8 Eighty Eight Cigar Merchants
Premium Cigars and Accessories
Our newly remodeled humidor is stocked with some of the most special premium cigars on the market today. Stop on by and let our very knowledgeable staff members help select the perfect stick for you.
Part of the allure that surrounds cigar smokers are all those wonderful gadgets. We manage a nice selection of lighters, cutters and boxes from top makers like Xikar, Colibri, and Fuente.
What's New in the Humidor
DESCRIPTION: GATEKEEPER This brand is the second release from Alec and Bradley. On this project, they worked together with the ‘Godfather’ of cigars, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo at his factory in the Dominican Republic. With the Gatekeeper, they have opened the gates to new tobaccos and experiences. Ernesto has given the Rubin brothers the opportunity to grow as second-generation cigar makers. This is a great blend of perfectly aged tobaccos from Nicaragua, Ecuador and Dominican Republic. It is available in four sizes as listed below and packaged in boxes of 20 cigars. Filler: Nicaragua/Dominican Rep Binder: Nicaragua Wrapper: Ecuador Corona 42 x 5-1/8 • Robusto 50 x 5 • Toro 52 x 6 • Gordo 60 x 6
The English term ‘cigar’ has been derived from the Spanish ‘cigarro’, which in turn is adapted from the Mayan word for tobacco, ‘siyar’.
Creating a premium cigar is much the same as a master wine maker blending a fine wine – each must have the skills to grow and create their own blends.
Growing tobacco requires a great deal of experience. Successful growers lean on the sweat and blood of the generations of farmers before them. Plants are nurtured in nurseries and the seedlings are transported to fields. Two tablespoons of seed can produce 10 acres of cigar tobacco.
During harvesting, leaves are picked beginning at the bottom. Valdo, the bottom leaf has the mildest taste. Seco, in the middle, has a medium flavor. Ligero, at the top, has the strongest taste.
Curing is the next step. The chosen leaves are bundled according to size and texture and are hung to dry in curing barns for six to eight weeks.Tobacco must ferment, “sweat” properly in order to smoke with good taste and aroma. Fermentation removes ammonia and other chemical components. Improperly fermented tobacco causes harshness or bitterness, and will not stay lit.
The filler, the binder, and the wrapper are the three parts that make up a cigar. In premium cigars, each has to go through meticulous preparation, including sorting and stripping.
After this preparation, the master blender is now ready to create the “recipe.” He pre-blends the filler, selecting the special combination of tobacco leaves. Depending on the ring gauge and type of cigar, a cigar will contain a blend of two to four different tobaccos.
Expert hands make the difference in a fine cigar. The “buncher” forms the filler into a cylindrical shape. This is rolled into a binder leaf and placed in a mold to coax it into a cigar shape. The “roller” then skillfully applies the outer wrapper tobacco leaf.
After rolling, cigars are placed in the “marrying room” for a minimum of three weeks. This is a temperature and humidity-controlled Cedar room. This gives the selected tobaccos time to meld their tastes and for the moisture to equilibrate.