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Cigar Tip: Selecting a Sampler

8 Oct 2012

Nothing beats strolling into your local tobacconist to patiently select a personalized sampler of cigars. If you’re like me, you love perusing the shelves for old favorites, new adventures, and hidden gems. It’s one of the few times I actually enjoy shopping.

Buying an assortment of singles from a brick and mortar store, however, isn’t usually the best way to get bang for your buck. To stretch your dollar, sometimes it makes sense to instead order a sampler from an online retailer. But how do you decide from among the insanely high number of samplers that are offered by the many online retailers on any given day? Here are a few tips to help you make a good choice.

Buy from a trusted source. Online retailers should have excellent customer service, quick order processing, and safe delivery methods. Feel free to poke around online to see what others are saying about the various websites you can order from. Obviously you want your cigars to arrive safe and well-humidified, not late and damaged.

Read reviews. The online cigar community is thriving like never before, and this means nearly every cigar you can imagine has been reviewed. Having that information at your fingertips before hitting the “place order” button is critical. So if you’re unsure about a few of the cigars in the deal you’re considering, simply do a little reading first.

Notice the filler smokes. The typical sampler has a few expensive smokes in the lineup—these are the attention-grabbers—and a few filler cigars. Filler cigars can be house blends, value smokes, or unwanted inventory. Ideally, you’ll find a sampler with limited filler cigars, or one comprised of filler smokes that you’re actually interested in.

Consider the per-cigar cost. I like to take the total sampler cost (including shipping) and divide it by the number of cigars in the sampler to derive the per-smoke cost. You can take this a step further by taking the total sampler cost and dividing it by the number of what you think are non-filler cigars. If you think about it, it makes sense to buy a sampler with unwanted filler smokes if the per-cigar cost of the remaining smokes is low enough.

Have a tip or two of your own you’d like to share with readers? Feel free to leave it in the comments below.

Patrick A

photo credit: N/A

4 Responses to “Cigar Tip: Selecting a Sampler”

  1. James Monday, October 8, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Hello fellow cigar lovers, samplers really are a great way to find new smokes that you may not have tried but may soon be your new favourite! If you would like to see a great selection of Cuban and Non-Cuban cigars from the best cigar store on the internet then head on over to! First class customer service awaits you.

  2. cigarphil Monday, October 8, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    In samplers it's good to consider flight packs ( those packs that are all the sizes in a particular cigar). There is often a difference in flavor between the sizes and one might be just right for you. For me the Tat. Little Angel is one of those cigars. I'm going to regret saying this but The Stogie Guys sampler is a no brainer……it's a wild ride but great learning tool. REALLY!! buy it

  3. Ashburn Dave Monday, October 8, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    One of the B&Ms I hit regularly has 5-pack samplers that run less than $6/stick. With today's prices, even "filler" cigars at B&Ms cost that, so it's often worth it. Every now and then I'll find some gems in there, like the Entubar v32, and recently both an L'Atelier and a Foundry. Then there's the not so good finds, like unbanded cigars that have already been cut. Uh, seriously?

  4. Travis Monday, October 8, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    How could I consider buying cigars from someone who misspells "favorite"? 🙂 JK.