Best Cigars for the Money: Top 12 Rated Cigars for 2023

We have years of experience as a group of smoking aficionados with comparatively developed palates. To create this list, we collected the best 33 cigars we smoked last year from our cigar journals and selected these final 12 cigars in a blind test. So, we spent 33 days testing the cigars; one cigar per day is optimal for objective testing. All cigars were stored for one month in our humidor at 70% relative humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo

Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo

The Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series line was released in 1994 to commemorate the company’s 30 anniversary. The line was introduced as box-pressed cigars in honor of the Cuban tradition. The Torpedo cigars are made with four-year-aged tobacco leaves. The double band features an individually numbered label. The cigars have an excellent draw and burn evenly. The experts have ranked the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series as one of the top cigars and brands in the world. The Torpedo cigar is available as 20 Count and 5 Pack.

Read our detailed review of The Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo.


Ring gauge: 52;

Length: 6’’;

Wrapper: Sun Grown Nicaraguan;

Binder: Nicaraguan;

Filler: Nicaraguan.

Strength: Medium-Full;

Body: Full;

Origin: Nicaragua;

Vitola: Torpedo;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: 60 to 90 minutes.


Pricing: From $17.40 for the Maduro version and $17.50 for the Natural version for one stick.
Palate: The Natural version of the cigars available is Brazil nut, hazelnut, cocoa bean, and a hint of black pepper with a woody finish. The Maduro version is earth, coffee, wood, and sweet, buttery notes of shortbread with a sweet finish.

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Flor de las Antillas

Flor de Las Antillas

Flor de las Antillas was introduced in 2012 and received a 96-point rating and Cigar Aficionado’s “#1 Desired Cigar of the Year ” that same year. Flor de las Antillas represents Cuba, which is the largest island in the Antillas region. The handmade blend by father-and-son cigar makers Pepin and Jaime Garcia has a smooth character from start to finish that produces beauteous white ash. Industry critics describe it as “Delicious from the first puff, with notes of nutmeg, white pepper, and just enough strength without being overpowering. They are hard to put down.” The cigars are available in 5-pack, boxes of 20, and single sticks. 

Read our full review of Flor de las Antillas.


Ring gauge: 50, 52, 56, and 60;

Length: 5, 5.5, 6, and 6.5”;

Wrapper: Oily, Reddish-brown Nicaraguan tobacco;

Binder: Nicaraguan;

Filler: Nicaraguan.

Strength: Medium-Full;

Body: Medium-Full;

Origin: Nicaragua;

Vitola: Belicoso, Robusto, Toro, Toro Gordo, Toro Grande, and Tubo;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: about 75 minutes.


Pricing: From $7.70 for a single stick.

Palate: A savory, leathery profile with sweet marzipan notes and white chocolate and a toasty finish.

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Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro 

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro stick

The aging rooms series were introduced in 2011. The first batches were produced in the Dominican Republic by José “Jochy” Blanco, who is now a partner in the brand company. Many factories produce Aging Rooms cigars. But the premium product is the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro made by A.J. Fernandez in Nicaragua. It is Cigar Aficionado’s 2019 cigar of the year – one really good cigar. It is available in boxes of 5, 10, and 20 cigars.

Read our extensive review of Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro.


Ring gauge: 52;

Length: 6”;

Wrapper: Nicaraguan;

Binder: Nicaraguan;

Filler: Nicaraguan.

Strength: Medium-Full;

Body: Medium-Full;

Origin: Nicaragua;

Vitola: Torpedo;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: about 90 minutes.


Pricing: $10.95 for a stick.

Palate: The flavor is a dynamic mixture of dark chocolate with wood and fine caramel, and toasted almonds. No artificial flavors added.

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Padrón 1926 Serie

Padrón 1926 Serie

The Padrón 1926 Serie was released in 2002 to commemorate José O. Padrón’s 75th birthday. Padrón cigars are the current record holder of the Cigar Aficionado’s “Cigar of the year” award. It consists of ten sizes of box-pressed cigars. The cigar blend is handmade from tobacco that has aged for five years. Each cigar has a label with a unique number to prevent counterfeiting. The Padron 1926 Serie is available in sun-grown natural and Maduro wrappers.

Read the Padron 1926 Serie full review.


Ring gauge: Various;

Length: Various;

Wrapper: Nicaraguan;

Binder: Nicaraguan;

Filler: Nicaraguan.

Strength: Full;

Body: Medium-Full;

Origin: Nicaragua;

Vitola: Double Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Torpedo;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: around 80 minutes.


Pricing: Around $17.70.
Palate: The Padrón 1926 Serie cigars have a rich, earthy flavor base with a variety of flavors, including spice, leather, nuts, and cocoa.

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Romeo y Julieta Añejados

Romeo y Julieta Añejados

Añejados tobacco is aged in Cuba for at least ten years. Romeo y Julieta is the first Añejados cigar made in a pyramid shape. The cigars have a tan chestnut wrapper with a slight oil sheen. You will enjoy smoking Romeo y Julieta more if you smoke them gently. This way, the cigar stays cool, and the flavor profile remains perfectly balanced.

Romeo y Julieta Churchills Añejados in tubes is available in a 25 sticks original box, with a double ring, external stick with the legend “Añejados” and concept description. The date when the cigars were made can be verified on the bottom of each box. “Revisado” is also stamped on the bottom of the box since each cigar has been reviewed.

Read the complete review of Romeo y Julieta Anejados.


Ring gauge: 52;

Length: 6”;

Wrapper: Cuban;

Binder: Cuban;

Filler: Cuban.

Strength: Medium;

Body: Medium;

Origin: Havana, Cuba;

Vitola: Pirámide;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: around 100 minutes.


Pricing: from $41/$75.60.

Palate: A rich mixture of woody and earthy flavors with notes of buttercream and herbs.

La Aroma de Cuba

La Aroma de Cuba

This brand originated in Cuba and was the favorite cigar brand of Winston Churchill in the late 1800s. Cigar Aficionado rated La Aroma de Cuba 93 points and named it the ‘#1 Cigar Industry Best Buy in the World’. La Aroma de Cuba is a bold blend of Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-fillers wrapped in a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

These cigars are available in packs of 5, 20, and single cigars. La Aroma de Cuba is a must-have cigar for new cigar lovers and experienced smokers worldwide.

Go and check the complete La Aroma de Cuba review.


Ring gauge: 44, 50, 52, 54, 58, and 60;

Length: 5, 5.25, 5.5, 5.75, 6, and 7”;

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf;

Binder: Nicaraguan;

Filler: Nicaraguan. 

Strength: Medium;

Body: Medium-Full;

Origin: Nicaragua;

Vitola: Belicoso, Churchill, Corona, Double Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Toro;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: around 100 minutes.


Pricing: from $5.80.
Palate: Taste base of cocoa, cedar, molasses, and earth, with balanced spices.

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Davidoff Yamasá

Davidoff Yamasá

Despite its reputation for being difficult, the soil of the Yamasá Valley in the Dominican Republic provides the right conditions for growing the tobacco for this complex masterpiece. Yamasá is part of Davidoff’s Black Pillar series of innovative cigars blended with tobaccos found from around the world. In 2017, this blend received a well-deserved 90-point rating, and the review stated, “Wearing a dark and alluring wrapper, this torpedo burns evenly. Earthy, woody impressions are balanced by a toasty quality and cocoa powder sweetness.”

The Davidoff Yamasá is available in packs or boxes of 4, 12, 14, and single cigars.

Check our comprehensive Davidoff Yamasa Review.


Ring gauge: 48,50, and 52;

Length: 4, 5, 6, and 6.125”;

Wrapper: Yamasá, Dominican Republic;

Binder: Yamasá, Dominican Republic;

Filler: Piloto, Condega, Estelí tobacco from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua;

Strength: Medium-Full;

Body: Medium-Full;

Origin: Dominican Republic;

Vitola: Corona, Robusto, Toro, Pyramid;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: 25 to 70 minutes depending on the vitola type.


Pricing: from $13. 

Palate: Spicy-sweet palate stimulation of woody, earthy flavors, spices, and sweet orange with hints of nuts, leather, and coffee.

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Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Churchill

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Churchill

Oliva released the Melanio Maduro in 2013, a year after the original Melanio. Cigar Aficionado’s 2021 No. 7 “Cigar of the Year” with a 93-point rating. The cigars are created to honor the patriarch of the Oliva family, Melanio Oliva. Melanio Maduro is a blend of Nicaraguan Habano grown in the Jalapa region of Nicaragua and a Mexican Maduro wrapper from the San Andres Valley. The burn line and angle of the cigar are straight. There is a slight resistance on the draw. Throughout the smoking session, the temperature of the cigar remains cool. Steel-grey ash is produced during the burn.

The Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Churchill is available in a beautiful wooden 10-cigar and 5-cigar box with cedar lining.

Hop over to our thorough Oliva Serie V Melanid Maduro Churchill Review.


Ring gauge: 50;

Length: 7”;

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrès;

Binder: Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley;

Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley.

Strength: Medium;

Body: Medium-Full;

Origin: Nicaragua;

Assembly: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A. (Tabilosa);

Vitola: Churchill;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: 95 minutes.


Pricing: from $9.

Palate: Pepper, earth, espresso, spices, and sweet notes.

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Davidoff Winston Churchill the Traveller 2019 Limited Edition

Davidoff Winston Churchill the Traveller 2019 Limited Edition

As the name Winston Churchill suggests, this is a premium quality cigar. It was released in 2019 as a blend that features tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Mexico. The blend is inspired by the adventurous spirit of Sir Winston Churchill. The design of the box resembles the design of the famous statesman briefcase. The box contains ten cigars and functions as a travel humidor. The cigar burns evenly, forming a cone of ash. With outstanding presentation, this certainly is a cigar for all cigar aficionados.


Ring gauge: 50;

Length: 5”;

Wrapper: Ecuador;

Binder: Mexican Negro San Andrés Seco;

Filler: San Vicente, Piloto, Criollo, Estelí, Semilia A;

Strength: Medium;

Body: Medium-full;

Origin: the Dominican Republic;

Assembly: Tabadom;

Vitola: Robusto;

Handmade: Yes; 

Smoking time: 60-70 minutes.


Pricing: From $30.

Palate: Earthy notes with cream, coffee, and a salted caramel finish.

Nat Sherman Sterling Selection

Nat Sherman Sterling Selection

Nat Sherman is a legendary cigar brand and Sterling cigars are proof of that. The blend of Dominican long-filler tobacco and Ecuadorian Connecticut results in a rich, complex flavor with a mild to medium body. The Dominican tobacco is aged for ten years. The surface of the cigars is smooth with a slight oily sheen and some visible veins. The burn and draw are typical of a premium cigar and produce a firm, silver-gray ash with no flacking. The Nat Sherman Sterling is perfect for a morning smoking session, although it can be enjoyed at any time of day. These cigars are a valuable experience for any cigar aficionado. 

The Nat Sherman Sterling Selection is available in boxes of 25 cigars.


Ring gauge: 40, 43, 48;

Length: 4, 6.25, 7”;

Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut;

Binder: The Dominican Republic;

Filler: The Dominican Republic.

Strength: Mild-Medium;

Body: Mild-Medium;

Origin: The Dominican Republic;

Vitola: Petit Corona, Lonsdale, Churchill;

Handmade: Yes.


Pricing: from $9. 

Palate: Woody, spices, nuts with floral notes.

JC Newman The American

JC Newman The American

A 100% USA-made cigar! The first luxury cigar fully made entirely in the US. You can recognize it by the color of the dark cinnamon wrapper and the elegant presentation, featuring elements of the US culture. The smoking temperature is a little warm but not unpleasant. The ash produced is pale and falls off after an inch. This cigar pairs well with American beverages such as craft root beer or single malt. If you are a fan of hot drinks, you can pair the American with filter coffee or espresso. Whether you enjoy the cigar with friends at a barbecue or on a special occasion, you’ll be pleased with the smoking duration and rich, complex flavor. Do not miss the opportunity to try the American by JC Newman!

The American is available in 10 cigar wooden cabinets.


Ring gauge: 47, 50, 54, 56;

Length: 5, 5.25, 6, 7”;

Wrapper: Florida sun-grown;

Binder: Connecticut broadleaf;

Filler: Connecticut Havana seed and Pennsylvania Mennonite;

Strength: Medium;

Body: Medium;

Origin: The USA; 

Assembly: El Reloj, Tampa, Florida;

Vitola: Churchill, Torpedo, Toro, Robusto;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: 120 minutes.


Pricing: From $20.

Palate: Leathery, woody, dark chocolate, and spices with a hint of sweetness.

Ramon Allones Superiores LCDH

Ramon Allones Superiores LCDH

This cigar features the distinctive Cuban triple-seam cap. You can expect a sophisticated cold draw with mild resistance and an oily and thick burn. Be careful when removing the branding bands, as they may be firmly bonded to the cigar. This delicate, balanced blend should be carefully paired. The bold beverages aren’t a good choice. A mild bourbon, champagne, or double espresso are better pairings. This limited edition cigar is perfect for a gathering with close friends, where you can enjoy this fine piece of Cuban craftsmanship.

Ramon Allones Superiores is available in a 10-cigar cedar box.


Ring gauge: 46, 50;

Length: 5.625, 5”;

Wrapper: Cuban Puro;

Binder: Cuban Puro;

Filler: Cuban Puro.

Strength: Medium;

Body: Medium-Full;

Origin: Cuba;

Vitola: Toro, Grand Corona;

Handmade: Yes;

Smoking time: 60-80 minutes.


Pricing: From $30.

Palate: Nuts, cinnamon, and notes of cappuccino.

How did we Rate and Rank the Best Cigars for the Money?

We improved our own cigar rating system to do this review. For example, we do not smoke more than one cigar in a row because this would overload the palate, and the aromas and tastes of cigars would mix up. This is a wrong practice among many cigar reviewers. We do not recommend you do it either. Remember, cigars are about enjoyment and aroma. There is nothing enjoyable in puffing cigar after cigar. Cigar a day is fine. 

Each of the cigars was tested by three people, and only one of them knew the brand of the cigar; the other two didn’t. The latter ratings have a higher coefficient in the final review. This is done so we have maximal impartiality.

Our criteria for high-quality cigars are:
– Appearance;
– Construction of the cigar;
– Quality of the wrapper;
– Draw resistance;
– Tobacco blend taste complexity;
– Consistency of burning;
– Ash produced;
– Aroma.
These are the criteria that we consider to provide objectivity. Regarding the taste and aroma, we have our personal preferences; some like earthy and spicy flavor, while others prefer predominantly coffee, creamy, sweet cigars.

What Cigars are Eligible for this Guide?

After our smoking sessions, we rated available cigars on the market with an excellent price-to-quality ratio.  Many brands renew their series, which is why we update our list regularly.

How to Choose a Cigar?

You can use our list of criteria when you wonder how to choose a cigar. Our smoking sessions have shown that the criteria work well when choosing a cigar. Of course, the first hint is the cigar’s appearance and the quality of its wrapper. The price could also be a hint. If it is unusually low or high, you could be alert for some gimmicks. Our guide is a good starting point in your search for a cigar.

It is important to take the occasion into consideration. Different cigars can be paired with different drinks and food, so keep that in mind when choosing the right blend. We listed cigars, whose marvelous presentation and characteristics are perfect for holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or someone special’s personal occasion.

Consider what time you will have for smoking so that you can enjoy smoking without interruptions. Although, if stored properly, many premium cigars can be put out and relighted again later. 

FAQ

What Is the #1 rated cigar?

The No. 1 cigar for the last year of Cigar Aficionado is the mighty Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo.

How do you pick a good cigar?

You pick a good cigar by selecting it based on your preferred characteristics of a cigar and reviews from trusted cigar experts.

What is a boutique cigar?

Boutique cigars are handcrafted from a variety of tobaccos to achieve a unique flavor. A box of boutique cigars is not as uniform as cigars made on a larger scale.

What is the most sold cigar?

Arturo Fuente cigars are the best-selling cigars in the world. The classic OpusX, rated 97 points by Cigar Aficionado in 2021, is enjoying insane demand.

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Oliver Jones PhD

Oliver Jones PhD

Jones, Oliver Jones, content creator and editor. I have been in love with smoking for a long time. Ever since my grandfather introduced me to Cuban cigars in the 90s, I have been curious about the experience of relaxed enjoyment of this culture. My favorite cigar is the next premium blend I try, the same goes for pipes. So here I am to share my knowledge and experience with you and let us find our next favorite cigar or pipe.

2 Comments

  1. Can you help us avid cigar smokers? Over the past 2 years, 50% of premium cigars have tunnels that make the cigar un-smokeable. We have to get word to the manufacturers that the quality of construction is going downhill.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jim

    • Hey Jim,

      We get your frustration. It’s concerning to see the quality of premium cigars decline. We’ll definitely relay your feedback to the manufacturers. Everyone deserves a top-notch cigar. Thanks for reaching out.

      Best,
      Adelina Drandeva

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