To complete my recent obsession with lists, below you will find my Top 5 Cigars Under $5. This joins my previous lists of Top 5 Special Occassion Cigars and Top 7 Everyday Cigars. As always your mileage will vary with pricing but I got my pricing from a couple local sources in the DC/MD/VA area. The requirements were simple. Under $5 (before taxes), widely available, something I’ve smoked, made an appearance on the site (review or Week in Smoke) and of course, something I enjoyed smoking. I didn’t include any cigars that are store exclusives, seconds, overruns or found in the discount jar at the register. Also the $5 price tag was based on real prices of singles not buy the box and divide by the number of cigars. So if you are on a tight budget this month, fixed income or if you just don’t like spending a lot of money on something you end up burning or if you want to take a break from being in the 1%, here is a list for you:
Sancho Panza Double Maduro (Quixote) ($4.35) – A little trivia that I wasn’t aware of. The Sancho Panza brand is owned by…wait for it…General Cigars. When you talk about General Cigars they have a extensive variety of consistent cigars in every price range that are widely available. The Sancho Panza Double Maduro at one time was a go to cigar of mine. Nice assortment of dark roasted nutty coffee flavors that are smooth on the palate. A true gem of a cigar thats probably the Best of the Best on this list. That last sentence should make Ed McKenna who is part of Team Sancho Panza happy…LOL.
Arturo Fuente Curley Head ($2.50) – The story of the Curley Head hasn’t changed. Not the most consistent cigar you will find. These are rolled by rollers in training so cigar to cigar, box to box will vary far and wide. Out of a box of 40 you will inevitably get a dud or two or three or…but if you are lucky and you get a perfect one. Its natural sweetness and smooth mild tobacco flavor make you quickly forget about any of the duds. Perfect cigar choice for a bachelor party weekend in Atlantic City and on the golf course when you are surrounded by your once/twice a lifetime cigar smokers who wouldn’t appreciate (or handle) that OpusX or King B. Don’t get this confused with the Curly Head Deluxe.
Alex Bradley American Classic (Robusto) ($4.50) – Toasty, creamy with a little bit of power. I’ve been on the fence with the Alec Bradley American Classic. Not because I don’t like them but more about finding a place in my rotation for them. They are easily overlooked when deciding on a Connecticut cigar to smoke and they are overshadowed by some of the other offerings from Alec Bradley *cough* Prensado *cough*. When dealing with a $5 and under list the American Classic came quickly into my mind. Like I said, a nice toasty and creaminess to the American Classic with some power behind it thats a little different in the Connecticut field using a Honduran Connecticut wrapper. The American Classic is affordable, tasty and enjoyable…three things that matter the most.
La Gloria Cubana Wavell ($4.99) – A borderline cigar with the pricing. Doesn’t get much more under $5 than $4.99 unless the half cent makes a comeback. With the current makeover of the La Gloria Cubana brand by Team La Gloria it is easy to forget about this mainstay of a cigar. I remember smoking my share of the Wavell when I wanted to switch things up from smoking a Serie R Maduro or Partagas Black. Still woodsy at the core with magnificent construction. It was quite refreshing, reminiscent and enjoyable to smoke a couple Wavell as “research” for this list but still not as good as the Sancho Panza Double Maduro (again thats for Ed McKenna).
Tatuaje Series P Sumatra (Toro) ($3.75) – I had some reservation adding this to the list. It fits the requirements but it had an added advantage as this is a “cuban sandwich” cigar i.e. filler is mixed filler (long and medium filler). At the end of the day, I spotted Tatuaje Series P in more places than I spotted the Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu #5 which is also under $5 but you get much more tobacco with the Series P. So the Series P got the nod. As Mike pointed out the blend has changed since I originally fell in love with the Series P before it was redone. A steady, mostly one dimensional cigar with a woodsy natural tobacco flavor at it’s core.