A Cigar Pass is an exciting and enjoyable activity that allows many members to trade and sample cigars from each other's collections. It gives you the opportunity to experience cigars that are new and unfamiliar. It is typically organized by an individual who recruits the members and provides the initial collection of cigars from their personal stash.
How does it work?
The organizer will begin the process by sending the initial box of random cigars to the first member in the pre-determined list of members. When that member receives the cigars, they will select a few cigars to remove that they would like to sample and then replace them with cigars from their own collection. The box is then sent to the next member in the list. This process continues until all members in the list have had possession of the box and made their trades. The last member in the list will send it back to the organizer who then has a new collection of cigars that they can then sample.
What are some suggested guidelines?
Start with a good 10 or more cigars that make it interesting for members to select from.
Don't provide cigars that are in bad shape. Try to have a good mix.
A good number of members in a pass is at least 5, but normally 10 or more. It gets a bit too much to manage as it gets over 20 members - not too mention it takes too long to wait if you are a member.
Set a dollar value range you would like to keep the cigars in. If you want to get a high end pass started then you should state that up front.
Package the cigars so that they will keep fresh.
Perform any necessary maintenance. Repackage existing cigars if they are starting to get ragged. Re-hydrate the humidifier if necessary.
Send via a shipping company that provides a tracking number so that you can keep track of where it is. The USPS Priority Mail is the typical choice. Online they give a tacking number for free. In the store they charge 50 cents.
If you are not going to be in town when the box is scheduled to arrive, let the organizer know so that the order can be changed.
The organizer should print the list of members and their addresses to be kept with the cigar pass so that there is no question of who is next and where it is going.
Value for Value. Members should put back at least the same value as they are taking. If you take 3, then put back 3. Don't take a high end Opus and replace it with a Blunt.
Keep the box moving. Take your picks and place your puts and send the box along.
Inform the group when you have shipped the box to the next member.
Pick a theme if you want to make it more interesting.
What's a good way to package the cigars for the long trip?
In order to keep your cigars fresh from beginning to end of the long pass you should pack it well. Include a good inexpensive humidor or Tupperware container with a humidifier. Members should be courteous and perform any necessary maintenance on the humidor and humidifier if necessary. Use a sturdy box that will withstand the long trips and the many member opening and re-taping. Pack in peanuts to keep the humidor from getting banged up too much.
Some Cigar Pass Terminology (if it is not obvious):
Takes - The cigars you choose to remove from the group Puts - The cigars you provide back to the group from your collection Transition - The Pass - Moving the box from one member to the next Member in Play - The member who currently has possession of the box Stage - Number representing how far into the pass we are
Sound like a lot of fun? It certainly is. If you have never had the oppurtunity to participate in one, you would be well advised to do so. There is no better way to sample some good smokes by trading some extras you have.
Now you can use the Cigar Geeks Cigar Pass system to facilitate your Cigar Pass. It is a real time saver, and makes facilitating one a lot easier.