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Cigar 101

What's the Best Time to Buy Premium Cigars?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

When is the best time to buy cigars? Right now, of course! Cigar lovers ask us if there’s a best time of year or a season to get their favorite cigars. And what if you’re buying cigars as a gift for someone or for a wedding? How soon should you get them? Maybe you’re tired of smoking the same old thing and you’re on the hunt for a new release. When do new cigars come out? While you can get your hands on great cigars every day of the year, we’ve put together a few helpful guidelines to consider before you pull the trigger on your next cigar purchase.

Best Time to Buy Cigars as Gifts or for a Wedding

If you’re not a regular cigar lover yourself and you’re buying a box of cigars as a gift, or for a big event like a wedding, the timing of your purchase is important, especially if you don’t have a humidor. Don’t buy your cigars more than a week before your event, or a week before you plan to give them to your favorite aficionado. Cigars are humidified and need to be kept at 70% relative humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to stay fresh. When cigars dry out, they won’t burn correctly or taste good.

Cigars will stay fresh in their boxes with the cellophane left on for about a week. Cigars gradually dry out, but they will be fine if they are placed back in a humidified environment within a few days or a week of purchase. FYI: the wooden boxes cigars come in won’t keep them fresh without a source of humidity.

If you’re buying a larger quantity of cigars, like several boxes, and you don’t want to run the risk your retailer could run out of the brands or sizes you want, ask if it’s okay to keep them at the store until the date of your event is near. Most premium retailers will gladly keep your cigars humidified, or they will ship them to you when you need them.

Best Time to Buy Cigars On Sale

Did somebody say, “cigar SALE”? Big discounts are available around the clock on premium cigars. But, there’s no exact rhyme or reason as to when specific brands get marked down. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Big discounts are rampant online on major brands and small-batch boutiques. Of course Black Friday is a massive week for cigar sales, as are the weeks leading up to Father’s Day.

But, you don’t have to hold out for these occasions to buy your next box of cigars. Sign up on the mailing list for your favorite retailers, especially big online merchants with lots of warehouse space like Holt’s. With more buying power, more brands get pumped into a retailer’s daily and weekly sales rotation. And don’t forget to check the clearance section. That’s where the biggest discounts live.

Best Time to Buy New Cigars

It’s not unheard of for cigar companies to release new products throughout the year. However, every summer the cigar industry’s biggest trade show takes place, usually in July. Most companies schedule their new releases to debut at the trade show. This increases product exposure with retailers who attend the show to purchase inventory for their stores. As a result, the best time to buy new cigars is in the fall. September through December is the peak season when new cigars reach retailers who placed orders at the annual trade show in the summer.

Best Time to Buy Rare Cigars

Cigar companies can release very rare or special cigars any time of the year. Accessing hard-to-find cigars can be a matter of chance. Hopefully your local store ordered a limited edition you’ve been searching for. If you find it, don’t wait to buy it.

The best cigar-makers enjoy an abundance of anticipation for the rarest cigar they produce. Every fall, we host Fuente Mania at both of our Holt’s retail locations in Philadelphia. During the event, customers have unlimited access to the rarest editions of Fuente Fuente Opus X, Arturo Fuente Anejo, and Casa Fuente cigars. You can meet Carlito Fuente, Cynthia Fuente, and the Fuente family in person and get your favorite box of cigars autographed. Fuente Mania has grown into one of the biggest events in the industry since it began a decade ago. The cigars sold at the event are not available online and the inventory can sell out fast.

In addition, Carlito Fuente releases limited quantities of Arturo Fuente Anejo to select retailers in the weeks before Father’s Day and Christmas. Often, there is a limit on how many cigars a customer can purchase.

Tatuaje brand owner Pete Johnson created a wildly successful Halloween-themed cigar, called the Monster Series, back in 2007. Every year customers eagerly await his announce of the select 666 stores who get to carry the newest Monster edition in the brand’s collectible dress boxes.

In mid-December, Cigar Aficionado publishes its list of the ‘Top 25 Cigars of the Year.’ Retailers and consumers pay close attention to the list, hoping to get their hands on the ‘#1 Cigar of the Year,’ as well as other brands featured in the rankings, especially the ‘Top 10.’ Seek out your favorites from the list in December before stores sell out or a waiting list forms.

Does Seasonality Affect Cigars?

Cigars are not like apples and oranges, where specific growing seasons can affect the quality of the product that’s available. The best cigars are aged for several months or years before they’re shipped off to retailers. The best premium cigar-makers produce cigars that deliver consistent taste no matter what time of year you buy them. Flawless construction and rich and reliable flavor are hallmarks of truly premium brands all year round.  

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