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Cigar 101

What Are Cigar Factory Seconds?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Cigar seconds, also called cigar 2nds or factory seconds, are cigars that didn’t pass the quality control test at the cigar factory for one reason or another, or they’re cigars that were overproduced. That doesn’t mean they’re bad cigars. They are, however, cheap, and that makes them insanely popular with bargain hunters. Cigar seconds are usually set aside and packaged in bundles or deeply discounted boxes. Here are the main reasons why cigars are labeled as factory seconds. 

Cosmetic Imperfections

The most common reason cigars become seconds is due to cosmetic imperfections. After premium cigars have been rolled and aged, they are meticulously graded and sorted for color before they are placed in the box. When you open a fresh box of cigars, you’ll notice their uniform color and texture because a special color grader, who is trained to detect the smallest visual differences, has sorted them.

What happens to the cigars that are set aside, though? They become seconds. The tiniest flaw or blemish on the wrapper won’t impact the cigar’s taste, but its less-than-perfect appearance means it can’t go in the box. When you buy cigar seconds with cosmetic imperfections, you’re getting cigars that are rolled perfectly and taste great for a fraction of the price.  

Factory Overruns

Factory overruns are cigars that were overproduced. Not every new cigar that comes out is a total success. Sometimes the demand isn’t there, or the price is too high. Or, maybe the critics didn’t like it and they gave a cigar a bad review. Cigar-makers can’t afford to warehouse excess inventory indefinitely, so they’ll cut the price and sell ‘em for a song. The best place to find high-quality overruns is in the clearance aisle, a.k.a. the Holt’s Blowout Bin. Take a peak here for unbeatable deals on premium handmade cigars. It’s not uncommon to find small-batch gems for a steal. 

Training New Cigar Rollers

Learning to roll premium cigars takes many years. The best cigar-makers invest in the people who make their cigars and they take the time to train them. A lot of cigars are made during the training process and they are sold as factory seconds. Most will draw and smoke just fine, and they’re made from great tobacco. But, because they don’t meet the same exacting standards as the higher-end cigars made by the seasoned rollers, they’re sold for a cheaper price.

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