Cigar Buying Guides

2014 CA Report: Recommended After Dinner Cigars

After Dinner Cigars: Our Top Picks

One thing is for sure: Thanksgiving would be nothing but a boring smorg if you’re not enjoying after dinner cigars with the family; after all, there are but few times in a year that you can sit back with a good smoke and watch serious family drama unfold between turkey and pie.

Before we fire up, let’s think the whole post-dinner smoke thing through…one of the keys to choosing the right cigar for after a big meal is to make sure that stogie’s not so overly complex that you need to whip out a notebook or consult a flavor wheel; because while you’re too busy writing “hints of citrus with a note of cinnamon,” Aunt Jean is waiting on YOU to pass the cream and sugar. Rude. Enjoy it to enjoy it – save the case study for another time.

More importantly, a big meal – rich in adult beverages, to be sure – is already overloading your taste buds. Hitting your palate with a super-flavorful cigar on top of all the great food can be like giving me a Sudoku book: confusing to the senses. Since we’re not worried about smoking on an empty stomach, stronger cigars work well…but be careful not to overdo it; I think you lose some of the excellent flavors those truly “full” smokes deliver. If you go rich and medium-full with a moderate amount of complexity, I bet you’ll not only enjoy any of these after dinner cigars from start to finish, you’ll get more out of your cigar experience, too.

To the list!

Room101 San Andres 808
Size: 6 x 60 Strength: Medium
This Gordo smokes rich & cool for a medium body smoke, and the larger RG means a longer burn: perfect if you eat earlier in the day. Primarily Honduran fillers, the Corojo keeps the body up and leaves a tingle behind on the taste buds. Bonus: the San Andres wrapper is natural (as opposed to maduro, which they so often are), and helps the flavors to develop rather than explode. Easy draw, and nice flavors that may have you forgo your after-dinner coffee.

La Aroma De Cuba Edicion Especial #2
Size: 5 x 50 Strength: Medium
Pepin trades in the spice and goes deep n’ toasty, by way of an Ecuadorian wrapper. If it matters to you, this was the Egomaniacal Puro Pundits’ “#4 cigar” in 2008; still, well worth the time. Looks good, tastes good – and diverse enough in flavor to keep your attention, but not so much as to distract you from the juicy dinner table conversation…like why the cops showed up at Aunt Mary’s last Thursday night. Finishes full, as good Nicaraguan after dinner cigars should.

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Robusto
Size: 5 x 50 Strength: Medium
Where Carlito goes full-blast with Opus X and the like, it’s his old man’s cigar that offers up the straightforward Fuente profile: consistent. Dominican as is the norm, wrapped in reddish-brown Cameroon. Sweetly and subtly spicy, Don Carlos never overpowers; instead, it charts its course for the center of the strength and flavor ranges. Nice aroma, too – which means you’ll get a dirty look for your table manners before you’ll get it for your cigar.

Aging Room Maduro Mezzo
Size: 6 x 54 Strength: Full
Just when you thought your taste buds had been used up by a big meal…along comes Aging Room Maduro to get your mouth watering yet again. The water works come on because of the 5-year-aged Nicaraguan maduro wrapper: draped over Dominican filler tobacco, it makes for the first full-bodied entry into this list, and probably the most complex thus far. It’s strong and peppery, but doesn’t crush you; instead, it starts medium-full and ramps up from there. You’ll get big smoke from this toro, and it finishes off the meal nice.

Alec Bradley Nica Puro Robusto
Size: 5 x 50 Strength: Medium
So…you deep-fry your turkey? Sounds dangerous. Nica Puro likes dangerous. And like fried bird, it hits on some interesting tastes that you won’t normally get at the dinner table – making this a gimme to round out a meal. Though it’s medium (more like low-full) bodied, it’s a clean post-feast smoke that’s complex from start to finish but no one flavor dominates. It’s actually a low maintenance smoke – which is more than can be said for your sister Lisa, given her usual holiday dinner dramatics.

CLE Corojo Robusto
Size: 5 x 50 Strength: Full
Christian Eiroa knows Corojo like your grandma knows gravy: exactly how to do it. Rich and toasty, this CLE dials up the pepper and spice – but not at the expense of the other satisfying sensations that come with it. Corojo has an herby sweetness that many people overlook in favor of the pepper, and this Honduran adds creamy, delicious flavors one by one as you smoke it. As after dinner cigars often do, you may not realize how full-bodied it was until you’re done.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto
Size: 5 x 52 Strength: Full
What you know: Melanio packs a punch. What you might not know: Melanio is a pretty smooth player, like your cousin Paul who shows up with a different girl every holiday. Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper covers a full-bodied Nicaraguan blend that burns exceptionally. This cigar from Oliva has thick with pepper and spice-filled smoke, this stick’s well-aged tobacco is a nice counterbalance to when Uncle Ronnie trots out his homemade vino.

Partagas Black Label Magnifico
Size: 6 x 54 Strength: Full
Medio Tiempo is to Partagas what those little melted marshmallows are to yams: freaking awesome. It’s an overripe wrapper leaf – in this case, Connecticut – that’s been left on the plant so long, it’s actually begun curing…making it uniquely tasty, and good-looking. A sweet yet beefy Nicaraguan-Dominican blend delivers on both body and flavor, so save room for Partagas Black: you’ll savor this full and rich toro for far longer than you’d expect.

Perdomo Habano Robusto (Maduro)
Size: 5 x 52 Strength: Full
Full all around, the all-Nicaraguan Perdomo Habano smokes with a stick-to-your-ribs heartiness that’s much like Nana’s stuffing, which has about 3 pounds of butter melted in it. Everything about this smoke screams thick n’ rich, including the maduro color. Burning with a rock-solid consistency, that natural sweetness is very much on display – heat- and harshness-free. If you never were a maduro fan, this cigar will make you one.

In my book, these 10 after dinner cigars are all winners…as are the Lions by a touchdown, the Eagles with an overtime field goal and the 49ers by 7. However, as with all things, tastes are subjective, though I figure you can’t go wrong with any of the picks here. Except for San Francisco – just when you think they have their act together…as for the list, if you think I missed one – shout at me here. Happy Thanksgiving…