Cigar Club Shoot-Out: Cigars International vs. Cigar.com

Some thoughts on “cigar of the month” memberships (“COTM”) in general and the ones offered by Cigars International (“CI”) and Cigar.com (“CC”) in particular. I joined the two clubs to get some variety. I get nine cigars a month – four from CI ($20/month) and five from CC ($30/month). In both cases the value of the cigars far exceeds the monthly expense, if you compare it to what you would pay at a cigar store. Compared to what you would pay if you ordered all the cigars on-line, you are ahead of the game anywhere from $15 to $50 per month. Shipping is free with both memberships.

One immediate benefit of membership is I know what the hell I am smoking. When you buy variety packs from on-line vendors or pick up a few sticks at a retailer, you soon end up with a humidor full of mystery cigars. Of course you can tell the brand from the cigar band, but often it is difficult or impossible to tell just which Gurkha or CAO you are smoking. CI and CC both provide four-page newsletters with their COTM memberships, with pictures of each cigar and detailed information. I can just flip through a few pages of these newsletters to figure out what I am smoking.

CI’s newsletter is far better, including much more information about the cigars, a place where you can write down your own comments, other cigar-related information and even a few jokes. CC provides only information about that month’s cigar selection.

Unlike CI, CC feels compelled to create monthly themes. December was all torpedo cigars, January was all Ashton and this month all the cigars were Padillas. A theme can be great if you like it; a chance to compare five maduros, for example. But if you don’t like the theme, you may not like any of the five cigars. I may be experiencing that now, because my first cigar from this month’s Padilla theme was truly awful. I’ll have to see if that one cigar was bad or the entire brand. Thus far, that was the only bad cigar I’ve received from either membership.

Overall, my choice for the best COTM club goes to Cigars International because of the price, better variety and better newsletter.

7 Responses to “Cigar Club Shoot-Out: Cigars International vs. Cigar.com”

  1. When I get some time and gather my thoughts I will write about Thompson Cigars’ terrible Cigar Club.

  2. Every time I order something from Thompson, I get a follow up phone call ostensibly to check up on the service, but really trying to sell me the Cigar Club. Very annoying.

  3. Okay. I’m joining the CI club right now.

  4. Thanks dude! I’ve been looking for a good comparison for a while now. I plan on subscribing to CI’s as soon as I move back to the states! That’s for the great advice and run down on both COTMs.

  5. Your post Beer, Motorcycles, Cigars | Beer, Bikes and Butts | Reviews, News and Views was very interesting when I found it over google on Tuesday by my search for thompson cigar. I have your blog now in my bookmarks and I visit your blog again, soon. Take care.

  6. Did you know that they are both the same company…? I found out when I got both catalogs and noticed my customer number was the same on each, and that the back of the magazine had identical layouts.

  7. Yes, I did figure that out at some point. I like that the company came up with different cigar clubs rather than cranking out a couple of clones.

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