For some, there’s nothing more relaxing than spending a couple of hours puffing away on a nice cigar outdoors. We gathered up five of the best cigars on the market, from mild beginner-friendly sticks to robust dark smokes, so you can find your flavor.
Cigars for Beginners
Knowing what makes a quality cigar can be the difference between a flavorful, fun experience and a bad taste in your mouth. Cigars aren’t meant to be inhaled; instead, smokers should take a puff every minute or so and let the smoke sit on their tongue before exhaling. With cigars, it’s all about the flavor. Here are some tips to help find the best cigar.
According to Cigar Aficionado:
- The wrapper shouldn’t have any gaps or tears. The main vein in the leaf of the wrapper should be uniform and straight.
- The color should be consistent. A mottled or spotted cigar isn’t as good.
- The cigar shouldn’t feel dry or flaky.
- It should be well-filled with tobacco, and it shouldn’t have any weak spots or divots.
- Cigars have tons of flavor profiles. Ask your tobacconist for recommendations to suit your taste.
“The key to starting is to make sure you have the accessories necessary to prepare the cigar, including cutters and a good butane lighter. If you’ve never smoked a cigar before, consult your tobacconist to find a good cigar to start with. Better cigars are often going to have flavors you wouldn’t anticipate,” says Victor, a member of the sales team at Griffin Cigar in Richmond.
The CLE Chele is a medium-bodied cigar with a medium wrapper. Both the binder and wrapper are Connecticut tobacco, which has a relatively light leaf, making this cigar great for smokers just starting out. It has flavors of leather, baked bread, fruit, and spices.
Nat Sherman Metropolitan Connecticut
Another medium-bodied cigar that has been in production for nearly a century, the Nat Sherman Metropolitan Connecticut uses the iconic Churchill shape. It has flavors of cream, earth, and cedar, making it a go-to for novice smokers and folks looking for an easy-going stick.
Padron 5000 Maduro
The Padron 5000 Maduro is wrapped in Nicaraguan tobacco. The dark Maduro color means this beefy cigar offers a step up in flavor and boldness. Notoriously sweet, the Padron 5000 has flavors of coffee bean, cocoa, nutmeg, and leather.
La Palina Maduro
Made from Mexican fillers and Honduran and Nicaraguan wrappers, the La Palina Maduro is a master-class stogie. It offers billows of robust smoke with flavors of cedar, spice, citrus, and chocolate. Its complex flavor, as well as its dark wrapper and filler, place it much higher on the strength profile.
601 La Bomba Warhead
This is one serious cigar. Recommended only after a heavy meal for the most experienced smokers, the 601 La Bomba Warhead is a full-bodied cigar made with a Maduro Connecticut wrapper. It has flavors of cocoa, pepper, and coffee. Plus, the oily wrapper gives it a distinctly rustic look.
“Cigar smoking is all about relaxing and not rushing the cigar. It’s a great way to savor the moment and socialize,” says Victor.
No matter what your preferred puff is, cigar experts all agree that starting slow after a full meal is the best way to enjoy your cigar. Many also recommend keeping a soda nearby to counteract any nausea and round out the flavors of the cigar.