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Article welcoming The Cigar Guys to Giftrevent.com

I discovered this while attempting to perform SEO services on our website.  For those of you wondering what that stands for, it’s Search Engine Optimization… which is a term made up by 15 year olds to make us 50 year olds think we have completely lost our minds.  They expect us to give in and pay them $500 a month so they can sit in their room in their boxer briefs, eating Hot Pockets and typing with one hand on their laptops.  While they watch a movie, play God of War on their NEW Playstation 4 and laugh that you and I still have to work 40 hours a week!  But I digress.  Please click the link and check out the article. 

Most flattering.  My compliments to the author!

Tony of The Cigar Guys

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70% of our clients are non-cigar smokers. We are paid to encourage people to smoke.

Did you know that The Cigar Guys – Cigar Catering, Events and Live Cigar Rollers & Cigar Bars (www.thecigarguys.net) encounter over 100 new cigar smokers every week? Most of our clients are private or corporate events where the majority of the crowd are non-cigar smokers. We are paid to be there encouraging people to try it. 70% of our clients are NEW cigar smokers. We are cigar ambassadors introducing the love of cigars to the masses. The more cigar smokers there are, the more constitutes there are to stop stupid unfair legislature against premium cigars. We turn non-smoking parties into SMOKIN’ PARTIES”! (and they actually pay us to do it!)

You too can make money cutting, lighting & smoking cigars and promoting this great hobby, just like we do at every event!

If you love cigars check out www.tcglic.com to see if this is for you!

 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR ASSOCIATES ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES! Protected Territories are going fast!

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Puffer’s Paradise – (Some of the early musings of The Cigar Guys)

Where is heaven?  Is it Valhalla- an endless, brutal all-encompassing war?  Or angelic boredom surrounded by cherubim and harps?

cigars and cigarsOr something more like what Harry McClintock theorized- On the birds and the bees and the cigarette trees / Where the lemonade springs where the bluebird sings / In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

I’ve always felt that happiness is where you find it, and good times are all around if you keep your eyes open.  It’s all a matter of mindset and expectation.  If you can take life as it comes, one step at a time, you’ll generally enjoy yourself.  Of course, you’ll have a very different good time in Kearney, Nebraska as you will in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas has undergone a renaissance in the last 10 years, metamorphosing from “Sin City” to a family-friendly Disney-in-the-desert, and back to “What happens in Vegas”.  Of course, we know the real truth of the town.

As Nicky Santoro once said, “What do you think we’re doing out here in the desert, anyway?”  The answer?  Money.

So, how does one go to Vegas and make it home with your life savings intact?  There are three options.  1:  Win.  Improbable, but not impossible.  2:  Know your limits.  Have a set gambling budget, and stick to it.  If you’re up, quit, and don’t throw good money after bad.  And 3:  Don’t play.  My personal favorite.

How do I go to Las Vegas and not gamble?  It’s a matter of foresight.  I know that if I lay $200 down on the blackjack table and double it, I’ll be pleased.  If I lose it, I’m mildly disappointed.  For me, the real heartbreak will be hours later, when I’m staring at a new DuPont, or a 5-star menu, or a BBMF, and think “If I hadn’t lost those two bills at Flamingo, I could buy that.”  Torture!

So what do you do if you don’t gamble?  Relax!  Relish your anonymity.  Smoke and drink at Napoleon’s.  People watch at the Paris Café.  Walk up and down The Strip and see the construction.  Or, just post up at your favorite Sports Book with a few friends and watch the ponies.  Something’s always on.

My ideal trip includes dinner at Bouchon, sun at the pool, cigars and Caipirinhas at Casa Fuente, people watching at O’Shea’s and Fremont St., and kicking it with the High Rollers at the Wynn.  But, to each his own.  If you don’t belly up to the craps table, I can’t watch you lose.

Schadenfreude reigns!

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A True Gamer

ImageThink back with me for a minute to high school.  Yes, most of what you learned is irrelevant and yes, many of the people you attended with have scattered to the winds.  But I want to talk in particular about the changing of the guards that happened so seamlessly as to be invisible.

I can’t speak for growing up in SoCal, or Arizona, or Florida, or some similar place with two seasons (nice and not-as-nice).  I grew up in Seattle, where the seasons were Nice, Gray, Cold and Wet, in that order.  And when I was in high school you could also tell what season it was by which jock was peacocking his way around the campus.

In the fall, football players dominated the landscape- lording their early-pubescence over the rest of us.  In winter it was the wrestler, complete with spit cup and sunken cheeks.  And in the spring, the baseball players took great pride in wearing the same dirty, sweat-caked ball cap to every class.  We actually see much the same thing today in our national sporting scene- sports wax and wane in an elegant fashion, with Olympic Fever and World Cup to breakup the routine.  Yes, you can watch the NFL Network and they’ll talk about drafts and training camp injuries, but baseball hasn’t quite yielded it’s grip on the country.  The big three do a beautiful job of sharing the limelight, overlapping slightly, but coexisting in a way that is not often seen in other arenas.

When it’s hot or when it’s cold, whether you’re inside or outside, you’re going to want a different cigar.  I think that Rocky Patel has done the best in this particular area, by releasing four distinctly different cigars- a summer, fall, winter and spring blend.  The winter blend is dark and rich, while the summer is a light, commitment-free smoke.  Each cigar suits its’ namesake perfectly.  But we’re not going to talk about cigars today- we’re going to talk about suiting up and getting your game face on.

The Cigar Guys are spoiled, and we know it.  Surrounded by cigar lounges and beautiful weather, we need no excuse to fire up a stogie and relax in the setting of our choice.  But many of you are not as fortunate.  Inhospitable climates and draconian laws prevent your from partaking in our shared diversion.

I once saw an episode of the TV show “Man Caves” with Tony Siragusa that featured a cigar smoker in… Minnesota or Nebraska or Wisconsin.  Some state in the middle, where it got very cold and snowy in the winter.  He loved cigars, and would stand outside with his friends, sitting on plastic buckets outside of his shed smoking cigars.  Wearing a hat, down jacket, boots and thick gloves, he didn’t look like the picture of relaxation.  Siragusa led a construction team that transformed the couple’s mud room (again, thank God I don’t need one of these!) into a cigar lounge with ventilation, heat and air conditioning.

As we examine this situation, this was a man forced to smoke in one location for half the year, and even if he wanted to go somewhere else, his options ended at his friend’s houses.  No lounge to be had.

 Tony and I once spent New Year’s in Las Vegas.  It was dry, of course, and the days were crisp.  But once the sun went down on the high desert, the weather took a turn.  Surrounded by buildings, you lose track of Mother Nature’s abilities.  As you’d walk down the strip, you were cold to begin with, but then that cruel wind would come slicing through your coat, cutting you to the bone and stripping away any warmth you’d managed to accumulate.  And it’s a West-to-East wind in that town, too.  Which means that whenever you ventured into an intersection, the towering buildings stretching in either direction turned the wind into a wind-tunnel.  Tony and I would walk for 30-seconds, puffing away at our cigars, then change hands and shove the now-frozen claw deep into our pockets to warm up a little, before repeating the exercise.  It was miserable.

So, my hat is off to you, Midwest, Northwest and Northeast cigar smokers.  You suffer indignities to indulge that I simply cannot imagine.  So whenever you feel like complaining because the temperature has dropped below 70, just remember the real gamers out there- the guys who suit up no matter what the elements throw at them just to indulge in the great American past time of enjoying a cigar.

 You’re a better man than I am.  And I’m ok with that.

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Money to Burn?

Cigar smoking has a deeply entrenched reputation as being an opulent pastime for blue-bloods and captains of industry- an image that we all know flies in the face of the average cigar smoker and the average cigar.  For whatever reason, people associate cigar smoking with wealth.  And while we may all dream of smoking exclusively VSGs, Davidoffs, Behikes and Graycliff, those of us in the know feel no need to break the bank in the pursuit of a perfectly pleasant puro.J__SERVER_Art_Images_Godard_money_to_burn

A more interesting question is: how did cigar smoking get branded as a hobby for the elite?  An expensive luxury out of the reach of the average proletariat?  I think it has to do with that one equity that is so hard to come by- time.  Using your average robusto-size cigar (5” long by 50/64ths of an inch thick) as a benchmark, you’ll need a good 45 minutes to dedicate to smoking.  Any while you’re smoking, you can’t clamp the cigar in your teeth like a pipe or a cigarette- it’ll get soggy.  So not only do you need ¾ of an hour, but you need a free hand as well.

With the dual necessities of time and physical preoccupation, the very act of cigar smoking  precludes you from certain manual labor-related activities, and takes too long to sneak off for a quick fix or to stretch a lunch break for an extra 5 minutes.  If you were an average laborer, you would never have the opportunity during your day to make smoking cigars part of your routine.  You’d need to dedicate time in the evenings, or over the weekend to get your smoking done.  Which leads us into our beloved cigar lounge and public humidor.

There was a book written a few years ago that talked about the rise and fall of bowling leagues in the United States.  Basically what it said was that more games of bowling are being played now than ever before in our nation’s history, but that the number of individual games being played alone is also much, much higher than ever before.  People used to socialize and gather at bowling alleys in leagues- they’d have teams, practices, and league games.  And, as Walter Sobchak so elegantly reminded Smoky with a little assistance from his sidearm, league games used to be very important.  We used to be a society that was built of groups- now we’re much more individualized.  But fortunately, we can still gather at cigar lounges to be together, to smoke new cigars, and to gain the camaraderie that is missing so prevalently from our society.

Lounges are, in our opinion, the backbone of the cigar community.  People of all walks of life, all incomes and aspirations can freely gather in these smoke-filled havens of personal freedom and dedicate that gift of time to the pursuit of pleasure for pleasure’s sake.  Modern cigar lounges almost all have large, intimidating walk-in humidors, boasting dozens if not hundreds of choices.  We’ve seen cigars retail for as much as $200 per stick, and as little as $2.  If money and cost are of no consideration when you buy a cigar, you can go do something else.  For those of you who want maximum pleasure for minimum price, please continue.

It seems that the most popular price point in the cigar business is between $10 and $14 (California Tax is 31.73% of the wholesale price- your state may be different), but that’s not our focus today.  What do you do if you have $8 burning a hole in your pocket?  Or $6?

The first place the smoker on a budget should start is with the House Blend, if there is one.  This is usually a cigar that the shop will have commissioned for them in bulk by any one of a variety of manufacturers.  They are usually unbanded and in a tray display of some sort.  Other shops will have “wine racks” built in their humidor for display.  Ask your tobacconist about strength, flavor, origin, etc to see which one will work best for you.  The other benefit is that lounges usually have good profit margins on these sticks, so you help yourself not break the bank, and you help the lounge stay in business.

Another popular route is to go with a smaller size than you usually smoke- if you like 6×60, try a Churchill.  Or trade down to a robusto.  Or if you’re hell-bent on a certain stick, see if they make a corona or petite lancero.  The only problem with this solution, as elegant as it is, is that you end up with a short smoke.  And if you’re looking to fill an evening, you’ll need to either buy a few or smoke at such a diligently slow pace that you’re spending more time thinking about your smoking speed as opposed to your smoking pleasure.

Our favorite way is a two-pronged approach.  First, you have to learn about what you like- not the brand name, but the tasting notes and origins of the tobacco itself.  Do you like mild Dominican cigars?  Or are sticks with strong Nicaraguan ligero tobacco more your speed?  Spend some time with your favorites and figure out what it is that you like about them.  Then, once you can speak about your preferences beyond saying “strong” or “Cuban”, start perusing the humidor and looking at prices.  Once you’ve selected a few candidates, ask the employees or the owner to talk to you about the taste profiles of what you’ve chosen.

And the most important part of smoking on a budget- be open to trying new things.  Take some direction from your fellow smokers, seek out brands that you’ve neglected, and try to appreciate each cigar for what it is, not what you want it to be.  And if you buy a value cigar and don’t fall in love, at least you had the experience.  You may not have money to burn, but as long as there’s more than lint in your pockets, you’ll have cigars.

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What to Get the Guy who Smokes Everything

There are a lot of different place for hobbyists to gather, depending on what it is that you like to do.  You can fly model airplanes, surf, play Dungeons & Dragons- whatever it is, there’s probably some group of people doing it somewhere.  Cigar smokers have that too- our local lounge.  But there’s a key difference: Hikers don’t buy each other shoes.  Bicyclists don’t give each other helmets that they’ve saved for years and never worn.  Golfers don’t hand each other golf balls after business meetings.

partagas-d4Cigar smokers are different- we share our hobby with other hobbyists.  We are always trading cigar suggestions and will often give each other a cigar that we think is worth sharing, or promise that the next time we meet one of us will bring the other a gift.  It’s a great tradition, a terrific way to find new favorites, and is a great demonstration of friendship.

But, not everyone in our lives is a cigar smoker.  In fact, most will have never held a cigar in their lives.  Some of them will be backyard barbecue cigar smokers- guys who mean well, but couldn’t tell a Macanudo from a Montecristo if you left the bands on.  Then there will be just a small few die-hard cigar aficionados like you.

Professional cigar smokers, this isn’t for you.

Whoever said there is more joy in giving than receiving was probably a cigar smoker.  The thing we have to recognize as serious smokers is that we’re hard to shop for, because ours is the only hobby that is an integral part of how our culture celebrates.  When your friend has a baby?  A cigar.  When  celebrating a business deal?  Cigar.  If you’ve just won an Olympic Hockey Gold Medal?  A cigar.  I have a friend who builds model trains and smokes cigars.  I don’t think anyone has ever given him so much as a caboose.

So what to get for the cigar smoker in your life?  The short answer is: depends on how much you like them.  Even a simple gift like a cutter can range from $0.99 (Don’t get them one of these) to a Mammoth-Tusk Xikar cutter for $400.  Sticking to the classic accessories such as a cutter or a lighter is usually a safe bet- if you don’t know which brands or which models are good, go to your local lounge and talk to the employee.  Or better yet, talk to the guys who are hanging out and smoking- ask the guy who looks the most like he shares your friend’s style and ask him what he would like as a present from his friends.

Like any leisure activity, the world of accessories are not limited to the activity itself.  There are cigar-cessories for everything- from cufflinks to ties (don’t buy your friend a tie), ashtrays, travel kits, golf tools and clothing.  Most of these fall into the category of “Stocking Stuffer”, but they can be fun little gifts.

The one accessory that even non-smokers are familiar with is the humidor.  More than a storage device, the humidor can be a statement of personality, as well as a work of art.  If you have a lot of cigars, the most cost-effective way is to simply buy a large cooler- the type you would take to a picnic.  But if you don’t regularly store over 100 cigars you’ll be fine with a desktop version. Prices vary, naturally, but a good gift can be purchases for under $200.  There are different shapes, sizes, colors and styles- if you get one with glass, just make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight and your cigars should be fine.

So let’s pretend your cigar-smoking friend already has everything they need.  Or, maybe you’re looking to buy a token of appreciation for a client- or even trying to butter up your boss.  Let’s talk cigars!

A lot of the work is done for you- most of the major manufacturers put together gift packs that have 4 or 5 different cigars, and often they have a cutter or lighter in the box.  They’re good gifts, but they lack that personal touch that makes giving gifts fun.  Look to spend at least $10 per stick, and you cut out almost everything that could disappoint your cigar smoker.

There is one more cigar solution that’s perfectly designed for gifting- the aluminum tube.  Lined with cedar, the tube acts as a mini humidor and protects the cigar from getting bent or broken.  Commonly referred to as “Tubos”, many manufacturers make cigars in this specific packaging- ranging from inexpensive Macanudos for the occasional golfer to Ashton VSG for the serious connoisseur.

There are lots of fun cigar gifts to be had this time of year, but the best gifting guide should be your friendship.  You know if your friend is into shiny, flashy things, or if they’re big into home décor.  Or maybe they’re just a plain old smoker.  In the end, there’s no such thing as a bad cigar-related gift for a cigar smoker.  And fellow puffers- make sure to say “Thank You”, even if it’s a cigar you know you don’t like.  Or a tie.

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