The internet is great. Repeat after me: “All hail the internet”.
It allows you instant access to pretty much anything you could want in terms of information. It has news, weather, sports and photos of Kate Middleton’s crotch, in one easy-to-access library.
The world of cigars is also well represented, (although not nearly as hot) with any savvy web watcher being able to access information about upcoming releases and events.
It also allows you (with a little searching) information about the composition, blend and company intent for almost any cigar available.
Being an internet review service, we at Front Porch Cigars applaud all of these things, especially Middleton’s dainty underthings, but we do so with a word of caution: There is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR YOUR LOCAL TOBACCONIST’S SHOP.
Try smoking a cigar with your friends over the internet. Unless your friend is currently serving overseas, you are pretty much a tool if you think the experience is comparable. It’s like visiting Amsterdam’s official website. It’s not quite the same as being there… with a cigar.
You can only go to a cigar shop AT a cigar shop.
Sure, you can order your twigs online if you want to, but at Front Porch Cigars, we (and hopefully you) realize that cigars aren’t only about what you are smoking. They are about what you are doing while you are smoking them, and who you are enjoying them with. (Just ask Bill Clinton)
It’s great to have one by yourself, but we are quite convinced that great cigar EXPERIENCES are about who you are smoking with, and the enjoyment the entire situation brings. (Just ask Bill Clinton… again)
In the last 20 years or so (since the “boutique boom” began in the 90’s) there have been dozens of cigar shops, boutiques, and lounges open up across the country, in spite of the best efforts of the ignorant masses that equate you local cigar shop to the cigarette vending machines of the 50’s.
As you may have noticed, many of these shops have fallen by the wayside and the same retail space is inhabited by stores that espouse much more dangerous habits like scrapbooking and crafts.
Our friendly reminder to you is simple. If you have a tobacconist that you value, by all means visit them.
This doesn’t mean hording it to yourself. It means SHARING it with your friends, enjoying cigars with friends on-site, and most of all… PURCHASING FROM THAT STORE WHEN YOU CAN.
Sure, you might save 19 cents a stick by purchasing it online, but the fact is, you aren’t going to run into any familiar faces in an online cigar shop. You aren’t going to be able to discuss the fact that the (insert your team here) traded your favorite player, or the fact your team is going to suck it hard this year because of offseason events. (Sorry, Saints fans)
The online cigar shop is for purchasing items that you can’t get from your neighborhood store.
Make sure you ASK, and don’t ASSUME that something can’t be had locally before gallivanting off to ismokecigarsonlinebecauseIdonthaveanyfriends.com to make your purchase.
Local dealers WANT to know what you are looking for. They probably don’t have access to all the information about what you smoke by digging through the data that Facebook collects without telling you so TALK TO THEM. Ask questions, make suggestions and let them know what you are looking for.
The GOOD cigar shops will either be able to get what you want, make a suggestion about something with a similar flavor profile, or at least sit down and have a cigar with you and explain why something isn’t available.
There are more quality cigars, in more flavor profiles available than there have ever been, but having a place to purchase them, talk to friends, and explore the deep metaphysical conceits of life while smoking them is becoming more and more difficult to find. This is due to everything from legal threats faced by your local shop to the fact that more and more people are turning to the internet to SHOP for cigars and accoutrements as opposed to supporting your local establishment.
Enjoy them and support them whenever you can. It’s much better than wishing you could.
If you need us we will be enjoying a cigar that we purchased from a local establishment… and checking out the future Queen of England’s mitt on the internet. (not Paris Hilton’s. She’s kind of slutty)
Long ashes, Cousins.