We’ve decided to do several posts here on The Cigar King Blog, categorizing some of what we feel are the best cigars by price point. While some of these will likely be familiar names, we’ve tried to include a few that are often overlooked. Today we’ll be covering our favorite cigars that can be had for $7.00 and under, broken down in terms of strength.
Aging Room Havao – The Aging Room Havao is one of my personal go to cigars for beginners. It’s mild enough in strength for someone who doesn’t have a nictoine tolerance to smoke, but offers a plethora of diverse flavors that can hold the attention of even the most refined palate. Creamy notes of wood, a hint of pepper, and a subtle vanilla sweetness are the highlights, but there is plenty more in the way of complexity and nuance should you go looking. The Aging Room Havao can be had for $5-$6 depending on the size.
Oliva Connecticut Reserve – The Oliva Connecticut Reserve is another incredible hidden gem. This cigar is often overshadowed by the flagships of the brand – the Serie V and Serie V Melanio, but rest assured; the Oliva Connecticut Reserve is every bit as deserving of it’s place in Oliva’s lineup. Similar to the Havao, the Connecticut Reserve delivers puff after puff of creamy, sweet flavor. The body is impeccably smooth and supple, and has a complex array of nuts and rich butter in the finish. The Oliva Connecticut Reserve can be purchased for between $6-$7 depending on the size.
PDR 1878 Cubano Especial Capa Natural – Full in flavor, mild in strength. The perfect morning cigar, crafted by the hands of a master – Abe Flores Rosario. Abe has blended countless brilliant cigars (his AFR-75 made our Top 12 Cigars of the Year for 2013!), and the Capa Natural is another fantastic release from the PDR factory. Those familiar with Abe Flores’ products will find the signature pepper notes that has made Abe’s products so popular. Along side the pepper notes you’ll find a variety of other flavors, notably oak and earthy barnyard notes.
Perdomo Lot 23 Connecticut – Realistically the Lot 23 Natural and Maduro could all be enjoyed, but both have a bit more heft in the profile than the Connecticut. Either way, the Lot 23 series is one of the best selling mild cigars on the market, and for good reason. The body is dense with layers of buttery smoke, along side earthy wood notes and a nice bit of black pepper. Don’t be intimidated by the the pepper, this cigar is incredibly smooth. The perfect breakfast cigar. The Perdomo Lot 23 Connecticut can be enjoyed for a mere $5 in the smaller sizes.
Nat Sherman Timeless – The Timeless comes in both Dominican and Nicaraguan variants, both of which have their own appeal. The Nat Sherman Timeless offers arguably some of the most complex and balanced profiles on the market. Notes of cedar, earthy tobacco, and raisin sweetness are the main attractions, with background flavors of espresso, nuts, and leather. I’ve found new depth and further appreciate for the Timeless every time I’ve smoked one.
Illusione Rothschild – The Illusione Rothschild is a criminally underrated cigar. This little guy packs some of the richest flavor available. Earthy soil, cocoa, leather, and a healthy dose of that classic maduro sweetness. The draw is near perfect, delivering behemoth clouds of chewy smoke. The Illusione Rothschild can be experienced for roughly $4.75-$5.00
RoMa Craft Intemperance – There are few things I enjoy more than finding hidden gems from boutique manufacturers. The RoMa Craft Intemperance meets that criteria in every regard. Both the Connecticut and Brazilian Ariparaca are both fantastic cigars that offer a unique arrangement of spicy earth flavors. Notes of Fuente-esque tangy sweetness and roasted nuts gloss over the palate in the finish. The RoMa Craft Intemperance can be found for around $5.00.
San Cristobal Revelation – I think it’s fair to say that Ashton as a company has never really released a bad cigar, and the Revelation continues to hold true to that statement. A slightly more reserved take on the classic San Cristobal blend, the Revelation features the same wrapper as the famed Ashton VSG. It’s a lower priming on the plant, which translates to a bit less strength and spice; perfect for smokers who enjoy the rich and complex profile but find it to be a bit to strong in nicotine. The San Cristobal Revelation can be enjoyed in the toro size, called “Mystic”, for around $6.95.
Fuente 858 Sungrown – Honestly, the Fuente 858 Sungrown hardly needs an introduction. It’s a classic enthusiast cigar, and one of the cigars Fuente is most famous for (alongside the OpusX and the Anejo). No list of reasonably priced cigars would be complete without its mention. Known for its incredibly rich flavor, the 858 Sungrown defines the tangy orange sweetness Fuente sungrown wrappers are known for, and has a nice flare of black pepper to tingle the palate. These flavors only become more rich and defined as the profile evolves. The Arturo Fuente 858 Sungrown can be smoked for around $6.50 per cigar.
Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Series – Another brilliant cigar that simply does not get the attention it deserves. The Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta is one of more mild cigars in JDNs lines. Smooth chewy smoke emits from the Cabinetta straight from the first puff. Buttery almonds, floral wood, earthy soil, and honey sweetness saturate the palate with flavor, leaving a nice bit of spice on the tongue. The Joya de Nicaragua grows a bit more robust towards the end with a transition to the maduro wrapper, bringing forth a tasty chocolate finish. The Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta is available for around $6.50 depending on the size.
Fratello – The Fratello line of cigars launched just a bit over 6 months ago and has quickly gained steam. While definitely falling a bit more on the medium full side of the spectrum, the Fratello is plenty smooth in the way in which it delivers smoke to the palate. Highlighted by an exotic blend utilizing a seldom found Peruvian tobacco in the filler, the Fratello has a unique profile that you won’t find elsewhere. While earth and leather are present, the Fratello is defined by its array of spices. Cinnamon, ginger, with touches of red and black pepper are the traits that make the Fratello stand out. The Fratello toro can be picked up for an even $7.00
Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo – The Antano Dark Corojo is an absolute powerhouse of a little cigar, packed to the brim with rich and robust flavor. An exceptional combination of creamy chocolate flavor, and complex notes of spice and black pepper. I think that flat out the Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo offers the absolute most power and flavor for the money. A small size can be picked up for as little as $4.95
Drew Estate Nica Rustica – This one is a bit obvious, but at $6.95 per cigar the Nica Rustica is one of the first names to jump out when making this list. The wild child of the Liga family, the Nica Rustica is more raw and visceral than its counter parts, bringing forth a display of power and flavor that is absolutely unparalleled. Rich, bold, robust, full, etc. All those terms can only begin to describe the momentous wall of flavor that makes up the Nica Rustica. The signature Drew Estate smoke-bomb is on display in the Nica Rustica, just as awe-inspiring as ever with the way it fills even the most ventilated of rooms full of smoke. It’s hands down one of the most invigorating cigars you can buy at any price point, let alone at $6.95.
A. Flores Gran Reserva – Okay, so admittedly you can only really grab one of these for under $7 if you get the half corona. That being said, the half corona is the size where the Gran Reserva truly shines. This little firecracker is a monolith of complexity, with assault after assault of rich pepper, spice, earth, and sweetness stimulating the palate. While it’s not a Dominican puro, the A. Flores Gran Reserva does retain a Dominican touch with its impressively clean finish. The Gran Reserva took home a spot on Cigar King’s Top 12 Cigars of the Year. A mere 5 bucks will put one of these bad boys in your humidor.
Camacho Corojo Maduro – Camacho had a grand relaunch last year with new branding and new blends, all of which were exceptional. One of my personal favorites was the Camacho Corojo Maduro. While its similar to the others in terms of strength and body, the Corojo Maduro offers a range of flavors that are distinctly its own. It’s a fairly dry smoke, with a particularly prominent flavor of salted preserved meat. Alongside that is an array of different pepper notes, all rooted in a background of earthy tobacco.
RoMa Craft CroMagnon – RoMa Craft is the brainchild on Skip Martin and Michael Rosales, and is now one of the hottest boutiques in the industry. The CroMagnon is one of the first cigars they introduced, and is probably their most famous, alongside the Aquataine. This cigar scores points purely on the grounds for the sheer diversity of flavor it offers. It’s starts with a base flavor of powerful earthy flavors, but quickly adds in both oak and cedar notes alongside herbal brown sugar notes. The CroMagnon’s counterpart, the Aquataine, could also get a spot on this list, but for the sake of avoiding repetition I’ve opted to stick with just the CroMagnon. $5-$7 will be the damage to grab one of these.
Thank you for reading! We’ll be doing another installment covering cigars in the $7-$12 range next week!