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The Boys Head to Vegas

Every year, the Premium Cigar Association hosts the largest gathering of premium tobacco professionals in the world. The PCA Trade Show is open only to member organizations, but their membership is vast. The PCA provides its membership with resources, information, and legal muscle in the fight against the government restriction of premium tobacco. Its Political Action Committee exists to fight unreasonable and burdensome regulations, and help create a business environment where small premium tobacco businesses can thrive. For these reasons, Tallchief Cigars stands with the PCA as a member company. This also means that Carl and Dave will be flying to Las Vegas next week on a pilgrimage the PCA Trade Show.

We do run a cigar shop and website. But we were smokers first. The opportunity to experience a PCA show would have been just a dream to us not long ago. So we plan to bring at least some of that experience to you, the Tallchief Cigar Circle.

The massive Convention Center will be filled with cigar companies large and small. There will be everything from the mega-blockbuster release that everyone has been waiting for, to the tiniest boutique brands desperate to get their cigars into the hands of smokers. And from them all will come free samples by the dozens. So look for the treasure chest of new and unknown smokes upon our return. We plan to share.

We also plan to document the experience a bit, so if you are a cigar nerd like us, make sure you follow our social media accounts from July 8th to the 12th.

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Editorial Uncategorized

Why I Will Never Question The Price of a Cigar (Pre-Tax)

Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Depending on the State or Province you buy your premium cigars in, the price of your favorite stick has likely been inflated by State and Federal taxes. New York State is one of the worst offenders in this regard, and its 75% tax on premium cigars is not even half of what our friends in Ontario, Canada have to pay to the provincial government in order to enjoy a fine cigar. This is a travesty, but if we put taxation aside, I think it’s incredible that premium cigars are not more expensive than they are. When you consider everything that goes into producing each handcrafted smoke, it’s frankly amazing that they don’t all cost $40 or $50 a stick.

Premium cigars are meant for more than just smoking. They are made to be admired like the pieces of immersive artwork that they are. The next time you light up, take time to appreciate the texture of the wrapper, the weight of the cigar in your hand. Have a taste of the cigar prior to cutting, and see if you can identify flavors the wrapper leaf might contain. Take your time. Respect the craft of premium cigar making and the craftsmen that create them. Immerse yourself and pay some attention to the details. Because when you do, I believe you’ll see the true value in the experience of a premium cigar, and realize that you paid only a fraction of what that experience is actually worth to you.

It has been said that 200 pairs of hands are needed to create and deliver to your hand the cigar you are now holding. What do you think it pays to be a farm hand in the tobacco fields of Nicaragua? I know that Padron, Perdomo, Oliva, My Father, J.C. Newman, etc. do their very best to provide a good life for their employees, but it is still Nicaragua, and farming is still very hard work.

Consider that the tobacco in your cigar might have been harvested years ago, perhaps even a decade. Consider the amount of care and the number of people it took to look after that crop for all of that time. Consider your favorite cigar, the one you’ve smoked dozens of times and it always has that same taste. How is that possible? It’s a plant, grown in the earth, and there are people so skilled that they can create a blend for a cigar, and then continue to reproduce it for years and years. Do you know how to do that? Because I sure don’t. But some do, and they deserve the admiration and respect of the one receiving the fruit of their knowledge, hard work, and craftsmanship.

The more time I spend around cigars, the more I’ve learned about what it takes to produce and distribute them. When I consider all of this, I think it is absolutely incredible that you or I can have the experience of a premium cigar for $8, or $10, or $14. The next time you hear someone at your shop complaining about the price of a cigar, perhaps you will consider politely helping them see why that view is ignorant and ridiculous.

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