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Cigars 101
It’s your turn to plan a bachelor party. You’ve got everything lined up, except one thing. You know the groom loves a good cigar, but you’ve never smoked one in your life. Use these ground rules to buy the right box and enjoy a fine smoke with your friends.

Get your hands on the good stuff. A quality cigar contains nothing but tobacco. Your corner drugstore carries cigars that have been adulterated with preservatives or additives.

Your local tobacconist is the best place to start. Mail order companies might have better prices, but they won’t send you samples or sell you singles. Get your cigar from a reputable tobacconist who can walk you through your purchase. You can smell the different varieties and see the kind of quality you’re paying for.

There’s a difference between “vintage” and “stale.” A box of old stogies can grind a bachelor party to a halt. Reputable tobacconists keep their stock in a humidor at about seventy degrees, with about seventy percent humidity. Under these conditions, a well-made cigar can last for decades. If you don’t have a humidor of your own, may shops will allow you to store your purchase there until the night of your party.

The country makes a difference. Just like any other kind of agriculture, tobaccos from different countries absorb qualities from the soil. Slight differences in the way that cigars are cured and rolled will add to their subtle nuances. For instance, Jamaican cigars are usually the mildest, while the Dominican Republic rolls slightly stronger cigars. For stronger, heavier smokes, look for cigars from Honduras or Nicaragua. If you can get your hands on a pre-Castro Cuban cigar, you’ll enjoy a creamy delight.

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