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CA Report: 10 Best Medium Bodied Cigars
The 10 Best Medium Body Cigars You Should Be Smoking!
Updated October 2022
If there’s one thing that’s certain in the cigar industry, it’s that things are always changing.
If you could step into a time machine and go back 30 years, you might find the selection of a tobacco shop to be less diverse than you’re used to. That’s because back then, most of what was offered was wrapped in Connecticut Shade.
Brand loyalty was higher and therefore, there weren’t nearly as many new cigars coming to market as there are today. The demand just wasn’t there. Enthusiasts didn’t pace the length of the shelves as they often do; they knew what they wanted, came in, bought it, and left.
At the end of 1992, Cigar Aficionado had printed its first magazine, and while their celebrity cameos helped serve as the catalyst of the cigar boom, more important changes were just on the horizon. There were up-and-coming manufacturers like Perdomo, Oliva, and Rocky Patel, and by 1998, this new breed of cigarmakers had cut the use of Connecticut Shade for the U.S. market dramatically.
They were pioneers working to crystalize their own legacy, and many of them crafted fuller-bodied blends that required more robust tobaccos. The new smokers who had jumped on the cigar craze fell in love with these stronger, more flavorful recipes in the same way that each generation tends to latch on to changes in music, fashion, and almost everything else. The boom may have ended, but the demand for more potent cigars continued to surge. And it did for nearly two more decades.
Why are medium body cigars in demand now?
In recent years, a quieter renaissance has been unfolding. Consumers tired of being inundated by pepper bombs are now seeking out medium-bodied cigars that deliver an excellent flavor profile without overwhelming their palates with strength.
The trend is evident with almost everyone I talk to, from the guys here at CA, to customers in the retail store, and beyond. “I want a medium cigar with a lot of flavor,” is one of the most common statements I hear.
With that in mind, the following 10 selections fit the medium-bodied, full-flavored profile and they span national brands and boutiques alike. If you find yourself leaning on this newest front of cigar evolution, I’m certain that you’ll walk away finding a handful of sticks that satisfy your palate.
As always, share your thoughts on this article in the comments below!
While everyone else was busy turning Connecticut cigars into full-bodied pepper bombs, Steve Saka turned his clock back to the pre-boom era, when mild-mannered natural leaves reigned supreme. He called his throwback blend Sobremesa Brulee, a French cooking term meaning burned. Brûlée can also define a dish that’s been dusted with caramelized sugar—a notion that the cigar lives up to enormously. So much so that Saka was (mostly playfully) accused of artificially sweetening the blend. The truth came out and Saka was vindicated. And so was born one of the biggest cult cigars of the past decade. Expect a harmony of cedar, leather, nuts, and gentle spices along with a torrent of lip-smacking sweetness. One thing is certain: Sobremesa Brulee is easy to smoke…and hard to put down.
New World by AJ Fernandez Cameroon Selection by AJ Fernandez
AJ Fernandez might be better known for his infamously potent blends, but New World Cameroon Selection proves that he has the chops to make cigars for mere mortals, too. Flavors of earth, spices, sweet cedar, and white pepper converge on the palate beautifully thanks to an assist in the blending room from AJ’s father, Ismael. Underneath its African Cameroon wrapper, Cameroon Selection boasts a robust blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos that leave an impression—not a scar. And to sweeten an already enticing pot, the cigars are quite affordable too. Light one up and see if it’s a match for your palate!
I can forgive anyone who tries to call my bluff for championing Romeo y Julieta House of Romeo. No doubt, it’s exclusive to Famous, making my praise seem biased. The truth is though, House of Romeo is the real deal. And I have an inbox full of ‘thank you!’ replies to past recommendations to prove it. House of Romeo’s flavors are dark, tangy, and floral with a berry sweetness that reminds me a bit of jam. It’s by far my favorite Romeo smoke and a serious contender for my overall favorite Famous exclusive. The cigar sneaks a little past medium thanks to an Ecuador Habano wrapper and core of Honduran & Dominican tobaccos, but I’m going to let it slide, because it deserves all the ink I can give it. Try it, and I’ll await your ‘thank you!’ too.
AVO Heritage Toro
Henke Kelner, the mastermind behind Davidoff’s blending prowess, worked with Avo Uvezian to craft this AVO masterpiece. Heritage is listed as full-bodied, but those who have smoked it tend to categorize it closer to the medium-bodied spectrum, and for good reason. It’s creamy, smooth, and brims with cedar, toast, spices, and a gentle pepper note. For the recipe, the duo chose an Ecuador Habano Sun Grown wrapper, a Dominican binder, and a filler combo of Dominican Ligero and Seco with zesty Peruvian leaves. Light up the firepit and pour yourself a glass of your favorite spirits. This one will take you well into the evening hours.
E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III
After reining in the Cigar of the Year in 2018 with Encore, it’s clear that Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has his finger on the pulse of what cigar smokers crave. La Historia E-III is a prized blend by cigar fanatics, and it reached superstar status in 2014 when it was tapped for the # 2 spot of that year. And when you start peeling back the details of this cigar, it’s not hard to see why. With its Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper, Ecuador Sumatra binder and Nicaragua long-fillers, warm notes of earth, wood, coffee, and fruit are abounding. I think the cigar is even better than its #1 cousin, but I’ll let you be the judge.
Drew Estate Undercrown Sun Grown Belicoso
The Undercrown Sun Grown Belicoso has just about everything you’d want from a medium-bodied cigar. It’s fully flavored, crafted by Drew Estate, and it boasts a diverse recipe of decadent tobaccos. Starting with its wrapper, DE employed a lush Ecuador Sumatra Sun Grown wrapper atop a Connecticut Habano Sun Grown binder and fillers from the Nueva Segovia region of Nicaragua. Combined, they deliver a sweet and spicy orchestra of flavor that is highlighted by splashes of espresso and wood, and even a hint of cinnamon on the finish. This is another that’s listed full, yet smokes medium to my palate. Still, it does get into the medium-plus range at times, but you might enjoy it too much to notice!
Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto
A staple of the Rocky Patel portfolio, Vintage 1992 in renowned for its consistency in flavor and complexity. The aroma reminds me of peanut butter, and you can depend on vibrant echoes of sweet spiciness, coffee, and even a pinch caramel. This is all made possible by Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, a Nicaragua binder, and an incredible 10-year-aged Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. I’ve gone on record before to say Rocky isn’t my go-to brand, but to exclude this cigar would be criminal. In my opinion, if you only ever light up one of his smokes, make sure Vintage 1992 is on the band.
Oliva Serie G Toro
In a marketplace filled with cigars trying to be Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys, Oliva Serie G is a Toyota. On the surface, that may seem like a put-down, but dig deeper. Those supercars…sure, they’re nice. But they’re expensive, heavy on maintenance, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a few blocks down the road before they’ve broken down. The Toyota is a workhorse. You can depend on it, it’s relatively cheap, and you’ll probably die before it does. And that’s the G’s real value. You’re getting much more for your money. Expect a smooth, aromatic smoke with vibes of citrus, spice, and earth from start to finish from these Cameroon-wrapped treats and truly make the most of your cigar budget.
Brick House Robusto
Getting its name from the brick-laden Newman family house in Hungary, Brick House is widely considered one of the best buys in the cigar biz. It finishes sweet and throughout the length of the smoke, it dishes hits of cedar, fruit, coffee, spice, and tea. As Nicaraguan puros go, this blend isn’t as punchy as you might expect, but it still has enough edge to satisfy the purist crowd. You’ll love it for its balance, low price, and complexity. Discover why Brick House’s sea of fans keep coming back for more and you might end up finding the next every-day stick that’ll help to keep your humidor filled.
Punch Rare Corojo Pita
I know a lot of people reading this will say to themselves, “…but the originals were better.” The originals of every cigar are almost always better, but blends by their handmade nature change over time for a litany of reasons, and sometimes, it’s impossible to replicate the original results. Punch Rare Corojo keeps it pretty close to the introductory magic with an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and long fillers from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Spicy, rich, and overflowing with torrents of sweet fruit, grains, cocoa, and a toasty finish, you can rest assured that your next cigar indulgence will be one to remember.