Time for Some Smoke 9

Sit back, relax and enjoy some of life’s finer things at North Scottsdale’s best cigar lounges

Sticks Cigar Lounge
Owner: Larry Foppe
SticksCigarsAZ.com

With its cozy, small-town vibe, a visit to Sticks Cigar Lounge feels more like hanging out at a local bar or pub than being at a cigar shop. A gathering place for cigar aficionados from Carefree and Cave Creek, Sticks is somewhere both residents and tourists alike can go to meet, talk and become friends, all while enjoying some of the finest cigars in the Valley. Although owner Larry Foppe bought Sticks with the intent of having a friend run the shop, circumstances changed, and his affinity for cigars led him eventually to take charge of the business.

“Cigars are much like wine, the you learn, the more you want to learn,” Foppe says. “Today, cigars are made all over the world, and the filler and the wrapper can make or break a cigar, much like the grape can make or break a fine wine.”

While Foppe personally prefers a medium-bodied cigar, like most of the customers that come to Sticks, the shop carries a plethora of premium cigars from around the world, including Byron, Padron, Davidoff, Ashton Liga and Cigar Aficionado’s “Cigar of the Year” La Flor Dominica’s Andulian Bull.

Foppe’s advice on how to enjoy the perfect smoke? “It all begins with the proper selection—ring size matters! The larger the ring size allows for a smoother draw.”

True perfection wrapped into one small package.

Cedar Room Fine 
Cigars & Lounge
Owner: Andy Sweis
CedarRoomCigars.com

A love for cigars runs deep in the veins of Cedar Room Fine Cigars & Lounge owner Andy Sweis. A 12-year veteran of the cigar industry, he has continued a long history of the family trade, which his father started after spending more than 30 years in the liquor and tobacco retail business. Having had his first experience smoking a cigar with his father and friends in his local cigar boutique, Sweis was automatically enthralled with them.

“What makes us passionate about cigars is not only enjoying the fine tobaccos from around the world but who they are enjoyed with,” he says.

Don’t expect to find an ordinary cigar lounge at Cedar Room, either. Cozy leather chairs and deep sofas in conversational groups adorn the inside while traversing doors lead to a covered outdoor patio with a large fire pit. Then there’s the company’s most prized feature.

“The core—the reason behind the name—is the Cedar Room, a beautiful sealed glass vault lined with Spanish custom cabinetry, where 800 types of premium cigars are kept,” Sweis says.

Although Cedar Room offers a large selection of the finest premium cigars, Sweis does have his favorites.

“There is one cigar made by La Palina called Mr. Sam, which we pride because our father’s name was Sam, and he is beloved by many people in the Valley due to his genuineness, kindness, knowledge of cigars and excellent customer service.”

Stag Tobacconist
Owner: Rick Hopkins
AZTobacco.com

Established in 1974, Stag Tobacconist is one of the Valley’s oldest, family-run tobacco shops. Inheriting his father’s passion for cigars, current owner Rick Hopkins started selling cigars at age 17 and has been at it ever since. As a traditional tobacconist, selling pipes and tobacco in addition to cigars, Stag Tobacconist has had long-term relationships with most major cigar companies, resulting in them carrying Arizona’s first Arturo Fuente and Padron cigars. Although they carry many brands of fine cigars, like Fuente Fuente Opus X and HR Cigars, their most prized is the 1995 Partagas 150th anniversary cigar, which sold out nationally in a month. However, the original owner of the brand was able to save some for his personal use, and, last summer, Hopkins had the honor of acquiring a few from that private stock.

“The cigar was originally made with an 18-year-old wrapper, so the wrapper tobacco is now 42 years old,” Hopkins says. “It is probably the smoothest cigar I have ever smoked.”

Although he personally prefers to pair a naturally sweet cigar with a nonalcoholic beverage like a soda, Hopkins offers this advice for how to best smoke a cigar, “Just make sure you have time to relax and enjoy it.”