In Fumo Pax!


Our motto defines what we love and why. The phrase “In Fumo Pax” is Latin for “in smoke, there is peace.” The actor, Ron Perlman, summed it up perfectly: “Some people meditate, I smoke cigars.” Bam. For those who have discovered the ‘it’ factor in smoking cigars, you certainly understand. For those who have not, hopefully you will. If a surge of nicotine is your MO, good on ya boss, but you still don’t get “it.” Smoking cigars is not just an activity or instrument of celebration. It’s a way to relax, a lifestyle and culture. We all enjoy hobbies that afford us some means to decompress, but smoking a good cigar can not only relax, but also reconnect, restore and bring a measure of peace.


The name, “99 Cigars”, is a nod to the popular cigar journals, “33 Cigars”, available to cigar mavens for documenting and rating their cigar experiences. I used them regularly and when I got to the end of my third journal (doing the math = 99), I realized that my passion was endless and could not be quantified. So, I stopped counting. Ok, ok, my lucky number also happens to be the number ‘9.’ The 99 Cigars site began as an extension of my journals. It was also created to share information about cigars, accessories, best places to smoke, events, news, etc.  The next phases of 99 Cigars include an online store, collaborations with cigar makers and learning (and sharing) more about the business that few really see.


Who We Are

We do not claim to be cigar aficionados, just passionate cigar nerds who share a love of cigars, the cigar community, the culture and the camaraderie.


About Our Cigars

We’ll give you the good, bad and ugly and we’ll either recommend a cigar or we wont. We do not accept “complementary” cigars from manufacturers, retailers, or industry folks.

  • We buy all the cigars we review.
  • We smoke all our cigars to the nub, not just for the first 20-30 minutes unless they’re real ass bananas (yes, that’s a thing).
  • These are NOT blind tests. The selection of cigars is random and is driven by feedback from the cigar community, dares, social media buzz and selections from our own “to smoke” lists.


About Our Reviews

We do NOT rate cigars using a numerical format nor do we use a complex matrix of scores to evaluate a cigar.  Why? Numerical ratings are a convenient guide, but were developed to essentially sell cigars. Subjectivity: there can be no standardization for reviewers since we’re all human with differing levels of tastes, subjectivity and ability. We’ve reviewed cigars with numerical ratings in the ’80’s’ given by others that were superior in almost every aspect to those showered with ratings of ’90’ and above. Can you really tell the difference between something rating a score of ’88’ and another with a rating of ’91’?  Finally, many great cigars will sadly never enjoy the coverage only a select few will see, and thus not receive the kudos they deserve. We find it more practical to highlight the cigar’s best qualities and whether or not we recommend it.

  • We evaluate a cigar on 10 key elements:
    • Overall construction/quality
    • Complexity/balance
    • Aesthetics
    • Cold aromas
    • Draw
    • Combustion/burn
    • Flavor palette
    • Smoothness
    • User-friendliness (eg level of intervention required once lit)
    • Value
  • Our reviews offer a little history, feature a personal narrative and a mostly objective opinion.
  • We do not fault a cigar for shortcomings in handling.
  • We do NOT arbitrarily break a cigar into “thirds” since the majority of cigars are not blended this way; we follow the actual transitions. Some come early, some late. Some offer more than one or two and some are one dimensional.


Our Reviews come in 2 flavors:

  • Spotlight Reviews –  The Full Monte. Focus is on uniqueness, interesting backstories and features a little history, an anecdote or two, and full tasting notes.
  • Bite Size Reviews  – Just the facts. Fast n’ dirty. Thorough enough to make an informed decision, but light and airy. Between the eyes, yet whimsical.


Recommendation scale:

  1. Go-to (boxworthy)
  2. 5-packer
  3. 3rd stringer
  4. Smoke a banana instead

In Fumo Pax!


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