What are the best cigars to give a new cigar smoker?
We have all been in the dilemma right? You are a cigar aficionado, in fact you rarely bat an eye spending up to $20 on a single cigar. Yet now you have some friends visiting and it’s time to break out the cigars and your cigar newbie friends would like to partake in the festivities. What do you do?
The problem is… if you pass out $100 worth of Padron Anniversarios it’s likely your friends may not appreciate the delicacy of such a complex and expensive smoke, yet at the same time you want you friends to enjoy a fine cigar so you certainly don’t want to give them some cheap $1 stick that might have a horrible draw and harsh flavors. As a cigar lover you certainly don’t want to be the reason that all of your friends end up hating cigars, it’s your responsibility to provide new cigar smokers with a pleasant cigar smoking experience. Keep in mind most folks think a fine cigar can be purchased at the grocery store, therefore your task in gifting just the right cigar can be a tricky one. Just imagine the horror of seeing some cigar newbie smoking just a half inch of your Tatuaje Black Label, losing interest and leaving it stranded in the ash tray. Or even worse handing out such cheap cigars that all your friends are coughing, hacking, and questioning why you like these horrible things.
Cigars that are good for new cigar smokers
That’s why every cigar smoker should have a selection of cigars in their humidor that are affordable yet tasty and interesting for a new smoker for just this occasion. Lets set some rules here, and lets determine the things we need to look for in a cigar that is targeted for a new cigar smoker:
- Inexpensive. A inexpensive cigar should fall under $5 per stick mark. Any cigar over $5 might be a waste since it’s likely a newer smoker may not enjoy smoking in the first place so why risk a super premium on a new smoker?
- Easy draw. A cigar for a new smoker needs to have an easy draw, the last thing you want is to have a new smoker huffing and puffing just to find flavor. Furthermore, new cigar smokers tend to smoke too quickly heating up the cigar so if you are there to coach them to slow down you want the cigar they are smoking to be easy to draw so they can work less for the flavor.
- Quality construction. A good cigar for a newbie should have a good burn, you really want to avoid having your friends worrying more about relighting the cigar than the flavors they are trying to appreciate. Smoking a good cigar shouldn’t require much effort.
- Interesting flavors. New cigar smokers want to be blown away by interesting flavors. After all, the very fact that they are smoking means they probably feel like they are secretly taking a walk on the wild side. Give them something to remember, something with flavor.
- Size matters. For a new cigar smoker choose a robusto size stick. Robustos are easy to cut, light, handle, and smoke. A new cigar smoker doesn’t want to feel overwhelmed by the cigar smoking experience and a robusto is a great size to “ease” them into the hobby.
- Middle ground. I wouldn’t pick a cigar too mild, nor too strong in either flavor or nicotine kick. Cigars that are too mild might not be interesting enough to grab a new cigar smokers attention yet something too strong might have them barfing in the bathroom which is never a good way to introduce someone to cigar smoking.
Therefore with those things in mind below are my picks for the best cigars to give to a new cigar smoker. Any of the following cigars are smokable even for the most experienced cigar smoker so it’s not as if by having these stocked in your humidor you can’t enjoy them just as much as the the new smoker. In fact I recommend smoking the same cigar you give to your friends, nothing says “cigar snob” more than when you smoke a different cigar than the one you pass out to your buddies.
#5 – CAO MX2
The CAO MX2 is a great starter stick it produces a excellent amount of nice white smoke and the burn is nearly perfect no relights will be required for your new cigar smoking friend. The taste of the tobacco on the tongue is subdued but still very pleasant and the draw is snug but not in a bad way. The is a great cigar to have on hand to pass out to friends and it’s also nice to smoke in the morning paired with a cup of coffee.
#4 – Cubao No. 2
The Cubao No. 2 is a Cuban styled cigar therefore you can explain to your newbie cigar friends that “hey this is a lot what a Cuban cigar is like”, and they will all “Oooooo” and “ahhhh”. This cigar has a great draw, great burn, and very interesting flavors.
#3 – Pinar Del Rio Seleccion Reserva Limitado
The Pinar Del Rio Seleccion Reserva Limitado is one of my favorite cigars and it’s also a great cigar for a newbie mainly because it’s so luxurious. It also looks like it cost a million bucks with it’s fancy label and silk foot band. This cigar screams luxury!! Surely your friends will think you are giving them the very best “top shelf” cigar available. And the cigar performs just as well with rich, deep flavor and delicious oily coating on the mouth will be sure to still be on the palate the next morning.
#2 – Espinosa Habano Robusto
This medium bodied cigar will certainly not cause your newbie friend to start choking and gagging, instead it will cause your newbie friend to instantly know why you love cigar smoking so much. Tons of mouth watering flavor that will fill your palette with a delicious semi-sweet flavor of your grandmothers spice cabinet. The tasty flavor of this cigar will linger on your mind all day long. The burn is impeccable and the price on these cigars would be worth it at triple the cost. The Espinosa Habano has quickly become one of my favorite medium bodied cigars on the market.
#1 – Gran Habano Corojo #5
The reason this cigar is my top pick for a new cigar smoker is it has such an inviting, interesting, and deep carmel, leather flavor that everyone who tries it says… “whoa… that tastes great!”. You just can’t go wrong with this cigar and it certainly tastes like it cost a lot more than the sub $5 price tag. Juicy, savory, leathery, notes with a distinct carmel sweetness make this cigar a hit for any new cigar smoker. Add that to the fact that the Gran Habano Corojo #5 has a perfect burn, easy draw, and produces voluminous and satisfying amounts of thick smoke.
I make a point to keep some of these types of cigars in my humidor so I have them to smoke and to give out to friends who have never smoked a cigar before. Cigars like these are innexpensive yet perform in such a way making cigar smoking more inviting to the newer or less experienced cigar smoker.
I would love to get your comments below on cigars that you think are good for new cigar smokers.
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