Cigar Buying Guides

2019 CA Report: 5 Best Cigar Samplers for New Cigar Smokers

The New Year also brings new cigar smokers, and this report is aimed at them in the name of variety. Cigar samplers are great for discovering smokes that may likely become regular favorites. So, I’ve whittled together this modest list of cigar samplers that feature many of the finest mellow to medium-bodied blends, including many high-priced smokes. Some samplers also come with one or more cigars on the fuller side, but the fact is, tastes vary. Even the most neophyte enthusiast may love a blend created for a more experienced cigar smoker. I can’t guarantee you’ll like all of the cigars in each sampler; in fact, I’d be surprised if you did. But if you’re among the newly initiated ready to gain more traction on the road to premium handmade enjoyment, these selections will get you there . . .

90-Rated Mellow Sampler

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Includes. . .
1 Avo Classic Robusto
1 Camacho Connecticut Robusto
1 CAO Gold Robusto
1 House Of Capulet Robusto
1 Iron Horse Connecticut Robusto
1 Oliva Connecticut Robusto
1 Olor Nicaragua Connecticut Robusto
1 Truce by Plasencia Connecticut Reserve Robusto
1 Vudu Priest No.7

A lot of so-called, “starter cigars” tend to be rolled in Connecticut Shade wrappers. Whether they’re grown in the state of Connecticut or Ecuador, these leaves generally offer a subtle taste and a sweet aroma. All nine cigars in this collection are rolled to Robusto sizes in Connecticut wrappers. The binders and fillers range from all-Dominican, to all-Honduran, to all-Nicaraguan, along with some multi-nation mixes. What makes this 90-Rated Mellow Sampler a smart pick for starters is more than just the high tasting scores from the consumers. You’ll get a really good taste for Connecticut wrapper, while also developing a taste for their respective core blends.

 

Top Rated Cuban Sampler

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Includes. . .
1 Cohiba Robusto
1 Don Tomas Special Edition No. 300
1 Romeo y Julieta House Of Capulet Robusto
1 La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age Churchill
1 H. Upmann Sun Grown Churchill
1 Punch Sucker Punch Critical Condition
1 Montecristo Relentless No.2
1 La Gloria Cubana Serie RF No. 13
1 Rafael Gonzalez Robusto

Once upon a time. . . Cuba was king when it came to premium handmade cigars. Yet, by today’s standards, Cuban cigars are simply another choice among the millions of cigars made in The Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras. This Top Rated Cuban Sampler demonstrates how many historic Cuban brands have successfully transitioned to their new countries of origin after the 1959 Revolution and the resultant Cuban Embargo. If you’re a new cigar smoker, it might be to your advantage to smoke these without having to compare them to the Cuban originals. Besides, all 9 cigars have their own unique character which, in some cases, defies comparison.

 

Top-Rated Blends of 2015

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Includes. . .
1 Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente
1 Romeo y Julieta House Of Capulet Robusto
1 La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age Robusto
1 Liga Undercrown Gran Toro by Drew Estate
1 Macanudo Hyde Park
1 Montecristo Relentless Robusto
1 Oliva Connecticut Robusto
1 Perdomo Champagne Robusto
1 Rocky Patel American Market Robusto
1 Sucker Punch Lights Out

This Top-Rated Blends sampler harks back to 2015, the year in which all of the cigars in this collection achieved the highest scores from Famous Smoke Shop customers. Beyond that, what I like about this sampler is, you get one of the most comprehensive selections of premiums representing just about all of the leading manufacturers. Most of the cigars have Connecticut wrappers and live within the medium-body range. Some lean toward mellow, like the Macanudo Hyde Park and Rocky Patel American Market Robusto, while others lead more toward full like the Punch Sucker Punch Lights Out. You also get the classic Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente and the Perdomo Champagne Robusto, an evergreen blockbuster in its own rite. You might want to warm-up by starting with the Champagne, and work your way up to the Sucker Punch, but with this sampler, you can pretty much start with whatever cigar you think will satisfy your mood.

 

Top-Rated Variety Pairing Sampler

 

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Includes. . .
2 Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente
2 Hoyo La Amistad Silver Robusto
2 Oliva Inferno Melt Robusto
2 Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Toro
2 Sobremesa Short Robusto

This Top-Rated Variety Pairing Sampler is a bit of a step-up in body and character from the more mellow-medium fare. What’s nice about it is that the five featured cigars are presented in pairs – one of the best ways to really get to know a cigar. To help you warm-up to them in the most logical manner, I suggest you start with the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente. The smoke is more medium in body, yet smooth, creamy and aromatic. Then try the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Toro, which is similar, but a little more complex. Follow that with the Oliva Inferno Melt. Rolled in dark, semi-sweet Broadleaf wrappers, they’re much heartier, but their all-Nicaraguan core is impressively well-balanced. Also quite full and more peppery is the Hoyo La Amistad Silver. If it’s too much for you, save the second one until you’re ready. Finally, the Sobremesa Short Robusto is a little less full in body and exquisite on all counts. Once you’ve finished that, you’ll know how a complex cigar is supposed to taste.

 

Ultimate Coffee Pairing Sampler

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Includes. . .
5 Drew Estate JAVA Robusto
5 Isla Del Sol Toro by Drew Estate
5 Tabak Especial Robusto Negra by Drew Estate
5 Tatiana Mocha Stobona

There are a lot of new cigar smokers who enter the world of premium handmade cigars via the infused flavor aisle. Eventually, some move out into the more traditionally blended fare, while others continue to enjoy the comfort of a sweet, mellow cigars with evocative aromas. The rich aroma of coffee is among the most evocative, and this sampler’s got the goods. Starting with the Drew Estate JAVA made for Rocky Patel, this is the cigar that set the standard for coffee infused cigars. Based in Nicaragua, Drew Estate (makers of ACID cigars), are considered the masters of tobacco infusion. Moreover, three of the four cigars in this collection carry the Drew Estate signature, while the Tatiana Mocha Stobona is made by Miami Cigar in the Dominican Republic. All four cigars smoke with a velvety smooth texture, are mellow to medium body, and individually distinctive. Even better is, you get five of each. Here’s the breakdown:  

  • The Drew Estate JAVA is box-pressed in a buttery Brazilian wrapper that cloaks a Nicaraguan core blend that issues a rich mocha-java aroma.
  • Infused with Sumatra Mandheling bean coffee, the Isla Del Sol is rolled in a Sumatra wrapper with a Nicaraguan core from three regions.
  • The Tatiana Mocha Stobona also boasts a Sumatra wrapper with a well-balanced blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Mexican tobaccos.
  • The most full-flavored of the bunch is the Tabak Especial Robusto Negra: Infused with Nicaraguan estate-grown coffee, a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper caps a Sumatra binder and Nicaraguan Criollo filler.

 

So, for all of you who are still relatively new to smoking premium handmades and can’t decide where to go next, I hope these samplers will help you make some new discoveries. Feel free to share it with others you know who are just getting into the cigar lifestyle. And if you’ve already smoked some of these cigars in the list, please leave a comment with your opinion on them.

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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