The other day, Nate, Caleb and I found ourselves embroiled in a serious discussion—the kind you might catch three guys who share a passion for great cigars having. To put it honestly, we were geeking out like we always do. The topic? Cigars that don’t get the love and respect they deserve. When it was done, we thought it would be fun to share our thoughts with you. Hopefully, the next time you’re contemplating what to smoke, you’ll consider one of these hidden gems. If you do, we’re willing to bet at least one of them will find their way into your normal rotation.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Corojo grown by the Eiroa family. I’ve been spreading the word about it since the day I got into the business. I’ve also been trying to buy the raw tobacco for just as long. Unfortunately, Christian won’t budge on that topic. He did, however, agree to make a cigar for me.
Meet the Winehouse, a Honduran puro made in Danlí, Honduras. This beauty is a medium-strength cigar that’s packed with two of my favorite things—flavor and value. A true Corojo cigar is hard to make at a competitive price, but we were able to make it happen by focusing on the core elements and not packing any packing frills. It’s rich, nutty, and has a present floral component that is very unique.
Some of you will know that I rarely smoke Nicaraguan tobacco. Usually, I find myself gravitating to Dominican and Honduran blends. One major exception is the Flor de las Antillas—which, although it has numerous accolades (it’s a former #1 cigar of the year with a 96-point rating from Cigar Aficionado),
is a cigar I don’t see many of our regulars smoking anymore. It offers the typical Nicaraguan tasting notes of leather and earthiness, but unlike a lot of others I have tried, it still leaves your mouth clean. The spice level is well balanced, and I get floral notes, coffee, and a certain meatiness when I smoke it. It’s a solid medium in strength, and I’ve never once experienced burn issues when smoking it. The price point is great (under $8 for a robusto), so I can smoke it pretty much any time and not feel bad if I get busy and don’t finish it. Best when paired with your morning coffee or an evening scotch.
The C.L.E. Chele is one of my favorite morning sticks. It goes especially well with a good cup of coffee. The slight aromas of roasted nuts and the hints of cinnamon and nutmeg complement the richness of the coffee. I enjoy the two together, allowing the flavors to work with one another to make the experience even more enjoyable. The Chele’s Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers combine to create a light smoke that’s full of the kind of flavor you might expect from a medium-body cigar. Because of the light wrapper, and because it’s under the $10 price point, I think a lot of people look past it, and in doing so they miss out on the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic cigar that won’t overpower the pallet.
We always recommend cigar smokers step out of their comfort zones periodically to try something new. When you, you might just discover a cigar you wish you’d known about sooner. The Winehouse Renegade exclusive, the Flor de las Antillas, and C.L.E. Chele are our picks for three cigars you should try ASAP if you haven’t already.