The 2021 New Year’s Eve Cigar Checklist


 

Watch the ball drop live from a cold New York City street, surrounded by fellow tourists. Enjoy a late night at the cocktail lounge and celebrate another strange year–or around a firepit with close friends and midnight pots and pans to bang. Or simply take a secluded hour in your study and reflect on what you have to look forward to in 2022, what you’re thankful for from 2021.  

No matter your surroundings or agenda on New Year’s Eve, take the time to enjoy a cigar or two. 

New Year’s Eve is always a big cigar night for enthusiasts and nubies alike. And 2022 will be no different, except for possibly a somewhat-restricted cigar menu due to ongoing supply chain issues. As many prepare for the big night, you too should plan: plan what cigar or cigars you’ll smoke, what you’ll offer guests (aficionados and novices, both), and all other cigar-related logistics.

Take care of the preparation beforehand. Don’t find yourself empty-handed when the clock strikes twelve. Instead, celebrate in fashion with a quality torch lighter in one hand and a fine cigar in the other to welcome the new year. And, if entertaining guests, have options available to share. 


Cigars for the Aficionado 

If ever there is an appropriate holiday to spoil yourself with your finest cigars, it’s New Year’s Eve. So go all-in, and make sure you find a cigar or two you’re confident will be a treat. We’ve seen multiple top cigar lists for 2021 featuring many well-known favorites: Fuente, Davidoff, Padron, Ashton. These are widely available, trusted, and you won’t have to gamble. 

For New Year’s, consider trying a larger ring gauge or smaller ring gauge than normal. Live a little, and try something unusual. But stick to full to medium body cigars. You want something prominent for the big night. 

A favorite is the CAO Pilon Robusto Extra, a full- to medium-bodied cigar that goes through a unique fermentation process during manufacturing. The 19th century fermentation process occurs at a lower temperature, taking more time, and is believed to enhance the flavor. 

Note, the CAO was L’Amateur de Cigare’s 2020 Cigar of the Year. So why is this a choice for the ned of 2021? If you happened to buy a box in 2020, a year of aging in your humidor should put these in peak condition for the last night in 2021. 

But speaking of Cigar of the Year, L’Amateur de Cigare’s choice for 2021 was the Davidoff Winston Churchill,  and this would also be a fine choice for the evening, preferably in Churchill format. This is a medium-bodied cigar with notes of dried fruit and cedar, between peppery and sweet, and it scored an impressive 90-rating. 

Next year, and after. 

Some extra advice. This year at the cigar shop, buy two types of special cigars. For the first, do the research and find the best cigar you can get your hands on–maybe one of the two we’ve listed above.

For the second cigar, think about New Year’s 2022–or even 2023. Find a trusted cigar brand with the size and body you prefer, and invest in a few to age over the course of the next year or two. If you don’t already have a humidor dedicated to aging, consider a smaller humidor like the Klaro Primera Glass Top that you can keep at a lower humidity than your regular collection to give those cigars some added dimension.

  

 

Cigars To Offer Guests

For those who smoke only a few cigars a year or less, New Year’s Eve is a popular night to have a stogie. While some guests might bring their own, there’s a good chance they haven’t put in the time choosing or prepping anything of good quality. This is your moment to shine. 

Stock your home humidor with a box of cigars that are accessible and that will appeal to a general audience and palate. Consider a mild-bodied cigar that, while not lacking in complexity in taste, won’t overwhelm guests with a high nicotine level or overwhelming, spicy aromas. Consider something like the Ashton Classic, which has notes of toated almond, cedar, coffee bean, and cream. 

Take this chance to show off your glass top humidor, your collection. The sizes and types. How to use a cigar cutter. Explain the importance of lighting cigars correctly with a torch lighter. Who knows: their experience might make cigar enthusiasts out of them by the end of the night.

 

Locations On-the-Go 

Whether traveling for the holidays, visiting your local cocktail lounge or cigar bar, or just leaving home with an open agenda for the night, make sure you bring your cigar game with you. You want to be prepared for any situation. Here are a few important tips when traveling with cigars–near or far. 

On the Town

If you’ve invested in quality cigars and spent the time taking care of them in a quality humidor, the last thing you want is to risk having your cigars get damaged enroute to your local watering hole. Or to misplace them as the night gets busier and your group travels from one location to the next before midnight. 

New Year’s Eve on the town is the perfect occasion for portable humidors and travel cases. The Flint leather cigar travel case is a great option here: classy, appropriate in high-end bars and lounges, fits and protects up to five cigars, stores your torch lighter and cutter. 

If you don’t plan on bringing as many cigars, the Klaro Two-Cigar Travel Case in chestnut brown is small, discreet, and makes it simple to bring along a cigar or two. 

Geography

 

Traveling to a different part of the country? Planning on lighting a cigar on New Year’s Eve? If you’ve already designated a choice cigar from your home collection, you’ll first want to make sure you bring along a travel humidor or portable humidor. Next, you want to remember that humidity levels change drastically from place to place–especially during winter. Your humidor humidity will fluctuate, and you need to pre-calibrate and double check the hygrometer you bring along. 

New Year’s Eve Accessories

For cigars on a formal night like New Year’s Eve, it’s appropriate to bring out the fancy accessories you save for special occasions. Especially if out on the town, you don’t want to ask to borrow a light or request matches from a waiter. Bring along a classy torch lighter or two–bring one on your person and one in your travel cigar case.

Check out this guide to cigar accessories to compare your options against what’s recommended. For example, if hosting at home, ensure you have plenty of cigar ash trays around if smoking inside to stay out from the weather. 

And remember, this is your chance to expose novice smokers to a whole new world of cigar smoking. From accessories to choice cigars likely to intrigue and entertain, to proper care and process, give your guests a reason to ask more questions. Perhaps, a couple weeks after New Year’s, you get a call from a friend who wants to join you the next time you visit the cigar shop.