Cigars & Cars

If you’ve been reading my submissions you probably know I’m an old guy. To a few, I’m may be a bit younger, but to most of you, I’m the old man in the room. Many of you know that I enjoy cigars and selected beverages like Single Malts and English Ales. I’ve also had a love affair with cars throughout my life. Over the last year I’ve come to realize that many, many of you of all ages enjoy your personal rides along with great cigars as well.

I’ve been a member of numerous “Car Clubs” over the years. It’s interesting that when gathered with any group, sooner or later I’ve gotten acquainted with fellow cigar smokers. Early on after moving to Arizona I met a fellow member who is a dedicated PADRON smoker and Corvette owner. I soon found out he was paying more than he should for his cigars. He quickly became a loyal Cigar Thief Customer!

Whenever we get together at our local gathering place, I make sure to bring my “mobile cigar smoking center” so we have everything we need to enjoy our cigars while we mingle with our fellow club members. As enthusiastic as we are about cars, our shared passion for good cigars ranks just as high. Taking a road trip with friends and finishing the day with a nice meal then enjoying a favorite smoke is a wonderful experience. I recently purchased a 2021 F-Type Jaguar Base Coupe and quickly joined the Arizona Jaguar Owners Club. We had our first monthly gathering and I met some great folks. And yes…….two members turned out to be Premium Cigar lovers. Needless to say, we spent as much time talking about cigars as we did about Jaguars!

I empathize with our friends living in areas where the winter climate is not conducive to these types of gatherings. I remember garaging and covering up my Aston Martin in New York around Thanksgiving and not seeing it until the spring. I also remember smoking smaller sized cigars while shivering outside. During the winter months I’ve heard from many of you valiantly attempting to enjoy your favorite smokes while dodging snow, sleet and freezing rain. Here in Arizona, I seek refuge in my newly air conditioned garage for this experience when the temperatures top 100 degrees!

It’s been a long winter. As the season begins to slowly get warmer for many of you, I look forward to hearing about your favorite rides as well as the cigars you love.

As always, we at The Cigar Thief continue to thank each of you for being our valued customers. And please, don’t hesitate reaching out to us with any request or feedback.

Cheers!

Richie

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What’s wrong with my cigar??

Summertime is in full force and our great Cigar Thief customers like you are certainly catching up on smoking your favorite cigars at what seems like a frantic pace. Good for all us, me included.

 

At a recent outdoor gathering of my car club, one of the members told me he was an occasional cigar smoker. Since I always carry a few cigars with me when attending social events, I suggested we enjoy a cigar with our espresso. As I handed him a Camacho Connecticut Toro, within lightning speed he removed the cello wrapper, pulled the entire cap off  by hand and then reached into his pocket to retrieve a standard book of paper matches. Before I could intercede,he grabbed about six matches , struck them and immediately put a road flare looking burst of flames onto the end of the cigar and quickly began puffing. I’m sure onlookers thought they should call the fire department. Within a minute, he said, “You know, cigars haven’t been tasting  good for me lately.” as he exhaled a sulfur laden stream of  smoke.

 

I’m sure the vast majority of you know  this is a great example of how not to cut or light a good cigar and that you also know why it tasted the way it did for my co member.

 

But what about that great , perfectly cut cigar you carefully light with a butane torch that begins to burn looking like it was possessed by the devil?

 

We’ve spoken about why some cigars have poor draws. As you know, premium cigars are handmade so human error can’t be avoided. No manufacturer knowingly wants to turn out a cigar that can’t be enjoyed with an ample, free flowing draw. I was once given an entire box of genuine Cuban Cohibas. I soon realized they were all so tightly wrapped from about an inch to the cap that I couldn’t draw on them. I ended up having to cut an inch off each one to smoke them. 

 

After hearing from many of you asking me why your cigars are burning in so many different erratic ways, I thought we’d take a quick look at the most common “Bad Burns”.  While there are some facets out of your control like the quantity or quality of any cigars contents and assembly,  there are a few reasons why cigars don’t burn evenly. A word of caution. In the interest of not boring you, I’m going to be brief. If what we talk about leads you to get more specific and detailed information, that’s the idea.

 

You’ll probably recognize the “Canoeing” illustration at the top of the page. This issue is usually caused because the cigar is unevenly humidified in your humidor or it was lit up incorrectly. Check your humidors humidity level and rotate your cigars inside frequently. Also make sure you have some space in between them. You may find out you need a bigger humidor!

 

Please use one of the widely available inexpensive butane torch lighters. Forget matches and Zippos. Hold the lighter about an inch or so away from the foot and allow the end of the flame to heat up the tobacco. In a minute or so you’ll see some smoke rising. Keep the flame going around the entire end. When you start puffing you can slightly touch the flame around the entire foot. You’ll soon see an even  burn ring develop. Canoeing can also be the result of fast puffing which will overheat the cigar. So slow down! Rotating the cigar as your smoking it can slow canoeing along with laying the cigar down in an ashtray for a bit so see if things even out. If you think things are going real badly, cut off the entire part of the cigar that’s misbehaving and try again.

 

That picture of a fork like ash is formally known as Splitting. This is usually caused by smoking your cigar too quickly…..like me! It can also be caused by noticeable changes in temperature and humidity differences from where your smoking and where the cigars are stored. Knock off the ash, slow down, let the cigar cool off and continue on. If you’re wondering why your cigar isn’t tasting quite right and you happen to look at the foot and see an empty hole in the filler like the picture above , you’ve got what’s known as a

 “Runner” and it isn’t your fault. Whoever made what your smoking didn’t do a good job. Toss it and hope the rest of the batch is ok.

 

 So, you’ve done everything right and your cigar is off to a great start and you see something like this! No, it’s not a gremlin inside digging a tunnel to escape. It’s what we call ”Mouse Holes”. And no, it’s not your fault either. When a pocket of air or dried out tobacco exists inside a side of your cigar when it’s being made, that little part burns at a much higher rate. Not to worry. These types of annoyances usually pass quickly.

This strange looking occurrence isn’t your fault either. It called a “Runner” which is usually caused by  a large vein in the wrapper that acts as a fuse when you light the cigar. The bad news is if the vein is pronounced and spans the length of the cigar, your chances of enjoying this particular one are nil. You can try letting things cool down and relighting it. You may get lucky but I don’t think so.


While you can’t control how your cigars are made and how they’re stored until you get them, you can keep them in the right temperature and humidity and follow a few steps making sure they have the right environment so they’re ready for your enjoyment. You can be rest assured that all the cigars we have available for you on The Cigar Thief are stored in the right atmosphere right up until you make your purchase. Our humidor room is constantly monitored and maintained so you can continue buying from us with confidence.


Thanks again for you valued patronage. Happy smoking!


Cheers,

Richie 

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HumidiMeter by Cigarmedics

I’ve been in the industry for over 40 years and have rarely seen things that seriously get my attention. I came across this totally unique device months ago and reached out to the company to find out more about it. At the time, two young cousins from Chicago that invented it were just beginning to launch their product that reads a cigar’s humidity. 

I’m sure you have more than a few hydrometers keeping you informed of the humidity level if you have a personal humidor. We all know this is key to maintaining the quality of your considerable investment. However, when you think about it, these devices read out the humidity level of the environment, not inside the cigars themselves. The HUMIDIMETER will tell you what’s actually going on INSIDE your cigars.

During my conversation with the owners, it was interesting to learn that most of the people buying this item are cigar smokers. “Consumers that shop at various stores want to know if the cigars they’re buying are being well kept for.” He added, “ We were surprised that there weren’t more retailers that wanted to know just how well their humidors were working.” While the jury may be out when it comes to retailers selling this device in their stores for customers to check out their cigars before purchasing them, I firmly believe that EVERY premium cigar smoker should have one on hand for themselves.

How many times have you wondered what kind of shape that cigar you’re considering buying is? We know that many cigars may feel hard because they’re jam packed with tobacco. Using this device settles the case immediately. More importantly, this device will help you determine if humidity levels are equally dispersed throughout your own humidor.

The two prongs can be placed into the cigars foot even through the cello wrapper without damaging it and will give you a reading in seconds. 

Rarely has something become available for so little money that can help virtually all cigar smokers so much. Add one to your order next time you buy some cigars! 

Humidimeter’s regular price is $29.99 but the Cigar Thief has it on sale for a special introductory price of $25.95! Grab this amazing opportunity to get your Humidimeter today!

Rich Cucharo

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The Summer has arrived!

If you’ve been following my submissions over these last 18 months, I guess you know by now a few things about me.
-I’m an old guy
-I love cigars and whiskey
-I like cars and motorcycles

Last month I was sitting in my backyard looking out over the prairie marveling at its primal purity as I often do.

I then realized that right outside the entrance to our small community was a huge area of this terrain that spans for miles and miles. Soon I was thinking how great it would be to be able to spend some time personally investigating this great landscape. I’ve never been a hiker and the older I get I’ve gotten to fully understand and accept my limitations.

After a bit of research and visiting a local dealer, I couldn’t resist adding a new vehicle to my fleet. Soon I was up at sunrise getting myself out in the desert surrounding my neighborhood. To our pleasant surprise, my wife Jennifer could be a copilot on my adventures as well! After packing up a thermos of coffee, some breakfast pastries and a good cigar (OF COURSE!) we ventured off.

 

 

Seeing the giant Cacti up close and all the the other things that live in the desert was fascinating.

So that’s the update from the Arizona desert. I can’t even begin to share all the cigar enjoying activities all of you have shared with me since summertime has arrived all over the country. Fishing, boating, hiking, road trips, cigar tastings and BBQ’s to name a few.

In fact, this past May I was able to attend the first convention held since the pandemic. It was a huge tobacco show in Las Vegas. It was great to see all the cigar companies we all know and love along with many new boutique and small batch producers with amazing offerings. I’m sure you see a lot of new names on our website’s list of brands to choose from. And I can promise you that as the weeks and months move along you’ll see even more choices to investigate and try as you enjoy the summer months. Check out names like Angelenos, Chubby’s, Daniel Marshall (my favorite),Fratello, Indian Head, La Galera, National Brand, San Pedro De Macoris, Veritas, and Wise Man. That should keep you busy! And don’t forget, we’re all looking forward to the relaunch of Nat Sherman’s Metropolis and Timeless brands by the newly formed Ferio Tego company headed up by Michael Herklots who ran Nat Sherman’s premium cigar division before cigarette giant Altria closed it down.

All in all, it’s going to be a great Cigar Summer. Thanks again for your patronage on our small family owned website marketplace. And please keep those thoughts and questions coming. At Cigar Thief , we’re all here to serve you; our truly appreciated customers , to assist picking and purchasing the cigars you want for the least amount of your hard earned money. Don’t forget, if there’s a cigar you want we don’t have, just reach out and tell us. We take your requests very seriously and will do what we can to have it for you for the right price!

Cheers,
Richie

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Toothy Cigars?

As you cruise around our great site as well as reading cigar reviews and descriptions you’ll see the word “toothy” being used as a characteristic of some wrapper leaves. After receiving numerous requests for what this term means, here you go.

Take a look at your cigars. Is the wrapper silky smooth and near perfect? Does it appear almost seamless as well? If so, it’s not toothy. Pictured below is what we can safely say are toothy wrapped cigars.

It’s easy to see the raised veins, bumps and tiny pimple like dots all around. All of these attributes make up what’s described as a toothy wrapper. 

  • Why is this worth noting? Every facet of these present on the wrapper contain their own mini pockets of tobacco oil over and above the oil content of the rest of the leaf.
  • What does this mean? As you smoke the cigar and these areas are ignited you’ll get more flavors and taste notes for you palate on top of what the cigars blend of fillers and binder create.
  • Bottom Line? Don’t be afraid of rough, seemingly imperfectly wrapped cigars. You’ll be missing out on what many seasoned smokers look for in a cigars appearance giving us more of what a cigar offers.
Happy Smoking and Cheers!
Richie
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Onwards & Upwards!

ONWARD AND UPWARDS!

Last month I informed all our valued Cigar Thief shoppers about the positive additions and changes our young company would experience as 2021 proceeds. After speaking with many of you who experienced “glitches” while visiting the website, we humbly offer our apologies for the growing pains we’re experienced in our constant efforts to make our platform better. What I can say is that things will improve quickly. As always, we encourage all of you to communicate directly with us if you encounter any issues so we can expedite your requests personally to your utmost satisfaction.
Since it’s inception, Cigar Thief’s strength has been the ability to work with numerous distributors carrying a vast array of premium cigars. This concept enabled us to offer as many choices as possible to fulfill your requests. What all of us are finding out is that we have to offer even more choices for our shoppers to keep up with all the new brands becoming available. In order to give you more shopping options, we want to formally introduce our new “Sister” site:www.Cigarniverse.com

Please visit us and let us know what you think about this newest addition to our family owned enterprise. What we can tell you about this new website is that it’s definitely a work in progress. We’re hoping this entity will give us a better reach to those of you in countries outside of the USA as Cigar Thief continues serving our domestic shoppers. We can also carry many more popular brand styles whose manufacturers require specific pricing in order to sell and ship their products on a mail order basis. Either way, we have you covered! As the Premium Cigar Industry continues to face challenges and changes we want to stay ahead of the curve so all of you have the best selection of products and personalized service you’re accustomed to.
As I’ve said before, we are a small group of regular, hard working folks who truly appreciate and value your business and feedback. As time moves on, we will continue to reflect what you, our customers want. Keep your requests and suggestions coming on all fronts at: [email protected] and [email protected]

Cheers!

Richie

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Congratulations to all of us!

We made it! And hopefully everyone of us can put last year in the rear view mirror…….FOREVER!


All of us at Cigar Thief are looking forward to a new year filled with lots of positive changes to make your cigar shopping experience better and better as the year progresses. The Industry as a whole faces many challenges. Extreme weather, Covid-19 and material shortages just to name a few. We know that cigar prices will continue rising across the board and we will do our best to continue offering as many cigars as possible for the lowest prices we can. Your loyalty and patronage deserves our efforts to continue satisfying your cigar needs. Without you there would be no Cigar Thief and we know it!


As 2021 moves along we will be offering you more choices, more virtual events, more content and more options to make visiting our family owned site an even better experience on many levels. 


Again, from all of us to all of you…….THANKS! As always, don’t hesitate reaching out to us for any reason so we can help you any way we can.

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A Merry, Happy and Healthy!

Over these last months, I’ve immensely enjoyed becoming connected with so many of our website shoppers from around the country as well as in other countries! You’ve allowed me to share my thoughts and experiences as I have been granted windows into many of your life events as well. No politics, no division, no shaming, no canceling, no left or right, no criticism. Just unison of the shared enjoyment of cigars and the goodness within our lives.


As you may have discovered while reading my submissions, I’m a pretty transparent person. Like most of us, I enjoy Facebook as well as my industry involvement via LinkedIn where anyone can read about my entire working life.

Giving this exact time of year, I’m going to take some personal liberty to finish my contributions of 2020 by sharing with you what happened to my wife and myself within days after my November submission was made. Soon thereafter both my wife and myself contracted Covid-19. My wife barreled through her episode within days and recovered quickly. My experience escalated into a hospital admission accompanied by the fear and uncertainty we’ve all been made aware of since this virus hit our shores. The short version is I’m alive and considering the alternative, that’s all that counts. It was a really, really tough episode…….Really!


On behalf of our small company and myself, I want to wish all of you, our great shoppers all the best during this year’s Holidays and a wonderful New Year coming. Your patronage is more appreciated than you can imagine. It is because of each and everyone of you that the idea of Cigar Thief became a reality that is now known in the cigar world.


Again, thanks for everything each of you have done to help our small business. From our family to yours, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Cheers,Richie……and Jennifer says hi as well.

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“WINTER” IS COMING

Back in April I shared some brief thoughts of what was to become a world altering event. As springtime transitioned into Summer then Fall it became starkly evident that COVID 19 would be with us for the foreseeable future. I hope and trust that you and your families are healthy and well. I watch the “News” too and understand what we continue to face. My only thought is that there are many spokes on the wheels of this country so I will always remain optimistic.

Throughout the year I’ve tried to pick a variety of topics that our common love of smoking cigars could be woven into. For most of us, cigars are enjoyable on many different levels. Getting to know many of our customers has been terrific. Hearing how cigars are coupled into your varied lifestyles has been fascinating. It seems as though the words FRIENDSHIP and FAMILY dominate them all. Our hobbies and selected interests also seem to be key contributors to the overall enjoyment of smoking a great cigar.

Lifestyles and activities will begin to change for many of us. For me here in Arizona I remember putting my BBQ grill away for the summer. It’s difficult to cook outside when it’s over 110 degrees! I recently brought it back out to prepare my wife’s favorite……RICHIE WINGS!


And yes…..of course I enjoyed a great cigar and beverage while doing it!

From what many of you have told me, hunting, fishing, hiking, car/motorcycle rallies,camping,cigar group gatherings,wine/whiskey tastings, sports watching and boating seem to be the top activities. I’m sure everyone is exercising an “abundance of caution” and exercising social distancing with a new found heightened sense of urgency considering the times we now live in. Continuing to live our lives to the best degree we can is obviously challenging but surely doable as so many of you have told me.

Traditionally, one of the most frequent occasions matched with enjoying cigars has always been any kind of celebration. A new job, a new car, a new child, an anniversary, a milestone, a new home, a great vacation, a graduation, a team victory and many many others.

I’ve tried to share many thoughts with all of you since I became a Cigar Thief team member. Recently I had the occasion to celebrate as well.

I was ill many years ago. It was an arduous journey to wellness. While I’ve always realized we are all victims of our humanity, when the defined status of your own mortality arises, you take serious note of what could happen. After my recovery I began a yearly regimen of getting checked out on a variety of fronts. As those days in a given year drew close I was always anxious and nervous. I learned all to well that you could be feeling fine and not be. When good results were reported, I sighed in relief year after year for more than a decade.

This past September 11th (of all days), the results of this routine were not good in appearance. I then began a journey of more tests, scans, exams and procedures that seemed to elevate the perceived gravity of what I could be facing. While my doctors remained stoic with their words, it was apparent that if the final results weren’t negative across the board, I would be facing an incurable disease head on on. Waiting for these findings was excruciating for me an my wife equally. “Putting your affairs in order” are words that have serious weight. I’ve always realized the truth that no one get’s out of this world alive but it’s a whole other notion when you’re given a timeline for your exit off the planet.

It wasn’t until November 3rd (of all days) that I received a call from my doctor that I was 100% OK on all fronts. Being relieved is an understatement of how I felt hearing his words. After hanging up the phone we laughed, cried and did a happy dance. And yes, I immediately poured myself a very stiff glass of whiskey and lit up a great cigar to celebrate.

While I was sipping and smoking I yet again realized how important it is to be thankful and happy for what we have, not what we think we want as well as a crystal clear understanding of the saying, “Your health is your wealth”.

While I speak for all of us here at our small grass roots company, I personally want to wish you and your families a very happy and HEALTHY upcoming Thanksgiving. Enjoy all you have and hold dear. Winter is state of mind and will pass.

Cheers,

Richie

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Do you guys have or can you get what I want?

As the seasons change throughout the country we, at The Cigar Thief, want to thank you for your patronage and patience. Over these last several months our small family owned marketplace has experienced both growth and growing pains. While growth is a good thing, pain hurts. Unlike our giant multi million dollar competitors, we have relied on your input and requests to guide us in our quest to provide the best cigar selection and customer service.

In case you didn’t know, we are a team of four. Not fourteen, not forty, not four hundred. Just the four of us. If you visit our site on a regular basis, hopefully you’ve noticed the new brands we continue to offer. We all work diligently each week to make additions, content enhancements and improvements. Our young webmasters continue to firmly remind me that all of what I’d like to see and do can’t happen as quickly as I’d like.

Being a very small firm we are proud to be more reactive than large companies. We follow one rule: Without our customers, we don’t have a company. We listen to everything you say and want to hear more from all of you. Unlike virtually all our competitors, if you want us to get you a product and we can get it, we will! Many of the offerings on our site have been acquired on behalf of our customers requests.

We are excited about offering virtual events on a seasonal basis at least four times a year to begin with. My hope is to have them monthly. The ability for us to meet and speak with any of our valued customers like you will continue to be a guiding factor for our growth.

Thank you for your business. And please, please continue reaching out to us offering you requests, suggestions and yes…even your criticism. We want to be the company you want to do business with on all levels and need all of you to accomplish that goal.

Cheers! Richie

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