Exploiting the “Brown Bag” special Sampler II from Thompson Cigar Co.

Brown Bag















At one point or another many of us have been enticed by the thrill of a lottery or raffle ticket, a shot in the dark type gamble to possibly end up with something brilliant while exerting a minimal risk on our part.  Often it can be fun to take part in such shenanigans, however, a problem arises when marketing begins to target those of us who enjoy the occasional gamble.  I admit to be one who loves the underdog and a long shot, so needless to say when I initially stumbled across Thompson’s Brown Bag sampler it had me very curious and in time I had to have my own.

For several days I waited in anticipation, wondering what treasures could potentially come from this 30 cigar assorted sampler.  Reflecting on this, I now know where this anticipation and ill-advised hope for premium cigars came from.  Re-visiting the ad that is on Thompson’s website, clarity came quickly on where these notions may have originally spawned from.

To those of you wondering how someone could possibly be seduced by such a mystery, below I’ve posted Thompson’s actual ad for your viewing pleasure :

“The Un-known Sampler. We can’t tell you what cigars you’ll get in our Brown Bag Sampler. Why, you ask? Because even we don’t know until minutes before your order ships! What we can tell you is that you’ll be getting 30 premium cigars of assorted sizes! Can you afford not to trust us and take a chance with our Brown Bag Sampler? We think not…”  -Thompson Cigar / 

$49.95 while supplies last.   Hmm, supplies have been lasting for damn near two years! I’m rather certain they can’t rid themselves of these “supplies” no matter how hard they try.  You may also notice, that Thompson very coyly cannot tell us what cigars they’ll be sending, “Because even we don’t know until minutes before your order ships!”.  Either I’m an extreme cynic, or it’s quite peculiar that the 30 cigar premium “mystery” sampler came in a lot of 10 different cigar brands, and 3 each per brand.  This is  enough evidence to safely assume that they damn well knew what was coming in my mystery sampler.  Did I mention that out of those 10 different cigar brands, two were Thompson house brands?!  So much for “premium” assorted sampler.

So, here it is ladies and gents, what you’ve all been waiting for.  The long list of 30, yes 30 amazing premium cigars that you “Can’t afford NOT to trust Thompson on”.  I warn you ahead of time, I am brutally honest in my evaluations of these cigars.  For our members, you’ll notice that these “reviews” are very brief and direct, this is because the majority of these cigars I was unable to finish or deemed not worthy of your time or my own.

– 3 El Artista Don Oswald Blue’s : I’m honestly not sure if this cigar is replicating the Don Pepin Blue Label or not, but if they’re attempting to I promise you it’s only in aesthetic value.  No, it’s not a good cigar.

– 3 Don Rafael by Victor Sinclar: Might I mention that the ” Made by Victor Sinclair” is the definition of “fine print” that is barely legible and oddly enough, if you view this cigar from 2 feet away or more you’ll surely mistake it for a Davidoff.  I’m sure the nearly identical label colors and font are purely coincidence and by no means did they mean to mimic Davidoff.  This cigar was below par at best, lacking much flavor and any complexity, although it did have clouds of smoke if that’s your thing.

– 3 Hecho A Mano V.S.O.P  : Terrible construction, the wrapper was peeling off within the week of receiving the brown bag.  The cigar was decent at best, very little in the way of flavor profile, but it did have a decent draw.

– 3 Thompson brand Bertloverto :  (Perhaps one of the largest cigars I’ve ever seen in captivity) I was shocked that this is actually mass produced.  I regret to inform you,  quantity over quality does not equate to an enjoyable cigar. There is no “premium” tobacco being used on this massive stick.

-3 La Palomona Vintage Reserva : Total junk, with terrible construction and an awful bitter flavor.  I admit, I could not make it through the entire duration of this cigar.  I ended up giving the other two of these two a few Mexican gentleman who helped me out at a local plant nursery, they lit them and started smoking them while I was there.  Needless to say, they were pissed at me for daring to give them such foul cigars and I’m rather certain I’m no longer welcome there.

-3 Capricho Cubano : Moderate flavor profile, surprisingly decent construction.  All in all, I’d splurge and buy one for a buck at my local brick & mortar if I was desperate.

-3 La Perla Habana:  The one shining light in this cave that is filled with rancid guano.  Personally speaking, this cigar is an average cigar with some nice characteristics.  However, when placed within this line up of off-brand junkies and construction flunkies the La Perla Habana begins to look more like a Montecristo.  Yes, this cigar is worth trying, but buy them for a $1.50 elsewhere please.

-3 Augusto Reyes Nativo : Okay, so Augusto Reyes is capable of making a quality smoke as we know, this was far from that.  Again, seriously terrible construction and this left the cigar seemingly disintegrating in my hand.

-3 Thomson brand Manolete : Do I really need to address this one?  I know house brands can occasionally be choice finds for cheap, but truthfully every Thompson house brand I’ve had thus far have been flavorless with terrible construction and all kinds of burn issues.  These cigars are a headache to smoke, and they truly take away from the entire experience that one is intending to have.



Conclusion : First, let me say that I apologize for the overtly negative attitude and depictions of this sampler.  However, I assure the readers I have no premeditated agenda or grudge against Thompson.  Some, (including Thompson) may deem this article as a form of negligence and claim that without proper due diligence smoking these cigars I have no credibility. So be it.  In reality, look at the cigars that I review from the $1 dollar Perdomo’s to some of the finest cigars the market has to offer and you’ll find I’m capable of delineating quality and complete trash.   Despite not wanting to waste my time and efforts on this topic, I was compelled throughout my experience to bring this issue to light.  No, I’m not playing the role of a stalwart martyr, but at minimum acknowledge that Thompson is commonly known as an industry giant, and clearly I’m risking enraging them for the sake of our viewers.  However, the message being communicated here is please do not get suckered into this gimmick, and buy products that you know or know of.  Lastly,  I think I figured out why they named it the “Brown Bag” sampler, and it actually has little to do with the paper bag it come in if you know what I mean.



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