Stogierage, an online cigar inventory tool. If you have a large collection of cigars, it is sometimes hard to find a specific cigar. To counter that, there are several options available to control your cigar inventory. The one we use at Ministry of Cigars is Stogierate. It is not a perfect program, but it serves our needs better than any other available cigar database.
Some personal history
Years ago, while living in a small apartment near Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I had several toolboxes full of cigars. Every time I wanted to smoke a cigar, it was a surprise what I would find as there was no way of knowing which cigar was in which toolbox. Pretty annoying if I wanted a certain cigar, either to smoke, to show, or to give away to a friend. But with an ‘it is what it is’ mentality about this issue, I never tried to create a catalog of my collection.
Then I moved from a small apartment to a 3 story house in a small town 15 miles north of Amsterdam. And the ground floor had an in-house garage plus a room overseeing the waterfront garden. That room was not the main living room, which was located on the second floor with the kitchen. When the house came on the market, I knew I wanted it as I could convert that room into a man cave with a walk-in humidor. And so it happened.
The walk-in humidor had seven rows of shelves. Imagine the joy of unpacking all the coolidors. I found cigars I hadn’t seen for years. I even found limited edition cigars from 2004, a year before I lit my first premium cigar. Those Alec Bradley Pryme torpedos are long gone by now, I smoked my last one with George Sosa in Amsterdam. But all the cigars out in the open didn’t solve the problem of having to look hard to find a specific cigar. So many boxes, so many shelves. Time for a solution.
Online cigar inventory solutions
I started looking for cigar inventory solutions, preferably online. A spreadsheet would work but wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Too much manual input and not an online solution. So I googled what options there are, and tried a few. The one that worked best for me is Stogierate. Stogierate is equipped with a large database but offers the option to add new cigars. You can add details such as price, box-date, purchase date, notes, and much more. Most cigars in the database come with a picture of the ring, although that’s not the case with all cigars. Uploading of artwork is an option this program offers too.
You can rate the cigars, and the website offers an option to upload your personal review too. That review will be published on the website. But what really made this cigar inventory tool stand out is the option to create collections. That means that you can either use several humidors in one collection or split your humidor into shelves or sections to be able to locate a specific cigar easier. For example, I created collections per shelve. That cut my time of searching for a specific cigar into a fraction of the time from before. I knew exactly on which shelves each and every cigar were. Instead of looking through boxes on 7 shelves, now I only had to look at 1 shelve.
Since then, I moved to South East Asia and sold that house in The Netherlands. The current Ministry of Cigars office is roughly the size of the old humidor so I’m back to a much smaller collection. With a small wine fridge and a converted 1950s fridge, it’s easier to find cigars. But I still use the collections options and it shaves a lot of time of locating a specific cigar for a review.
Now the bad
Is Stogierate perfect? No, by far actually. Even though it’s the cigar inventory that suits my needs best, there is plenty of room for improvement. For example, there is no app. Well, there is but it requires export of csv file, and then import it in the app. Something I could never get to work. But creating an app is expensive and nanny Apple won’t allow it anyway since it’s related to tobacco.
Another downside is that the database hasn’t been updated in over three years. Of course, there is an option to add a cigar yourself, but it’s much easier if the cigar is already in the database. We realize that it’s a lot of work to maintain a database, but there are ways to make it easier. Contact cigar brand owners and ask them to create a csv file with all the info and artwork, upload that. Leave the work to the brand owners. Or offer an option that if a user adds a new cigar, it can be uploaded to the general database. Create a team of moderators that manually approve such an addition to make sure the database isn’t flooded with incorrect information. Without much work for the creator, the database can be brought up to date quickly.
We love Stogierate, it offers everything we need, but it could be taken to the next level. It should be taken to the next level. With a little effort, it could become the most used inventory tool in the world when it comes to cigars. If you’re looking for a tool to inventory your collection, check out stogierate. We just hope that the website doesn’t disappear like the related website stogiefresh.