Filed under: Cigars
Sometimes, it really is possible to judge a book by its cover. From the moment you walk into a cigar shop, you take a quick look at its inventory and get a sense for the entire establishment. If the shelves are packed with low-end sticks, the discerning smoker will figure out pretty quickly that another tobacconist may be a better fit. And, there are the lounges you enter with everything from established favorites to rare and exciting cigars. Most of the time, you'll be able to get exactly what you want. In both cases, however, there is always the risk that you'll talk to someone who doesn't know what he's doing. Not every staff member is a great hire, and just because some great inventory is in the humidor, it doesn't mean the proprietor knows what he has.
Tobacconist University, founded by Jorge Armenteros, is trying to solve this problem. The organization, sponsored by Padron (a hell of an endorsement, frankly), provides a baseline education and testing structure to demonstrate to consumers that a retailer is knowledgeable. Simply, if you have a question about a cigar, the goal of the Tobacconist University certification program is to make you comfortable asking and confident in the answer.