Cigars have been endorsed by successful people, books, and even Hollywood. It’s only natural at some point in your life to look at a cigar and think “I want to try one”.
Maybe it’s the aroma, the sophistication, the relaxation, the feeling of peace… Or hell, maybe it’s just the fact that you think they’re cool.
Before smoking your first cigar, many questions run through your mind: What can I expect? Will I like it? Will it be too intense for me? Which is the best cigar for beginners?
There are literally thousands of cigars to choose from, and this blog post will make it easier for you to get a good start on your latest hobby.
Before we get started, as a quick aside, cigars and how much you like a particular cigar is about as subjective as it gets. What you like, your friend may not. What is touted as one of the best cigars in the world may not agree with your palate or vice versa.
On the upside there is an almost limitless choices for you, so if you find one you don’t like – simply grab another and try that. After all, that’s half of the fun!
1.) Rocky Patel 1999 Vintage Connecticut
This is an excellent beginner cigar. It is mild in strength, but has a great volume of flavor. It also comes in a variety of sizes (called vitolas by cigar aficionados) so you can start with something small and work your way up. Expect a slight spice, cream and wood flavors. It goes very well with coffee.
2.) Ashton Classic Connecticut
When you start smoking cigars there are already a lot of things that you have to worry about. How well made a cigar is shouldn’t be one of them! This cigar is made for Ashton by the Fuente family (a name you will grow to recognize if you spend a little while around cigars) and will consistently be very well constructed. Flavors of coffee and cream, with a little pepper, will come from it.
3.) Nat Sherman Host Connecticut
Coming from New York originally, this Honduran filled cigar certainly looks the part. With the band sporting the famous clock from the Nat Sherman Townhouse in New York City it screams quality. Toasted nuts, cedar and a mild yet satisfying spice is to be expected when smoking this beauty.
4.) CAO Gold
CAO is a Nicaraguan cigar company that uses a variety of tobaccos from all around the world: Brazil, Colombia, even deep in the Amazon Basin! You can rely on the effort CAO puts forth into every cigar to give you a good smoking experience here. You will get some great woody and mixed nut flavors from this cigar.
5.) Arturo Fuente 858 Maduro
There’s that name again! Coming from the Dominican Republic, Arturo Fuente and his family have been making cigars for a little over 100 years now. Quality, consistency, and perfection are all words commonly used to describe these cigars. The 858 is a good place to start exploring the rich history and huge catalog from this manufacturer. Expect to find bold flavors of coffee, pepper, gingerbread spices and sweetness.
6.) Flor de las Antillas
From one great family to another, this is a product of My Father Cigars. A company that is right up there with the Fuente’s in terms of quality. A Nicaraguan cigar that in 2012 made several “best of” lists including number 1 spots in many cigar publications. 4 years later this is still one of the best cigars in the world at its price point. You will find flavors of chocolate, almonds and a nutmeg like spice here.
7.) CLE Connecticut
The name CLE is actually the initials of the well respected cigar maker Christian Eiroa. If his name happens to sound familiar, it’s because he’s the cigar roller behind the famous brand Camacho. Eiroa has done a phenomenal job with this Connecticut cigar. Balanced notes of pepper, toasted wood, earth, and cream entertain you throughout the entirety of this smoke. Some people will tell you that cigars with Connecticut wrappers are bland, but this CLE certainly disproves that myth.
8.) Padilla Connecticut
Ernesto Padilla is the master at blending full bodied cigars. The cigar world was very curious when he decided to create this mild Padilla Connecticut. I could tell within the first 15 minutes of smoking it that it was going to be a hit! The foundation of the flavor profile is toasty wood. You get subtle hints of burnt sugar, caramel, and vanilla throughout the cigar. In addition to those great flavors, I also came across some chocolate, sweet cream, and damp hay. There is a lot of complexity to this cigar!
9.) PsyKo Seven
The PsyKo Seven is a creation of Henke Kelner, best known as the blender of Davidoff cigars. As you might expect from his Davidoff background, this cigar is very subtle and mellow. It begins slightly sweet with notes of toasty wood. Mixed nuts make their way into the profile with a hint of leathery spice. Notes of honeycomb and citrus very subtlety jump in and out throughout the stick.
10.) Man O’ War Virtue
The Man O’ War cigar brand is typically known for it’s big, heavy, and bold flavors. So when AJ Fernandez was tasked with making something on the lighter side with the Man O’ War Virtue, you knew he wouldn’t create something tasteless. There are tastes of light cream and a hint of apple and pear. The second third kicks off with a fuller cream and a bit of a nutty taste. It’s very similar to a full hazelnut coffee. It maintains the cool creamy smoke through the very end.
While there are many places for a beginner to start this hobby, I humbly suggest you chose one of the 10 cigars listed above. If you do, you’ll be off to a great start! First impressions can only be made once, so it’s important that you make a good one.
Remember, your taste in cigars is as subjective as your tastes in everything else, food, coffee, whisky, beer, etc. What you like is up to you, and nobody else. I once heard a great quote that is perfectly applicable here:
“Smoke what you like, like what you smoke”
What do you think are the best cigars for beginners? What was the first cigar you ever smoked? Let me know by leaving a comment below!