These Are the 20 Best Cigar Brands in 2023
Cigar smoking is not only a hobby, it is almost a necessary ritual some men believe in. Lighting up a cigar is considered like some sort of rite of passage. Many men smoke a cigar when becoming adults, when they land their first job, get married, or after the birth of their first child.
The seasoned cigar smokers already know their likes and dislikes, and what to look for when buying their favorite cigar brand. But for the rest of us, we need a little guidance.
Every brand has its own signature taste and flavor, and they vary from one to the next. There are some newer names on the market, but most are well-known and have been great cigar producers for decades.
When you’re new to the game and would like to pick up cigar smoking, our suggestion is that you start with a well-known brand. Usually, popular brands live up to the expectations and have made a name for themselves on the global market.
Another interesting fact about cigar smokers is that they tend to stay loyal to a particular brand. Our guess is that once you develop a certain taste for them, it’s hard to change your taste buds and adjust to something else.
Cigars are like fine wines in a sense. There are certain features that differentiate one brand from another such as the body, infusion of flavor, filler, size, shape, and wrapper. All these things influence one’s preference, and there are many cigars brands that cater to any occasion.
Why are cigars strong? The taste is pretty strong, and so is the smell. Why is that, you might wonder?
It’s actually a pretty straightforward answer, It relates to the priming of the plant that is harvested. The higher the priming, the stronger the taste of the tobacco. The highest point in the plant, or Ligero, receives optimal sunlight, which constitutes the best priming.
Another factor is the fermentation of the leaves. If it is fermented for too long, it loses its strength. That is a pretty simplistic explanation, but feel free to research the topic for more details.
Now that we got the basics out of the way, we will show you the 20 best cigar brands to try this year.
Made at a small factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, this cigar brand debuted in 2008. One of the newest on the market, the short and stubby shape of the Nub cigars captivated the hearts of tobacco lovers. Their portfolio includes four blends: Maduro, Habano, Connecticut, and Cameroon.
The ultra thick shape houses some classic profiles of leather, spices, and wood. They’ve also included some stronger blends and a flavored line. Their cigars are the ideal of balance and taste.
19. Cao Brazilia
Incorporating the rare Brazilian tobacco leaves brought Cao an instant hit on the market. People just loved the full-bodied blend that resulted from the use of wide ring gauges. The vibrant blend is well liked, although people were skeptical at first.
The cigar brand was originally well-known for their humidor staples, but when they ventured out and brought some exotic tobacco in the mix, the company really took off. Sometimes taking a gamble pays off.
18. La Gloria Cubana
These Dominican cigars were first brought on the market by E.P. Carillo using traditional Cuban methods. They use a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos, and they offer a wide variety of wrappers.
Their Wavell offering is full of notes of coffee and cedar and it is wrapped in a spicy Sumatra wrapper. It is the cigar that made La Gloria Cubana well-known. What followed was a series of classics and the stronger Series R, their powerhouse cigar.
17. Drew Estate
The brand is unequivocally known for doing things outside the box. After all, they are the ones who do the infused cigar movement the best. Kuba Kuba, one of their trademarks, is made from Nicaraguan tobacco, a sweetened cap, and it is infused with a blend of herbs and spices.
The over 140 ingredients that are housed in their laboratories are unique to the brand. They are not considered the most innovative company for no reason.
16. Acid Cigars
The name that put the infused cigars on the map, Acid is a unique brand that was launched in 1999. Owned by the Drew Estate, they are known for creating some of the best-rolled cigars in the world. And the way their story started is pretty interesting too.
Two college kids got their practice rolling their cigars as a hobby, then decided to take a trip to Nicaragua to learn the trade. As they say, the rest is history. Their infused cigars offer you an array of flavors that come from the blend of extracts, oils, and spices.
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Swiss brand Davidoff, but probably not for their cigars. They are well-known for their men’s accessories and fragrances that were super popular a few years ago. The brand expanded to the cigar world as well, and you can expect to get some well-wrapped cigars filled with unforgettable flavors.
You can try any of their consistent offerings, which vary between spicy and sweet. They also make other accessories such as humidors, cigar cutters, cases, and pipes.
Fidel Castro’s favorite brand developed almost a cult following due to that known fact alone. Until 1982, the brand was exclusive to members of the Cuban communist party, when it was finally released to the wider public.
One of the most luxurious brands on the market, Cohiba offers cigars created from the best tobacco leaves that come from the region of Vuelta Abajo, Cuba. The leaves go through a third fermentation process in wooden barrels, which gives the cigars their smooth and subtle flavor.
13. La Aroma De Cuba
Winston Churchill was a great lover of cigars, and La Aroma De Cuba was one of his favorites. Once super popular, with time the company lost its appeal. The brand was taken over in the early 2000s by Jose Pepin Garcia, who gave it a much-needed revamp.
Handcrafted in Esteli, Nicaragua, its wrappers are sourced from Mexican Coban fillers and are pressed in the traditional Cuban box style. Their profile is medium-bodied, with bold flavors of brown sugar, cedar, and nuts, and a spicy and delicious finish.
12. Rocky Patel
One of the best-known brands in modern cigars, the quirky high-end brand is still surprisingly affordable. The man behind the brand is quite an entrepreneur. He left the legal field, moved to Honduras, where he learned the trade of cigar making in about five years.
One of their best offerings, the Edge Habano Torpedo, was released in 2013 as part of their vaulted Edge series. A rich cigar with notes of hickory and leather, it has hints of spices and woods. If you like to sip a rye bourbon on a chilly night, this cigar is the best accompaniment.
One of the best mellow cigars on the market, they are among the most requested by customers throughout the world. With the Connecticut Shade wrapper and natural color, these Dominican cigars are the gold standard of mellow cigars.
Their Connecticut-grown Shade wrapper tobacco undergoes a 30-month fermenting process called ‘winter sweat’. It is due to this process that they achieve the mellow taste that many beginners appreciate.
Their long Cuban heritage makes this brand one of the most sought-after on the market. Considered ‘old world’ by some, this company has been making cigars for about two centuries. Their tobaccos are nicely aged, a technique they perfected with experience.
The cedar notes that are prominent in most of their profiles are some of their more appreciated characteristics. If you like to experiment with flavors, H. Upmann brings many full-bodied and exquisitely aromatic options.
Headquartered in Miami, this family-owned and operated company has access to the agriculture of Florida and the manufacturing facilities in Esteli, Nicaragua. They offer a wide selection of hand-made cigars that are known for being well-crafted. They set global standards with their top-quality cigars.
The rich and bold flavors of the Vintage collection made them some of their best-selling collections. The range of tastes such as the notes of chocolate, coffee, and oak provides you with a smooth finish that pairs well with a glass of red wine.
8. My Father
Loaded with medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan offerings, My Father is a father-and-son brand owned by Jaime and Pepin Gracia. Their decadent collection includes a variety of bold and spicy profiles.
The heartier tobaccos that grow in Nicaragua allowed the father and son duo to create their signature blend, which is characterized by the layer of spice. This certainly got the numerous award-winning cigars they are proud of.
7. San Cristobal
The brand predominantly offers a full-bodied portfolio, made up of five main blends. The 92-rated Revelation, 92-rated Quintessence, 91-rated creamy Elegancia, alongside the original 93-rated San Cristobal and the limited edition annual San Cristobal Ovation delivers lots of complexity to your palate.
What makes San Cristobal cigars special is the tasting notes of earth, espresso, cocoa, and hickory, as well the deep Nicaraguan spices.
6. Romeo e Julieta
A premium brand that offers some extraordinary flavors, they come packed with Indonesian wrappers. Winston Churchill was a big fan of the brand, and they made a series to commemorate his visit to Havana in 1945.
They are medium-bodied, made from aromatic blends from exclusively selected tobacco. One of their most popular offerings is a creamy and earthy taste in the filler, which is paired with a bit of sweetness.
One of the most popular brands that are manufactured outside of Cuba, Padron cigars are made in Nicaragua in some of the best state-of-the-art factories. They offer a wide array of flavors and strengths, from full-bodied to subtle, and from mild to full strength. Their flawless construction and beautiful consistency are what customers like.
Flavors range from creamy, earthy, dark and peppery, to spicy. The unique flavor of their cigars comes from their practice of aging their tobacco and the spicy earth tones of their sticks. There’s something for everyone, for any occasion.
One of the most popular brands in the world, Montecristo offers some of the best well-constructed cigars available. They appeal to all smokers, that is part of the reason they are so well-known.
Another reason is the wide range of flavors. It includes cigars with a peppery kick, or a more mellow classic taste, without forgetting the rich roasted coffee bean flavor. Another brand that does have something for everyone.
One of the top-selling Nicaraguan brands, they are considered a gem on the cigar platform. They offer some pretty amazing profiles, ranging from medium to full-bodied, and everything in between. They have some pretty amazing offerings, but the brand is one of the most expensive on the market.
For good reason as well. If you want to dip your toes in the Oliva world, try out their Serie V Melanio Figurado. With notes of caramel and wood, this cigar is both creamy and smooth and will leave you with a nice taste on your palate.
2. Arturo Fuente
We all love a great story of an individual who rose from nothing to make a name for himself. This is the case with Arturo Fuente, whose humble beginnings brought him the determination to “do things the way they’re supposed to be done”. And taking time to do things properly got him a booming business that became a benchmark of the cigar industry.
The famed cigar brand carrying his name provides high-quality products that are constructed perfectly. The consistent flavor and the carefully crafted label are made possible by paying close attention to detail.
Ashton is considered one of the best-tasting cigars ever made. Hand-rolled in the Fuentes family-owned factory located in the Dominican Republic, the extra personal touch makes a great difference. In order to convince yourself, start off with the Classic, for a creamy, luscious flavor that is their trademark Dominican aroma.
The brand sets the benchmark for premium cigars due to their consistency and high-end taste. Their portfolio includes seven different blends that are all great sellers. Their reputation for excellence prevails, from the woodsy crisp spicy flavors to their robust yet smooth finishes.
This sums up our list of the 20 best cigar brands of the year. Enjoy!
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