Five cigar recommendations from Aquiles Legra of Sabor Havana in Doral, Fla.

A Miami-area cigar shop owner on what you should smoke next

Aquiles Legra is co-owner of Sabor Havana Cigars in Doral, Florida.
Aquiles Legra is co-owner of Sabor Havana Cigars in Doral, Florida. Nicolás Antonio Jiménez

Despite its somewhat out-of-the-way location in Doral, a Miami suburb just west of Miami International Airport, few tobacconists in this area have the kind of name recognition that Sabor Havana does. That’s partly because of the store’s annual Smoke This! event and the fact that it’s a stop for just about every cigar promotional tour that comes through town, but also because of its ample selection and the knowledge and experience of its owner duo: Jorge Vidal and Aquiles Legra.

Aquiles does most of the cigar buying, so I stopped by to find out what five cigars he’d recommend you keep an eye out for the next time you visit a cigar shop.

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro (Exclusivo)

“My first recommendation is my favorite cigar,” said Aquiles of this Padrón smoke. “That’s my go-to cigar. When I come down here to our shop, that’s what I smoke about 70 percent of the time. It’s a medium-to-full-bodied cigar, depending on your palate. It’s full of flavor. I also like the Maduro more than the Natural. I think the Natural is a little stronger, so I don’t smoke the Natural that much. Lots of people assume the Maduro will be stronger but I don’t think that’s the case and I have a lot of customers who agree with me.”

Note: When I posted a set of recommendations from Dan Schmitt, owner of Dallas’ Up In Smoke stores, he named the Natural as his preferred Padrón. To each his own.

La Flor Dominicana La Nox

“This next cigar is fairly new, and you should try it if you can get it. The La Nox is really good,” said Aquiles. “For most people, it’s going to be a strong cigar. It’s an after-meal cigar. I love it, but it’s hard to display on store shelves since it comes in a round box.

When I first got it, I would recommend it to everyone,” said Aquiles, “but you kind of forget about it when it’s not on the shelf. At the beginning, we bought like four or five boxes of the ten-count. Then they sent me two twenty-count boxes and it still hasn’t moved much.””

The La Nox made its debut at the last IPCPR trade show in New Orleans. Aside from its high quality and unique profile, it made a splash thanks to its being packages in a circular box. Further, instead of a hinged box top, it’s got a round panel that snaps on with magnets and comes completely off. That makes the box very interesting to look at and display in your home, but problematic in most retail settings, where shelf real estate is at a premium.

“It has a Brazilian tobacco in it, so it’s a little different. And, again, it’s strong. La Flor Dominicana makes strong cigars. I would say it’s right under the Chisel Maduro in terms of how it compares in strength to the rest of their lineup.”

It’s always a shame when a great cigar loses attention for the wrong reasons, but now you’re in the know. Next time you see other LFD products, but no La Nox, ask the shop’s owner whether he’s got these stashed away someplace.

Note: LFD La Nox took the No. 11 spot on the list of the Top 25 Cigars of 2015 published by Cigar Snob Magazine, where I'm the senior editor.

Rocky Patel Edge Habano (Toro)

“If I had to pay for my cigars, I would smoke the Rocky Patel Edge Habano in Toro or Torpedo,” said Aquiles, laughing a bit because he smokes the expensive stuff in his inventory. “The Habano is really, really nice. We sell them at 4 for $20. You can’t beat 5 bucks a cigar. I know it sells really well all over the country, and now that we put that price on it... Forget about it.”

Davidoff Anniversary No. 3

“A morning cigar I love, though not everyone can afford to smoke this all the time, is the Davidoff Anniversary No. 3. I would say it’s mild-to-medium in strength, but someone who doesn’t smoke as much might say it’s a solid medium. It’s a nice ring gauge — 50 — and it smokes incredibly well. You don’t want a very full-bodied cigar in the morning,” said Aquiles.

Note: This cigar was also on the list of five recommendations from Dan Schmitt of Up In Smoke.

Laranja Reserva

“If you want a really unique flavor, try Laranja by Espinosa Cigars,” said Aquiles of the Miami-based boutique brand, whose factory is in Estelí, Nicaragua. “That’s different from any other cigar out here. It’s a medium-bodied cigar. It’s not as rich as, for example, the Padrón Anniversary, but it has a lot of flavors that make it unique. It also produces a very light smoke considering how much flavor it has. Not every store carries that, so you should try it if you come across it.”

Want more recommendations from another respected tobacconist? Check out this list of five cigars to try from Dan Schmitt.