Ever wonder how big the cigar industry is and who its main players are? Do you want to know what are the best-selling and most requested premium cigar brands in the United States?
While the pandemic was hard on the industry in many ways, American cigar aficionados still found a way to keep it thriving by consuming a record number of cigars—361.3 million, to be exact. This incredible number represents a seven percent increase from 2019, and it also begs the question: Which cigars are the vast majority of American cigar aficionados smoking?
We talked to retailers large and small, pulled a few reports of our own, and checked out Cigar Aficionado’s Insider retailer poll to bring you our take on the most in-demand cigar brands in the United States. The information below doesn’t necessarily represent the biggest manufactures of cigars, but rather the brands people are most often asking for by name. In a future educational series, we’ll take a deeper dive into who actually makes all of these cigars. In the meantime, enjoy this most tasty top-10 list.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Padron has a reputation of making highly-rated cigars at a variety of price points. The Anniversary series checks the box for a significant number of the super-premium Nicaraguan smokers, while the Thousand series represents a great value proposition. You have to respect what Padron has become, especially considering its origin story: Jorge Padron founded the company in 1964 with just $600 that he earned working as a carpenter after emigrating from Cuba. It is truly inspiring to see hard-work and determination take Padron from humble beginnings to one of the top cigar manufacturers in the world.
While most people think of Opus X when they think of Fuente, that’s not what moves the needle for this family-owned Dominican cigar manufacturer. In fact, they have several lines of readily available cigars that include: Chateau Fuente, Hemingway and Don Carlos. They also manufacture cigars for several other brands. Fuente has battled hard to become an industry leader, surviving several factory fires and political unrest to come out among the best manufacturers in the industry.
Jonathan Drew has a personal brand almost as big as the company he co-founded, and he’s played a significant role in introducing new people to the industry with brands like ACID and Natural. He’s also positioned Drew Estate as a real player in the premium space with limited editions such a Liga Privada, Herrera Esteli and Undercrown. While Drew Estate is now widely recognized for their traditional-style cigars, the infused ACID line is one of the top-selling cigars in the Unites States.
Rocky is known for a few things that seem to resonate with consumers. A few of those things include being the hardest-working man in the industry, producing consistent cigars, throwing a good party, and fighting for the rights of cigar smokers to enjoy premium cigars. A few of his best-selling cigars include Vintage 1999, Decade and the Quarter Century.
5 La Flor Dominicana
LFD may be the smallest manufacturer on this list, but Litto Gomez knows how to sell full-bodied Dominican cigars. Recently receiving the rating of #1 cigar in the world rating is the Andalusian Bull. Litto and his son Tony Gomez, have focused on quality over quantity when it comes to production. Selling LFD is never a problem for retailers. The only real issue is trying to keep them in stock!
Davidoff has a slight disadvantage on this list due to how restrictive they are with their offerings. While their cigars are known are one of the industry’s most premium offerings, they’re simply not available everywhere, and retailers have to go through an extensive vetting process to be able to offer their products. Some of the best retailers in the industry have to wait years to add Davidoff to their inventory because the company opens a very small number of accounts per year. If you’re a fan of the perfect balance of flavor and aroma, you simply can’t ignore Davidoff cigars.
The Oliva family has been growing tobacco since 1886, and over 130 years later, the name is as strong as ever. The makers of the 2014 Cigar of The Year Serie V Melanio has a lot to offer for just about everyone. From classic mild smokers to someone seeking out full-flavored offerings, Oliva balances value with quality as well as anyone.
To a lot of smokers, My Father offers the best premium options for the buck. Sure, there are a lot of less expensive cigars out there, but where else can you find a former #1 cigar in the world Flor De Las Antillas for just $8? Following that success, the manufacturer didn’t stop there—they achieved this honor a second time with the Le Bijou 1922. Jose Don Pipin started in a cramped tiny factory in Miami and has grown into a household name in the industry, manufacturing cigars out of a large, beautiful factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
9 & 10 Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta
This one is a tie between two legacy brands. Even if you don’t smoke cigars, you’ve probably heard of these two names. While several brands have overtaken them by way of popularity, these cigars still sell at retailers everywhere. Although they’re typically both made by Altadis USA, most people would consider them individual brands capable of standing on their own. Altadis (IMBBY) is a publicly traded company that owns a plethora of household brands, and these are two of its top performers.