If you are adventuring into the great wide world of cigars and looking to light up your first Cuban, you probably have a few questions. Of course, when you are new to cigar smoking, you might not yet have a network of fellow collectors that can answer your questions. Maybe you are even hesitant to talk shop with your local cigar merchant.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite 21 Cuban cigars for beginners. Read on, then light up.
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2
This may just be the best beginner cigar out there. A well-balanced, light bodied stick filled to the brim with elegant notes of cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla, it’s without a doubt one of the more succulent selections on our list.
Romeo y Julieta Mille Fleurs Cigar
This was among Winston Churchill’s favorite brands, so you can anticipate a top-shelf cigar. More affordable than some of the other names in their catalogue, the Mille Fleurs brings you all the typical flavors Romeo y Julieta fans have come to know and love, including cedar and floral notes.
Cohiba Siglo I Cigar
Smoking your first Cohiba is a right of passage for every cigar smoker. The most famous and successful Cuban cigar makers, Cohiba rarely miss with their endlessly impressive array of smokes. For a novice smoker, we recommend a slightly milder Cohiba like the Siglo I.
Le Flor de Cano Petit Corona
Perhaps the perfect starter cigar, this is a small corona with an excellent draw. With a mild flavor and aroma, this Havana House exclusive is also competitively priced. This is a perfectly solid, unfussy cigar.
Paragas Petit Corona Especiales Cigar
One of the punchier cigars to have made our list, we recommend the Paragas Petit Corona Especiales for when you’ve conquered a few of the previously mentioned milder Cubans and are looking for something bolder. Both well-blended and complex, it should ideally be smoked in the early evening with a delicious cup of coffee.
Ramon Allones Superiores LCDH
Though lesser known than some of the heavier hitters on this list, Ramon Allones crafts a heck of a smoke. We recommend the Superiores LCDH, which is beautifully crafted, medium-bodied, and gives you a basic survey course, so to speak, on what to expect from a Cuban.
Por Larranaga Panetelas
A shorter filler cigar with a stout body and earthy taste, this may seem like a surprising choice. But the only thing that’s surprising about this cigar is how delicious and affordable it is. It offers notes of cedar, salted caramel, and topsoil, to name a few of the treats packed into this small-but-mighty-wonder.
Fonseca No. 1
An often overlooked brand, Fonseca’s Fonseca No. 1 will quickly climb the ranks on your list of favorite cigars. Milder than most of its counterparts, it’s a great Cuban cigar for beginners, and comes in a beautifully creamy brown wrapper. Its dominant flavor is coffee but it finishes with delightfully floral undertones—truly a hidden gem.
Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real
The second Romeo y Julieta to make our list, this Cuban-legacy cigar (brands that originated in Cuba but are now manufactured elsewhere) offers a collection of distinctively toasty and nutty flavors. The secret to this smoke is its Connecticut wrapper varietal––it’s oily, sweet, and unforgettable.
Quai d’Orsay No. 54
Created in the 70’s for an exclusively French market, this mild to medium-bodied cigar was relaunched in 2017 to critical acclaim. Both savory and sweet, the Quai d’Orsay No. 54 offers subtlety, refinement, and hints of salted caramel.
Guantanamera Cristales - 1’s
This is a nice, mild Cuban that offers notes of citrus fruit and a minty, menthol-like middle. Maybe this cigar won’t win many prizes with the aficionados, but it’s dependable and enjoyable nevertheless—an underrated, smooth smoke.
Rafael Gonzalez Perlas With its dark Maduro wrapper, this Cuban offers good value for a solid smoking experience, and should not be overlooked. Its hints of dark chocolate and roasted nuts bring a much welcome sweetness to a rather earthy cigar.
H. Upmann Magnum 50
Extremely popular ever since its release in 2008, the Magnum 50 gives a great introduction to the world of H. Upmann. Equal parts grassy and nutty flavors commingle for a truly one of a kind taste.
Saint Luis Rey Regios
Subtle flavors of coffee, chocolate, and dark honey are perfectly balanced in this deceptively elegant cigar. An affordable Habano, it’s extremely smokeable—even when young.
Ramon Allones Club Allones Edicion 2015
With its dark, oily, and beautiful wrapper, you know right when you pick up the Club Allones that it’s going to be one hell of a cigar. As a medium to full-bodied smoke, it’s not for the faint of heart, and is probably one to try after you’ve dabbled in a few of the previously mentioned, more easy to approach smokes. Still, once you’ve dipped your toes into the Cuban pool, be sure to check out the Club Allones Edicion 2015.
Punch 48 LCDH & Habanos Specialist
Though a young, recently produced cigar, this smoke has a taste, subtleness, and complexity well beyond its years. This medium-bodied cigar is exquisitely designed, and even better, won’t break the bank.
Bolivar Royal Coronas
With both peppery spice and more soothing herbal notes, the Bolivar Royal Corona strikes an exciting balancing act of seemingly contradictory flavors.
A hefty Robusto with a 50 ring gauge, you’ll taste nutmeg, chocolate, coffee, and leather.
Montecristo No. 2
With its iconic torpedo shape, the Montecristo No. 2 is a larger sized, super bold cigar. Notes of spice and pepper dance alongside almonds and cedar for a truly unmistakable taste. First introduced in 1935, the recipe was so solid that Montecristo hasn’t tampered with it at all. A wise decision, we think.
Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 SLB
Mild to full-bodied with a slightly grassy taste, here’s a cigar that has become very popular of late. Flavors of cedar and cocoa bean swirl smoothly, and, thanks to its superb construction, it’s an affordable cigar that also ages incredibly well.
Rey Del Mundo Choix Supreme
The lightest Cuban Robusto on the market, this is a cigar for both novices and
seasoned smokers alike. With flavors ranging from honey, flowers, fruit tang, to even beans, there’s something in here for everyone. Paired with an afternoon cocktail or some snacks enjoyed al fresco, it’s simply divine.
A fruity start, followed by a moist finish, this medium sized Double Figurado burns rapidly and excellently. Thin in diameter, the overwhelming flavors are earth and dark chocolate. But what is perhaps most memorable about the cigar is the powerful finish that will linger on the palate long after ashing.
BONUS ‘CUBANESQUE’ CIGARS
La Aroma de Cuba
Though technically made in Nicaragua, and thus not a Cuban puro, this ‘Cubanesque’ cigar is simply too good to keep off our list. Crafted by legendary cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia, the La Aroma de Cuba was judged the ‘#1 Cigar Industry Best Buy in the World’ by Cigar Aficionado. Medium-bodied with flavors of brown sugar, cedar, nuts, and wrapped in a chocolate-tinged Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, it’s truly an exquisite cigar. Even better, it’s affordable.
Montecristo No. 3
Though it tastes like a Cuban, this cigar is actually produced in the Dominican Republic. With a medium to full-flavored profile, this corona cigar is 142 mm and rolled under the supervision of a master cigar maker. An excellent choice if you’d like to become familiar with one of the cigar world’s top brands, and ease into the enjoyment of more intense cigars.
San Cristobal Quintessence
Medium to full-bodied with tasting notes of coffee bean, molasses, leather, and black pepper, this Cubanesque cigar is another of Pepin Garcia’s masterworks. With a Cigar Aficionado rating of 92, this is one mighty stick.
There you have it: our list of 21 Cuban cigars for beginners. With such a diverse range of Cubans, you’re bound to find your perfect gateway into the world of cigar smoking. Try them all, and tell us what you think!