There’s something truly unique about Cuban cigars. Whether this is due to tangible factors such as soil composition, or simply a result of generations of cultivating and blending expertise, there’s a quintessentially Cuban flavour that seems impossible to replicate. However, part of the fun of being an aficionado is the constant seeking out of new blends and brands to collect and enjoy. With that in mind we’ve compiled a short list of recommended alternatives to your Cuban favourites, available on our online store.
Note: Due to licence restrictions, some of the items below may not be shipped to USA.
MILD TO MEDIUM
If you enjoy Fonseca, Quai d’Orsay, Hoyo de Monterrey, or Por Larranaga, then try:
Named after founder Jose Padron’s grandfather, the Damaso line replresents a departure from Padron’s typically full-flavoured offerings. Damaso cigars are mild- to medium-bodied, covered with Connecticut-seed wrappers, and sold in the round, rather than the traditional Padrón box-press. Padron Damaso are smooth, with a depth of flavour, treating your palate to sweet cream, cedar, pepper, and subtle spice. Shop for Padron Cigars.
Illusione Haut 10
Illusione Cigars was founded in 2006 and has received universal acclaim for many releases. The Haut 10 received a 94 Rating from Halfwheel and was named “Cigar of the Year 2016” on multiple lists. The Haut 10 is a Robusto Extra (5.5″x52) that uses a Nicaraguan claro wrapper around blend of Nicaraguan criollo 98 and corojo 99 tobaccos. The result is a complex, creamy, and delicious smoke with a profile of cedar, spice (in particular cinnamon), earth, nuts, sweet dried fruit and pepper. The Haut 10 begins mild but ends on the fuller side of medium. Shop for Illusoine Cigars.
If you enjoy Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, or Ramon Allones, then try:
Plasencia Alma del Campo
Released in 2017 by the Nicaraguan tobacco growing, cigar making Plasencia family, Alma del Campo offers a medium plus smoke with lots of white pepper, oak and cocoa notes, with added touches of salt and a floral finish. Shop for Plasencia cigars.
Flor de Las Antillas
Made in the Nicaraguan My Father Cigars factory of José “Pepín” Garcia and constructed under the supervision of Garcia’s son, master blender Jaime Garcia, Flor de Las Antillas embodies the skill and passion for cigars passed on through generations. Featuring an all-Nicaraguan blend of tobaccos, the sun-grown wrapper, a unique double binder, and Cuban seed filler results in a Cubanesque aroma and flavour notes of notes of cocoa, pepper, sweet cedar, and earth. Shop for Flor de Las Antillas.
With recent cigar releases, there appears to be a clear adherence to the “more is more” mantra with ring gauges getting thicker and cigars getting longer. It’s refreshing therefore, to see a classic cigar size, the Petit Corona, done well. Tatuaje Noellas have been in production for more than a decade, and these little smokes share the “flavour bomb” characteristics of many little Cubans, with each puff loaded with dense, creamy smoke, and flavours of leather, spice and cinnamon. Medium-Full. Shop for Tatuaje Cigars.
If you enjoy Partagas, Bolivar, or Cohiba then try:
Padron Serie 1926
The Padron Serie 1926 is an award winning, all-Nicaraguan blend of premium aged tobaccos and one of the most powerful, full-bodied cigars in the entire Padrón portfolio. Despite its strength, the 1926 is smooth, rich and elegant, featuring an earthy core with rich coffee bean character, accented by a sweet, underlying woodiness. Available in natural and maduro wrappers. Shop for Padron Cigars.
Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V
The 93 Rated Generacion V is considered one of 2017s best cigar releases and was deservedly placed on many “Best of” lists. The blend is full bodied, all Nicaraguan, and made with aged tobacco taken from Plasencia’s vast library of vintage leaf. While the primary component is Criollo ’98, Alma Fuerte is a blend of tobacco from four growing regions: Estelí, Condega, Jalapa and Ometepe. The result is complex and luxurious smoke with a full draw and layer upon rich layer of cocoa powder, leather and toast. Shop for Plasencia cigars.