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Best Cigars for Beginners: 2017 Edition

Holt's Staff Cigar's picture

Holt's Staff

Seasoned cigar aficionados often entertain strong preferences for their favorite cigars, the result of years of experimentation and exposure to numerous brands and blends in a variety of formats. However, newcomers who are still developing a palate for premium cigars often appreciate a bit of guidance as they seek out good cigars for beginners from the many choices available today. We’ve compiled a list of six high quality cigars that display accessible flavor and aroma, perfect for encouraging your palate with a handful of popular brands, growing regions and wrapper varietals. Broaden your horizons for taste with the following selections.

#1 - Ashton Classic

An ideal starting point for cigar novices is with a tasteful, mild choice of cigar. Ashton Classic is extraordinarily popular, recognized as a ‘Top 5’ premium cigar in the U.S. market and is sold in 60 countries around the world. Ashton Classic boasts a velvety smoothness, perfect for the new cigar enthusiast with a magnificent blend of aged Dominican tobaccos encased in a golden-blond Connecticut Shade wrapper. Notes of cedar, almonds and crème brulée meld perfectly with creamy Dominican spices in a deliciously flavorful profile.

#2 - Macanudo Cafe

Perhaps among the most readily available mild cigars in the market, Macanudo Cafe is sold in nearly every traditional retail cigar shop, as well as a number of national chains likely to carry cigars in any capacity. An iconic mild cigar, Macanudo is a common first brand for a number of connoisseurs, due to its ubiquity and its approachable Dominican taste. Mellow flavors of coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg deliver a profile ideally suited for those looking to acquire a taste for fine cigars in the subtlest way possible.

#3 - La Aroma de Cuba

Nicaragua is known for producing many of the most sought-after and Cubanesque cigars today. Legendary cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia has reimagined the profile of a famous Cuban release from the 1800s, La Aroma de Cuba, in a magnificent light. Judged the ‘#1 Cigar Industry Best Buy in the World’ by Cigar Aficionado, La Aroma de Cuba pleases with seamless, medium-bodied flavors of cedar, earth, brown sugar and nuts with a cool spice. A delightful chocolate-hued Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper embraces a tasteful amalgam of aged binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, poised to introduce a wealth of regional influences with marvelous resonance.

#4 - Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real

Getting acquainted with Cuban-legacy cigars (brands that originated in Cuba, even though they are presently manufactured in other regions) is bound to occur sooner than later in any formidable introduction to premium tobaccos. Among the most notable is the Romeo y Julieta brand, and the Rerserva Real blend is an excellent introduction to the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper varietal, which covers an eventful combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos. A distinctive toasty and nutty flavor is complimented by a hint of spice to offer a pleasurable and thoroughly satisfying smoke.

#5 - Arturo Fuente

Arturo Fuente is considered the premier brand of Dominican cigars in the world. Revered cigar-makers Carlito Fuente and his father, Carlos Fuente Sr., have drafted a number of cigars over the years that not only merit a try, but have set tremendous benchmarks for flavor and aroma. The original Arturo Fuente blend delivers the brand’s rich Dominican signature for a great value. A number of formats are handcrafted in both Natural and Maduro wrapper varieties. Consistently rich notes of cedar, coffee beans, chocolate and nuts deliver a memorable introduction to the Dominican Republic. 

#6 - Padron

If you’re a new cigar smoker who prefers a cigar with a bit more kick right out of the gates, who also has a penchant for cigars with a considerable reputation, Padron is your jumping off point. A medium to full-bodied profile is crafted around a rich, earthy base that is accentuated by a broad palette of flavors, including cedar, nuts, leather, and cocoa. This stellar blend of taste and texture has established Padron as one of the world’s finest Nicaraguan cigar brands year after year, making it a perfect choice for those who want to graduate from mild and medium-bodied options.

While these six choices are simply a snapshot of high caliber cigars that newcomers can indulge in, they represent the best cigar brands for beginners, due to their consistency, value, and impeccable quality. As you taste your way through the enticing journey cigars create for the senses, we recommend keeping track of the blends you’ve enjoyed the most, along with cigars you may not have cared for as much. Keep the bands in a cigar journal, or simply snap a photo of the cigars you’ve smoked on your smartphone. Staying appraised of the blends you do and don’t favor furnishes a reference point for future suggestions. We’re here to enhance your perspective and steer your choices in the best-tasting direction, whether you’re simply in search of good cheap cigars for beginners, or top-shelf rarities you’ve been dying to indulge in for months.

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