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2018 CA REPORT: 10 Top Wedding Cigars
What does a groom do? He plans the fun stuff at the party, like picking the cocktails.
And the cigars.
These days, the most popular months to get married are June, September and October; yes, October is still very much “cigar season,” as the weather is great. If you’re planning to offer cigars at your wedding – or at least, celebrate with a smoke of your own – finding the right cigar is a seemingly easy task, but there’s still a lot to consider. After all, a momentous occasion demands big decisions.
Most grooms-to-be are swarmed with coordinating this special day; having gone through my own nuptials recently, I know first-hand that some thought must be put into what you’ll be smoking. So I’ve worked out a formula for the qualities to look for in finding the perfect wedding day cigar, to make things nice and easy. Follow this advice and you’ll thank yourself…and so will your guests.
You can apply this guide for guests, groomsmen and yourself, as you’ll likely be shopping for different types of smokers.
Finding the Right Wedding Day Cigars
One of the biggest factors in serving cigars is having the right space to enjoy them. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the venue outdoors?
- Will there be a designated area for smokers?
- How far away from the party will smokers be?
- How long will the reception be?
Next, we look for quantity, price range, strength and size.
The most important aspect in selecting a cigar is ensuring you can get a large enough quantity to share freely, even to guests who’ve never smoked before. Know your audience but plan to put out at least 20-30 cigars for every 50 guests. Yes, boxes and bundles are your friends here. If you go the bundle route I suggest finding a wooden box or putting out a humidor or tupperdor, because scattering dozens of cigars on a table just looks sloppy.
Everyone’s budget will vary; it’s a fact. Planning a wedding takes months or years, so skipping out on good wedding smokes is simply a sin; but there’s nothing wrong with spending less on good cigars. If you know what your guests are going to like, go with your gut. As with all cigar buying, price isn’t everything and when you compare cigars to the big picture cost, it’ll make sense.
Strength is tricky – you and your groomsmen may all be smoking buddies, but those guests? Not so much. The bulk of your cigars are going to the inexperienced guests, so make sure the bulk of your order is on the mellow-medium range. From there, you can pick a few singles for yourself, a 5-pack or 10-pack for the groomsmen or, if there’s demand, a full box for the BOTL’s on the guest list. Always be mindful of your guests because you’re not just the groom, you’re the host.
The most underrated aspect of buying a wedding cigar. Remember those questions we asked in the beginning? Here’s where they come into play. DO NOT get sixty ring gauges, Churchills, or otherwise large cigars that take over an hour and a half to smoke. If the smoking section is too far separated from the party, nobody is going to be spending all evening in cigar exile – and you’ll be picking up a lot of half-smoked cigars. Stick to cigars 4-5 ½ inches in length, or under 1 hour smoke time. Cigars in the corona, petite corona, robusto, or magnum sizes are in that sweet spot.
Now that we have our criteria, let’s look at some of the most popular wedding cigars to take your special day from low-key to legendary.
For Your Guests…
ASHTON CLASSIC MAGNUM
On the higher end of the price scale, Ashton Classic is a well-known brand that guests will delight in seeing. Keeping in tune with the mellow body that’s widely appealing, it’s filled with specially aged Dominican leaves and a US Connecticut wrapper for drives a rich and balanced smoke. Made by Arturo Fuente, the Classic touts a creamy, woody draw and the 5 x 50 Magnum is the perfect smoke time. (Box count: 25 cigars)
PERDOMO CHAMPAGNE ROBUSTO
Champagne is a common libation for a special day. It goes without saying, then, the Perdomo Champagne deserves to be thrown in the mix as well. Another humidor staple, this classic cigar is beloved by novices and aficionados alike as a mouthwatering, mellow-bodied cigar. A 25-count box means you’ll have an ample amount to share when it comes time for toasts. (Box count: 25 cigars)
ARTURO FUENTE FLOR FINA 8-5-8
While Fuente is known for their ultra-premium cigars like the Don Carlos and Opus X, the Flor Fina 8-5-8 is easily the most accessible cigar in their portfolio and every bit as enjoyable as the former cigars. With a delicately spicy and creamy Cameroon wrapper over select Dominican fillers and binder, this cigar is easily a fan favorite. Packed full of lightly sweet cedar, spice, and nutty notes, the 6 x 47 size provides an ample burn time and pairs like a charm with a whiskey on the rocks. (Box count: 25 cigars)
RAFAEL GONZALEZ CORONA
While it’s not the Cuban Rafael Gonzalez, this cigar has found new life in the wedding scene as an accessible cigar without sacrificing quality. This Cuban-cousin is loaded with a diverse filler blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican fillers encased in a thick Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a creamy Connecticut wrapper. Affordable on any budget and perfectly sized for a 45-minute break, you can’t go wrong here. (Box count: 20 cigars)
MONTECRISTO NO. 3
What’s a premium day without a premium Montecristo? This classic brand has been a celebratory staple since the pre-embargo days. While mellow, there’s plenty of nutty, woody, and peppery notes to keep even your ornery uncle satisfied without needing a down payment for a full box. (Box count: 25 cigars)
MACANUDO INSPIRADO WHITE ROBUSTO
How can we have a white wedding without a white cigar? Macanudo Inspirado White comes from the halls of the classic Macanudo but is blended for the modern palate. A decorative band adorns a creamy Connecticut wrapper which proudly displays mellow notes of butter, oak, leather and white pepper. (Box count: 20 cigars)
For Your Groomsmen…
DAVIDOFF SIGNATURE PETIT CORONA
If you’re looking for a top-shelf cigar to share with your buds, Davidoff Signature will be one cigar that’s not soon forgotten. Made with a perfectly balanced blend of Dominican tobaccos in a flawless Connecticut wrapper, you’ll want to keep these lush smokes close. On the pricier side but well worth it. Expect notes of cedar, spice, honeyed sweetness, and that signature Davidoff mustiness (trust me it’s a good thing). I’d recommend getting a few singles or a 5-pack for your groomsmen; expect to pay a pretty penny if you plan on serving up the whole box. (Box count: 25 cigars)
LA FLOR DE YNCLAN LANCERO
Based on a defunct Cuban-brand, Villiger released La Flor de Ynclan as a labor of love. Ranking #10 in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2017, this medium-bodied ultra-premium was artfully blended with Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, a hearty Indonesian binder, and a spicy Ecuadorian Colorado wrapper. This Villiger is a complex smoke – doling white pepper, earth, oak, cedar, and dried fruits to pair perfectly with everything from beer to Scotch. (Box count: 25 cigars)
For You, the Groom…
PADRON FAMILY RESERVE TORO
The ultimate celebration cigar, Padron packs all the Nicaraguan oomph you could ever ask for in grand fashion. Padron Family Reserve is Padron’s finest cigar, putting it in the running for one of the best in the world. Aside from world-wide adoration from fans and critics, this cigar is simply amazing. Expertly made, this all-Nicaraguan blend exudes prominent notes of cream, earth, coffee, and cedar in unmatched execution. While a generous cigar to share, make sure you hang on to one for yourself as well. (Box count: 10 cigars)
MY FATHER THE JUDGE ROBUSTO
A killer celebration cigar, My Father The Judge is a decadent ultra-premium for the full-bodied lovers. The Judge goes right for the taste buds with a thick, heavy smoke and rich chocolatey and peppery notes. Not only is this a killer smoke but its aesthetics are enough to give any tux a run for its money with a gorgeous Ecuador Sumatra wrapper and meticulously designed artwork. 93-rated by customers, keep this one close all night as it’s destined to be the most memorable smoke of your life. (Box count: 23 cigars)
Take these tips and recommendations into your wedding and you’re guaranteed to have a day you won’t forget. Got a good wedding smoke I didn’t mention? Post it in the comments below – and pay it forward to all the grooms you know!