So, on the advice from a reader, I recently checked out a place called Gotham Cigars. I looked at all the various offerings, saw what they had, and bought a five-pack of stogies.
Now, there are probably as many different ways of reviewing a cigar business as there are people who do reviews. But for me, the best way to check out the quality of a shop is to see what they have in the bargain section. I've found that a lot of folks have about the same prices on the top-shelf sticks. You can only discount a Montecristo so low before you're losing money with the sale. But the good shops I've found have the best bargains in terms of quality of smokes. So with that in mind, I went bargain shopping.
I ended up getting the Alec Bradley Tempus Imperator seconds 5-pack. It was $14.50 for the pack, $5.99 S&H for a total of $20.49 out the door (so to speak). A touch over $4 per stick on Tempus ANYTHING is a damn good price, considering you'll never see a Tempus for under $10 a stick here in the LA area.
Payment was collected on November 30th, and I received notice that package shipped on December 5th. That's a touch longer than I would expect, but I waited to see how fast they got to my door.
Cigars showed up on December 7th. Very nice. They were packaged well enough that I could smoke them right out of the box. I know, because I did smoke one of them right then and there. The rest went into the humidor for a nice little nap. The stogies were everything I would expect out of an AB Tempus. All in all, it was one of the best bargains I've gotten on a second from one of the big name factories.
So, was I happy? Well, you'll notice that Gotham Cigars is over on the sidebar under the "Be A Man" heading, so that's a yes. I'll be giving their shop a more in-depth look later on, after the holidays have finished draining my bank account dry.