Most of you know I enjoy working with the cigar portion of the Emporium Wine and Spirits business. And since I’m not the owner, I can brag on that part of the business without being immodest. As I have been saying, the cigar selection has been growing in anticipation of the opening of the cigar lounge. We still have some details to work out and haven’t had a grand opening yet, but come on back and enjoy smoking a cigar in the new lounge!

After another shipment of cigars today, and another shelf squeezed on the humidor wall, I thought I would dig in and see just how much the cigar selection has grown. And as of today, there are over 125 different cigar offerings in our humidor. Undoubtedly the best selection of premium cigars in a 50 mile radius – and still growing! Impressive, yes, but especially impressive when noting that 30 of those have just been added since October – so if you have not been in recently you need to come check out the humidor, and take one back to our cigar lounge.


Most cigar smokers will agree that lighting a favorite cigar and enjoying a fine spirit together provide an experience much better than the cigar or the spirit alone.  If you are an Emporium Wine & Spirits cigar customer, you already know that we stock the spirits that you enjoy,  and now there is a lot of excitement over the new Emporium Wine and Spirits Cigar Lounge for that very reason.

But what about cigar and beer pairings? Perdomo Special Craft Series answers the call. This Special Craft Series is another new addition to the humidor. Four Maduros are conveniently packaged in a humidified zipper bag that includes suggested beer pairings on the back of the package. As temperatures fall, dark beers come to mind.  I am glad Poppa Cork chose the Maduros to start this new collection, since they are specially blended to complement Stout, Porter, Brown Ale, Bock, Dunkel or Imperial Stouts…CHEERS!

And speaking of the cigar lounge, it is coming together nicely! Next time you are in the store take a look through the glass paneled door leading into the new Cigar Lounge. The newly finished hardwood floors look awesome, painting is nearly complete, special ventilation system and two industrial air cleaners are operational; we have leather sofas and the works! I will be sending out emails, Facebook, and Instagram posts as soon as we have a firm opening date.


The first time I walked into a well stocked humidor, like the one here at Emporium Wine & Spirits, I wasn’t sure how to choose a cigar that I would enjoy. My inclination was by price, which turned out not to be the best criteria. Over time, I have developed a taste for a certain type of cigar and enjoy trying different varieties with their unique blends. In retrospect, I wish I had learned some cigar basics that would have helped me identify the characteristics of cigars that I enjoyed and what to steer away from in the future.

So if this is your first adventure into a humidor, here is what I have learned . . . .

The Head: Simply put, this is the end you put in your mouth. With a fine cigar the head will always be sealed off and will require cutting.

Use a cigar cutter, or guillotine. We have these available at the shop. Try different cuts to determine your favorite. This will help customize the cigar to your tastes. You can also use a sharp knife for a “custom” cut; however, you are risking doing more harm to the cigar than good. Just don’t use your teeth (no matter what you have seen in the movies)!

The Foot: This is the end you light. Lighting a cigar will be discussed further in a future article.

The Filler: A unique blend of dried and fermented tobaccos. This is where a cigar-maker really gets creative and distinguishes themselves from others in the industry. Specific tobacco leaves are chosen by the cigar artisan to bind the filler.

The Wrapper: The tobacco leaf chosen for the outside of the cigar. It will vary in color from light to dark. You will find much of the flavor comes from the wrapper and is more important than just aesthetics.

Keep a record of what you smoke and what you like. This will be your reference to help select just the right cigars for you!

From the Humidor with Trav

East Alabama's  Premier Wine, Beer, and Cigar Shop

​​128 Calhoun St       Alexander City, AL 35010      256-212-9463