Contrary to the sensitivities of my wife’s olfactory system, I (David) have been known to enjoy an occasional cigar.
One day, I was hanging out with a bunch of boomer-aged guys at my favorite local cigar shop, when one of them said, “Hey Dave, you should do a piece in your travel website on the best cigar shops in Scottsdale”.
As I mulled the idea over in my mind, I got to thinking that there’s probably a lot of guys, or gals for that matter, that come to our area as snowbirds, to golf, or simply to enjoy our great weather that would probably enjoy such an article.
As I haven’t personally been to every cigar shop in Scottsdale, I first consulted one of the cigar wholesale reps who was currently in the cigar store, and she gave me a list to choose from.
Here’s what I told her I was looking for:
- A cigar store that takes great pride in having a wide selection of cigars and has a well-kept walk-in humidor to take care of them.
- A lounge area for folks to comfortably sit and enjoy their cigar without having to join a cigar club. Nothing against cigar clubs, but this isn’t practical for a large number of our traveling readers.
- A store that has proven the ability to generate a loyal following of locals who come to enjoy the camaraderie perhaps as much as the cigar.
As you can imagine, I didn’t want my piece to simply be a list of available cigar shops in the area. Field testing was in order. So, I grabbed a friend and off we went to smoke cigars from the list of likely candidates.
Here’s the four we enjoyed the most, in no particular order:
The Top 4 Cigar Shops in Scottsdale, Arizona
Maduro Cigar Boutique
Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, this is my personal cigar hangout. It’s close to my home, is frequented by a great group of local guys, and Sam (the owner) has become a good friend. Nonetheless, Maduro Cigar Boutique is quite worthy of being on our list.
Maduro Cigar Boutique is a father and son enterprise that boasts a large and well kept humidor, a wide assortment of cigar accessories, and a wonderful front patio to sit, enjoy a cigar, and watch the sun set over the nearby Arizona mountain foothills.
Unique to the Maduro Cigar Boutique is the adjoining Celler 13 Wine Bar that opens at 4:00 p.m. each day with its own adjoining patio.
If you come at 4:00, you are very likely to find the patio between both stores completely filled with locals and travelers alike enjoying a little conviviality towards the end of the day. And who knows, you might even find me puffing on a cigar there as well.
Ambassador Fine Cigars
As we were making inquiries with cigar smokers for our article, a common name quite often popped to the surface: Ambassador Fine Cigars.
The owner, Vartan (Var) Seferian is known to many as “the ambassador of fine cigars”. Born in Lebanon, Vartan made his path to Scottsdale via a lucrative medical sales career in Canada. Transferred to Arizona, and tired of the ratrace of large corporate sales, Vartan opened Ambassador Fine Cigars many years ago to create a place where friends can gather.
Vartan spent an hour smoking one of his private blend cigars with us, showing us around his store, and sharing with us his “ambassador of fine cigars” story.
His cigar store features a seating area in the front of the store with large, comfy leather chairs; a large, meticulously cared for humidor, all the cigar accessories a cigar lover could dream of, and even a private club for the locals in the back of the store.
The moment we walked in the door, we were promptly greeted, made welcome, and introduced to the Ambassador cigar family. If Var’s cigar shop were closer to my home, I’m quite certain I’d frequent it a lot.
Ye Olde Pipe and Tabacco Shop
In Ye Olde Pipe and Tabacco Shop we found that the store has been in the same family now for three generations. The Hopkins family started in the tabacco business in 1974 and today has three locations around the valley.
Son Andrew shared with us that their store boasts one of the largest humidors in Arizona and carries more cigar brands than anyone.
As we expected, we found large comfortable leather chairs to lounge, enjoy our cigars, and learn about the history of Ye Olde Pipe & Tabacco Shop. Further, we also enjoyed the acquaintance of other local cigar aficionados.
Andrew shared that because of his store’s proximity to the Phoenix airport, they also have quite a large crowd of travelers frequenting their store.
Two of the Hopkins stores are called Stag Tobacconists, and I’ve enjoyed their N. Scottsdale store a number of times.
21 Degrees Cigar & Accessories
Last, and certainly not least, is 21 Degrees Cigar & Accessories. The store is named after the ideal temperature in celsius that it takes, along with 70% humidity, to keep cigars fresh and at their optimum.
Owners Pat and Linda welcomed us to their brand new location and proudly showed us their large humidor, shared with us that they now have a liquor license and will be offering guests beer/wine, and welcomed us to puff our cigars in their new Rocky Patel Lounge.
Now, I gotta tell ya, this lounge was the cat’s meow. Large, comfy leather chairs, large HD televisions hanging on the walls, and a room full of happily smoking locals enjoying a fine cigar towards the end of their day.
Over and over we’ve heard from cigar store owners that their patrons were really part of the family. This was made crystal clear when Pat and Linda shared that several of their customers volunteered their labor to move the store to their new location. Now that’s loyalty!
As I said in the top of the article, we’ve listed these cigar shops in no particular order. We are very confident that you could pick any from our list that is near to you and have a wonderful cigar experience.
In all cases, you’ll find free, comfortable smoking areas, a large supply of well-cared-for cigars, and an inviting down-home atmosphere where you’re certain to walk out with new friends.
Have fun, and who knows, perhaps you’ll find Mr. Boomer roaming in one of these fine cigar shops as well.
Disclosure: all of these fine cigar stores provided a nice cigar for my buddy Don and I to enjoy. Thanks!
If you enjoyed this article, come follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For exclusive travel deals, giveaways, and perks, come join our FREE Travel Rewards Club.