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Cigar Aficionado

Ten Cuban Cigars to Buy Now

Ten Cuban Cigars to Buy Now
Cohiba Behike BHK 52

Cuba's cigar stores boast low prices, ample supply and superior selection. But there is good and bad to be had in Havana. We point you to 10 cigars that are sure to please, show you how many you can bring home for $100 and alert you to a few that are better left on the shelves.

Montecristo No. 2
Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of the Year for 2013 remains in plentiful supply in just about every top-tier Havana cigar store. If you see boxes stamped with early 2013 dates (April 2013 in particular) grab them.
Rating: 96 points
Price: 9.65 cuc ($11.09)
How many you can buy with $100: 9

Bolivar Super Corona Edición Limitada 2014
Most of Cuba's newer cigars are quite fat, but this 5 1/2 by 48 Bolivar is dialed down in thickness. It's a robust smoke with clove, earth and bittersweet chocolate notes—classic Bolivar flavor in a classic Bolivar size.
Rating: 90 points
Price: 9.25 cuc ($10.63)
How many you can buy with $100: 9

Cohiba Esplendido
The Churchill-sized member of the core Cohiba line, stronger than the Siglo series, is smoking better than it has in years. It placed No. 11 on our Top 25. One of Havana's most expensive cigars, but worth it.
Rating: 93 points
Price: 23 cuc ($26.43)
How many you can buy with $100: 3

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial (Tubo)
If you're looking for a three-pack of cigars, we have the ideal smoke. This 5 1/2 by 50 cigar comes in tidy packs of three, and ranked No. 4 on our most recent Top 25 list.
Rating: 94 points
Price: 8.60 cuc ($9.88)
How many you can buy with $100: 10

Cohiba Behike BHK 52
Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of the Year for 2010, this cigar consistently outperforms its thicker cousins, the BHK 54 and BHK 56. Even pricier than normal Cohibas, Habanos justifies the pricetag with some medio tiempo leaves in the blend. It has been in short supply in Cuba of late, so if you see one, don't hesitate to buy. They come in boxes of 10.
Rating: 97 points
Price: 22 cuc ($25.29)
How many you can buy with $100: 4H.

Upmann Half Corona
This small 90 pointer (it's all of 3 1/2 inches long by a mere 44 ring gauge) stands out for its value. It's one of the few quality boxes of 25 you can bring home for $100. They also come in sleek tins of 5.
Rating: 90 points
Price: 3.50 cuc ($4.00)
How many you can buy with $100: 25

Montecristo Double Edmundo
A longer, thinner version of the Montecristo Edmundo, this oaky, leathery cigar is not only smoking very well right now (it's Cigar Aficionado's No. 15 cigar of 2014) it can be found on store shelves all over Havana.
Rating: 92 points
Price: 9.70 cuc ($11.15)
How many you can buy with $100: 9

Partagás Lusitania
Sometimes a situation calls for a double corona, and the Cuban double corona smoking beautifully right now is the Partagás Lusitania. Abundant in most fine Cuban cigar shops, you will sometimes find them in tidy boxes of 10, and (rarely) in cabinets of 50.
Rating: 93 points
Price: 11.35 cuc ($13.00)
How many you can buy with $100: 7

Vegueros Entretiempo and Mañanita
The redesigned, reblended and resized Vegueros brand can be a fine cigar for a great price. The Entretiempo (4 3/8 by 52) and Mañanita (4 by 46) were named Best Buys by Cigar Insider. They come in stylish tins of 16.
Rating: 90 points (Entretiempo), 90 Points (Mañanita)
Mañanita Price: 3.70 cuc ($4.25)
Entretiempo Price: 4.70 cuc ($5.40)
How many you can buy with $100: 18 to 23

Two To Avoid

Guantanamera
This brand beckons with low prices—but don't be fooled. These aren't cigars of quality, and in no way represent classic Cuban tobacco.

Cohiba Behike BHK 56
It has consistently disappointed in Cigar Aficionado ratings, yet is paradoxically the most expensive regular-production cigar in Cuba's portfolio. It doesn't compare to the fine BHK 54, and the consistently superb BHK 52, one of the best cigars Cuba has ever made.




"Hi. I was just recently in Cuba and it was almost impossible to buy cigars there. Everywhere I went they were either sold out or did not have what I wanted. I went to Hotel Valencia in Habana where they finally said they had a few to sell. I purchased Cohiba and Monte Cristo in singles. It seemed as if the man that was helping my friend and I was keeping things on the down low. I wonder if I received fake cigars. They were each $7.50 US " —September 5, 2017 21:24 PM
"Cubans are expensive in the UK, like £14 for a monte number 4. But recently I've found a great tobacconist in Germany (where I work very often) and the same cigar is €5 (£4). Monte number 2 also €14, great shop. I'm enjoying the creaminess of the Romeo y Julieta's, but the monte 2 is the winner for me. Not tried Nicaraguan or Honduran yet though - not that easy to come by over here. " —October 12, 2016 05:11 AM
"Great listing of some excellent Cubans to buy (and I have all of them in my humidor) however a couple of observations. As a Canadian I make a couple of trips a year to Cuba and this past February we visited every LCDH store in Havana and were unable to find boxes of the Behike 52 or 54 (singles only). The explanation given was that the lions share of production is now ending up in Hong Kong and Switzerland (where many of the major internet distributors are located). We also had trouble finding any cigars with box dates early than 2015 although we did find some Partagas Luisitanias from 2012! The best find of the trip was 11 boxes of the Diplamatico Cuban Regional Edititions and between 4 of us we purchased all 11 boxes." —September 1, 2016 11:27 AM
"I just stared smoking cigars a few weeks ago, and i would like to smoke some cuban cigars, i been reading about, but i dont know how to get them, actually im a permanent U.S. resident, and i dont want to break the law, but still want to have the chance to smoke one of those good cigars, im actually living in ohio, and i was wondering (after reading this post), where can i get one of them?. Thanks " —June 4, 2016 21:09 PM
"I have certainly noticed a shortage of Cohiba Behikes for quite some time, even in Cuba. Not seeing "regular" Cohibas, such as Cohiba robustos? That's a first. Someone I know quite well just bought a Cohiba Robusto in France last week, and I know several retailers who have them in stock right now. I can't speak to the supply in Canada as I haven't been in some time. I have heard of reports of bad crops as well. You can read more about the crop status in Gordon Mott's blogs on this site (visit the blog section) and you'll be particularly interested in the Cuba Report coming in the Jan/Feb issue, which just shipped to the printer and will be out soon. It covers this particular subject. " —December 20, 2015 09:31 AM
"I've tried to buy Cohiba Robustos and Behikes for a while and it seems that many retailers in Canada are out of stock. I was told that there was a problem with the 2015 crop and Cohiba will only be shipping sometime in the summer of 2016. Apparently the few stores that have them bought enormous stock before the problem crop and are selling them for very high prices. Is this true or am I being told a lie?" —December 20, 2015 00:07 AM
"I am going to Cancun in December and I will stop by La Casa Del Habano to smoke a few Cubans. I usually smoke Bolivar when I am there and Padrons when in the US. I like the full body cigars. I want to try something different but still strong. What would your recommend?" —November 18, 2015 16:25 PM
"great article. thank you . Just curious why the Bolivar bellicoso finos or the Partagas P2 was not mentioned." —October 19, 2015 02:37 AM
"Jake, Cuban cigars have had consistency problems in the past, but the ones produced today are, in our opinion, quite good and good on a consistent basis. If you are getting duds again and again and again, I would question the source of your product. " —October 13, 2015 09:54 AM
"I live in Italy and I smoke Cuban cigars regularly, mostly because of the distinct taste, but I've noticed the quality never seems to be consistent. I've had a few that weren't smokeable because the draw was too tight and yet the next cigar would be incredible. Today I smoked a Romeo y Julieta no 3 that was excellent and the other day I smoked a short Churchill that was terrible. I've noticed this with Romeo y Julieta, Juan Lopez, por larranaga, montecristo, and bolivar. They are all good cigars, but I keep getting duds. Any reason as to why this seems to be a uniquely Cuban problem? I haven't had this issue with any non-cuban brands. Thanks!" —October 12, 2015 17:24 PM
"Just goes to show that too much of a good thing....isn't such a good thing...I agree with David, BHK52 and especially BHK54 rock!, but the BHK56 is just a beast...too much bold notes overflow the palate...I have tried 2 times had same experience....BHK54 is my favorite...plenty of rich flavors for even the most experience smokers!~ " —October 7, 2015 19:52 PM
"I reccomend Google" —October 5, 2015 06:12 AM
"Sorry--we don't give recommendations of cigar websites." —October 1, 2015 21:22 PM
"Can you recommend trusted websites to purchase Cubans?" —October 1, 2015 19:40 PM
"...online I mean??" —October 1, 2015 11:13 AM
"Where do you recommend making these purchases??" —October 1, 2015 11:11 AM
"Happy to explain. Cigars of the same brand are, indeed, made with the same general blend of tobaccos. But when you go from a 52 ring to a 54 ring you need to add something--and when you go up again to 56 you need to add some more. Even if the components are all in the same general family, the ratios are different and will smoke differently. We have tested this trio of cigars repeatedly (blind, without knowing their identity) and the 56 has consistently underperformed in comparison with the 52 (a former Cigar of the Year) and the 54. Add in the fact that the 56 is one of Cuba's most expensive cigars and that's a cigar we advise our readers to avoid. " —October 1, 2015 10:28 AM
"Hello: I noticed you mentioned the Cohiba Behike 56 as being a cigar to avoid. Yet, you recommend the 54 and 52 as being great cigars. Would you please explain why a cigar (Behike) with the same tobacco, made the same way, by the same people, differing only in size would be not as good as its exact, smaller equals? Is it a different taste when the cigar is that fat, thus altering its flavor, or does Cohiba actually use a slightly different tobacco for the 56's?" —September 30, 2015 22:54 PM
"A really concise summary - thanks." —September 29, 2015 03:03 AM