Cigar aficionados are known for their choosiness. They're not the ones who are out there buying forty-five-cent cigar pawns, or smoking every inch of even the premium cigars they don't like. They buy cigars because they like cigars--they are, after all, cigar aficionados--and they aren't looking to skimp on price.
Even so, nobody minds saving some money--and when a cigar aficionado can buy premium cigars on a budget, she or he has got the best of both worlds. (A budget premium cigar also makes an excellent gift for a non-smoking friend or loved one who may be interested in trying on the cigar habit.)
Here are some cigars that will go heavy on your tastebuds, not your budget. These budget premium cigars are all available for five dollars or under.
What we might call "premium budget cigars" seem to come, more or less, in two kinds. On the one hand, there are excellent cigars made by lesser known companies: those smaller hand-rolled cigar makers that are doing excellent work under the radar. On the other hand, there are the excellent no-frills cigars made by well-known, high-end companies. In the latter category, we find Drew Estate's Acids.
Few premium cigar makers are more respected than Drew Estate, which gives us the better known (and more expensive) Chataeu Real, Liga Privada No. 9s, and other brands, but Acid is an attempt to rewrite the script. The important distinction with Acid cigars is that each cigar--each individual cigar, not merely each line-within-the-brand--is somewhat different.
The company, according to its own website, is trying to make a cigar that the individual smoker, no matter how committed, won't be able to smoke every incarnation of. By combining high grade tobacco with a huge variety of seasonings and botanicals--the company is cutely coy about the identity of these "seasonings and botanicals"--Drew Estate has created a cigar with a fascinating spicy/sweet taste that imitates, in a way, the improvised, each-one-unique Zen paintings of Japanese masters, or the great improvisations and revealing mistakes caught forever on live jazz recordings.
The result is a cigar light enough, in taste, to give to a beginner (if you want to make her or him a committed cigar aficionado), but constantly changing enough that even seasoned cigar smokers won't be able to put it down. And at four dollars for a single Acid Blondie, why would they?
Jenuwine Heavenly Hondurans, on the other hand, is one of those cigar lines that not everybody may be in on. But one only needs to look at the price and taste the cigar to know why they are called "Heavenly". To not try one as your everyday grass cutting, snow shoveling, golfing with the buddies cigar might leave you missing out on this heavenly experience!
The Honduran-made, mild-to-medium tasting cigars use only the finest aged tobacco from the Altadis factory, leading to a woodsy, unusual flavor and a peppery quick finish. Cigar aficionados find these cigars to be some of the best mild ones around, making Jenuwine Heavenly Hondurans another excellent choice for the first-time smoker and an intriguing diversion for the veteran.
You occasionally hear about a "writer's writer" or an "artist's artist"--someone who is famous and well-respected among the other members of his or her "guild," but whose exacting skill and artistry hasn't quite caught on among the members of the general public just yet. Well, perhaps Santa Rosa is a cigar maker's cigar maker. A Google search will reveal many premium-cigar-industry insiders praising this lesser-known company as anything but an also-ran. Yet, as these same knowledgeable fans point out, Santa Rosa's wares just aren't that well known, however deserving they may be. At four dollars and seventy-five cents each, the Santa Rosa Churchill is just the spicy, mild-to-medium premium cigar that may well reverse this brand's fortunes.
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