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2022 CA Report: 10 Top Dominican Cigars Under $5

Reading Time: 7 minutes

10 Top Dominican Cigars Under $5 – 2022 Edition

Updated April 2022 by Jared Gulick

Flavor matters, and the Dominican Republic has plenty of it.

I’ll let another of their fine exports help me make my case: Rum.

One set of rum tasting notes I read included: “The nose is full of caramel and dark brown sugar, buttery toffee and a little spice with pepper and vanilla. The palate is smooth and rich and rather dry with buttery spice notes and dark sugar, a little oak. The finish is of good length with dark sugar.”

And that’s just the cheap stuff, a $21 bottle of Brugal.

Good flavor is coming your way, cheap – making it clear you don’t need deep pockets to enjoy good Dominican cigars, either.

 

The Dominican Republic is Home to Highly Rated Cigars

A big reason why Dominican cigars are in such demand is the country’s cigar heritage: when Columbus put ashore in 1492, the Taino people had already been rolling up leaves to smoke for many, many years. And once the Europeans got a taste, it started a tobacco renaissance – the first cigar boom, if you will.

Top Dominican Cigars Under $5 Christopher Columbus discovering the New World

We also know that the Dominican has shed its reputation for only making mellow cigars; and that got me wondering how many of the past few years’ Top 25 cigars came from the Dominican Republic:

  • Three (3) of Aficionado’s Top 25 cigars of 2019 came from the Dominican; so did 7 of their “Best Buys.”
  • Eight (8) of Cigar Journal’s 2019 Top 25 came from the DR.
  • 2018’s #1 Cigar of the Year – Encore by EP Carrillo – that’s a Dominican, too.

Of course, with all this talk about taste and Top 25s, you’d think Dominican cigars are getting pretty pricey…but today, we’ll examine 10 cigars that you’ll smoke happily – and cheaply.

 

Can I REALLY Find a Good Dominican Cigar Under $5?

Yes, you can have a flavorful experience on short money. Our original 2016 list of excellent Dominican value cigars consisted of H. Upmann, EP Carrillo, Quesada, Nat Sherman and Partagas, among others.

All are great cigars.

Top Dominican Cigars Under $5 cigar and money
This is what I spent on this Davidoff-made, unbanded Dominican…and I even got change back.

But this time, I really wanted to drill down even deeper on the sub-$5 category to find some smokes that will satisfy your Dominican cigar craving without your wallet feeling blindsided. And as we drop your per cigar price into cup-of-coffee territory, know that I purposely shied away from cigarillos and stuck with only handmades in what we’ll call “premium” sizes – anything that smokes for 45 minutes or more.

 

10 of the Best Cheap Dominican Cigars You’ll Actually Like

Maybe you’re an aficionado on a budget. Maybe you’ve smoked your way down to the good stuff, and all that’s left in your humidor are the cigars you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Either way, you deserve to get the most for your money. And these Dominican cigars – each of ’em are under $5 when grabbed by the bundle or box.

 

 

Arturo Fuente Brevas

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - arturo fuente at famous smoke shopFuente’s original, everyday blend is far from ho-hum, and consistent enough you can set your watch by it. I said in an earlier review, “[T]he Fuente core line is legendary for 3 key qualities: the flavor is very polished, the body is generally mellow-medium, and rich aroma pours from its authentic Cameroon wrapper. This is a Dominican cigar that’s as traditional as it gets, right down to this classic Corona size.”

I stand by my original statements.

 

 

Villiger Serie Dominicana Torpedo

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - villiger serie dominicana at famous smoke shopThe fact that Villiger is making some highly-rated premium cigars should come as no surprise; that they’re doing some for under 5 bucks? That’s raising eyebrows. And that’s where we find a sleeper: Villiger Serie Dominicana. Exclusive to Famous, I like this torpedo size a lot – partly because this blend is strikingly close to a recent #10 Cigar of the Year. The taste is banner-worthy, too: notes of pepper, sweet spice, earth, wood and leather (though you may find more) make this probably the cheapest cigar you’ll ever think to pair with a good drink.

 

 

Macanudo Inspirado White Corona

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - macanudo inspirado white at famous smoke shopMacanudo (especially Café) has always been typecast as an old-school, mellow smoke…the same way that Bruce Willis always ends up saving the world on screen. That was until Mac’s Inspirado series came along. The Inspirado White we’re highlighting is a medium-bodied blend of long filler tobaccos from Indonesia, Mexico, and Nicaragua, all wrapped by a proprietary Ecuador Connecticut wrapper – aged six years itself. Fans of smaller ring gauges will find rich and creamy notes of cedar, wood, cashews, and moderate spices in this satisfying Corona. Better than the original and change for a $5? Yes. And yes. But if you still love those old-school Macs, I’ve got one of those under $5 below!

 

 

Occidental Reserve Connecticut Robusto

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - occidental reserve at famous smoke shopOccidental Reserve has kind of a wild history (you can read the long version here)…but suffice it to say, karma connected Alan Rubin with Ralph Montero and Henke Kelner – essentially putting Alec Bradley cigars on the map. Some consider this Robusto a bargain at less than 5 clams (and under $3, when you buy the whole bundle); I say it’s a downright steal, given the Dominican Olor, Piloto Cubano, and San Vicente tobaccos in the blend. A high-quality smoke, Occidental burns with cedar and slight spice, along with sweet cream and vanilla – and 20 years on, has become a very satisfying staple of the Dominican smoker’s diet.

 

 

3×3 by Davidoff Robusto

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 -3x3 tubos by davidoff at famous smoke shopThe 3×3 is probably the most surprising cigar I’ve smoked on this list – not just because of the presentation (a bundle of tubes?), but because it’s a stunningly cheap smoke with a king-sized pedigree: Davidoff. Here, we have Davidoff’s Dominican tobaccos housed in Colorado Claro Connecticut leaf. Together, they make a sweet and creamy smoke with a subtle hint of spice that’s more than worth the asking price – especially for an everyday Robusto.  Other companies would kill to put their band on this cigar. THIS is the under-$5 Dominican dark horse.

 

 

Primo de Cuba by E.P. Carrillo Toro

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - epc primo de cuba at famous smoke shopEPC’s budget-minded blend, Primo de Cuba proudly sports an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper – the same leaf used on many of Carrillo’s top blends dating all the way back to the La Gloria days. We’ll say this 6″ x 52 Toro is mellow-plus, but the Nicaraguan-Dominican blend underneath still provides a whiff of Ernesto’s signature spice. If you’re into big RGs, then by all means step up to the 60RG Gordo – it’s still under $5, too. We’ve previously called Primo de Cuba a “session beer of cigars” because you can smoke it all day, every day – especially at this level of strength and price.

 

 

Macanudo Café Court

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - macanudo cafe at famous smoke shopMacanudo moved from Jamaica to the DR in the ‘60s and became the model for mainstream Dominican cigars, even before the Boom. Their heirloom recipe of aged Dominican & Mexican San Andres tobaccos, wrapped in Connecticut Shade, is practically museum-worthy at this point. Size nerds, take note: 4 3/16” x 36 makes Macanudo Court a barely Petit Corona – Cuban factories might call this size a Cadete, a common vitola for Cuban H. Upmanns. Expect that you’ll wring the better part of 45 minutes out of this sub-5 dollar Dominican, if you smoke slowly. And bonus points for the tubo presentation, as they often cost more.

 

 

Famous Dominican Selection 4000

famous dominican selection at famous smoke shopHailing from Abe Flores’ Pinar del Rio factory in Santiago, Famous Dominican Selection 4000 cigars combine an easygoing smoking experience with a frugal price tag from two Connecticut-wrapped bundled choices: Connecticut Shade (shown above) and the earthier Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. Both blend options are exceptional companions with coffee and perfect for daily smoking. You can even hand them out to your buddies worry-free at under $2 each. But with flavors like sweet wood, toast, leather, cedar, and a gentle spice, they’ve got flavors comparable to considerably higher-priced sticks.

 

 

La Aurora 1495 Churchill

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - la aurora 1495 at famous smoke shopWho says the cheapies all must be mellow? La Aurora’s 1495 blend boasts dark notes of salted butter, sweet tobacco, wood, and an array of warm spices. How did they do it? With rare Peruvian Ligero leaves, a Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco core, and a sultry Ecuador Sun Grown wrapper. La Aurora is one of the true Dominican cigar heritage brands, and keeping prices low like these have kept them the best-selling brand in the country year after year. One more thing…let’s not forget this is a Churchill with 90 minutes of full-bodied bliss at under $4 a pop.

 

 

Cusano 18 Robusto

cigar advisor top dominican cigars under $5 - cusano 18 at famous smoke shopAnother smoke straight from Henke Kelner’s Davidoff factory in the DR is Cusano 18. The blend is teeming with succulent tobaccos. Like a Dominican Oro wrapper-quality leaf and Piloto Ligero long fillers. Plus, San Vicente Olor and a Connecticut Shade wrapper. So…what does ‘18’ mean? That’s how long the tobaccos were aged. Nearly two decades. You’ll usually be paying super premium cigar prices for tobacco like this, but Henke’s insisted on making Cusano 18 affordable for all. Smoke it and become a believer.

2 Comments
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Kevin Lowry
7 months ago

Why not offer a Sampler of all 10

Christophe-Robin Polignac
7 months ago

Surprised Dom Diego and Dom Tomas were not included as they are exceptional quality/construction

John Pullo

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does he even have a beard. A solid 'B' student and occasional low-fi musician, John is a medley of cynicism and sarcasm crammed into a wrinkled Oxford shirt who makes it nearly intolerable to watch reality television with him in the same room. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones.

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