Premium Cigar Events
You might not be able to make it to one of the big trade shows, but there are plenty of other opportunities to connect with fellow premium cigar smokers or learn more about premium cigars.
The most basic, and easiest to attend, are events held by your local shop. The simplest are cut & light events where a manufacturer's rep offers some deals while they hang out at the shop. These usually last for a few hours, but can be all day events with tiered offerings. Sometimes grilling is involved or a cigar rolling demonstration. Some shops will even host a brief course from a manufacturer, or a dinner. Bailey's will soon be hosting some alcohol and premium cigar pairing events! Larger shops will get visits from multiple manufacturers at a time - usually for a weekend.
Some shops host events off site! These might be in partnership with a local bar or golf course. Make sure you check social media for such events. There are even groups who meet regularly to enjoy cigars - some partnered with shops, some not. Each summer, Bailey's partners with the Cane Cutters to pair college baseball with premium cigars. We've even had a trip to Mr Lester's.
Many local shops host regular discussion groups! These can be anything from loose gatherings to discussions based on a specific reading. The discussions can be structured or freewheeling.
You can incorporate some travel with premium cigars by visiting Ybor City or attending a Drew Estate Barnsmoker. We highly recommend both! While you are at it, check out the JC Newman Factory (El Reloj), visit Missouri Meerschaum, or check out some of the other manufacturers headquartered in the United States. If you want to travel outside of the US, both Rocky Patel and Nick Perdomo offer trips to their factories. These were put on hold during the COVID-19 restrictions. Check to see what the current status is - keeping in mind both are in Central America.
Finally, don't forget about Premium Cigar Festivals! You can find these hosted by shops, cities, states, and nations. There are several held across the United States and at least one in each premium cigar manufacturing nation. We've attended ProCigar in the Dominican Republic. Yep, we recommend you check it out! (The included photo is from ProCigar 2022.)
Premium cigars are about building connections. You can certainly enjoy a premium cigar alone at home, but most of us also want to engage in some conversation. Do a bit of research and then travel as far as you are willing. Find a group of like minded individuals and join the conversation! Now go forth and Cut, Light, Chill!