Cigar Buying Guides

2020 CA Report: Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop Exclusive Cigars

Reading Time: 6 minutes


Once upon a time, private label cigars made exclusively for premium cigar resellers were pretty average in quality and sold at heavily discounted prices. Most of them were bundles with cheesy bands and names that were a far cry from the better-known premiumsA lot of them are still out there, and with all due respect, still contribute handily to the bottom line. Fortunately, much of the brand exclusive market has changed for the better.  

A great number of exclusive cigartoday are made by such noted brands as Romeo y Julieta, Rocky Patel, CAO, Perdomo, Oliva, et al., and proudly display the brand name on the packaging. The blends are better, the quality is higher, and many private label cigars are presented in boxesMore importantly, today’s premium cigar smoker is knowledgeable and has high expectations. So, it’s only natural that retailers have upped their game, especially with regard to regular production cigars.  

Famous Smoke Shop 80th anniversary cigars guide Famous Smoke Shop in New York City's Garment District circa 1980s
Famous Smoke Shop’s home in New York City’s Garment District, circa 1980s.

Famous Smoke Shop has been carrying its own exclusive, regular production brands for as long as I can remember. Even more so, particularly in the past 10 years, Famous has taken on more private label cigars made by the leading, big factory brands, as well as many of the so-called “boutique” cigar makers like EspinosaSouthern Draw, Aganorsa LeafAlec Bradley, and AJ Fernandez, to name a handful. 

Having these name brands, above the title so to speak, certainly lends more credibility to the blend. And even though the prices are generally lower than the non-exclusive versions, more house brands have inched-up in cost; but here again, you’re getting a better cigar.  

The question is, what does the consumer think about these “Famous Exclusives?” Sure, every cigar smoker loves a good cigar at a good price, but I wanted to see just how well some of Famous’s regular production exclusives ranked with their customers. Due to the criteria I used, there are a lot more excellent cigars sold only by Famous Smoke Shop that do not appear in this report. For one, the cigar had to receive a four to five star rating. Secondly, the cigar must have received that rating from at least 12 customerskind’a like a unanimous jury.    

As for those that didn’t make it, I’m happy to point any reader towards a “Famous smoke” that corresponds to their particular palate. You know where to find me. In the meantime, here are the current top-rated Famous exclusive cigars. 


Alec Bradley Sun Grown Robusto 

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 25 
Size5” x 50 
Strength: Full 
WrapperBrazilian Mata Fina 
Filler: Nicaraguan Estelí & Jalapa, Colombian 

Alec Bradley Sun Grown cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

An affordably-priced gem from Alec Bradley in a traditional Robusto shape. The blend is about as diverse as it gets starting with its dark, oily, and naturally sweet Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. Creamy and complex with a rich, earthy, and sweet-spicy flavor profile, this full-flavored cigar checks all the right boxes for the cigar smoker who craves consistently rich flavor. 


Don Tomas Special Edition Connecticut #300 Robusto  

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 33 
Size5” x 50 
Strength: Mellow 
WrapperU.S. Connecticut Shade 
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars Don Tomas Special Edition Connecticut cigars

This cigar has the blend that got me into smoking premium cigars full-time so many moons agoDue to its creamy, mellow, and toasty flavor profile, I still recommend the Don Tomas SEC Robusto as a first cigar for new cigar smokers. Wonderful with coffee in the morning, or as an after work constitutional, it’s a classic, affordably-priced cigar that always satisfies.  


Famous Nicaraguan Selection 5000 Sixty  

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 41 
Size6” x 60 
Strength: Full 
WrapperBrazilian Arapiraca  
Binder: Indonesian 
Filler: Nicaraguan 

 Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars Famous Nicaraguan Selection Nic 5000 cigars

If you haven’t had the pleasure of Famous’s Nicaraguan selection bundles, you’ve been missing out on two things: great taste and value. And if wide-body cigars are your thing, this Sixty from the Famous Nicaraguan 5000 selection is the bomb. Made by AJ Fernandez, the smoke is rife with deep, dark, savory flavors that pamper the palate with excellent balance.  


Immortal Robusto 

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 12 
Size5” x 54 
Strength: Full 
WrapperNicaraguan Habano 
Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars Immortal cigars by Plasencia

Presented in a gold foil pack of 10, this Famous exclusive hails from Plasencia cigars. This 54-ring Immortal robbie really puts out on flavor, and comes at an equally impressive price. The smoke is sweet, spicy and well-balanced with a rich Nicaraguan character. Great for pairing with bourbon, whiskey, or dark rum, the Immortal Robusto is a cigar that’s eternally memorable.  


Inferno by Oliva 660  

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 33 
Size6” x 60 
WrapperNicaraguan Habano 
Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars Oliva Inferno cigars

Inferno by Oliva has become a bona fide smash for its full-flavored character that comes from a savory dose of perfectly-aged ligeros and other dark Nicaraguan fillers. The smoke is velvety-smooth with each puff delivering a salvo of earthy, woody, and dark-chocolate notes that’ll keep you satisfied for as long as two hours. If you regularly smoke Oliva cigars, make some room in your humidor for Inferno.  


Perdomo Cuban Parejo Rothschild  

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 12 
Size4¾” x 50 
Strength: Medium-Full 
WrapperConnecticut Shade 
Binder & Filler: Nicaragua 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars Perdomo Cuban Parejo cigars

Here’s one of Perdomo’s longest running blends that never fails to deliver on flavor. Opening with an earthy-peppery bow, it doesn’t take long before the Cuban Parejo Rothie reveals its hidden secrets. Creamy, caramelized flavors of cedar, coffee bean, roasted nuts, dark chocolate and sweet spice dominate for a complex smoke that’s got that classic Perdomo character from end to end.  


Rocky Patel American Market Selection Robusto  

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 62 
Size5½” x 50 
Strength” Mellow 
WrapperEcuador Connecticut 
Binder: Nicaragua 
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars Rocky Patel American Market Selection cigars

Another marvelously smooth-smokin’ blend I’ve been recommending for years. More than just a terrific value, the Rocky Patel American Market Robusto offers a creamy, mellow, and naturally sweet smoke that echoes the great Connecticuts of the past. Amazingly consistent, too, as I’ve never had a clunker. Notes of sweet cedar, leather, nutmeg, caramel, and spice make this cigar one of the best lighter cigar treats you can buy.  


Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet Toro 

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 36 
Size6” x 52 
Strength: Medium 
WrapperEcuador Connecticut  
Filler:  Honduran, Nicaraguan 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet cigars

One of the hottest cigars in the Famous house right now, this Romeo y Julieta Capulet Toro offers the perfect mix of quality, flavor, and value. Although the blend is virtually identical to the Rocky American Market above, this creamy, nutty, and sweet-spicy cigar brings a little more body to the party. Some have even called it “Cubanesque.” In any event, if you’re a Connecticut smoker, add it to your “must smoke” list.  


The Judge by J. Fuego Blind Justice  

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 39 
Size5” x 50 
Strength: Medium 
WrapperBrazilian Mata Fina 
Binder & Filler: Undisclosed 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars the Judge by J Fuego cigars

As a fan of Jesus Fuego’s cigars, I was happy to see that The Judge Blind Justice made the cut. The Mata Fina wrapper is a bit on the rustic side, but it’s also deliciously oilyadding a fair amount of sweetness to the medium bodied smokeDominant flavors of leather, earth and cedar are accompanied by hints of almonds, espresso, citrus, and dark chocolate. Try it with a good bourbon, too. 


Spanish Dancer Sample 

Number of 4 to 5 star ratings: 92 

Top Rated Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigars private label cigars sampler

Wanna jump-in with both feet? Here’s a terrific, affordably-priced sampler that includes a nice assortment of Famous Smoke exclusives from Oliva, Asylum, Rocky Patel, Aganorsa and H. Upmann. What’s really nice about this collection is it covers all the bases in terms of wrappers, strengths and shapes. But even better, it’s received over 90 four to five star reviews.  


I hope you get to try some of these highly rated cigars. Famous’s buyers have worked closely with the manufacturers of these private label cigars with the hope that they’ll result in happy customers. There certainly are plenty of exclusive selections to rummage through, too. And, if you’ve got a personal Famous Smoke Shop exclusive favorite, let us know by leaving a comment. 

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Bob Dean
2 years ago

Hi Gary. I love reading your articles and enjoy you’re great insights. I wanted to put on your list the Famous 4000 from Nicaragua. I was pleasantly surprised at the cigars comecion and flavor
It was a very smooth smoke from start to finish. Very good draw from the first puff to the last. It burned beautifully and was very even. Tastes of chocolate cedar and leather. A fantastic smoke for a wonderful price. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with AJ !!! Take care.

Bob Dean
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Korb

Ok Gary. I will try them.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. 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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