Since I started this blog (which, to be fair, wasn’t that long ago) I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about historic cigar brands (which I love). One thing I don’t see much is a younger generation of cigar brand owners or influencers out there, until now. I recently came across the German Cigar Kings brand founded by Philipp Kuglerr – he has over 21k followers on his Cigar Kings Instagram page. The stuff he is doing with his cigar brand is really inspiring to me, so I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to interview him for the blog.
Tell us a little bit about yourself… who are you?
My name is Philipp Kugler, I am 24 years old and the founder & CEO of CigarKings GmbH. During my studies in communication design I had the idea to develop a fictional cigar label. That was the birth of CigarKings. Today I am still working as an art director and distribute my cigar brand in Germany and India, together with business partners also in Sweden and Estonia.
When and how did you get into cigar smoking?
I smoked my first cigar with my dad. Let’s say I was officially 18 😉 However, I quickly met new friends who also smoked cigars occasional by chance. So we met more often to enjoy a cigar together.
What is your favourite cigar?
Since I have the luck to develop my own brand together with the master blender, I have of course adjusted my series to my taste. My personal favourite cigar is the CigarKings Nicaragua Elegantes Sun Grown.
What is the cigar scene like in your country?
I think we have a very colourful and lively cigar scene in Germany. I definitely have a lot of fun “working” with our community and planning events and smokes together.
Tell us about Cigar Kings… what is it? What was the inspiration behind the brand?
CigarKings is a young and modern cigar label. You can clearly see this in the brand identity, from the design and packaging to the blend. However, I looked for a manufacturer that is run by Cuban exiles. This allows me to roll all Cigarkings cigars in the old entubado style. We also only use Viso and Seco tobacco and two binders. To top it off, a triple cap is also rolled out of the wrapper. Today, we have a total of 5 different vitola with two different types of wrapper in our assortment.
Can you tell us about the art direction of your cigar brand…
Since design is another passion of mine, I still do the entire design part. For me, it is extremely important to maintain the corporate design but I also be a little bit crazy here and there in the design language. For example right now I’m working on a cigar comic that will explain the whole history of cigarkings from 2015 until now.
It’s really inspiring to see folk of the younger generation working in the cigar industry, how do you find that? Are there any challenges? Any tips/advice?
In any case, I am happy about every young competitor who brings a breath of fresh air into the market. However, it has to be said that this is not an easy path. I can’t give any real tips here. You just have to follow your passion, otherwise it won’t work.
You have a big social media presence, can you tell us more about that?
Social media has always been a part of me. Even when I didn’t had a cigar label, I was already sharing with the world which cigars I enjoy. Today, of course, we are much more professional than back then. But everyone can make up their own mind about our appearance.
Who influences and inspires you in the cigar world?
Kolja Kukuk from Rocky Patel is definitely one of my role models. We are very good friends, yet I am very impressed with his performance and how he is bringing the cigar forward in Europe. Nevertheless, there are many people who have influenced and inspired me.
What things are you planning for Cigar Kings in 2021?
This year we will start distribution in another European country. More information on this will of course follow. And we will also launch a new cigar. I am already very excited about that.
Where can followers get access to this?
Our fans and followers are of course always kept up to date via our social media channels. But also the local retailers we work with will give you all the information and share it with you.
How do people get in touch with you if they want to know more?
Anyone can text me on my private Instagram or Facebook account. Or, of course, by emaill firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s actually very uncomplicated with me.
What advice would you give to someone new to cigars?
If I were you, I would always start with a milder cigar to understand the taste. after the 10th cigar, it can be a little stronger so that you can taste the difference. but you should never smoke a cigar under stress. that ruins the whole experience.
Thanks Philipp – a real pleasure to chat with you! So folks… what you waiting for, check out https://www.cigarkings.de and if you get to visit Germany, once lockdown is over, do try one of their cigars!