Written by Puff Staff

Sunday, 04 August 2013

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Cigars can be sold in anything from cellophane bundles to ornate “keepsake” boxes, but the fanciness of the packaging doesn’t always provide an accurate look at what you’ll find on the inside. Sometimes, the finest cigars come in the plainest of wrapping—and the other way around.





When you shop at your local B&M, you’ll notice a wide array of cigars, all packaged for sale in bundles or boxes and all wearing unique bands. Some bands and boxes are so cleverly designed that they’ve become collector’s items, while others are not so interesting. Why do some cigar brands devote so much time and effort to their presentation, while others stick with a classic look, year after year?

Gurkha is a brand better known for the extravagance of its packaging than for the quality of its cigars. Not that they’re bad cigars, they just don’t always live up to the imaginative artwork of the boxes they come in. For example, the original run of the brand’s Black Dragon line was encased in impressive hard-carved camel bone boxes holding 100 sticks. The Warlord line comes in a weather-beaten treasure chest reminiscent of a pirate’s treasure. Even if the actual cigars don’t impress you, you’re sure to hold onto the box!


Last year, Gurkha was presented with the Golden Label Award for the printing, design, innovation and technical execution of the 125th Anniversary cigar band. Gurkha Cigar Group chairman Kaizad Hansotia released this statement: “We are very honored to receive this award. This is even more special as this year celebrates 125th Anniversary of the Gurkha Cigar. The artwork took over a year to develop, where the goal was to create an intricate design that highlighted the strong tradition and authenticity of the brand.” We found a Gurkha 125th Anniversary cigar chest going for $36 on eBay—without the cigars.


It looks like we shouldn’t expect Gurkha to adopt a minimalist packaging philosophy anytime soon, since the brand is notorious for producing the world’s most expensive cigar, “His Majesty’s Reserve,” which sells for a whopping $16,500 per box of 20 and also what it called the “rarest cigar in the world.” The Delta Force cigar is called “the official cigar of the super-elite military group the Delta Forces” and each cigar goes for about $2,000. You’re not allowed to smoke one of these unless you’re an official member of Delta Force, and they’re not marketed to the general public. Just hype or clever marketing?

In 2009, Camacho showed the brand’s flair for style with bands and boxes designed by Matt Booth of the Los Angeles fashion house Room 101. These very stylish black boxes were embellished with Japanese characters and symbols and were said to show the “bold” nature of Camacho.


In June, Camacho launched a rebranding effort that redesigned its packaging as well as reformulating most of its brands. Part of this redesign, dubbed “The Bold Standard,” included adding the image of a scorpion to Camacho’s boxes and bands. Why a scorpion? According to Camacho’s head of marketing Dylan Austin, the scorpion represents “a fusion of both the old school heritage and modern day vibe of the brand. The Scorpion mark, a nod to Camacho’s aggressive and entrepreneurial spirit, personifies a number of core characteristics of the brand.” All of Camacho’s bands and boxes received a complete makeover that included bolder logos, scaled-up lettering and more colorful designs.

While some not-so-great cigars come in fancy wrapping, there are higher quality smokes that keep their packaging clean and simple. The Tatuaje brand tucks its highly-rated cigars into plain wooden boxes bearing just black or grey lettering. Is this Tatuaje’s way of saying, “We know we’re great and don’t have to flaunt it?”

Is the packagaing of a cigar important or is it more about your personal preference in what you want to smoke?  Keep reading to see some more popular cigar brands that use some simple yet effective packaging.


0 # Gotta Go MinimalDean 2013-08-06 19:32
My favorite cigars all tend to the minimal side of the packaging spectrum. Not that a fine cigar can't come in a fancy box, but I prefer most of the cost to go toward quality leaf rather than quality wood.

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