Cigar Lifestyle: Are Gimmicky Cigars Worth Smoking – By Mike Holmes

Originality is probably one of the most noticeable virtues in the cigar industry. Many of our beloved cigars often have a story behind them while also having very creative packaging and a very unique marketing strategy. With so many different brands of cigars on the market, year after year, there is no doubt that our choices are endless. If you walk into any cigar shop in any town USA you will see plenty of known brands such as Padron’, Fuente, Montecristo, Perdomo etc… which are brands every cigar smoker recognizes and their blends have stood the test of time. With so many brands to choose from we are all forced to make a tough choice – What should I smoke today?

Island Jim with the Big Johnny

A few brands that have stood out over the years all have creative packaging and all have a one of a kind presentation. Brands such as Gurkha have “in your face” artwork, a few of their boxes are treasure chests and there have been samplers in the past that included a huge knife and other swag items which make for a very cool and unique approach to marketing.

Other brands include CAO with their Amazon Basin cigar with Braganca tobaccos harvested from the Amazon Rain Forest and banded with tobacco twisted into a cord as their staple. Moya Ruiz Cigars have a few notable uniquely packaged cigars such as “The Nunchuck”, “The Chinese Finger Trap”, and most recently they have come out with a cigar branded “The Hand Gripper”.

The Hand Gripper

To answer your question, yes, all of the cigars I just mentioned are packaged exactly as they sound!  Matt Booth has a cigar called “Struggle Snuggle” and one also called “Super Stroke”. Robert Caldwell and Tony Bellotto have the “Lost and Found” under their belt which was a limited release, off cigars they found lying around, and they decided to package them to look like popular snacks and other cool titles. I can go on all day about all of the other cigar brands that use creative marketing, which is why I am not going to name any more. Rest assured, I have them all in remembrance and high esteem, as I continue on with the point of my article which is:

Are these types of cigars good or are they a gimmick?

I was recently involved in a discussion online about this very subject. The person I was talking to mentioned that with all of the proven brands on the market he would rather spend money on what is tried and true because gimmicky cigars are just a way to make a quick buck and the cigars aren’t even that good. I understood the point he was trying to make BUT being a cigar nerd I added my humble opinion and advised that you will never know if a cigar is good unless you try it for yourself.

Case in point – When the Leaf by Oscar first came out, people thought this cigar was a gimmick because it was wrapped in an outer leaf to help keep the cigar humidified and you could smoke through the band. Many people tried it for themselves and the cigar is now one of the top selling cigars on the market and is available in 49 states, Canada, Europe and the Islands! 

Every cigar smoker has a different palate. The only way to know or not know if you enjoy the cigar, is to try it! That is the whole point of being a cigar smoker. We don’t smoke because we think it looks cool, or because we have a nicotine addiction. Our smoking is focused on the love of the leaf, relaxation, and enjoyment. Keeping an open mind is key to finding your next favorite cigar.

We all have our likes and dislikes, but if you are a cigar enthusiast, I suggest it is always wise to try new cigars. The whole point of a novelty cigar is to be creative and offer a one of a kind product to the consumer, in a fun way. Not every cigar has to have some guy in a fancy suit with $100 bottles of bourbon with an elitist attitude. Sometimes it’s nice to find a cigar with a different approach and kick back with it and appreciate the care that was put into it and just have fun!

I’m not here to tell you what brands to smoke or tell you what brand is good or not, but I will say you will benefit greatly by keeping an open mind and trying new cigars. I mentioned Gurkha earlier in the article and I have to admit that I am not a fan of their cigars. There are a few that I can smoke but overall I feel that their cigars are inconsistent and over-hyped. I know other people that like their cigars, but I don’t want to discourage you from a brand or negatively influence your opinion in any way. I would advise you to step out of your comfort zone and make your own decision on what is good or a gimmick!

In Conclusion I want to remind you of my main points in this article.

  1. Try new cigars
  2. Determine if you like it
  3. If you like it then it’s good

Novelty cigars are not always a gimmick! Next time you’re in a cigar shop and you see something “Gimmicky” try it, you never know, you might just have found your next favorite cigar!


About Mike Holmes

Mike Holmes
Mike Holmes

Mike Holmes has been enjoying cigars and the cigar lifestyle for 12 years. His pallet is self proclaimed as “very wide” and enjoys everything from AJ Fernandez cigars to Zino Platinum cigars. When he isn’t writing articles he works in public opinion research and enjoys shirtless selfies. Mike is a chapter leader in the Cigar Cartel. He can be found on social media at:

When not at home caring for his Grandma or at work, Mike is a regular patron at Paradise Ciagrz in Rockledge, FL or the Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge in downtown Melbourne, FL.

4 thoughts on “Cigar Lifestyle: Are Gimmicky Cigars Worth Smoking – By Mike Holmes

  • Boston Jimmie very GOOD article and really so very true. I have people ask me all the time what I would recommend and my answer is always the same. Just because I like or dislike a cigars shouldn’t affect how you feel about it,everyone taste something in a cigar that’s a little different,that what makes cigar smoking so enjoyable.

  • Exactly what I have been saying for years brother!

    Great article!

    Just like with people don’t judge a cigar by its cover/gimmick

    Now I just need to find the Hand Gripper!

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