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Top 10 Popular Cigar Brands

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

When you’re getting into cigars, the best place to start is with the top 10 cigar brands. The most popular and highest-rated cigar brands live up their reputations, and that’s why it’s tough to go wrong when you’re looking for the best cigars to smoke. Each brand is home to a renowned portfolio of premium handmade cigars that connoisseurs and critics unanimously agree are magnificent. 

This list may vary from one site or publication to another – but it won’t change much. The following brands can be found in nearly every premium cigar store in the U.S. and beyond. Before you buy cigars, read our overview of the top cigar-makers and the blends that have put them on the map and kept them at the top of our sales charts for the past several years if not decades.

#1 - Ashton

Ashton is a world-class brand known for its consistency and high-end taste. Today, it is home to 7 distinctive top-rated blends: the 92-rated Ashton Classic, the 92-rated Ashton Aged Maduro, 94-rated Ashton Cabinet Selection, 94-rated Ashton ESG, 94-rated Ashton VSG, 94-Ashton Symmetry, and the 95-rated Ashton Heritage. Ashton is unanimously considered one of the best tasting cigars ever created. Brand founder Robert Levin launched Ashton in the mid-1980s. The entire portfolio is blended to an elite standard by legendary cigar-maker Carlito Fuente. Start off with Ashton Classic for a creamy, luscious profile from a brand that sets the benchmark for premium Dominican flavor and aroma.


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#2 - Arturo Fuente

Four generations of the Fuente family carry on a cigar-making heritage that began in Cuba in the 1800s. Modern Fuente family patriarch Carlito Fuente continues a legacy rivaled by few. The Fuente family is the leading producer of premium Dominican cigars in the world. A number of iconic Arturo Fuente cigars comprise the family’s portfolio, including Arturo Fuente Hemingway, Chateau Series, Don Carlos, Gran Reserva, and the ultra-rare Arturo Fuente Anejo and Fuente Fuente Opus X cigars. Arturo Fuente Hemingway is a 94-rated cornerstone in the company’s vast catalog of the best Dominican cigars you can smoke.


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#3 - Oliva

Oliva is a top-selling premium Nicaraguan brand thanks to a strong and steady stream of critical successes. In 2014, Oliva scored 96 points and Cigar Aficionado’s coveted ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ title with Oliva Serie V Melanio. In 2017, the 95-rated Oliva Serie V took home the ‘#2 Cigar of the Year.’ You don’t have to look far to discover several celebrated gems in the brand’s lineup, including the 94-rated Oliva Serie O, 92-rated Master Blends 3, and the divine Oliva Monticello.


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#4 - La Aroma de Cuba

In the late 1800s, Winston Churchill began his lifelong love affair with premium cigars while stationed in Cuba as a young British lieutenant. La Aroma de Cuba was one of the first brands to catch his fancy. The historic cigar was fully revived in the early 2000s and has been reimagined as premium Nicaraguan brand blended by award-winning cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia. The original La Aroma de Cuba is prized for its rich taste and unbeatable value. La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor scored 95 points and Cigar Aficionado’s coveted ‘#2 Cigar of the Year’ following its debut. The brand is also home to the 94-rated Reserva, the 94-rated Edición Especial, and the 94-rated Pasión.


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#5 - Padrón

Padrón is home to a trio of ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ titles from Cigar Aficionado – more than any other single brand. The company’s recipe for success is rooted in the extensive aging of its many Nicaraguan tobaccos. Spicy and earthy notes of cedar, cinnamon, cayenne, and leather can be found in prestigious cigars like the 97-rated Padrón 1926 Series, 95-rated Padrón Family Reserve, 97-rated Padrón 1964 Anniversary, 96-rated Padrón 80 Years, and the original 94-rated Padrón. Most Padrón cigars are crafted in a visually striking box-pressed shape. While there are many top-rated blends to choose, Padrón 1964 Anniversary stands out as the best introduction to one of Nicaragua’s most prestigious brands.


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#6 - Romeo y Julieta

Romeo y Julieta is an iconic Cuban-legacy brand named for Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers. The brand originated in Cuba in 1875, but several bestselling editions are handmade in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua for the premium U.S. market. Romeo y Julieta 1875 is the most popular blend with its easygoing Dominican taste and an aged Indonesian wrapper leaf. Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real, Reserve Maduro, and the original Reserve enjoy a sizeable audience of cigar lovers too. A handful of more recent Romeo blends made in Nicaragua continue to gain momentum thanks to the talents of boutique blending sensation AJ Fernandez.


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#7 - San Cristobal

San Cristobal is home to a sophisticated collection of premium Nicaraguan cigars blended by Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia. The brand’s predominantly full-bodied portfolio delivers loads of complexity in five blends, including the original 93-rated San Cristobal, 93-rated Revelation, 95-rated Quintessence, the creamy 91-rated Elegancia, and the annual limited edition San Cristobal Ovation. Deep Nicaraguan spices and intricate tasting notes of cocoa, espresso, earth, and hickory are present in San Cristobal cigars.


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#8 - My Father

Father-and-son cigar-makers Pepin and Jaime Garcia continue to earn sky-high ratings and awards for their My Father brand. They’ve scored two ‘# 1 Cigar of the Year’ titles with the 97-rated My Father Le Bijou 1922 and the 96-rated Flor de las Antillas. The My Father portfolio is loaded with medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan gems, including the original 94-rated My Father, 94-rated The Judge, 93-rated Don Pepin Garcia, and Cigar Aficionado’s ‘#2 Cigar of the Year’ for 2018, the 95-rated My Father La Opulencia. Bold, beefy, and spicy profiles underscore a decadent collection.


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#9 - Perdomo

Brand founder Nick Perdomo Jr. has built a phenomenal reputation for quality, taste, and value over the past two decades. The Perdomo portfolio boasts a burgeoning series of affordable blends in Natural, Maduro, and Sun Grown wrapper varietals. The brand’s bestsellers include Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne, Lot 23, 20th Anniversary Maduro, Habano, Double Aged Vintage, and more. Shop Perdomo for a mix of creamy and rich Nicaraguan cigars handcrafted to an uncompromising standard for a great price.


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#10 - Nub

The popularity of the short fat shape of Nub cigars can’t be overstated. Nub is handmade at the Oliva factory in Esteli, Nicaragua to a superlative standard. Nub captivated cigar lovers when the brand debuted in 2008. More than ten years later, Nub has proven to be far more than a fleeting trend. The brand’s well-made portfolio includes five core blends: Cameroon, Connecticut, Habano, Maduro, and Corojo. Classic profiles of leather, wood, and spices emerge in ultra-thick but abbreviated shapes. The brand now includes stronger blends with the addition of Cain Nub, as well as a flavored line, Nub Nuance, with a collection of sweet coffee-infused cigars. Indulge in Nub for an original but exaggerated shape with ideal balance and taste.


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