Whenever new converts to cigar smoking ask me on online forums about which brands they should try, I usually ask them which they are familiar with and try to go from there. And usually, the answers fall into one of two categories: Cubans or the cheap gas station brands that you can get for next to nothing. So, if you aren’t planning a trip to Cuba to procure some authentic Habanos anytime soon, you may want to search out these premium cigars which are my top suggestions (listed here in alphabetical order).
- Acid—Acid cigars are manufactured in Nicaragua in the largest cigar factory in the country, La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. Here, they can produce a staggering 70,000 handmade cigars each day and the smokes are excellent quality. What makes Acid cigars unusual is the use of essential oils which are infused into the tobacco for a unique smoking experience.
- Alec Bradley—This cigar company was started by Alan Rubin in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he really hit the mark with the introduction of his Tempus cigars. The Tempus is a full bodied cigar that scored very highly in ratings with Cigar Aficionado magazine. For a really great smoke, try the Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill, one of the best cigars on the market.
- Ashton—Ashton Cigars was started in 1985 and is a great company if you are looking for a balanced medium bodied cigar. Their most popular line is the Virgin Sun Grown (VSG), a more full-bodied cigar which has routinely earned ranks in the 90s making this a top choice for premium smokers.
- Cohiba—Don’t get too excited. Please note that the trade embargo is still on and you won’t be able to legally by Cuban Cohibas here in the states. The Cohiba brand is also produced in the Dominican Republic by the General Cigar Company. Most recently, the Cohiba Churchill scored in the low 90s and is a good, smooth cigar with a hint of caramel and nuts. Not as good as their Cuban brethren, but still a fine cigar.
- Davidoff—When you think of cigars, you usually picture tropical tobacco plantations and steamy manufacturing plants. Most people don’t think of the Swiss as being famous for their cigars. But Davidoff is a Swiss tobacco company with a long range of goods including cigars as well as cigarettes and pipes. (Although to be fair, the tobacco is still produced in countries like the Dominican Republic; Switzerland doesn’t have too many tobacco farms.) For my money, check out the Davidoff Millennium Blend Series Robusto.
That’s just a sampling of five premium brands and some of their best smokes. These are available, usually with discounts, from online cigar shops, like BnB Tobacco which often have the best deals on tobacco products. Check back next time when I will have five more suggestions for those fans of cigars, both new and old alike!