates, etc, but we also sell some high end humidors that will keep your cigars nice and fresh

Tips For Properly Storing Cigars

Tips For Properly Storing Cigars

There are several different ways to properly store your cigars, but there are also some storage options that may take away from the quality of your handcrafted cigar. Whether you’re new to the hobby or if you just need to expand your current storage options, we’re here to help. We’ll go over some of the more common as well as some of the not-so-common storage options, so you can better determine which one is a good fit for your collection.

4 Types of Custom Cigar Storage Options

  1. Desktop Humidor. We sell some great desktop humidors on our Cigar Ink website. These humidors are the most popular way to store handcrafted cigars and there are several different sizes available, depending on how large your collection is. Keep in mind that with a desktop humidor, you’ll need to invest in some humidity packs to properly maintain the levels within the cigar box.
  2. If you have a wine fridge within your home and there’s a spare shelf that you’re not using, it’s the perfect place to store your cigars. The difference between storing your cigars this way versus in a traditional humidor is that the humidity levels don’t fluctuate, so it’s very consistent. These types of units often have a thermoelectric cooling system which is extremely beneficial for a seasoned smoker because it will do the humidity control for them instead of having the consistently change a humidity pack.
  3. Yes, we mean a cooler that’s like the Igloo brand. They actually make great cigar storage units, and there are so many sizes available that you’ll definitely be able to find one that fits your needs. One thing with using a cooler is that you’ll need to make sure you get the plastic smell out because it will affect the quality of your custom, handcrafted cigars. The best way to do this is by taking some white distilled vinegar and wiping down the interior of the cooler. Once it’s cleaned, you want to do the same thing with the cooler as you would with a desktop humidor and that is to get something to control the humidity level within the storage unit.
  4. Cabinet Humidor. These are some classy looking cigar storage units that are basically the standard humidor, but on steroids. A cabinet humidor can be purchased with a humidity control system already installed, but if you just buy the empty casing, you’ll want to treat it with humidity packs just like any other unit that doesn’t have a cooling system.
How To Light Cigars Like The Pros

How To Light Cigars Like The Pros

If you’re just getting into the world of cigar smoking and you’re visiting cigar bars left and right, you may have discovered that they can be an intimidating place if you don’t know what you’re doing. Smoking a cigar is not like smoking a cigarette; cigarettes are casual whereas cigars have a certain level of elegance to them; probably why they’re often smoked at celebrations. However with that being said, one thing is certain and there’s a right way and a wrong way to smoke a cigar, and that’s why we’re here. To tell you the right way.

Cigar Smoking 101

All cigar smoking starts the same way, with one of the greatest rituals, the…

  • Cutting
  • Toasting
  • Lighting

So, the first thing you’ll need is a cigar cutter. We recommend the guillotine, but whichever cutter you choose, you’ll want to clip the head of the cigar which is the closed end. While this may seem like an easy task, if you cut too far down, you’ll soon be looking at an unraveled cigar. Once you’ve cut the cigar, the real fun begins. The real way to light a cigar is by either a cedar spill or a wooden match, if butane lighter is all you have, that’ll still do. Toasting your cigar is rather simple if you follow our easy steps that’ll make you look like a pro…

  1. Hold the cigar at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Place the tip of the flame directly under the foot of the cigar.
  3. NEVER let the flame touch the tobacco — you’ll char the wrapper.
  4. Toast the open end of the cigar by gently rotating it above the flame until the circumference is smoldering.
  5. When you see a whiff of smoke curl up, place the cut end into your mouth and gently begin to puff. This will ignite the foot of the cigar.
  6. NEVER inhale. Cigars are for your pallet, not your lungs.

 

 

Looking to Smoke in Style?

If you’re declaring yourself a cigar aficionado, you want to smoke like one too, and what better way than to have your own custom engraved cigars that step away from the traditional cigar band and go a step further? To design your own laser engraved cigars, visit our Cigar Ink store online. Not only do we sell handcrafted cigars in bulk that you can have engraved with a patent laser, but we also sell the proper humidors that will keep your cigars fresh.

What’s So Special About A Cuban Cigar

What’s So Special About A Cuban Cigar?

Cuban cigars have always been a delicacy to cigar connoisseurs all around the world. Known as the best cigar on the market, Cuban cigars are made from extremely high quality materials, and the attention to detail is remarkable. There are over 100 steps involved when creating these cigars and the industry has been following the same ritual for over 150 years. It’s the dedication to detail that really sets a Cuban cigar apart from the rest.

A Brief History of Cuban Cigars

Cuba has been producing cigars since King Phillip II of Spain was running things back in the 1500’s, and all the tobacco within the cigars was and still is grown within the country. It wasn’t until John F. Kennedy signed an economic embargo on Cuba that they became increasingly difficult to obtain. Cigar manufacturers have attempted to replicate Cuban cigars, but a true cigar enthusiast knows a fake when they see one. After Kennedy set the embargo, Cuban cigars grew in popularity because people often want what they can’t have.

The Difference With Cigar Tobacco

Part of what makes Cuban cigars so unique is the pure blend of tobacco wrapped within the leaves. It’s all grown in Cuba, and what many cigar smokers don’t know is that a majority of the popular cigars on the market (high quality or not), are made from a blend of several different types of tobacco.

Any seasoned smoker may enjoy a blend of tobacco, but they know that the most authentic smoking experience is always with a Cuban cigar. Keep in mind that if you do get your hands on a Cuban cigar, they’re much different than your average commercial brand. The smell and taste is much more authentic, meaning that the aroma and taste can be somewhat overwhelming. Actually, it’s that exact reason that many don’t like Cuban cigars.

In Short: Why Cuban Cigars Are So Popular

  • They’ve been handcrafted the same way for several hundred years.
  • The Cuban cigar market is controlled by the government, and is dedicated to maintaining such a high reputation.
  • Each cigar that is exported is looked over to make sure there are no flaws.
  • Each cigar contains Grade A Cuban tobacco.
  • They’re difficult to purchase, which makes them even more enjoyable.
3 Things You Might Not Have Known About Cigar Wrappers

3 Things You Might Not Have Known About Cigar Wrappers

Although the cigar wrapper is just one piece of a larger puzzle, it’s still a crucial element. The wrapper not only carries a majority of the cigars flavor, but it also carries nearly all of its aesthetic appeal. Don’t believe us? Well, according to Cigar Aficionado, the wrapper is responsible for 60 percent of a cigar’s overall value.

The problem, however, is that people today are trying to create wrappers that others have never seen before, which makes the classics even more prominent as well as difficult to find. If you can comprehend the subtleties, finding the right cigar will take little effort. With that being said, here are a few facts about cigar wrappers that may help sway you in your decision.

3 Cigar Wrapper Tips

  1. Look at the veins. You know how when a tree gets cut down and the rings tell you how old it is? Well, cigar wrappers are somewhat similar. The veins on a tobacco leaf are like the rings on a tree trunk, but they don’t reflect age, they reflect quality. Cigars with thinner, less noticeable veins are often more sought after because they reflect a higher tobacco leaf quality. Cigar wrappers are like a fine whiskey – they’re smoother with age. So, when you’re shopping around for that high quality smoke, you want one that’s been aged for at least two years.
  2. Sun or shade? There are two primary ways to grow tobacco plants, and that’s either in the shade or in the sunlight. Cigars that are crafted from tobacco plants that grew in the sunlight will often have thicker, more prominent veins because they had to be resilient to the UV rays. Plants grown in the shade more often than not will taste sweeter than those that thrived in the sunlight. Shade grown tobacco will also have less noticeable veins to spot.
  3. Maduro wrappers are everything. We sell Maduro wrapped cigars at Cigar Ink. Not only do the leaf bode well with our patent laser engraving system, but they’re also delicious. Maduro cigar wrappers are grown in the sun throughout several different areas including Connecticut, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Brazil, and Nicaragua. Maduro treated cigars are very rich in flavor and dark in appearance. If you invest in our Maduro wrappers for your special event, you can expect them to carry a sweet flavor and powerful aroma. Although they may have thick veins, you can expect our well-crafted cigars to have a soft texture that resembles velvet.