Brigham Enterprises might not be the most notable name for most of our American readers, but if you live in Canada or smoke a pipe, you probably know about the 112-year-old company. For most of that history, Brigham has been a company focused on pipes, but as that business has declined, it expanded to include a variety of other products, including cigars and cigar accessories.
We’ve largely written about Brigham because it is the Canadian distributor for a variety of cigar brands, but today’s review is about a cigar accessory, specifically one of Brigham’s new cigar cases.
In June, the company introduced 12 new SKUs of cigar cases. The cases are made for three different size cigars—corona, robusto or toro—and offered in both two- and three-finger options. Furthermore, each one of those models is offered in two different color options—a high gloss black leather and a buffed brown leather. Pricing is affordable with the smaller cases starting at $27.95 and the larger, three-finger toro option topping out at $32.95.
WHAT IS IT?
It’s a cigar case. Specifically, I’m reviewing what appears to be the two-finger corona model in the buff brown finish, which is priced at $27.95.
Like most cigar cases, it’s designed to be telescopic, meaning if you wanted to store lancero-size cigars in this particular case, it would be possible. Cigars are placed inside one of two identical channels, though the channels aren’t as defined as some other cases I’ve used.
Telescoping cigar cases tend to be the simplest accessories on the market and Brigham’s offering is no different. There are no buttons, clamps, humidification elements or seasoning.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The price. Trying to find a leather cigar case at a sub-$30 price is challenging enough. Trying to find one that looks somewhat respectable or isn’t a promotional item is an even more difficult task. As is made clear below, this case is far more affordable than most leather cases on the market.
- It Works — For me cigars cases aren’t about humidifying cigars or long-term storage. My main goal with a pocket cigar case is transporting cigars safely during a night out. In this regard, the Brigham leather case will add a thin layer of protection to cigars, particularly useful if your cigars don’t have cellophane, without adding too much bulk.
- Lightweight & Compacting — The case is extremely lightweight and the lack of rigid channels means the case can shrink quite a bit when empty. In short, you can stick an empty Brigham cigar case in your back pocket and it will compress down to be essentially flat. It might seem like a small feature, but after having to walk around with an empty XIKAR Envoy one night, having a lightweight case that can shed its bulk is a very nice feature.
- It’s Going to Age Well — Looks are subjective, but the rustic look of the brown case is different. I much prefer this to the uniform brown leather we see on many cases, particularly at similar price points. Too often cigar cases at the sub-$50 price points feel like vinyl. In addition, the brown case’s default appearance is one that lends itself to wear.
- It’s Lightweight & Compacting — Yes, this is a pro and a con. The problem with the case is that if you stick it in your back pocket with cigars and sit down, there’s not much more protection than you just putting the cigars in your back pocket without a case. Furthermore, the case looks a bit weird after it’s been sat on.
- No Large Ring Gauge Options — This isn’t an issue for me, but if you want to store large ring gauge cigars, none of the 12 SKUs Brigham introduced are going to be an option, as the largest option is a toro-sized case.
There are a lot of competitors, but in an effort to try to make this list somewhat useful, I’ve limited this to only two-finger cases. Like this particular Brigham case, most two-finger cases are usually offered in three-finger versions at a slightly higher price.
In my experience, the most direct comparison to the Brigham leather case would be Davidoff’s Zino cases, which start at $65. There are a variety of colors, patterns and sizes available, but the Zino cases also have the lightweight and compatible nature as the Brigham. I think the leather used for the Zino cases is nicer, but you will end up paying at least double for a cigar case that functions virtually identically.
- Visol Legend Case ($45) — I’ve used the three-finger version of this case before and am not a fan. The case is extremely bulky and doesn’t offer any benefits to Visol’s carbon fiber case, other than the pricing.
- Visol Night Carbon Fiber 2 Finger Case ($120) — My preferred cigar case. It’s not really a direct competitor, but it’s what I use on a regular basis. The carbon fiber means this is a hard case, offering a bit more protection, but without the flexibility of being able to make the case smaller. One feature I love is the fact that I can also use the case as a cigar stand because carbon fiber has an extremely high burn threshold.
- Prometheus Robusto Case ($75) — I’ve not tested this case, but it seems like a decent option, though undoubtedly bulkier than the Brigham.
- Warped Banano ($139) — I reviewed a similar Warped case and liked it. This is a much more rigid case than the Brigham and I also found that the bright colors Warped uses haven’t aged well with scratches. And there’s the price. If you want bright leather and a rigid case, this is my recommendation.
- S.T.Dupont Double Cigar Case ($220) — S.T.Dupont has recently introduced new cigar cases. I’ve not used them yet, but I look forward to testing them soon. Of note, these cases are metal on the bottom and leather on top, meaning they are much more rigid than a traditional leather case.
A FUN FACT
Brigham operates a retail store in Toronto called Brigham & More. The company had retail stores for over four decades, but shut down its last store in 1992. It returned to selling products directly to its consumers via a physical location in 2013 with the opening of the Toronto store.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
My preferred case is still the aforementioned Visol Carbon Fiber case, but that style and price isn’t for everyone. My previous recommendation for a leather case was the Zino case. I liked the fact that the case was lightweight and able to be compressed when it went into my pocket. While the cases aren’t identical, the Brigham accomplishes the same task at half the price. Unless you are looking for a specific color or pattern that Zino has in its portfolio, I’d recommend the Brigham case.
Brigham provided the case for this review.