Old cigars are like cognac – if they’re high quality to begin with and they’ve been aged properly, the older the better. A good pre-embargo Cuban cigar, if it’s been stored correctly, would be a fabulous smoke. Such a cigar would also be insanely expensive.
I quit smoking cigars a couple of years ago. However, I could still make some suggestions. My cigar band collection is close at hand.
First and foremost – try El Rey del Mundo if you can find it. They made a macanudo corona which was my all time favorite. Bauza is nice as are Hoyo de Monterrey. A. Fuentes are very popular and can be hard to find, but are reasonably priced and very good. And Big Butts, despite the hokey name, were tasty too… Padron is another brand I have favorable memories of. Generally, I liked Hondurans, followed by Jamacians. I thought Dominican cigars were overrated.
Since I couldn’t afford to smoke $10 cigars every time I lit up, I did buy cheaper cigars. I found that a brand called Super Value which I found in drug stores (especially Revcos and Rite Aids) was very good for the price. They cost $1 - $2 each. After seasoning them in a humidor for a few days, they were comparable to most $5 cigars I tried – and better than many in that class.
Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.