Southern Cigar Co. – November 2015 Box Review
A common love for cigars dating back to their college days was the impetus for Jason and Mike, co-owners, to establish Southern Cigar Co., a company that specializes in connecting premium, handcrafted cigars with smokers anywhere in the world via mail order. Southern Cigar Co. sent us their November 2015 box for review. Since this is my first review of a monthly cigar subscription service, I am not too sure the direction it will take but I will try to articulate my first impressions, the quality of the cigars and accessories, as well as the overall value.
During my December visit to Texas, Tony passed along the November 2015 box and all of the goodies inside from Southern Cigar Co. for me to take a stab at. As soon as I saw the box I was surprised by the large size, but, more importantly, impressed with the classy design and company branding. The large, brown cardboard box is sturdy, printed with an intricate design that is very fitting in the cigar world, as well as suitable for our times. “Southern Cigar Co.” is printed in the middle of the box split with a crossed “X” logo that contains the first initials of the co-founders, along with the number “04” and “15”, which I assume is the date April 2015. Maybe the month and year the company opened its doors?
Upon opening the box, the cigars and accessories are protected during travel with twirly, strips of paper. This is new to me, but all of the cigars arrived without any damage so I have no complaints. It is important to note, that the four cigars were zip-locked with a Boveda humidity pack. Also contained were two cards with company information and a single card containing information on the four cigars. Printed on thick card-stock, the cards carry the same quality as the box. The only thing left wanting is more detailed contact information to be included on the cards.
Cigars and Accessories
The four cigars fall in the medium to medium/full range in strength and flavors. I smoked two cigar directly out of the box, with no issues. It appears the Boveda pack did its job. The cigars came from well-known, respectable companies and smoked like such. Included in the November 2015 box:
Rocky Patel Decade 10th Anniversary
Size: 6 ½ by 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Camacho American Barrel Aged
Size: 5 by 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: American Broadleaf
Filler: American Broadleaf, Pennsylvanian Maduro, and Honduran Corojo
J.C. Newman Diamond Crown Julius Caesar
Size: 4 3/4 by 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Central American
Filler: Central American
PDR Cigars A. Flores Serie Privada
Size: 5 by 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Dominican Corojo and Nicaraguan Habano
Accessories: SGE triple-flame torch lighter and dual-style guillotine/v-cutter
Each first month subscription from Southern Cigar Co. arrives with a lighter and cutter. The SGE torch-lighter has been in use for a couple of months and, while the light weight may lead some to think of low-quality, it has operated without issue. The dual-style cutter features a single guillotine and v-cut. There are no marks located on the cutter to identify it. The guillotine side contains a sufficiently sharp blade, but still pinches the cigar as it is a single blade. The v-cutter cut smoothly and clean. Kudos to Southern Cigar Co. for providing a couple of options to the consumer on ways to cut their cigars. I lean towards a straight cut 99% of the time, so a double guillotine would have been preferred, but that is only a personal preference.
A month to month subscription to Southern Cigar Co. will run you $39.95, with discounts available if you prepay three or six months. For the sake of this review, I am going to base the overall value on the month to month pricing. After searching out the cigars individually online, even paying the full monthly price with no prepaid discounts, you come out slightly below the price you would pay at MSRP on every stick. Considering these cigars arrive right at your front door, that is not a bad deal. Plus you get a free lighter and cutter thrown in.
There is no lack of monthly cigar clubs. A quick search will come up with cigar subscription from large online retailers to mom and pop shops, as well as companies that operate with this sole purpose, like Southern Cigar Co.. So another way to consider the value is to compare it to other monthly cigars clubs. Cigar Federation’s Cigar of the Month Club will also run you $39.95, but comes with five cigars. Unlike Southern Cigar Co., Cigar Federation focuses on boutique cigars. The Premium Cigar of the Month Club has been around since 1994 with a month to month subscription running $29.95 for five cigars. A key factor to consider would be the type of cigars that are coming with the other clubs.
I have never been a fan of monthly cigar subscriptions, not because the value is not there, but I would rather research and determine the cigars I would want to smoke if I am going to be paying $40 for four cigars. But I do believe there is a market for this type of service such as for those who do not have access to a local brick and mortar, those new to cigars, or a gift for someone. Make your way over to Southern Cigar Co.’s website (which is extremely easy to navigate. Nice job, guys!), browse past boxes and see if this is a service that fits your needs.