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Guest Commentary: Why I Started a New Cigar Magazine

22 Mar 2011

[Editors’ Note: The following is a commentary by Stephen Boyajian, founder of The Cigar Network, a new magazine to which StogieGuys.com contributes.]

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they want something that doesn’t exist. In a way, this is what happened to me about a year ago. I had looked at just about every print cigar magazine available to me, yet none seemed to grip me enough to push me to subscribe. Some seemed to opinionated. Some didn’t seem opinionated enough, or biased to a certain degree. Some didn’t even really seem like they were about cigars. I came to this realization shortly after launching CigarFriendly.us but at the time, I didn’t give it much thought, continuing to depend on the internet for my cigar information fix.

Fast forward to the 2010 IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans. I met a lot of bloggers that I had previously only met through forums, Facebook, or Twitter. There was a strong feeling among them all. The print cigar media that was out there just wasn’t good enough. Most of these publications rehash news old news. And the ratings…where were they getting their ratings? Some of the numbers did not make sense. Were they biased by money or personal palate? You’re guess is as good as mine.

At some point we moved towards the idea that “any cigar that scores in the 80s is a subpar product” or “if you don’t get a 90 or higher it’s time to come up with something new.” I don’t know how we got here, but I think it’s about time that misconception was laid to rest. Think back to when you were in school. If you got an 84 on a big test, were you happy or did you feel like you failed? For some, getting less than an A+ might be unacceptable. For others, a solid B is something to smile about.

It’s time to recapture the passion we all have for cigars. Cigars create a passion in many of us that can’t be explained to others. Picture two people sitting on a park bench, each with their favorite book. Odds are neither one will strike up a conversation. Now replace these people with two cigar smokers and, more often than not, they’ll spend the next 45 minutes discussing everything from their favorite brands to a recent cigar event. They may even transition to work, family, or politics. There is a good chance they’ll establish a friendship that will last long after their chance encounter.

The purpose of The Cigar Network is just that: to bring some of that passion to a format that anyone can share with someone else. We hope to educate in ways no other cigar publication has ever done, with articles written by people who share that same passion whether they be bloggers, brand managers, or even cigar company presidents.

Our ratings are solely consumer-driven, to avoid any fear of editorial bias. Some cigars will rank in the 90s, some in the 80s, and you will even see some in the 70s. Every issue will feature interviews from both members of the cigar industry as well as popular celebrities, who we promise also smoke cigars. We’ll also share cigar-friendly locations and what you can expect at each one.

As we embark on our journey to try something no other print cigar magazine has done before, we appreciate your support. Our first print issue will be released the first week in April and available at most cigar shops in limited quantities. To ensure you receive yours, visit us at TheCigarNetwork.com to subscribe for your own copy. Use coupon code “stogieguys” at checkout for 15% off the cover price.

Stephen Boyajian

photo credit: The Cigar Network

Drew Estate

10 Responses to “Guest Commentary: Why I Started a New Cigar Magazine”

  1. Frank Herrera Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    great concept. Good luck Stephen.

  2. Foe Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    There's no section via Google Checkout to apply that coupon…and Google Checkout is the only option given….

  3. Stephen Boyajian Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    For anyone having trouble locating where to put the coupon code, please check out the following image which will show you the coupon field.

    http://thecigarnetwork.com/images/checkout.jpg

  4. Hammerhead Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    As long as you don't sit there and try to convince me (us) that your 'talented' palet is (somehow) picking up hints of clove, cedar, woodsy, earthy, spice, cinnamon, leather, barnyard, grass/hay, licorice, orange sherbet (yes, I've seen that), cocoa, coffee, nutmeg, pepper, etc. etc. and in any combination thereof from a single cigar, i'll tune in. So done with folks (particularily from another website) telling me and reading articles about such nonsense.

  5. mighty Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    I will definitely be keeping my eye out for this magazine.

    @Hammerhead- I think I hear what you are trying to say about people picking up notes of french toast, bacon and eggs, etc., BUT I do sometimes get some of those flavors in different cigars on my palate. Not everyone gets the same flavors and just because you or others don't get what I get, doesn't mean that either one of us likes/dislikes cigars more than the other.

  6. mighty Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    To clarify, I get some of those flavors that Hammer mentions, NOT the bacon and eggs/french toast…..A little confusing when I read my post…

  7. Dannyboy Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    I just flipped through your preview edition and was very impressed! Keep it up and I might go for a subscription

  8. Hammerhead Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Yeh, I get those two guys, but I feel the 'taste' of cigars is more of an overall essence rather that particular flavors. I really think reviews should concentrate more on former vs. the latter. Digressing, I think the MOST 'flavors' anyone should be able to pick up is no more than say,…4

    I think after 'about' that, it gets a little ridiculous.

    Oh yeh, I left off coconut…heard that one too. : /

  9. Stephen Boyajian Friday, March 25, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Trust me.. nothing will ever "smack of mushrooms and tire"

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