Something for Everyone
IT sometimes feels like the cigar industry is moving away from its foundations.
Just like oysters – which were once the mainstay of London’s poor, providing cheap, nutritious food on the doorstep and are now the bastion of high-end restaurants – cigars are now seen in many quarters as the ultimate accessory; a benchmark of luxury and success that only the rich can afford to enjoy.
This introduces us to an interesting dichotomy – in the world’s biggest cigar market of the USA, where patrons cannot easily access the forbidden fruit produced in Cuba thanks to Kennedy’s ill-fated 60’s embargo – there are still plenty of places where the ‘ordinary’ man or woman on the street can get a smoke.
So-called mom and pop stores still exist in towns and cities across America, although they are facing increasing pressure from online brands and swanky new ‘mega cigar stores’ run by huge multi-nationals.
It’s interesting that where Cuban cigars are largely unavailable, better value cigars have risen to the challenge. Most US cigar lovers have a modest amount they would spend om their stogies and this can be as little as a few bucks a stick.
In markets like London, however, where the Cuban cigar has long held away, this is the stuff of pipe dreams. The cheapest handmade, longfiller cigar will cost in excess of £10 and of course, as we know, it is possible to pay many times this for sought-after brands, sizes and limited editions.
While Sautter’s clientele has certainly shifted over the years – when the store was founded by Desmond Sautter in the 60s, he served clients large and small from the little charismatic shop in Mount Street – we remain determined to dig deep to provide you a true smorgasbord.
As well as some of the finest Cuban cigars in the world being available, as well as vintage stocks and Limited Edition releases, Sautter also stocks excellent examples of value and taste. Mike Choi, a former runner up in the Havana Cigar Sommelier competition run each year in Cuba, has helped cross the divide through his business Boutique Smokes and provides a small but excellent stable of brands designed with the British value-seeking cigar lover in mind. We strongly urge you to take to a member of staff at Sautter, either in Mount Street or in our Knightsbridge lounge, to sample Mike’s range without needing a bank loan to do so.
There are also great cigars from Oliva, Joya de Nicaragua, Casa Turrent and more in stock which will not necessarily break the bank – and if you just have to go Cuban but are on a tight leash, we would heartily recommend the Vegueros range; superb value in comparison with their brethren and still more than capable of holding their own in exalted company.
Check out the Sautter YouTube videos, where we run the rule over cigars of all shapes, sizes and price points. We will endeavour to continue providing you with the broadest possible selection, whatever your predilection or pocket may dictate.