Privada Cigar Club Review: A Masterfully Curated Subscription
I've always been a little intimidated by cigar culture. Few of us are ever going to be invited to a cigar club where guests put on special smoking jackets and swirl brandy around in crystal glasses. I didn't think I could ever be a "cigar guy" until I discovered that the club could come right to my front door.
I'm talking about online cigar clubs that provide monthly subscription boxes. Even people who do visit cigar clubs regularly can get behind something like this because it scratches that collector's itch that lots of us have. However, I'm going to give you my experience as a novice when it comes to the world of cigars.
Are you wondering where you can buy good cigars online without getting buried in research and high costs? Being new to the cigar world meant that I would be doing a fair amount of research before jumping on an option. I realized that trying to become some sort of expert cigar collector on my own just wasn't smart or feasible in terms of my time and money.
The best thing I ever did was to decide that I should let someone who actually knows what they're doing help me source my cigars. I've had a really interesting experience with a company called Privada Cigar Club for the past year. The company actually sources rare cigars from around the world before aging them for me. Here are some reasons why you might want to try Privada:
One interesting thing I learned when shopping around for a cigar subscription is that Privada Cigar Club is the only cigar-of-the-month club that actually specializes in rare cigars. I'm glad I discovered this because I really didn't want to get stuck paying a subscription fee just to get the same cigars I could buy in my own town. I'll admit that I really enjoy being able to show off some of my rare finds to other people on cigar forums.
A Look at What's Inside a Privada Cigar Club Box
What do you get in a monthly box from Privada Cigar Club? The company doesn't just ship cigars each month. You're actually getting a full cigar experience when you join this club.
Each monthly box from Privada Cigar Club includes three cigars. The selection sometimes includes rare, limited-edition cigars that have been aged for you. However, Privada also regularly slips in new cigars that are making waves.
My experience has led me to believe that the folks at Privada really know what they're doing when it comes to mixing and matching cigars to provide a comprehensive and satisfying experience each month. You definitely feel like you're getting something substantial when you pry open that box every month. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect when you open your box:
Your cigars from Privada will come humidified inside a Boveda® pouch. Each cigar is ready to be smoked the moment you pull it out of your box. Privada gets points from me for great presentation each month.
How much does Privada Cigar Club Cost?
A Privada membership costs $25.99 a month. I find this to be pretty fair when you break it down to see that you're getting each hand-selected cigar for around $8. You're also getting some cigar education rolled right into your package.
The Pros of Membership
There are some definite perks to letting the pros at Privada Cigar Club send you cigars. The big perk is that you will get access to some rare cigars that you might not be able to source on your own. What's more, you may not even be aware that some cigars exist until Privada sends them right to your door.
The element of surprise definitely makes Privada's system satisfying. However, you don't necessarily have to worry about receiving cigars that are totally incompatible with your tastes just because of the blind nature of the subscription process. Privada actually uses a questionnaire to create a personalized taste profile when you sign up.
Another fun thing about Privada Cigar Club is that it offers a much more personalized approach than other subscription boxes out there. Most subscription companies tend to send every subscriber the same batch of products each month. The products that are included in monthly boxes are usually determined by special promotions and deals that are going on behind the scenes.
The beauty of Privada Cigar Club is that you're going to get a unique box that is tailored to your tastes. You don't necessarily have to worry that a product is being pushed on you because of some behind-the-scenes deal between the subscription company and a product provider. A curator from Privada will actually be selecting the contents of your pairing box by hand each month.
Let's talk about the tasting notes that will come with your Privada cigars. This is one of those details that really shows how passionate and knowledgeable the company is when it comes to creating a complete experience that revolves around your cigars. Each box provides background details regarding your cigar, descriptions of tasting notes and suggestions for pairings.
What I've found to be really fun is the fact that I'm not just getting a one-and-done cigar experience when I get boxes from Privada. I'm actually learning about three cigars each month. I really get a kick out of using the knowledge I'm getting regarding cigar backgrounds and pairings when I'm in social environments.
I've saved the biggest benefit of going with Privada Cigar Club for last. This subscription club gives members access to cigars that are not available for purchase for the general public. Some cigar companies actually provide Privada with exclusive products that cannot be purchased from anyone else.
Privada's roster includes cigars that aren't yet available in stores. In addition, the company sometimes sends out rare cigar sizes that simply aren't available on the mass market. Privada also routinely includes cult classics that have been discontinued.
The Cons of Membership
One of the big issues that I had to get over before I could fully enjoy Privada Cigar Club was my desire to have total control regarding the products I would receive. You have to feel comfortable with the idea of being surprised each month if you're going to sign up for this service. There is always a risk that a cigar that is chosen for you won't be a perfect match.
I will say that Privada has had far more hits than misses when it comes to putting together boxes that fit my tastes. In fact, the feeling of Christmas that you get every time you see a Privada box waiting by your door can become almost as satisfying as the actual cigars after a while. I think that taking time to carefully answer all of the questions when filling out your taste profile is really the key to having a successful experience with a subscription like this.
Privada Cigar Club charges shipping on top of the $25.99 price for each box. How much you'll actually pay per month will depend on your location. I pay around $30 per month for everything.
There are two more potential cons. One potential con is that Privada Cigar Club doesn't tend to offer promotions for discounted memberships. The other potential con is that it can be hard to give a membership as a gift if you don't know the tastes of the recipient.
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The Bottom Line on Privada Cigar Club
Joining Privada Cigar Club can feel like having a personal cigar dealer. What's more, I've found that there's something about this system that has made me the default "cigar expert" in my social circle. Let's look at the pros and cons I pointed out about Privada Cigar Club one last time.
I can definitely live with the price point of the Privada monthly box. The bottom line is that there's no way I would be getting my hands on such a robust assortment of cigars if I tried to do this on my own. What's more, I'd be missing out on background information and pairing notes if I simply shopped the ordinary way.
Privada Cigar Club is worth trying if you're looking for a way to try uncommon cigars. I definitely feel more cultured since beginning the monthly ritual of opening up my Privada box about a year ago. Check out what I'm talking about by signing up this month. I can tell you that signing up for Privada Cigar Club is going to feel a bit like joining a cigar club without the need to put on a special smoking jacket. #privadacigarclub