By: Jonathan Detore
I think we can all agree cigars can be pretty expensive if you always reach for the high end premiums. That’s not to knock the high-end stogies we love so much; but if you’re working hard with not a lot to show for it on payday, a monthly household budget with just a couple hundred dollars of freed-up cash can mean the difference between eating filet mignon and eating skirt steak. The sad part is if you skip the cigars and take the filet, you don’t have a high end cigar to enjoy with that tender treat. On the other hand, if you get the cigars, you don’t have the steak to enjoy with one. It’s quite the conundrum.
However, if you look hard enough, you can have your steak and eat it too. There are plenty of incredibly flavorful cigars out there that look like a premium, smoke like a premium, and burn like a premium, all at massively low prices! You may be wondering how a $2 stogie can compare to a $20 premium? I asked myself the same thing when I first started smoking cigars, but the answer is rather simple: most discount cigars are made by the best manufacturers in the industry. If you have a favorite brand of cigars, just do a little research and you’ll be able to find some amazing cigars that same manufacturer makes for a deep discount.
With so many options on the market, it takes a bit of looking around to find one that suits your palate. Luckily, I’ve done my own scrounging around to give you my list of the 10 best discount cigars you’ve probably never heard of. In this list are cigars of all different varieties, from Connecticut, Habano, Maduro and more! The criteria is simple: find my favorite cigars with a rock bottom price tag! It involved me smoking a lot of cigars to pick the right ones, but someone had to do it. I’m just glad they picked me for the job! On top of finding my favorite blowout cigar deals, I twisted my supervisor’s arm to make a sampler to go along with this article so you can try out two of each of the cigars I list to help you find the best cigar for you for the best price!
Artisan Nicaraguan Habano Churchill
When I first started smoking cigars, I was in a call center making peanuts. Luckily my supervisor at the time liked me and handed me cigars from time to time from his personal humidor. One of the first cigars he introduced to me was the Artisan Honduran Churchill Habano. Finally a cigar I liked that I could afford! And when I say I liked it, I really mean it blew me away! Made by the Plasencia factory, which is responsible for some of the best cigars in the world, this cigar features the highest quality tobaccos available, along with a medium-bodied, earthy, nutty, and semi-sweet profile that can be enjoyed any time of day.
Artisan Honduran Churchill Habano
Let me just be honest here: I love the Artisan lines. The above cigar and the Artisan Nicaraguan Habano here were always on my list of cigars to get when I was running low on both stogies and money. Also made by Plasencia using all premium hand selected Nicaraguan tobaccos including a nicely spiced Habano wrapper. Expect a medium-bodied profile with a spicier and woodier mix than the Honduran variation of this cigar, but expect the same insanely low price. Artisan is the ultimate any-time-of-day cigar brand.
You’re about to find out that I really enjoy nearly every cigar Nestor Plasencia makes. Yet another home run of a discount cigar by the master of all cigars, the Aspira Churchill offers a more hearty smoke that gracefully introduces any mild to mild-medium cigar smoker into the world of medium-full bodied cigars. Each has a very rich blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos that are elegantly hand wrapped in a rare and pleasantly spicy Habano 2000 wrapper for a smooth yet bold smoke for below $2 a stick! With the quality of tobacco in this cigar, it’s unimaginable how this cigar is this inexpensive.
Bayamo Superiores Churchill
You would never expect a cigar as inexpensive as the Bayamo Superiores to hold as much complexity as it does, yet here I am writing about the incredible complexity that comes from this stellar smoke. Handmade at Raices Cubanas, the same people who make some of the highest ranked cigars across the cigar biz, (like Alec Bradley cigars), this three-nation flavor bomb is well balanced, exquisitely constructed, and beautifully blended to create a symphony of flavors that rival any premium on the market today.
Made by Rocky Patel, Conuco has made their way to the humidors of thousands of people over the years, for their amazing price and even better flavor. The story of Conuco all starts with the idea that a cigar doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be a full-flavored powerhouse. After countless test blends using tobaccos from Rocky’s own collection, he finally landed on a blend that was just right. Using a lush and naturally sweet Honduran Maduro wrapper and a strong core, the Conuco is a solid go-to smoke.
Famous 365 Churchill
To me, the Famous 365 is the cigar of the people, which was reason enough for me to include it on my list of must-have discount cigars. Handmade in Nicaragua, these beauties can be smoked any time of day all year round. Need a yard cigar? Famous 365. Need to kick back after a long day at work? Famous 365. Want to give a friend a cigar that doesn’t cost a fortune? Famous 365. No matter what the situation is, this trooper is there to serve you. It’s rich, it’s medium-bodied, and has a stellar natural tobacco and earth flavor. For the price, you simply can’t go wrong with this workhorse of a cigar.
Famous VSL Nicaragua Churchill
The Famous VSL has a really interesting concept behind it which is why I had to put this cigar on my list. The VSL stands for Viso, Seco, and Ligero which are the three different sections of the tobacco plant from bottom to top used to make cigars. The VSL Nicaragua incorporates Nicaraguan variations of these tobaccos to allow them to work their magic and give you a well-rounded taste of all three sections in action! Expect a well-balanced blend that puts out notes of cedar, sweet spice, espresso and more from this highly affordable smoke.
Private Selection Churchill
Private Selection Churchill cigars undoubtedly make my list of must-have discount cigars for their unbelievable flavor and rather interesting blend. Made by a very well-respected factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, the Private Selection utilize all Nicaraguan grown longfiller tobaccos with a lush Cuban seed Ecuadorian grown Connecticut wrapper. The richness of the Nicaraguan tobaccos bring out peppery notes and earthiness while the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper adds a rich sweetness while also offering a marvelous aroma. These may be inexpensive, but the Private Selection will undoubtedly be in your own personal private selection for years to come once you try this outstanding cigar.
The best part about writing a list like this is rediscovering old favorites that I haven’t tried in quite a while, however even though I hadn’t had a Soledad in a while, it’s still one I haven’t forgotten about. I always recommend Soledad cigars to anyone looking to step up their cigar game a bit and dive head first into the world of full-bodied Maduros. Made by the same people behind Helix cigars, this silky smooth cigar is made possible with a hearty blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers and an oily Maduro wrapper for a creamy smoke packed with a slight semi-sweet spice.
Famous Vitola Especial Churchill
When I was brand new here, I had no idea where to start in my cigar journey. What brand do I try? What wrapper should I aim towards? It was all very confusing until I asked our head of purchasing for advice. He sagely suggested to smoke what the employees smoke and I’ll find my way. Well, the Famous employees were, and still are, smoking Famous Vitola Especial. These cigars aren’t just good; they’re downright amazing. Handmade in Nicaragua using a diverse all-Nicaraguan core of tobaccos all rolled in an Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf, this hidden gem is aged 5 years in cedar crates for an unfathomably smooth and perfectly balanced smoke. It’s a true sit-back-and-enjoy cigar that will never break the bank.
But Why Stop There?
The great thing about cigars is that there’s always something new to try…and because we have a team of buyers literally combing through cigar factory aging rooms throughout Central America and the Carribean, we get new cigars in all the time! Hidden gems abound, if you know what to look for – and these folks do: high quality hand made premium cigars, and somehow they manage to bring them back to sell for under a dollar each. At any given time, we have the opportunity to swap out some of the cigars I mentioned above for some great smokes:
Maroma – a “Cuban sandwich” mix of tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras, the robusto-sized edition on Maroma is super-mellow thanks to its Connecticut wrapper; and the aroma is fantastic.
Maroma Dulce – it has all the same great qualities as the original, but this Maroma sweetens the pot – literally – with a lightly sweetened cap (hence the “Dulce”). Still very smooth and delightfully mild, Maroma Dulce makes a great complement to your morning coffee.
Iron Horse – a great value cigar that’s often found in my humidor, Iron Horse takes the typical Dominican flavor you might be familiar with and turns up the intensity a little bit. This one is a little heartier in the toro size, and you can’t beat it for the price.
Cariños – a rare find, which makes this one a nice smoke to savor when you’re looking for something a little different. Rather than rely on tobacco from the “Big 3” countries (Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican), Cariños includes a bit of Panamanian and Brazilian leaf to the mix, and finishes with a slight bit of spice from that dark Oscuro wrapper.
There’s so many more cigars I wish I could add to this list, all of which I either discovered or re-discovered as I worked my way through all the discount cigars there are in our inventory, but there isn’t enough space on our servers to handle such a massive article. However, the cigars listed above have proven to not only be some of my favorite discount smokes, but also show to be extremely popular among cigar deal seekers across the nation. Now you can try two of each of these treasures for under a dollar a piece. That’s 20 cigars for under $20! After you try these cigars, we’re confident you’ll find your new every-day cigar that will save you literally hundreds of dollars over time! Join the ranks of thrifty shoppers everywhere and jump on the premium discount cigar train today!