Reading Time: 6 minutes We know what they are. We may even have some stashed away in the dark recesses of our humidors. Now it’s time to bring these unsung heroes of the cigar world out from the shadows and show them the love they deserve. Check out our Cigar Advisor Guide to the 10 Best Yardgars and discover your next everyday classic.
CA Report: Top 10 Expensive Cigars That Are Worth It
What’s Considered a Luxury Cigar?
Updated October 2022
We all know there are cigars, and then there are cigars.
Most of us have an exceptional cigar (or two) squirreled away for that special moment—be it the birth of a child or grandchild, a wedding, retirement, milestone birthday, or favorite team winning it all. And chances are, this cigar was more expensive than what you’d usually smoke. So, what exactly is a luxury cigar.
Although we’re talking price, there’s more to it than that. Luxury cigars—at least the ones worth smoking—are justifiably more expensive for a host of reasons. Sometimes they contain extensively aged, ultra-premium tobaccos that’ve been specially reserved. Or they’re produced in such small quantities that there just aren’t enough to go around. Other factors are included as well, from the packaging—including ornate boxes and bands—to using only the most skilled and experienced cigar rollers in production.
But what is it that makes these particular luxury cigars worth it? Well, my opinion for one. Joking aside, while this list is subjective there are a few common denominators found in the cigars listed below. These cigars all have nearly perfect construction with a flawless burn. They are balanced and have consistent and rich flavor profiles. Lastly, these blends contain some of the finest cigar tobaccos grown anywhere and are produced by first-rate artisans and craftsmen.
Listed below are the cigars I don’t necessarily need but have to have—luxury cigars that are worthy of the biggest occasions and worth every penny. Now, I know I’ve probably missed a few of your favorites, so hit me up in the comment section with your choices for expensive cigars that are worth smoking.
Ashton Virgin Sun Grown
Exquisite tobaccos? Check. Crafted by artisans? Check. A cigar to remember? Check and checkmate. Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) is made ‘Carlito’s way’ by Arturo Fuente cigars for Ashton and has remained one of the most sought-after non-Cubans since its introduction. The prized Sumatra wrapper is grown on a private estate in Ecuador and then patiently fermented by the Fuente’s until it’s perfect. The remainder of the blend includes four-to-five year-aged Dominican binder and long fillers and provides a thoroughly rich, full-bodied experience. With flavors of espresso, cedar, earth, black pepper, and leather, the Ashton VSG Wizard will have you under its spell.
Cohiba Serie M
Cohiba cigars have a legendary history. From originating as Castro’s personal cigars to the Serie M—the first Cohiba to be made in the United States. Crafted at the El Titan de Bronze Factory in the Calle Ocho section of Miami, Florida, Cohiba Serie M uses a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper over a blend including Dominican Piloto Cubano and Nicaraguan long fillers. A wonderfully balanced and complex flavor profile awaits including notes of almonds, leather, pepper, and caramel with an undercurrent of creaminess. Made in small batch fashion—score the splendid Cohiba Serie M for that special moment.
A name that practically screams luxury, Davidoff’s are often considered the ultimate in cigars, and inhabit a class unto themselves. The Signature line—featuring an Ecuador Connecticut Shade wrapper over a blend of aged Dominican long fillers—is the barometer by which other Davidoff’s (and many other ultra-premium cigars) are judged. Heard of the renowned Davidoff flavor profile? It’s all here from the mellow and creamy notes of cedar, caramel, earth, and chocolate to the hints of white pepper that keep the blend interesting. Wanting a mellow, complex, and entertaining cigar to enjoy, look no further than the Davidoff Signature to level up your experience.
Drew Estate Liga Privada No.9
The cigar that dethroned the Opus. Or so some would have you believe. Regardless, it’s just about as hard to get your hands on one and it’s well worth it if you do. Spanish for ‘private blend.’ Liga Privada cigars were a juggernaut when first released, garnering a massive amount of buzz, and becoming somewhat of a cult cigar. Dressed in a dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over a Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and top-grade blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan long fillers, Liga Privada is fuller-bodied, delectably rich, and definitely a cut-above. There’s no time like the present to grab a Liga No.9 and see what the fuss is about.
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso
Sin Compromiso translates to ‘no compromise’ and that’s the approach Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust founder and all-around cigar master Steve Saka took in developing the blend. Start with the Mexican San Andres negro “cultivo tonto” wrapper. These leaves were grown using a low yield Japanese method that not only results in an extraordinarily flavorful wrapper, but a higher tobacco price. While the Paladin de Saka uses primarily the same tobaccos as the rest of the Sin Compromiso line, there’s Pennsylvania ligero in the filler to provide a little more ‘oomph.’ Expect rich notes of dark chocolate, earth, fruit sweetness, black pepper, and meatiness from this flavor bomb. Pick up the Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka—a monumental cigar for a monumental occasion.
Ferio Tego Generoso
By now, we’re familiar with the Ferio Tego origin story. If not, here’s a quick refresher—Michael Herklots and Brendan Scott, formerly of Nat Sherman, formed a new company from their remnants. Before resurrecting old fan favorite Nat Sherman cigars, they released a new blend—Ferio Tego Generoso. A full=bodied feast right from the get-go, expect a liberal shot of red pepper followed by some earth and coffee before the blend settles a bit and picks up notes of cashew. Complex, balanced, feisty, and rich, try Ferio Tego Generoso for a generous measure of luxury.
La Aurora Preferidos Gold Dominican Corojo
As the first cigar factory in the Dominican Republic—dating back to 1903—the folks at La Aurora have a few tricks up their sleeve. Take Preferidos #2 Tubos—these hard-to-roll double perfectos (hand crafted in small batches by rollers with over 15 years of experience) are an homage to the classic cigars that first came out of the La Aurora factory. Crafted using top-grade long fillers from Cameroon, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic under an Dominican Corojo wrapper, the medium-bodied Preferidos Corojo can be enjoyed any time of day. Dazzling notes of cedar, coffee, and citrus are playful and rich. Don’t miss Preferidos Gold #2 Tubos if you’re hunting for a cigar to savored.
Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua
No list of luxury cigars would be complete with a Montecristo lurking somewhere. And wow, what a Monte this is—the 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua is the glorious end result of a meeting of the best cigar minds around—AJ Fernandez, Rafael Nodal, and the Grupo de Maestros. While the exact blend is kept under lock and key, I can tell you that this full-bodied smoke pops with flavor. You’ll find depth and balance with notes of black coffee, pepper, leather, and some sweet spice in the background. Rated by some as the #2 cigar of 2021, add the 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua No. 2 to your need-to-try list.
Padron Serie 1926
A candy bar in cigar form, Padron Serie 1926 is a legendary blend that’s most often found at the top of various ‘best cigar’ or ‘cigars you need to try before you die’ lists. Rightfully so. While I’m of the mindset that any Padron is a good Padron, the Serie 1926 has everything you’d want in a spectacular cigar—flawless construction, deep and rich flavors, perfect balance, and oodles of complexity. They’re all there and in abundance. You’ll find a flavor profile with loads of cocoa, cedar, toast, and coffee with sweetness lingering in the background. For a taste of heaven, Padron Serie 1926 is your stairway.
Plasencia Alma Fuerte
In 2008, Nestor Plasencia Jr started setting aside bales of extraordinary Nicaraguan tobaccos. For what, he wasn’t exactly sure—but he knew the right project would come along, and the results would be nothing short of spectacular. The end result, Alma Fuerte is a medium-full bodied Nicaraguan puro that takes you on a journey with flavors of chocolate, cedar, roasted nuts, sweet tobacco, and baking spices. You won’t regret reaching for an Alma Fuerte Nestor IV the next time you’re looking to celebrate or create a memory.