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Our Favorite Tailgating Cigars

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Depending on who your team is, your football season could be teetering toward the playoffs or careening into a dysfunctional ditch by this time of year. Most of us have been fans on both sides of the ball at one time or another. You still love football, though, even when the chips are down for your favorite team. The good news is, everybody loves to tailgate! Even better, tailgating isn’t limited to football, nor is being the fan of a winning franchise a prerequisite.

Pregame parties take place before a number of events. Concerts, baseball games, hockey, NASCAR races, the U.S. Open, and more. Forms of tailgating can be traced back to Ancient Greece. In 18th century France, spectators even gathered for an al fresco gorging before executions took place during the nation’s infamous Reign of Terror. Tailgating as we know it today shares its roots with Ivy League sports rivalries and the emergence of automobiles at the turn of the century. The few who could afford an automobile would often share the picnics they packed with train commuters who were arriving to attend the same afternoon event. Train passengers found the offer a generous gesture as their chance to have lunch was missed during their ride on the tracks. Although our desire to tailgate today arises for different reasons, the tradition lives on.

At today’s best tailgating parties, there’s more than barbecue, coleslaw, and ice-cold kegs of beer. There’s camaraderie. Besides being fans of the same team or rock and roll band, what could possibly accompany camaraderie better than a fine cigar? Not much. We’ve put together an unbeatable menu of the Top 10 Tailgating Cigars. Make your next party in a parking lot perfect with premium cigars guaranteed to please likeminded pals who want to support the same team as you.

#1 - Ashton Classic

The mild, Dominican profile of Ashton Classic delivers ideal flavors of toasted cashews, coffee beans, and sweetened cedar. The iconic brand is blended by legendary cigar-maker Carlito Fuente from a golden-blond Connecticut Shade wrapper leaf and a creamy interior of premium aged Dominican binder and filler tobaccos.

Ashton Classic is handmade in a number of traditional shapes at the celebrated Fuente factory in the Dominican Republic. Impress everyone at your next tailgate with an approachable but rich box of cigars from the top shelf. Pick up a box or 5-pack of Ashton Magnum, a bestselling Robusto that goes for $9.20 apiece. Light beer and grilled chicken get the perfect encore from Ashton Classic.

#2 - La Aroma de Cuba

La Aroma de Cuba traces its heritage back to Cuba in the late 1800s where the brand was an early favorite of Winston Churchill. Today, acclaimed cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia blends the entire La Aroma de Cuba portfolio in his modern cigar-making facility in Estelí, Nicaragua. A chocolate-hued Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper embraces a medium-bodied core of perfectly matured Nicaraguan long-fillers.

Notes of brown sugar, wood, and nuts accompany signature Nicaraguan spices with an amazing aroma. La Aroma de Cuba is a 93-rated recipient of Cigar Aficionado’s ‘#1 Cigar Industry Best Buy.’ Unrivaled value and taste meet up in a purely satisfying blend handmade in a plethora of shapes that start around $5 per cigar. Take a swig of a delicious light-pale pilsner like Beck’s after you’ve fired up a La Aroma de Cuba. Both make an excellent appetizer if you’re waiting for security to unlock the turnstiles while The Rolling Stones warm up with a few bars inside.

#3 - Arturo Fuente Chateau Series

Arturo Fuente has been the leading Dominican brand of premium cigars for decades. Blended by celebrated cigar-maker Carlito Fuente, the brand’s portfolio is home to ultra-rare collectibles like Fuente Fuente Opus X and Arturo Fuente Anéjo. Introduce your pals to this famous line with Arturo Fuente Chateau Series.

Starting at $5.51 per cigar, an easygoing profile of almonds, coffee with cream, cedar, and spices is handmade in your choice of Connecticut Shade, Connecticut Broadleaf, and Sun Grown wrapper varietals in a number of cool-burning shapes. Pair it with an affordable ice-cold lager like Budweiser. The 4.5 x 50 Chateau Fuente and the 6.75 x 50 Double Chateau Fuente never fail to satisfy seasoned cigar lovers as well as occasional smokers.

#4 - San Cristobal Elegancia

San Cristobal Elegancia is a mild to medium-bodied gem blended two-time ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ titleholder Pepin Garcia in Estelí, Nicaragua. A creamy Ecuador Connecticut wrapper leaf hugs an amazing recipe of extensively aged long filler tobaccos harvested from select Garcia family estates in Nicaragua.

The creamy profile of white pepper, almonds, and wood makes a marvelous match with a Michelob Light or even a fruity mixed drink like a daiquiri. Six popular sizes start at just $6.45 per cigar. Pregame revelers from across the parking lot will flock to the back of your truck the second the aroma hits the air.

#5 - Padron

The original Padron blend is an ideal precursor to the company’s top-rated, pricier releases like Padron 1964 Anniversary and 1926 Series. The all-Nicaraguan profile is available in Natural and Maduro wrapper varietals starting at around $5 per cigar. Choose from an extensive menu of handmade shapes, like the popular 5.5 x 52 #3000 or the slightly thicker 6.5 x 54 #4000.

Tasting notes of cayenne, cinnamon, baking spices, cedar, and black pepper lead to a zesty finish. Crisp beers like Corona or Tecate make great candidates for a sunny afternoon of imbibing ahead of game time with Padron.

#6 - Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne

Brand founder Nick Perdomo pays close attention to detail in every cigar that bears the Perdomo name. Among his most popular lines is Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne. A medium-bodied recipe of rich Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos is handcrafted beneath a silky Ecuador Connecticut wrapper leaf in a handful of thicker, cool-burning ring gauges.

The medium-bodied profile of nuts, peppers, leather, and oak elevates an icy swill of Miller High Life or Old Milwaukee in seconds. Tear through a pack of hotdogs hot off the grill or opt for something more exotic like tacos with this combo. Starting at $6.75 per cigar, Perdomo 10th Anniversary is guaranteed to please your tailgating companions following an epicurean feast.

#7 - Cain Connecticut CT

Cain Connecticut CT shows off a superbly smoother side of Cain’s typically hearty flavors. Handmade at the award-winning Oliva factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, Cain CT is drafted from a creamy Ecuador Connecticut wrapper leaf and medium-bodied recipe of Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos.

Toasty notes of cedar, cayenne, cashews, and black pepper coat the palate perfectly when you’re cracking open a Rolling Rock. Stick some fish or barbecued chicken tenders on the grill. Cain Connecticut CT is handcrafted in a couple of classic shapes for $7.25 and $8 per cigar. You could probably charge admission to your parking space if fellow concertgoers get a whiff of Cain Connecticut CT with your grilling skills.

#8 - Punch Vintage

Cuban-heritage brand Punch Vintage is handmade by senior cigar rollers in Honduras. A complex combination of Dominican, Honduran, and Connecticut Broadleaf tobaccos is handcrafted beneath your choice of an Ecuador Sumatra or a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Notes of earth, cocoa, hickory, and chestnuts meld with a peppery zest in a variety of classic sizes starting at $7 per cigar. Pop the cap on a Coors Banquet or fill up your pocket flask with a few shots of Jack Daniel’s. Punch Vintage tastes great either way. The chewy spiciness of Punch Vintage keeps up with beer or darker spirits seamlessly. Skewer some shish kabobs and watch the partygoers swarm in the direction of your cigar and char-grilled aromas.

#9 - Romeo y Julieta 1875

Romeo y Julieta is a legendary Cuban-legacy brand with origins that go back several generations. Today, Romeo y Julieta 1875 is handmade in the Dominican Republic from an eventful recipe of Dominican binder and filler tobaccos under a gingerbread-hued Indonesian wrapper leaf.

Woody spices, roasted walnuts, black pepper, and coffee bean notes emerge in a range of well-known shapes beginning at $6.72 per cigar. Ice cold Bud and tangy barbecue blend in with the iconic taste of Romeo y Julieta 1875. Plus, everywhere you turn, everyone familiar with cigars will easily recognize the band if you decide to share a few with the crowd.

#10 - Rocky Patel Renaissance

Rocky Patel has been a dazzling presence in the world of premium cigars since the mid-1990s. His eponymous Rocky Patel portfolio includes the 90-rated Rocky Patel Renaissance franchise. With a number of lauded releases under his belt, like the 95-rated Rocky Patel Decade and the 95-rated Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro, Rocky Patel Renaissance epitomizes his finest work in a series of perfectly blended bundles that start at only $2.49 per cigar.

Choose from a full suite of Ecuador Connecticut, Habano, Connecticut Broadleaf, and Ecuador Sumatra wrapper options. The distinctive profiles found in each blend include tasting notes of cinnamon, toffee, peppery caramels, earth, fresh ground coffee, almonds, chestnuts, and more in a select menu of desirable shapes. Fill up an icy cooler with a few cases of Natty Light or Busch before the roar of race cars soars over the grandstands. And kick open a coolerdor full of affordable premium Rocky Patel smokes for fans who crave the aroma of a fine cigar before the scent of spent tires and exhaust fumes gets into their noses.

For those on the strictest of tailgating budgets, an even cheaper alternative exists beginning at just $1.99 per cigar with Rocky Patel Renaissance Fumas. A premium Cuban-sandwich blend of tobaccos is crafted in a handful of classic wrapper options that taste amazing won’t break the bank when strangers want to get in on your tailgating action.

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