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Picking Premium 2nds


By: John Moralis

Many of us have fallen victim to the dreaded vultures who pick our humidors dry and leave us with scraps, but with careful planning and an extra humidor, it can be avoided. Yes, you read that right. An extra humidor stocked with cigars you don’t mind giving away will solve the dilemma of your guests smoking aged cigars you’ve been saving for special occasions.

You won’t need a big humidor to satiate your guests’ appetites, just something that can hold upwards of 50 cigars. That will be enough to hold a bundle or two of overruns or factory seconds. I know, seconds and overruns don’t have labels or boxes, but the attractive price tag does not mean inferior quality. The shade of cigar wrapper may be too dark or light to meet factory standards, or they’re made using short-fillers. Either way, they’re perfectly serviceable with good construction and tons of flavor. But what should you buy? I’m glad you asked.

Humidor Choice

First, you’ll want to wow your guests, so it’s all about the presentation. I’d suggest picking up a Whitetail Glasstop Humidor or a Maestro Burl Humidor. Both are beautifully crafted and hold up to 50 cigars, so you can stock up on premium seconds and overruns for all of your entertaining needs.

Pinar Del Rio Overruns

These are my go-to cigars for family gatherings. Technically they’re not seconds, but rather firsts without the label. Sometimes PDR makes too many cigars, and these are what remain. My biggest complaint is that you don’t know which blends you’re getting, but if you’ve enjoyed as many PDRs as I have, you’ll eventually make an educated guess.  

Nicaraguan Sweet Seconds

This particular selection is a bit of an oddity for me, a guilty pleasure if you will. I’m generally a medium to full-bodied kind of guy. I like my cigars straight up, no sweetness, but for some reason, these seconds make regular appearances in my circulation cigars — especially with a cup of coffee. Nicaraguan long-fillers are encased by a golden brown Nicaraguan wrapper with just a touch of sweetness on the cap. If you’ve got an early morning fishing trip planned with your buddies, this is the perfect cigar to hand out.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2nds

Rocky Patel’s Vintage cigars have a sterling reputation. While Mr. Patel’s Vintage blends are worth every penny, they have this habit of taking a chunk out of the ol’ bank account. Luckily, I discovered Rocky Patel Vintage 2nds. These bundles are the fine quality you’d expect from Rocky Patel, with some slight color variances that didn’t meet his standards...which translates to big savings for you and a cigar that will definitely wow your guests.

Super Premium Seconds

Just utter the names Punch or Hoyo de Monterrey to any enthusiast, and you can bet they’ll be lining up to help clear out your humidor. So when I first laid eyes on this generous bundle, it was love at first sight: twenty-five cigars from powerhouses Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey for a fraction of what you’d pay for a box. Even though you don’t know what you’re getting as all of the cigars are unbanded, you can rest assured that all of the handmades are of the highest quality.

While premium seconds and overruns are a fantastic solution to your depleted humidor, be sure to choose cigars that you’ll enjoy as well. My rule of thumb: don’t give away handmades that you presume are inferior. Sample several brands and vitolas to test quality and flavor before making a decision on what your go-to cigars will be. After all, your friends and family trust your taste enough to raid your humidor, so don’t disappoint them.

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