Everyone loves a good bargain and we at Cigar Aficionado are no different. With summer barbecues and other outdoor activities underway, having plenty of quality cigars that won’t break your budget on hand for you and your friends is a must.
Over the past three months, we have reviewed a total of 124 cigars between our Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider tastings. Now we present a list of the best cigars from these issues that are as pleasing to the palate as they are easy on the wallet.
During our blind tastings, our panel of editors consider four different categories: Appearance and structure count for a maximum of 15 points; 25 points for flavor; 25 points for smoking characteristics (quality of draw, texture of smoke, etc.); and the remaining 35 points are allotted to the overall impression, or level of enjoyment, of the cigar.
Punch Diablo Scamp (Nicaragua, 93 points, $7.19) This cigar was created by General Cigar in collaboration with A.J. Fernandez with the mission to create the strongest Punch cigar yet. Measuring 6 1/4 inches by 50 ring gauge, this is also the first Punch from General Cigar to be made outside of Honduras. See full tasting note.
Joya Silver Corona (Nicaragua, 92 points, $6.30) Wrapped in a leaf the color of rich dark chocolate, this box-pressed cigar presents a new direction for the brand in terms of greater complexity of flavors with a new blend featuring Nicaragua fillers, Mexican binder and an Ecuador wrapper to create a medium to full-bodied smoke. See full tasting note.
La Galera Habano Bonchero (Dominican Republic, 90 points, $5.10) Surprisingly bold and featuring a lush draw, this 5 1/2 inch by 42 ring gauge corona was created for the European market by cigarmaker José “Jochy” Blanco. In 2016, the skinny smoke was introduced to the U.S. market. See full tasting note.
New World Cameroon Selection Churchill (Nicaragua, 90 points, $6.50) This release marks the first time A.J. Fernandez has sold a cigar wrapped in Cameroon cover leaf. A stately 7 inches by 48 ring gauge, this is the largest cigar on our list, and one that certainly delivers bang for your buck. See full tasting note.
Padrón Ambassador Maduro (Nicaragua, 90 points, $5.90) Padrón is a classic brand that dates back to 1964. While known for high-end, pricey smokes, the company’s core line delivers bargain after bargain. This pencil-thin Nicaraguan puro is packed with flavors, and with a retail price just under $6.00, this lonsdale is a steal. See full tasting note.
Alec Bradley Coyol Petit Lancero (Honduras, 89 points, $7.25) Topped with a pigtail cap, this lonsdale previously occupied a spot in our Top 25 Cigars of 2016 list. Named after the Coyol plantation in Honduras, this slim cigar features Coyol tobacco for its wrapper, one of its two binders and part of its filler tobaccos. The second binder and the rest of the fillers are Nicaraguan. See full tasting note.
Arturo Fuente Cuban Corona (Dominican Republic, 89 points, $5.36) Coppery in appearance and from a brand long known for providing great smokes at an affordable price, this cigar is made from Dominican binder and filler tobaccos and wrapped with a Cameroon leaf from Western Africa. See full tasting note.
La Aurora 107 Corona (Dominican Republic, 88 points, $6.95) Wrapped in a dark and toothy Ecuador cover leaf, this cigar was launched by La Aurora to commemorate 107 years of business. This 5 1/2 inch by 43 ring gauge corona is composed of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers and Dominican binder. See full tasting note.