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I spoke to a cigar concierge team, and if you love cigars you should too

Man in pink suit smoking and enjoying what a cigar tastes like.
Mike Fox / Pexels

While smoking isn’t always a shared experience — I tend to prefer smoking alone with my thoughts most times — it can be a delightful social activity, especially if you’re in good company. It’s low-key, so you can smoke, relax, and talk about whatever you want to talk about. That also makes it a fantastic opportunity to conduct an interview. I wanted to take full advantage of that while spending time with someone who knows cigars, a real professional, I might add.

By now, I’m sure you know I love cigars. I have a lot to say about them and a lot to share, like how to rehydrate a dry cigar, explain what a cigar tastes like, or what makes a Maduro cigar different. But one thing I do like to impart to others is the potential to have your very own “cigar guy,” or someone you can call for recommendations and advice.

It turns out JR Cigars and already have something exactly like this in place, called the . You can call in virtually anytime, and they’ll provide recommendations, help you with an order, share any deals or promotions, or even talk to you about cigars. Want to hear about some new cigars you might like? Give them a call. Want to place an order to fill your humidor? Yep, you can call them for that, too.

I have used the service a few times to order cigars, and every time, I came away satisfied. However, I still wanted to sit down and chat with someone on the team to learn a little more about their expertise and general experience. So, naturally, I got in touch with Corey Suarez, the B2C Project Lead for JR Cigars and team.

An impromptu Q&A with the Concierge Services team

Corey Suarez B2C Project Lead from the and JR concierge services team.
Corey Suarez / JR Cigars/

Sitting across from me, Corey cuts a demure figure. His attire is about as casual as you can get while still being decidedly professional. His hair and long beard are well-groomed, and his smile is warm and inviting. If I could use one word to describe him respectfully, it would be “jolly.”

He wastes no time getting down to business.

“Do you mind if I smoke?”

“I hope not! I planned to smoke myself.”

He cuts and lights a , and the scent immediately invades my nostrils. It’s smooth, with just the right amount of bitterness and a little Earthy tone tapering off the edges. Corey sighs with delight, satisfied to be in his happy place. A semi-sweet aroma follows of chocolate, cocoa, or the like.

I light my cigar, an , one of my favorites.

“Damn, that’s good.”

We sat down, had a great chat, smoked some cigars, and made history. It was an interesting discussion, and I learned a lot, so let’s dig in.

Q: How long have you been smoking, and do you remember your first cigar? Tell me a little about that experience.

A: “I have been enjoying cigars for around 22 years. My first cigar was a . I was in my 20s, driving by a plaza near a cigar shop/liquor store, and I saw an older gentleman outside with a cigar. I smelled it as I drove by and thought, “what is that glorious smell, I need this in my life.” And that’s how I got started!”

Q: How has your career evolved during your time with JR and now

A: “Well, I started on the phones doing customer service and sales. My passion for cigars and the business came through on my calls, and I eventually worked my way up to where I am now – a Project Lead for Concierge Services. I’m still selling, and I have a team that works together to provide the best customer experience.”

Q: What’s your pitch? In other words, why would I contact the concierge team as a customer?

A: “You get a single point of contact who understands your preferences and focuses on the profiles of the cigars you enjoy. We are very knowledgeable about the blends and brands and can provide a valuable and personal cigar shopping experience – like no other in the industry!”

It’s true. There aren’t any other services like it, so I highly recommend trying it if you are interested in cigars.

Q: Without divulging any names, can you tell me about a favorite experience on the concierge side of the business? Someone you helped or a customer experience you remember?

A: “I speak with people from all walks of life. My favorite part, and what I find most fascinating, is that cigars bring people together. You have this one common interest, and it can start life-changing conversations.”

Q: What are some rare or obscure smokes that you carry that you can recommend?

A: “I would say , , , and .”

Q: For someone beginning their cigar journey, where should I start? Is there any advice you could share?

A: “I would say, be open to trying all types of cigars. Also, you want to develop your palate, so trying different brands and sizes is important. For your first cigar, I’d recommend something mellow or mellow-medium, such as the or .”

Q: If you could smoke only one cigar for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: “I enjoy many different cigars at different times of the day. I couldn’t pick one. I’ll give you a manufacturer though, .”

Q: Is there anything else you would like to say?

A: “Thank you for this opportunity to connect with your audience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.”

Don’t worry. The camaraderie didn’t end there. It was just the end of my prodding interview questions.

What is the Concierge Services team?

As Corey said, the Concierge Services team is an experienced group of cigar professionals who can provide “an elevated level of service from start to finish.” They understand the “cigar connoisseur” and, like you or me, they love cigars. One of the more interesting amenities they provide is personalized service, meaning you can call in to ask about cigar recommendations, sales, and beyond.

Let’s say you had a fantastic Montecristo cigar during a weekend getaway and need help figuring out which label it was or just want to know about some similar smokes. You can give Corey and his team a call. I do it all the time. It’s one of the best ways to have your own knowledgeable cigar rep at the ready.

Give it a try

To close out, I’ll confess that I enjoyed Corey’s company immensely, and I can see why so many turn to him, and his team, for support. He knows his cigars way better than I do and can certainly help anyone else who needs it. Need cigar advice? Who you gonna call? The cigar concierge services team, that’s who.

Editors' Recommendations

Briley Kenney
Briley has been writing about consumer electronics and technology for over a decade. When he's not writing about deals for…
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