The Best Cigars for Beginners

For those just beginning to learn about cigars, we recommend beginning with the best mild and mild-to-medium cigars that are available on the market today. The cigars on the following list are top-quality products with plenty of flavor that should also appeal to nearly all experienced cigar smokers, as well.

Tips for Beginners

  • Buy from quality tobacconists. With a good local tobacconist, you can be assured that the cigars have been stored properly, and the clerk will be able to advise you with authority. 
  • Purchase only a few at a time. You'll be able to sample many and quickly learn what you enjoy. 
  • Start on the mild side. Smoking overpowering cigars when you start might sour you on the whole experience, so begin mild and ease your way into more flavorful cigars. 
  • Don't spend a fortune. There may come a time when you want to spend a lot of money, but you can find very good cigars for as little as $3, and most should cost less than $10. 
  • Pair your cigar with a drink. Experienced cigar smokers will tell you that a cigar's flavor is always enhanced with a drink. Whiskey, especially Scotch, is the drink of choice, but India Pale Ales also pair well. And coffee drinks are also a good choice. 

The Layers of a Cigar

A good cigar is a work of hand craftsmanship, and part of the enjoyment of cigars is learning to appreciate the fine hand work that goes into making one. As you enjoy a cigar, consider the careful, time-honored work that went into making it. 

A cigar is made of three layers of tobacco, each of which may be from a different growing region. It is not uncommon for a cigar to include a blend of several tobaccos in the center, another type of tobacco used as a surrounding binder, and yet another as wrapping the outer layer of the cigar.  As you develop your expertise, learn to appreciate the types of tobacco used in the three layers.

  • The filler.  This is the inner portion of the cigar, the tobacco that provides most of the taste. The filler, or bunch, is a layer of individual tobacco leaves. 
  • The binder. Around the bunch filler, the binder is a coarse layer of tobacco that gives the cigar its structure and allows it to hold its moisture content.
  • The wrapper. After the cigar is molded, a  layer of fine-textured, elastic tobacco that gives the cigar its pleasing look and feel. For true enthusiasts, the look and feel of a cigar are nearly as important as its taste. 
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Casa Torano

Premium hand rolled cigars on box
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Casa Torano cigars are made by the Torano family in Honduras. The Casa Torano is a mild-to-medium cigar that is packed with flavor. This cigar is mild enough for a beginner but has a complex flavor that will satisfy most seasoned smokers, also. The filler tobacco is a blend of Central and South American tobaccos and the wrapper is Ecuadorian-Connecticut tobacco.

The taste is rich and smooth, and very enjoyable all the way down to the last two inches of the cigar. You can't go wrong with a Casa Torano!

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Macanudo Hyde Park

Macanudo is one of the top selling premium cigar brands in the United States, consistently ranking in the top 25. These cigars are made by the General Cigar Company in the Dominican Republic. It is one of the thicker cigars in the Hyde Park line, a pleasure to hold. 

The Macanudo Hyde Park Café is also a real pleasure to smoke, as it produces lighter tastes of almonds, cashews, and fresh herbs. A great choice for beginners, and can be used as a benchmark to evaluate other cigars. 

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Gran Habano Connecticut #1

The Gran Habano Connecticut #1 cigar is mild-to-medium bodied but closer to the upper end of that range. Gran Habano cigars are made by Guillermo Rico in Honduras. The Connecticut #1 blend is made with Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrappers and a blend of filler tobaccos from Nicaragua.

This is a ​great cigar for beginners, as well as for mainstream cigar smokers who enjoy a flavorful cigar that is not a power bomb.

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Gispert is a mild-to-medium bodied cigar made in Honduras, using Honduran and​ Nicaraguan filler tobacco.  This is a very easy smoking cigar, available in several different size formats.

It has an earthy and woodsy flavor with hints of leather. The aroma is quite pleasing also, with wood and leather undertones. And for only about $3 per stick, the price is very reasonable.

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Helix Blue Tubular

The Helix Blue Tubular cigar has a very enjoyable mild flavor and is also mild in strength. This cigar is a great choice for a beginner cigar smoker, as well as for an experienced smoker who enjoys an occasional mild cigar. The cigar is made by the General Cigar Company in Honduras and has some similarities to their more expensive and popular line of Macanudo cigars.

Helix cigars are also available as artificially flavored cigars called Helix Remix, which are also prescribed for new cigar smokers.