I’m having a baby boy in Sept. and am trying to figure out what type of cigars to pass out. What is a good, reasonably priced brand, that is fairly common in most areas? I don’t want to look like a cheapskate, but I don’t want to risk body-cavity search trying to smuggle cubans across the border either.
Hemmingway (Arturo Fuente) Short Stories. They’ll run you about $4-$5 a piece (cheaper, I’m sure if you buy a box). It’s a good cigar. And if you’re planning on smoking them with people, they only last about 30 minuets or so, so they work well for people to smoke them WITH you and not just grab them and leave. Also, being shorter, that makes it easier on you if you plan to smoke them socially, as you won’t make you’re self sick if you have three or four over the course of and afternoon-night. Another one I just tried was an Ashton which seemed pretty good as well.
(Disclaimer. I don’t smoke cigars on a regular basis, and I do, personally, prefer shorter cigars, so I’m sure that skews my views a bit)
Oh, and I’ve been hearing good reviews on Punch.
Thanks, I’ll go check them out!
I’ll second the Arturo Fuente and Ashton recommendations, but I’ve always been a sucker for a Macanudo. Haven’t had Punch, but I’ve heard good things about them as well. I’ve never really smoked short cigars, but most of the better cigars I’ve had have been Macanudos.
Punch is definently my favorite “low-end” brand. A runner up would be Romeo Y Julieta No 2. Punch has much of the taste and pleasant smoke I am looking for, and after years of casual experimenting I’ve come to prefer Punch over more expensive cigars. (The fact that a Punch has almost the perfect smoking time of 25-30 mins is also a plus)
One thing worth considering, IMHO, is the experience you and your friends have in smoking cigars. A little, a lot, or none at all? The reason is that if you have little to no experience, then you’ll probably want to look for a milder smoke–it lessens the chances of anybody getting sick (at worst) or of taking a few puffs, and putting the cigar down because it is too strong. In other words, you want these smokes to be a part of your celebration, not items that distract from it.
That being said, I’ll assume little to no experience and second the suggestions for Ashton and Macanudo. Nice smokes with enough flavour and aroma to let you know you are smoking a cigar, but mild enough not to cause any upsets.
I’ll also add two more recommendations: Don Diego and Astral. Similar to the above (mild with nice flavour), but not necessarily with the “name recognition” that can inflate price somewhat. If I had to recommend certain ones, I’d suggest the Don Diego Robusto or the Astral Beso. Each is short but fat, handmade, and a very pleasant smoke. Heck, even my wife would enjoy an Astral Beso from time to time. I admit that I haven’t seen any Astral Besos lately when I’ve been to the tobacconist, so I don’t know if they’re still being made. But we’re in Canada, where the selection of non-Cuban smokes is not always as wide as it could be, so perhaps we’re just going to tobacconists that do not stock them.
One thing I would not recommend in these circumstances are Cubans. Not only are they illegal (as you point out), they also tend to be stronger than non-Cubans, and can be spicier as well. Again, assuming little to no experience, stick with the nice, mild yet flavourful smokes produced elsewhere in the Caribbean.
Thanks for all of the suggestions, I will try to find some place that has a decent selection. Would the Punch be considered mild?
Are Cubans legal in Canada?
Yes, of course. We have no embargo against Cuba, so we trade with it (thus our access to Cuban cigars, Cuban rum, and Cuban coffee) and thousands of our tourists go there annually to escape our winters.