The Hunt: Hard To Find Cigars

The Hunt: Hard To Find Cigars
7 years ago 10 comments

HTF smokes

If you are anything like me, you are a member of a number of different cigar forums, groups, and blogs. When I first started smoking years ago, I would look for a cigar I enjoyed and stick to that stogie for what seemed like forever. My first cigar was an Excalibur III by Hoyo de Monterrey. I had no clue what the blend was and I didn't really care either. All I knew is that I smoked it and I liked it. The more I got into the hobby, the more I began to learn about different blends, different flavor profiles, and different strengths. This was the beginning of the end for me.

One of the positives to joining all these different sorts of cigar communities is that you begin to learn. You learn about cigars, of course, but you also learn about this crazy concept of Hard To Find (HTF) smokes. These are the cigars that come out either in extreme limited quantities, or once a year, or in some cases both. Because of the limited nature of these stogies, they command a pretty high price tag not only in the cigar store, but also in the secondary market as well. This brings up one of the negatives of being part of all these different groups... it can put a hurt on your wallet.

There are many different types of cigar smokers. There are those, like me, that like to buy cigars to… and this may be a crazy concept to some… smoke the cigars. With the advent of these HTF sticks, a new type of smoker was born, the collector. These are the "smokers" who find a limited release stick and buy it, not to really smoke the cigar, but more to say they got it. On these different communities you will see people post pictures of full lines of cigars. I liken this to hunters. There are those that hunt for food, and there are those that simply want that mount over their mantle. There is nothing really wrong with either ideology, just different frames of mind.

As you get further into these cigar groups, you too can get caught up in the chase. Like I said before, I am a smoker. Any cigar I get I plan on enjoying. That being said, I have sought out limited release smokes and I will admit, the hunt is pretty darn enjoyable. That feeling you get when you finally find that one cigar you were looking for is like opening a pack of baseball cards as a kid and finding that Mickey Mantle rookie card. There is a rush as you wait for it. and a sense of fulfillment once that package is in your hand.

Let's go into some of the more famous HTF Cigars. First, and probably the one that every cigar smoker knows, no matter if you are relatively new to the hobby for a long time here, is Arturo Fuente's Opus X. As long as I have been smoking, people have been craving and searching for these cigars. Long before the days of Liga Privada, Tatuaje, and Crowned Heads, smokers were seeking out Opus X. Some would argue that these cigars are made for the collector because most feel that even after you find them and get a few, they need a couple months to a year of age to be at their full potential.

Arturo Fuente's Opus X cigar
One of the newest boutique brands on the street is Crowned Heads. Run by Jon Huber, the former head of CAO, Crowned Heads makes a wide variety of regular production cigars as well as limited release cigars. One of their first was the
Las Calaveras. This cigar is released only once a year to honor those in the industry that have passed. The first one came out in 2014 and was so well received it is now a regular production cigar called La Imperiosa. Crowned Heads has also gotten into the habit of making regional release cigars like Tatuaje.

Las Calaveras cigarOliva Serie V Melanio Figurado is a perfect example of this. Prior to last year, this cigar was not always available but was not impossible to get. After it was named the #1 cigar of 2014 by Cigar Aficionado last year, it became the HTF cigar to get. You can see the same thing happening right now with this years #1 cigar; My Father Le Bijou 1922 Box Pressed Torpedo.

My Father Le Bijou 1922 Box Pressed Torpedo CigarLiga Privada Unico, we have them.. in limited supply. How about an Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado? Yep, those are in stock too. So sit back and relax with your favorite stogie, while the rest of the world is wondering how you got them, or you could let them know who your favorite online cigar retailer is, CigarPlace.com.

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Suphachai Nitayaphatana 7 years ago at 12:17 PM
I love to read your blog....give a good fun,and still learning the cigar 101.,even I been smoke cicars for over 30.yrs. now I'm 69 yrs. Old...living another part of the world....Bangkok,Thailand...Suphachai Nitayaphatana...cigarplace customer for life.......
Luke Oplinger 6 years ago at 11:02 PM
I enjoy the hunt! Every year I seek out and find the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare. They are always worth the box purchase as well as the price.
Miguel Rocha 6 years ago at 11:25 PM
Gotta love those rare gems! (Even though its a pain to try to find them)
Henry Wilbanks 6 years ago at 12:50 AM
Outstanding article and very informative. Thank you!
Jason Meyers 6 years ago at 4:30 PM
I'm actually finding that there are so many good regular production cigars on the market that I am chasing after these HTF cigars and LE much less often these days.
Joe Harris 6 years ago at 3:56 PM
Unfortunately, with the new FDA regulations that are trying to shove new expenses down the throats of tobacco companies (as well as vaping companies, but that's its own issue), a lot of budding cigar companies are unable to keep up with the expenses and ceasing operations, which would effectively make the remaining cigars "HTF" as well. This saddens me, as I have a few hidden jewels that I've stumbled across in my somewhat short time smoking cigars that may be struggling, such as my 3rd cigar ever smoked, a Cristiano black label. I've only ever found it at my local cigar cafe, and it definitely turned me on to cigars. Saddens me to worry about the health of the company.
Mike McCain 6 years ago at 10:34 PM
smoking a las calaveras 2014 right now
J D H 6 years ago at 3:49 PM
"Hunting' cigars I do not find fun. If I can't get the "latest & greatest" then my money is better spent on something I can get, or not spent at all. If these boutique "names" want me to blow my money on their stuff, then make sure I can get it. Otherwise, more for you hunters with the unlimited cash.
Luke Oplinger 6 years ago at 6:25 PM
Good, more for us who don't have other financial obligations. It isn't unlimited cash that we have access to, at least not in my case. I've made conscious decisions to stay single and not have kids or an expensive house payment or car payment. So I do hunt and pay with cash.
William Eason 4 years ago at 7:39 PM
I. Purchased. An. Old. 5 Pk. Of Phillies. Cigars. Around. 1957 58before. Homo. Binder. Wrapper. Junk. For. 10$. Said. Blended. With. Havana. Even. Cheap. Cigars. Were. Back. Then. Anyway. Lit. One. Up. WOW!! Couldn't. Believe. It. The. Taste. Was. Incredible. Like. Nothing. I. Have. Ever. Tasted! On the. Lookout. For. Some. More. I also. Have. One. Phillie. From. About. 1923. Even. Then. It. Was. A. Clear. Havana. Handmade. Long filler. Those were. The. Days
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