Expensive sometimes means better. Perhaps you might think it overpriced. Just right, maybe. Are expensive cigars better? It’s all relative from one person to the next. To better unpack this question, it is imperative to understand what makes certain cigars and certain types of tobacco more expensive and whether that makes them better.
High-quality premium hand-rolled cigars vary. There are some basic differences between expensive and cheaper cigar brands that explain the price tag variance.
Premium cigars such as Arturo Fuente and Padron are more prestigious and have more value. The kind that makes people want to savor for extraordinary occasions or keep as a collectible for investment.
What makes cigars expensive
Taxes, duties, and levies in tobacco can potentially add a large price markup on premium cigars. Depending on the region, country, and state taxes, manufacture and sale can be hampered. In some places, this can get to as high as 60% of the initial cost. From the point of origin to your cigar retailer or auction floor, taxes can shoot the initial price skyrocketing.
In the luxury goods market, anything in limited edition or rare supply tends to sell at a higher price. Popular blends such as Arturo Fuente Opus X, Padron Family Reserve, Ashton ESG, and special edition releases of My Father are the stuff of cigar exclusivity.
You will not buy them off the street, not even at most auctions. Their rarity makes them a status and prestige symbol and a cigar aficionados target who see its investment potential. Some of their high prices come from bands and boxes.
Short sun-grown farming seasons, yields produced per season, and quality of wrapper produced also play into a good cigar quality. The wrapper leaf is key to the depth of the cigar’s flavor profile and the most attention-grabbing part of the cigar. Cigar wrappers from the Dominican Republic are hard to nurture hence making them a rarity in the market.
Fermentation and Age of Tobaccos
Specially aged tobaccos are used to make premium cigars brands like Carlito Fuente and Pepin Garcia. These cigars have special stores of tobacco reserves gotten from few farms over the past to manufacture their top-of-the-line great cigars. Only the finest and most pristine wrapper leaves make the cut.
Fermentation takes place over many months, if not years. Costs of storage and pilon rotation of the tobacco in appropriate circumstances for long stretches of time are substantial. Additional aging is done after fermentation, even after rolling and batching.
The best cigar makers are patient and methodical because their tobacco flavor profiles will be enriched, and the market will be ready to receive them. For one, you had to pay to get the tobacco; now, it literally has to sit in maturation as you wait to reap the value of that tobacco for what may take up to several years.
The costs of aging and fermentation are taken up by installing the proper infrastructure, facilities, and procedures, consistent monitoring of humidity and rotation in the silos, and labor, storage, and humidity costs for the total duration.
You can see why this can translate into millions of dollars hence making these limited-edition cigars cost more.
Among elite cigar manufacturers, the talent wars are more real than you might think. They go above and beyond to attract and keep the staff in their rolling units.
The top premium cigars are handmade, and the best cigar rollers are very valuable. They can demand substantial remuneration and job benefits such as medical insurance, air conditioning, and some even ask for incentives like travel allowances.
The elite cigar brands employ people with superior rolling acumen to train new personal in rolling cigars, amongst other pertinent skills transfer to perfection. This is because cigar rolling requires a deft, experienced hand.
Hence, a specialist like Carlito Fuente teaches rollers all his standards and practices from scratch. Therefore, a better workplace environment and training while cost-intensive is essential. Elite craftsmanship always raises the price of any commodity, cigars included.
The boxes are not meant to be smoked; we know that much. So how does the packaging alter the pricing of the cigars? In as much as our parents told us not to judge a book by its cover, in reality, that is precisely what we are going to do.
Captivating packaging is a common theme for many high-end bands and boxes that grab the attention of cigar smokers. They come ornamented and embellished with embossed detailing and extravagant displays.
The largest cigar brands also own and run box factories. While it is a cost management tactic for the cigar brands, it allows them to implement their unique imprints without leaning on third parties such as Dutch cigar band maker Vrijdag.
Are expensive cigars better? In actuality, many of the previous cigars of the year award winners are other critically acclaimed cigars retail under $5. More often than not, lower or higher pricing reflects economic variables such as demand and production.
You will find that the demand for expensive cigars greatly exceeds the production. With that being said, costly cigars almost always parlay that exorbitance to impressive quality. Very rarely do they disappoint.
A broad array of variables goes into the price of a cigar. Therefore, it is essential to do your research and improve your understanding of why cigar pricing is what it is.