Are you looking to purchase your first cigar? What are the best options for first-timers? This beginner’s guide to cigars will help you make a flavorful choice!
Have you ever walked past a distinguished looking man sitting on a bench in the park, as relaxed as a cat in the sun, smoking a cigar and looking for all the world like he has nowhere else he’d rather be?
See that look of contentment in his eyes as he takes in the world around him?
He’s a man who knows how to enjoy the pleasures in life.
If you’ve ever wanted to try incorporating the taste and pleasure of a fine cigar into your day or night, read on for a beginner’s guide to cigars.
A Beginner’s Guide to Cigars
Much like good food, coffee, and whiskey, cigars come in all kinds of flavors, from very mild to extremely bold.
You can choose to start your journey with a mild cigar first to dip your toe in the water, so-to-speak. Or, if you know you tend to prefer your foods and drinks to have lots of flavor and substance, a bolder option may be best for you.
Cigars Come in Lots of Different Sizes
There are lots of options to choose from in the size of cigars.
The shortest being the cigarillo which, at only 3 1/8 inches long, look more like a cigarette than the type of cigar made famous by the likes of William Churchill. These little stogies take less time to burn and are a good option for when you don’t have a lot of time.
The longest cigars are the toro grande and the pyramide, each measuring in at a whopping 7 inches, with the former having a 52 ring size and the latter ranging from 44 to 54.
If you think you want to try a cigar on an even rounder size, these have a 60 ring gauge: gordo, compana, and bullet.
Other Differentiations Between the Types of Cigars
Besides the size, other characteristics to note when differentiating between the types of cigars for beginners is the flavor, wrapper, strength, and whether they are filtered, hand-rolled, or machine made.
Many factors can affect the flavor of a cigar. Much like the terroir of quality wine or tea, tobacco grown in different reasons vary in their taste. There is the filler, the binder that holds the filler together, and the wrapper. Some are even then dipped to apply additional flavors.
Over time, if you pay attention to how your cigars were made and where the ingredients come from, you will get a good idea of how to choose among the different brands to find more of the kinds that please your senses.
The list below incorporates the best cigars for beginners that will introduce you to a variety of types.
1. Ashton 898
The Ashton 898 is a premium, full-size cigar that is 6 1/2 in length and is a 44 ring gauge in size. It has a natural USA/Connecticut shade wrapper, which gives it a mild and buttery flavor, making it ideal for a beginner.
2. Oliva Connecticut Reserve Robusto
This is also a premium, full-size cigar featuring an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper which gives it a creamy, slightly nutty flavor. It is 5 inches in length and has a 50 ring size, giving is a fatter, stouter hand-feel than the Ashton 898. This cigar pairs well with dark rum.
3. Camacho BXP Connecticut Toro
Another premium full-size cigar, clocking in at 6 x 50. The Toro is also wrapped in Connecticut Shade wrapper but Pennsylvania broadleaf long fillers have been added to give it a medium ranking on the boldness flavor.
4. Baccarat Toro
These cigars are wrapped in a Honduran Connecticut wrapper, providing a mild smoke experience. They are also a full-size 6 x 50 premium cigar. These cigars are mild enough to pair with lightly brewed coffee.
5. AVO Robusto
These AVO Cigars are Robusto in size (5 x 50). They are wrapped in an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper, providing a creamy flavor and a medium boldness.
6. Al Capone Sweets Cognac
The Al Capone Sweets Cognac is a mini cigarillo measuring 3 1/8 inch with a 20 gauge ring size. These little gems are rolled with a natural wrapper and then dipped in cognac to provide you with a hint of sweetness when you get a chance to take a quick break.
7. Dutch Masters Cigarillos Atomic Fusion
Here is another cigarillo; this one from Dutch Masters. These are 4 3/4 x 28, so they are slightly rounder and a bit longer than the one mentioned above. The flavor profile of these cigarillos is that of berries and honey.
8. Phillies Blunt Box
Enjoy these Phillies with your favorite dark beer. They are 4 7/8 x 41 and have a natural wrapper. You can also find Phillies Blunt Box cigars with the scent of chocolate or strawberry.
9. Remington Filtered Cigars Peach
Unlike the cigars mentioned above, these last two are filtered cigars. These cigars are 3 7/8 x 20, are machine-rolled in natural wrappers.
In addition to this peach flavored cigar, you can also find Remington filtered cigars in the following flavors: cherry, chocolate, grape, menthol, rum, strawberry, and vanilla.
10. Talon Filtered Cigars Sweet Original
These Talon filtered cigars are also 3 7/8 x 20 and machine-rolled in natural wrappers. As indicated in their name, these stogies provide sweetness with every draw. You can also find these cigars in cherry, vanilla and grape flavors.
An Easy Way to Try a Variety of Cigars for Beginners
If picking and choosing individual cigars seems a bit daunting for you, there is an easier way.
Instead of picking and choosing your own selection of beginner cigars to get you started, you may decide to order a factory sampler, or two, are your way to go.
These packs include cigars in a variety of selections in both taste and size, providing you with a range of cigars to try and will give you a good indication of your preferred types of cigars.
Start Your Path to Becoming a Cigar Aficionado Today
As our daily lives get more compacted and rushed, taking time out to enjoy those stolen moments of downtime just gets all the more important. But it is important to start with the right cigar.
It may take experimenting with a few different types and flavors, but using this beginner’s guide to cigars and your own exploration, you will find your preferred cigars.
Keep in mind, too, that many believe a good cigar is enhanced by pairing it with a good drink. As we’ve seen in movies and on TV, many cigar smokers enjoy theirs while sipping a glass of whiskey. If you are one of them, check out our other article on whiskey.
Be adventurous and let your own taste be your guide.