Celebrating the good life in Happy Valley

Ask any Nittany Lions fan to name the team’s most legendary player and the debate that ensues will be as epic as the players themselves. John Cappelletti, Shane Conlan, and LaVar Arrington come quickly to the minds and hearts of Penn Staters. Ki-Jana Carter definitely makes the list. “Is it too soon to include Saquon Barkley?” someone asks…and the debate rages on, because the legend and legacy of the Lions run deep in Happy Valley.

It is easy to imagine a debate like this one raging good-naturedly on game day around a table at Your Cigar Den, a local haven for football fanatics and cigar aficionados alike. For those who want to watch the game in comfort, this is a favored spot, complete with complimentary half-time tailgate refreshments and BYOB amenities.

The discussion continues and the list of former Nittany Lions continue to grow as new patrons arrive at the shop to pick up cigars for their tailgates. Your Cigar Den’s signature Nittany blend cigars are a perennial favorite.  Handcrafted in Esteli, Nicaragua specifically to honor Penn State’s tailgating tradition, these cigars have become “the taste of tailgating” for many alum. These mild to medium-bodied cigars are perfect to pair with most game day libations, have a smooth but complex flavor profile that appeals to cigar connoisseurs and novice smokers alike, and priced reasonably enough that you won’t mind buying a few extras to share. You also don’t have to come downtown to enjoy them. You can find them at the Your Cigar Den mobile humidor parked near the intersection of College Avenue and Porter Road in the Lettermans’ parking lot every home game until kick off.

“What about Bruce Clark, the first-ever junior to win the Lombardi Trophy?” one gentleman asks, as he sets his bottle of scotch on the table and begins a slow walk along the shop’s humidors. There are over 450 premium cigars from which to choose. Tony Ghaffari, the shop owner, offers a recommendation. Other patrons chime in. The atmosphere is casual, an almost family-style affair that has won Your Cigar Den the Best of Award for Customer Service and Best Place to Buy Gifts for the last two years in a row. But the choice today is obvious: Football is in the air, and the cigar to savor is The New Letterman Edition – the cigar created specifically to recognize and honor the players that made the Nittany Lions and the Pennsylvania State University legend.

Rivaling the best cigars available in both quality and flavor, The Letterman Edition is unlike anything else on the market. They are made from some of the world’s rarest tobaccos, including Dominican San Vicente, a favorite of Davidoff; San Andreas, favored by Padron; and Brazilian Mata Fina for a hint of sweetness. The Letterman Edition cigars deliver a bold, dynamic flavor profile designed to please the refined palate of an aficionado. This is a cigar you won’t forget.  

The Letterman Edition comes in two strengths: a medium-bodied, smooth version with a true Connecticut wrapper for a creamy finish, and a full-bodied, bold version that features an African Cameroon wrapper – the same wrapper Partagas chose for its blockbuster anniversary cigar, the 150 Signature Series, which is widely regarded as one of the finest cigars ever made. The Cameroon wrapper kicks up the cigar’s finish with notes of pepper and spice.

The Letterman Edition cigars are also uniquely ornate –- one of the three sizes is shaped like a football and bears the initials “PSU” – making Letterman Edition Cigars an ideal gift for every cigar-loving alum and fan. (Show a little mercy and take a few home for folks that couldn’t make it to the game!)
So the gentleman chooses his Letterman, lights it, and relaxes back into his chair. Around him, the debate storms on, but with pleasant company and a cigar this good, he won’t mind if it lasts all night.

The Letterman Edition and Nittany cigars can be found at both Your Cigar Den locations: Downtown at 127 S. Fraser Street, State College, and on game day, at the Your Cigar Den mobile humidor, parked near the intersection of College Avenue and Porter Road in the Lettermans’ parking lot.


The Perfect Pairing

When a fine cigar is paired with the right beverage or libation (since it includes the “other”). Alcohol seems too rough of a word for a “Perfect Pairing”, the unique flavors of both are enhanced. Follow the chart to create the perfect pairing, whether you are relaxing with the refined flavors of The Letterman Edition cigars, or enjoying the milder, smooth flavors of a Nittany Cigar, exclusively available at Your Cigar Den.

Cigar Coffee Liquor Cocktail Beer Wine Other
Connecticut Letterman Latte Brandy Sidecar Deep Wheat Sauvignon Blanc Chai Tea Latte
Cameroon Letterman Espresso Bourbon Old Fashioned Irish Ale Earthy Cabernet Cranberry Juice
Nittany White Light Roast Cappuccino Vodka Mimosa Hefeweizen, Pilsner or lager Crisp Chardonnay Iced Tea
Nittany Select Medium Americano Aged Rum Cuba Libre Red or Amber Ale Fruity Pinot Noir Cranberry Juice
Nittany Reserve Caramel Mocchiato Scotch Whiskey Mint Julep Pale Ale or IPA Shiraz or Syrah Lemonade
Nittany Blue Café Mocha American Whiskey Margarita or Bloody Mary Stout, Porter or Brown Ale Napa Cabernet or Zinfandel Cream Soda


New to cigars? These tips will help you smoke like an aficionado:


  • Never remove the entire cigar cap (tip) when cutting your cigar; you only need a hole large enough for the smoke to pass through.
  • Toast the foot (end) of your cigar before lighting it by holding a flame to the cigar tip and gently rotating it until it begins to glow.
  • While lighting the cigar, puff smoke into your mouth without inhaling, blow the smoke away, then blow clean air gently back through your cigar to cool the tobacco. Repeat until you see thick white smoke.
  • An ideal cigar ash is about 1-inch long; when it gets longer, gently roll it in an ashtray so the ash drops off naturally. Never tap it off.
  • When you have finished smoking, lay what is left in the ashtray; don’t try to crush or extinguish your cigar.


Back to Top