Cigar Shops & Lounges

When purchasing cigars, aficionados often face a choice: buy cigars from an online retailer or visit a local cigar shop. Each option presents its own advantages, and preferences tend to vary depending on the individual’s priorities.

Local cigar shops offer a tangible experience that can’t be replicated online. Customers have the opportunity to examine the cigars firsthand, assess the quality through sight and touch, and often benefit from the expertise of knowledgeable staff who can provide recommendations and share insights about the latest trends in cigar production and consumption.

A local cigar shop often serves as a hub for enthusiasts to gather, exchange stories, and enjoy their purchases in a communal setting. These brick-and-mortar stores are not just retail spaces but destinations for social interaction, contributing to the local economy and culture. In an age of digital convenience, the personalized service and immediate gratification provided by local cigar shops are valued by customers who seek more than just a transaction.

In addition to the experiential aspects, local cigar shops can offer a range of products that cater to both newcomers and seasoned smokers. From a wide variety of brands and flavors to accessories such as humidors and cutters, these shops provide continuity in quality and availability. While shoppers may be drawn to the potential cost savings of online purchasing, the assurance of authenticity and the ability to support local businesses are compelling reasons to buy cigars from a local shop.

Local Cigar Shops & Lounges Directory





New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

South Carolina


Understanding Cigar Basics

When one enters a cigar shop, the plethora of choices can be overwhelming. The initiation into cigar culture involves comprehending the types of cigars, their sizes and shapes, as well as the construction elements, such as wrappers, binders, and fillers.

Types of Cigars

Cigars can be classified by their flavor and the color of their wrappers. Mild cigars are recommended for beginners as they provide a smoother smoking experience. Wrappers range in shade from light to dark; lighter wrappers generally yield more delicate flavors with possible notes of floral, citrus, or cream. Conversely, darker wrappers typically indicate a cigar with robust flavors like leather, wood, chocolate, or coffee.

Understanding Cigar Sizes and Shapes

The physical characteristics of cigars greatly influence their burn and flavor profiles. Sizes are described by length in inches and ring gauge, the latter being the diameter of the cigar in 64ths of an inch.

For instance, a 50-ring gauge cigar has a diameter of 50/64ths of an inch. Cigars are shaped as either parejos, which are straight-sided, or figurados, which have an irregular shape. A Robusto, a common parejo, measures approximately 5 inches in length with a 50 ring gauge.

Wrapper, Binder, and Filler

The construction of a cigar is a precise art, comprising the outer wrapper, the binder, and the filler. Each component contributes to the overall flavor.

The wrapper is the visible outer leaf and significantly influences taste and aroma. The binder is a leaf that holds the filler in place and affects burn quality. Meanwhile, the filler comprises a blend of tobaccos, creating the body and intensity of the cigar. Together, these elements define the cigar’s character and smoking experience.

Purchasing Cigars

When buying cigars from a local cigar shop, one must consider the shop’s reputation, the variety and quality of cigars available, and proper storage methods post-purchase.

Selecting a Local Cigar Shop

Choosing the right cigar shop significantly influences the purchasing experience and cigar quality. Reputation and location are prime factors; frequent patrons and online reviews can indicate a shop’s standing.

A good cigar shop often offers a wide selection of brands and types, knowledgeable staff, and a comfortable sampling area.

Tips for Choosing Quality Cigars

To ensure the purchase of quality cigars, buyers should inspect the wrapper for even color and minimal veins. The cigar should feel firm throughout, with no hard or soft spots. Aroma is another crucial cue; the scent should be pleasant and indicate freshness.

Always ask shop staff for recommendations as they can guide you to cigars that suit your preferences and experience level.

How to Store Cigars After Purchase

Once purchased, proper storage is key to maintaining a cigar’s quality.

humidor is ideal for controlling temperature and humidity, keeping cigars at approximately 70% humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

For short-term storage, a zip-lock bag with a small, damp sponge can suffice.

Always avoid direct sunlight and extremes in temperature to preserve cigar flavor and construction.