It can be difficult to track down a good bargain in your local cigar shop, especially when you tack on both federal and state taxes to the final price. Nonetheless, there are still many cigars out there on the market that are excellent in quality, but won’t break the bank.
In the last three months, between Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider tastings, we’ve reviewed a total of 131 cigars. We analyzed those ratings to find the best bangs for the buck among them, the top value-priced smokes that deserve your attention.
As with all our tastings, our panel of editors consider four different categories when reviewing a cigar: Appearance and structure count for a maximum of 15 points; flavor and smoking characteristics (quality of draw, texture of smoke, etc.) count for 25 points each; and the remaining 35 points are allotted to the overall impression, or level of enjoyment, of the cigar.
Price doesn’t factor into the score, showing that you don’t always need to spend big to get a great smoke.
Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua Bully (90 points, $6.80): Rolled at Plasencia Cigars in Nicaragua, this modern take on a classic brand is made entirely from Nicaraguan tobaccos. And while the name implies it may pack a punch, it actually smokes more like a medium-bodied cigar. See full tasting note.
7-20-4 Factory 57 Dog Walker (90 points, $6.50): This short cigar from Kurt Kendall is rolled in Honduras and uses high-priming wrapper grown in Nicaragua’s Jalapa Valley, binder from Costa Rica, and a three-country mix of filler tobaccos, including leaf from Colombia, uncommon in the cigar industry. See full tasting note.
Macanudo Café Petit Corona (90 points, $6.19): This classic smoke that helped put Macanudo on the map is covered in a traditional Connecticut shade wrapper. Thought it skews milder, it still offers loads of flavor. See full tasting note.
Alec Bradley Black Market Punk (90 points, $5.95): This short smoke with an inventive name costs only $5.95 and sports some Panama tobacco in its filler, a rarity in handmade cigars. See full tasting note.
Fonseca Nicaragua Petit Corona (88 points, $5.30): When this cigar debuted in 2016, it marked the first time the mainstay Fonseca brand was rolled in Nicaragua. Rolled entirely with Nicaraguan tobaccos, it features tobaccos from Estelí and Ometepe, with a dark, Criollo ‘98 wrapper from Jalapa. See full tasting note.
Arturo Fuente Petit Corona (87 points, $4.94): The flagship brand for Arturo Fuente cigars uses Dominican tobaccos for its binder and filler, but is covered in a dark, toothy wrapper from Cameroon. See full tasting note.
Oliva Connecticut Reserve Petit Corona (87 points, $5.28): The well-rolled cigar uses Nicaraguan binder and filler and is covered in a light, Connecticut-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. See full tasting note.