Cigar Buying Guides

2020 CA Report: 5 Top Cigar Box Buys for Beginners

5 Picks: First Time Cigar Box Buys

Everybody remembers their first. First kiss. First car. First apartment. And of course, their first box of cigars. What I hope you realize early on is that cigar smoking is all about the journey – not the destination.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely decided that you want to step up your cigar game, and that it’s time to go deep into a blend that’s worth smoking on repeat. Making that decision is tough. Almost as tough as choosing your first cigar. That’s because you’re getting started in a true golden age of premium tobacco. To help stave off the stimulation overload, we’ve narrowed down five delicious cigars that are decidedly ‘first box’ worthy.

Size Matters…

Each of the following blends is presented in the most popular cigar vitola (or size), the Robusto. Robustos are universally loved for their affordability; they’re often the most economical option…and because their shorter format tends to smoke faster. Usually, 30 minutes to an hour depending on your smoking speed.

All of these Cigars are from the Dominican Republic…

Though you may have read that Dominican cigars aren’t merely relegated to a mellow profile anymore, the lion’s share of easy-smoking cigars either come from – or include tobaccos from – the Dominican Republic. The soils there typically produce milder tobacco leaves, and therefore, it’s a recommended origin country for budding cigar enthusiasts like you. And to veterans among you, these cigars are excellent breakfast smokes to get your day started, too.

The following picks range from national brand to boutique with cigars from Macanudo, AVO, Romeo y Julieta, E.P. Carrillo, and Villiger. Let us know which blend will pop your first cigar box cherry in the comments below!

AVO Classic

Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Sure, you could buy a cheap-o brand for your first box. But chances are, they wouldn’t be memorable, and you’d just end up forgoing a great experience to save a few bucks. AVO Classic meets you in the middle in terms of price – but it’s the flavor that will wow you. These cigars are mellow, smooth, and produce toasty layers of cream, cedar, and hickory. AVO Classic got its start as Avo Uvezian’s private label – a creation made for him by Zino Davidoff. Avo knew they were too good to keep for just himself. Now your first box can be a tailor-made smoke that you’ll remember for years to come.

Villiger La Flor de Ynclan

Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic

Here’s a joke: A guy walks into a cigar lounge smoking a Cuban, and everyone knows about it within 15 seconds. (Badum, tis!) I kid, I kid. Cuban cigar smokers sure love to tell others about their precious hauls, but for those of you without a secret handshake connection, they’re difficult to come by. Villiger’s La Flor de Ynclan is the next best thing. It’s got floral notes, naturally sweet smoke, and traits of citrus, leather, and sweet spice. Basically, it completes the Cuban checklist aficionados look for. Better yet, it’s easy on the palate and not too shabby on the wallet, either.

Romeo y Julieta 1875

Wrapper: Indonesian Shade Grown
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Romeo y Julieta 1875 is a cigar that should be on every new cigar smoker’s bucket list. It’s one of those training wheels off smokes that serves a preview of more robust flavors without kicking you in the gut. It’s subtly sweet, and gives off an essence of hay, cedar, butter, and baking spices. Due to its availability, price, and profile, 1875 is a common first box choice, second box choice, third…you get the picture. Simply put, it’s a daily driver that affords you way more mileage than you’d expect. In a world that overpromises and underdelivers, Romeo y Julieta is a breath of fresh smoke.

Primo de Cuba by E.P. Carrillo

Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Okay, so…your box budget is thinner than my hairline. No problemo, muchacho! Primo de Cuba by E.P. Carrillo Cigars might have a beater price tag, but its pedigree – and flavor – rises far above. These puppies are a warm weather favorite and fare just as well on the back nine as they do with a cheap six pack and a circle of friends on the deck. Expect some spicy-sweet notes of leather, earth, and zest, and a long, slightly peppery finish. And hey, you’ll still have enough left over to hire a new tax guy to help skim some of that debt off the top.

Macanudo Inspirado White

Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Binder: Indonesian Sumatra
Filler: Mexico and Dominican Republic

Macanudo might have been the cigar your dad – or even grandfather – smoked, but not all Macanudos are created equal. Unlike their ultra-mellow legacy selections, Macanudo bred Inspirado White for a generation of new smokers with contemporary flavor demands. Sure, they’re smooth, but they’re also boosted by a medium-bodied chorus of caramel, cedar, and oak. Tack on a very box-buy-friendly price tag, and the deal, just like its flavor, becomes even sweeter. Let your elders puff on the cigars of yesteryear. This Mac’s made for you.