Again, inspired by rastahomie’s thread on beer and wine. Therein is lots of talk about and from beer and wine snobs, so now let’s hear from the cigar snobs. Or better yet, the folks who smoke the cheap ones (like me). What kinds do you like, don’t like, are good/bad for the money?

To judge from my (admittedly limited) experience, for a $0.50 cigar you can’t beat a Frisco (Honduran, I think). My dad orders them in large quantities, and hooks me up frequently.

For a really sweet, really cheap smoke, I found these things called Ramrods, soaked in bourbon. Really hard, and barely taste like smoke at all.

This is a bit off-topic but about cigars: travelling recently down south, I saw a store (not sure what kind) with a sign that said “pre-embargo Cuban cigars.” Now, the Cuban embargo went into effect in the '60’s, right? How can they be any good? Can’t address your question; don’t smoke’em - I tried, but being a cigarette smoker, I inhaled.

I asked about cigars eons ago. One odd thing I found out was that even though you don’t inhale, you still get the nicotine.

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.

Happy smoking!

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

Well, here in Canada we can buy Cubans.
I’m not a regular smoker but I enjoy an occassional cigar.

My faves are Monte Cristo #2 and Cohiba.
They’re about 30 bucks each so I only have one about once a month.

Frankd6 is correct about properly stored cigars.
There was an article in Wall Street Journal about a year ago concerning a guy in an old country estate in Ireland. The temperature and humidity are almost perfect year-round for storing cigars. Which is what he was doing.
Long story short…in his basement were barrels of cigars that his great grandfather had purchased around 1850…and he had the bill of sale to prove it. Someone told him that he might be sitting on a gold mine.
So the guy put the barrels up for auction and somebody in California ended up bidding around $750 per cigar. I wonder how much that comes per puff?

The better cigars should be more available and cheaper soon. The yuppie cigar fad seems to be fading away.

Dan (smoking a Macanudo Baron von Rothschild while writing this)

I’m not a connoisseur but the one chance I had to smoke Havanas when I was in the navy showed me the vast difference between those and the cheap stogies my uncle would stink up the joint with. We bought them in Australia with the warning that we had to smoke them up before we got back to US soil. For some reason I remember the unlit cigars reminded me of the smell of tea leaves.

We went to Florida for two weeks last summer to visit my husband’s family. His aunt and uncle had just returned from Europe and had brought back some Cubans.
He gave us two, and maybe it was just the novelty, but I thought they were incredible.

When we’re paying for them, though, we usually smoke Macanudos too. I like the little ones which I can’t remember the name of, and Mr. Jane smokes the big ones that come in a white tube. Our (former) friend worked at her dad’s tobacco store and brought them to us often. That’s the only thing I miss about that card-playing, Bloody Mary-drinking, nasty old…oops. 'Nother thread.

Ooh, ooh! Really excited! Some friends of mine on campus gave me a nice-looking cigar as an early Xmas present. I don’t know how much they spent, exactly, it couldn’t have been too much. I can’t wait to smoke it.

It’s huge, orders of magnitude bigger than the Friscos I mentioned in the OP. It has a band saying Montecristo, and another one with the word Celebration. It’s in a glass tube with a cork, and a handpainted “2000 Celebration” with stars around it. Anyone familiar with Montecristos?