Reading Time: 6 minutes In our guide to the best cigars for summer, you’ll find a handpicked and curated selection of blends to get you through even the most sweltering of days. From full-bodied and meaty to light and breezy, you’ll find a blend or two that’ll provide you with a summer’s worth of cigar smoking bliss.
2022 CA Report: 10 Top Churchill Cigars Under $10
Cigar Advisor’s 10 Under 10 Picks: 10 of The Best Churchill Cigars Under $10
Picture Winston Churchill. He had a cigar in his mouth, didn’t he? Few men in history are as synonymous with cigars as Sir Winston—and none were as consequential. Throughout his significant lifetime—as a war hero, statesman, wartime leader, orator, biographer, historian, and painter—the British Bulldog enjoyed cigars. His 8-10 cigar a day habit was as legendary as his sharp wit and pugnacity—and inspired “The Churchill Cigar,” a Cuban Romeo y Julieta (created sometime in the later 1940’s or 1950’s) measuring 7 inches in length with a ring gauge of 47. Here’s a little cigar trivia for you—this size (7×47) was previously widely known as a Romeo y Julieta Clemenceau or in Cuban cigar factories as the Julieta No. 2.
What’s a Churchill Cigar?
Today’s Churchills can vary in size from the Cuban original, with most beginning around 6 7/8” and rolled to a 47-49 ring gauge. But who’s got a tape measure—any way you look at it a Churchill is a considerable cigar. Anything less would do its inspiration an injustice. And unfortunately for the same reason—its size—Churchills are among the highest priced vitolas in most cigar portfolios.
So, if you’ve stayed away from Churchills because of the investment in time or money—here’s the thing—you’re missing out on one of the best cigar experiences you’re likely to have. To help you start, or get reacquainted, with this classic shape—here are 10 premium Churchills you can find under $10.
Do you have a favorite Churchill cigar? Tell us about it in the comments section!
Arturo Fuente King T Rosado
The Arturo Fuente King T Rosado adheres to the traditional Churchill dimensions. The rose-tinted wrapper tops off an all-Dominican long filler core offering flavors that remain smooth and creamy, with cedar and additional notes of baking spice and nuts. Throughout, the King T stays in the medium-bodied territory while the cedar comes into sharper focus with the addition of some light black pepper. The Arturo Fuente King T Rosado comes in an aluminum tube that’ll protect the prized premium from dings, tears, or generally getting knocked around. Plus, you can save the tube for future use when you need to take a cigar on the go.
300 Hands Connecticut
What’s not to love about 300 Hands? With a name inspired by hard work—it takes roughly 300 hands to create a cigar from seed to shelf—this Southern Draw/AJ Fernandez collaboration donates 25% of every sale to the people of Nicaragua. And they certainly didn’t skimp out on the premium tobaccos—from the genuine Connecticut Shade wrapper to the Peruvian binder and Nicaraguan long fillers. Expect a medium-bodied, multi-layered profile with pepper, cream, sweetness, and some earth that keeps this stately cigar interesting down to the nub.
Gran Habano Corojo No. 5 Maduro
I can’t see this cigar’s name without getting that earworm track from a few years ago—Mambo No. 5—stuck on repeat in the noggin. It’s a sacrifice worth it, as the Gran Habano Corojo No. 5 Churchill Maduro takes the renowned flavor profile of the No. 5 and adds sweetness and depth to the cream and spice. The Costa Rican binder and Nicaraguan binder and fillers deliver a full bodied, complex, and surprisingly affordable experience that’ll have aficionados singing its praises.
Indomina by AJ Fernandez
A cigar that outperforms its price—Indomina features an exceptional Ecuador grown Habana 2000 wrapper over a Mexican binder and Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos. You’ll get the classic AJ Fernandez spice with a flavor profile that also includes cedar and leather with earthy and sweet undertones. Indomina smokes cool and remains medium-bodied and entertaining. Approachable for cigar enthusiasts of any experience level, this Churchill is a perfect cigar for those days when you want to take it long and slow—perhaps relaxing with a nice, refreshing bourbon cocktail.
Oliva Baptiste Maduro
The Oliva with a menacing namesake–Baptiste draws its name from Jean-Baptiste, a French Serial Killer from the 1800’s notorious for his knife work. With a dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper leaf sitting atop a blend of spirited Nicaraguan tobaccos, Baptiste is full-bodied and well-balanced. Expect flawless construction and a host of flavors including cedar, tobacco, raisins, espresso, earth, and some light black pepper. Oliva Baptiste begs you to take your time and savor the decadent experience while you struggle whether or not to let the secret out about this affordable gem.
Partagas No. 10 (Yellow Label)
Even the most casual of cigar fans has come across a Partagas or two. Over the last 150 years or so—but who’s counting—the brand has honed its craft and cemented its reputation as one of the foremost producers of premium cigars. Take the Partagas No. 10—this beauty comes dressed in a Cameroon wrapper hugging a blend of Mexican and Dominican long leaf tobaccos and provides a consistent and smooth full-bodied experience. Try Partagas No. 1 and you’ll pick up notes of cedar, spice, and some sweetness that stay balanced and consistent.
Drew Estate Liga Privada Undercrown
The Liga Undercrown’s origin story is basically cigar folklore these days. Factory workers at Drew Estate were smoking too many Liga Privada No. 9’s and that practice was put to an end. Missing the rich and luxurious flavor profile of the No. 9, some enterprising workers blended a copycat using less expensive tobaccos—and thus, Undercrown was born. To say this cigar took the industry by storm is an understatement as Liga Undercrowns remain best-sellers to this day. Take your time and enjoy the lush notes of cream, sweetness, cedar, and light spice.
Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur No. 1
Ever see a guy on the links smoking a cigar? Dollars to donuts it was an Excalibur No. 1—a classic blend that’s one of the tried and true blends for golfers of all experience levels. The practically effortless cigar basically smokes itself and will entertain with sweetness, leather, nuts, and cedar with some nuances of dark chocolate at play in the background. Mild to just approaching medium bodied—Excalibur No. 1 is a cool and relaxing blend that rewards you handsomely for taking your time and getting the most out of it.
Walk into any local cigar lounge and ask some fellow enthusiasts to name their favorite blends and you’re guaranteed to hear a Padron or two. And there’s a common misconception that Padrons are too pricey for an everyday guy—but that’s flat out wrong. Take the entry level Padron—known by some as the Thousand Series—as a case in point of a super-premium experience for pennies. Strap in for a full-bodied rollercoaster of superior flavors including coffee, hazelnuts, chocolate, spice, and a dash of pepper. This Nicaraguan puro features perfect construction, while the flavors exhibit a balance and depth rarely seen in cigars at this price point.
Romeo y Julieta Reserve
Speaking of getting the most bang for your cigar buying buck—here’s another legendary brand that’s more affordable than you’d think. The Romeo y Julieta Reserve is approachable for any enthusiast—mellow and smooth enough for beginners and interesting enough for savvy veterans of the leaf. The blend approaches medium body and exudes dense, creamy smoke while expressing flavors of cedar, leather, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sweet cream. Take the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Churchill for a spin and you’ll find a premium cigar that’ll surpass all expectations and help stretch your cigar budget.
A Churchill is not a quick cigar. It’s not the cigar for the impatient. Make the investment however, and you’ll savor the time spent. Have I missed any great Churchills under $10? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below. I’m always on the lookout for a great premium cigar buy.