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2020 CA Report: Top Small Cigars for Winter Smoking

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Top Nine Small Cigars for Winter Smoking

Updated January 2020

Don’t sacrifice flavor just because it’s cold, and you’re short on smoking time.

By now, we’ve officially traded in our lawnmowers for snowblowers and sit hunkering down in the fetal position for a long and dreary winter. Those Toros and Churchills…it’s simply too cold to smoke them without some acute frostbite.

And all you folks down South are probably laughing right now: too cold to smoke. First World Yankee problems, right? We’ll remember that when it’s 110 degrees and you can’t smoke outside, either.

But who says you need to sacrifice flavor because it’s cold, and short on smoking time? We sure as hell-frozen-over don’t.

While the majority of your bigger smokes may be going into a deep sleep (lounge time and indoor smoking not withstanding), it doesn’t mean you have to write off cigars until spring. That’s just wrong. So rather than be forced to go without, it’s time to break into the winter survival kit: smaller cigars that smoke faster, so you can minimize your time in what feels like Antarctica out there.

These bite-sized treats are like rations on the war front…necessary to your cigar survival in the face of the harshest elements, a little taste of sanity and big flavor in a short, frostbite-free amount of time. The upshot? They’re designed specifically to deliver just as much oomph and flavor per square centimeter as their bigger-barreled brothers.

Some Small Cigar Smoking Tips:

Contrary to what we’ve said, small cigars are meant to be enjoyed year-round…and there are many benefits from smoking, regardless of what month (or temperature) you’re lighting them up.

  • Average Toro smoking time…1 hour 20 minutes. Average small cigar smoking time…25 minutes. Result: more opportunities to enjoy a cigar!
  • If you’re not sure you’re going to like it, a small cigar is a great way to break in on a new blend. Most brands have them in mini sizes, 38RG or under; so, if you’re new to cigars or not sure you want to take a chance on a full-sized version, spring for a tin and see if it speaks to you.
  • Same goes if you’re new to cigars – if you’re not sure what you like, try them in a smaller size – your cigar dollar goes farther, as these small sizes are cheaper.
  • Smaller sticks are incredibly travel friendly – but remember, these pee-wee premiums still need to be humidified like their larger counterparts.
  • Smoke slow, draw shallow – if you puff too hard, a small cigar can overheat quickly.

Let’s indulge…

New World by AJ Fernandez Cameroon Selection Short Robusto

best small cigars for winter smoking AJ Fernandez New World Cameroon cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

We don’t often get vitola-specific, but this Cameroon-wrapped Short Robusto from AJ gives all the full-size cigar frills you could ask for and then some in a pint-sized package. It’s got enough edge to keep fans of bolder smokes happy – but it does so with a balance of cream, coffee, cedar, and cocoa. It’s like the best of both worlds, and it impressed us enough to make our Top 25 Cigars in 2019.

Parodi Superiore

best small cigars for winter smoking Parodi cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

These strong, smoky, and sweet fire cured Superiores may not seem like small cigars at first glance given their six-inch length, but they’re designed to be cut in half and shared with a friend. But we won’t say anything if you keep them both yourself. Parodi is an all-American cigar at heart with a travel-friendly bonus: they don’t require humidification, so these sticks are just as content in your center console as they are in your humidor.

Padron Corticos

best small cigars for winter smoking Padron cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

It could be said that Padron is the quintessential Nicaraguan cigar, and these petite-sized 35RG Corticos are rolled with the same hand-selected tobaccos used in their Thousand series. That means you’ll enjoy the same flavors you’ve come to love. That coffee, cocoa, exotic spice, and earthiness will warm your soul no matter how far the mercury falls.

Famous Exclusives Buenos Naturales

best small cigars for winter smoking Famous Exclusives cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Made by Plasencia exclusively for Famous Smoke Shop, Buenos Naturales deliver an unmatched flavor-to-dollar ratio. The recipe is simple: Nicaraguan tobaccos, flawless craftsmanship, and a satiating array of medium-bodied flavors like cedar, spice, wood, and savory sweetness. How they’ve crammed all of that into this little package is beyond us…not that we’re complaining.

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Machito

best small cigars for winter smoking Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Slimming down to a 4 ¾ x 42, this corona still ascribes to the original, 1970’s-era JdN philosophy: hearty and full win the day. Quick and tasty to boot, bold ligero abounds under dark natural Criollo. If you’re an uber-full cigar smoker, you’ll likely need to chain yourself down to the floor to keep from blazing through the entire pack.

Oliva Serie O Cigarillo

best small cigars for winter smoking Oliva Serie O cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Oliva calls this a cigarillo, but that’s like referring to a .44 Mag as a pea shooter. Oh, those modest Olivas. Chock full of 5-year aged tobaccos grown in Nicaragua’s northern regions (they’re the spicier parts of town), each Serie O cigarillo is a smooth, spicy burn that’s meant to be polished off in 30 minutes or less.

Romeo 1875 Petit Bully

best small cigars for winter smoking Romeo y Julieta 1875 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

You’re used to Romeo as a pretty mellow and modest smoke – but this is a case where the wrapper-to-filler ratio defies convention and ups the flavor. Still packed with Dominican long fillers, there’s less of it needed to fill the 4×38 space; that means more aroma and flavor, as the Indonesian wrapper on these small cigars (there are 6/tin) really gets a chance to shine.

Rocky Patel Juniors Connecticut

Best small cigars for winter smoking Rocky Patel Juniors Connecticut cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

A 4×38 short panatela, and for this one Rocky’s gone extra-creamy – combining some of his finest Nicaraguan & Dominican tobaccos then wrapped it in silky, tasty Connecticut Shade wrapper. The result of RP’s hawkish eye on quality is a medium-bodied cigar whose flavor well exceeds its size, plus a sweet cedar spice that lingers long beyond your smoke break.

Liga Privada Unico Serie Papas Fritas

best small cigars for winter smoking Liga Privada Unico Papas Fritas cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Our comments section was stuffed full of picks for a tiny winter treat, but one of them stood out above the rest: Papas Fritas. When your small smoke bears the Liga Privada name, a great time is in your immediate future. Tobaccos from Connecticut, Brazil, and Nicaragua were skillfully blended, and the hallmark is the flavor. Cocoa, caramel, wood, and spices will melt those icicles off your nose in short order. Thanks for your submission, Stan!


We’ll be damned if we’re going to share the garage with mice and half-empty paint cans to relax with a smoke…so while an outdoor wintertime cigar may be a shorter experience, we’d rather it be more robust – and highly recommend big-flavor small cigars like these. Let us know which of these minis is up your alley in the comments below!

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Chazzeric Rivers
7 years ago

Left out cohiba black pequenos

Butch Benitez
7 years ago

how about davidoff primeros maduros

Russ Clark
5 years ago

AJ Fernandez “Last Call”…natural or maduro…suPERB!!!

Russ Clark
5 years ago

Man O’ War “Dark Horse”…EXcellent!!!!!

Stan Walker
4 years ago

Like me some Surrogates Craker Crumb or Papa Fritas when I want a short smoke.

3 years ago

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Please respond as I’m looking to design my own blog

3 years ago

How full bodied are the Liga Privada Unico Serie Papas Fritas?

Jared Gulick
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon

They’re strong, but not what I’d call pepper bombs or anything, especially for a small as they are. Lots of flavor, but still quite light for the nicotine factor. An after lunch cigar for sure if you’re short on time.

2 years ago

My small smoke for winter is definitelly the Toscano Amezzato bianco di grappa.
Rolled with a tasty italian american tobacco.

Jared Gulick

Jared Gulick

Features Editor, Jared Gulick, is a Certified Tobacconist, nerd of all things science, musician and serial abuser of the Oxford comma. He made his way to the Famous Smoke Shop retail store in 2018 and joined the Advisors when it was discovered that he could locate the shift key. Prior to his work in the cigar industry, he was a recording studio engineer, songwriter, and a journalism major at Northampton Community College.

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