Top 19 Cigars Under $5

This post, originally published in November 2012, has been updated in 2014.

Following the blog post about the best options when selecting cigars as a gift, it's now time to cover the budget cigars area. Indeed, there are so many cheap cigars out there (think about all those bundles from large distributors) that it's rather hard to find a sub-$5 stick that fits the bill. Of course, when you buy a sampler or even a box of such cigars, the stakes are not high, but still, we're always better off with some guidance.

Below is a list of our favorite cigars that cost under $5 if bought by box. Keep in mind that this selection is subjective, so your mileage may vary, as usual. And if you don't find your favorite budget cigar below, let us know in the comments area!

Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente

Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Natural

Natural or Maduro (or even Sun-Grown), these cigars from one of the major manufacturers rarely disappoint. Well-built, with a medium body, they can be lit daily.
[review of the natural] [review of the maduro] [compare prices]

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata Favorito

The La Traviata is quite a complex cigar, and is definitely worth trying. One of the best price/quality ratios out there.
[review / another review / compare prices]

CAO Osa Sol

CAO Osa Sol

Another budget smoke from CAO, the Osa Sol was the first blend released after the acquisition of the brand by General Cigar. Admittedly they did a good job.
[review / compare prices]

EP Carrillo New Wave

EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Brillantes

Find these on sale and you can easily get them under $5, maybe under $4. EP Carrillo New Wave cigars feature a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican longfillers housed in an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. Great choice for a mild, creamy smoke at a low price.
[review / compare prices]

Alec Bradley American Classic

Alec Bradley American Classic

Connecticut wrappers are rare guests in most lists, but this one definitely should not be missed. Alec Bradley American Classic is the brand's entry in the budget cigars market, and it's a success.
[review / compare prices]

Alec Bradley American Sun Grown

For more punch, consider another Alec Bradley's line, American Sun Grown. With the same filler as American Classic, it uses a Nicaraguan sun-grown habano wrapper which gives it a rich, spicy flavor profile. If you’re a fan of spicy cigars, this is one you won’t want to miss.
[compare prices]

La Aurora 107

La Aurora 107 Robusto

Whether you can get these for under $5 will depend on how good a deal you snag, but you should find them close to that price. A suggestion from one of our readers, these cigars feature Nicaraguan and Dominican longfillers in an Ecuadorian wrapper. Flavors are earthy, creamy, woody, and nutty, with a hint of spice and sweetness.
[review / compare prices]

El Rey del Mundo (non-Cuban)

El Rey del Mundo Robusto

It’s medium to full-bodied and has a nice mix of sweet and woody flavors. This is one of those cigars that range in price a bit, but if you do some hunting, you can get it for under $5 and even under $4.
[review / compare prices]

Gurkha Royal Challenge

Gurkha Royal Challenge

What? A Gurkha? It may sound strange, but this Royal Challenge is actually rather good. And at $5, unlike most other offerings that sell for $10+, a sampler of these is affordable.
[review / compare prices]

Brickhouse

Brickhouse Churchill

Does this cigar really have to be on all lists? Seems like the answer is yes, unless they decide to double the MSRP. Until then, let's enjoy these fine smokes.
[review / compare prices]

Perdomo Lot 23

Perdomo Lot 23 Churchill

These cigars sell for close to $5 or just a few cents more. Expect a medium-bodied smoke with a balance of earthy and creamy flavors. You can purchase these with several different types of wrappers.
[review / compare prices]

Diesel Unlimited Maduro

You can pick up a box of these cheap cigars for around $3.50 per stick. This is another full-bodied smoke, this time with a Broadleaf maduro wrapper. A San Andres binder and a filler blended from Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos complete the mix. If you enjoy sweeter flavors, you will love the notes of coffee and cocoa with a hint of spice and leather. The Habano-wrapped version is equally very good!
[compare prices]

Toraño Master Series

Torano Master Series Churchill

Another major manufacturer with a budget smoke. And, again, the results are pretty good. Torano Master Series is a frequent guest in my humidor, thanks to its bold flavor and reliable construction.
[review / compare prices]

Room 101 Big Payback

You can get this Nicaraguan puro easily for $5 or less. Enjoy flavors that are sweet and spicy with a medium to full-bodied profile.
[compare prices]

Padron 2000

Padron 2000 Maduro

Of course, we couldn't leave this one out. Padron 2000 was one of the best cheap stogies when I started smoking cigars. It stood its ground.
[review / compare prices]

Curivari Buenaventura

Curivari Buenaventura

The flavors and aromas are delightful, and while it does not throw any major twists or turns, the subtle variations keep things interesting, and the blend is very nice from start to finish. All of this at around $5.
[review / compare prices]

Bucanero Z

Bucanero Z

Bucanero only distributes its cigars directly through its website, so you have to buy from them directly (no, they did not go out of business; this seems to be a common and incorrect rumor). Bucanero Z cigars are available for under $5 and are very popular. Flavors are toasty and spicy with a sweet finish.

Flor de Oliva

Flor de Oliva Presidente

Not a flavor bomb by any means, the Flor de Oliva is a good quality stick at a super price. Can be enjoyed by any smoker, beginner or veteran.
[review / compare prices]

Ambos Mundos Habano

Ambos Mundos Short

A "value" line from Pete Johnson, the Ambos Mundos Habano is a very solid blend with all the ingredients for a great smoke. A no-brainer at this price point.
[review / compare prices]

Thanks for checking out our updated list of the best cigars under $5! Hopefully you found something new to try. As always, we love your feedback and appreciate your suggestions. Please share your favorite stogies under $5 in the comments below, and we may feature your suggestions in our next updated list!

El Rey Del Mundo Robusto

El Rey del Mundo Robusto

Origin : Honduras
Format : Robusto
Size : 5” x 54’
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dom. Rep./Honduras
Binder : Honduras
Hand-Made
Price : $4.25 each
More info about purchasing El Rey del Mundo cigars...

Believe it or not I had some trouble finding current information about the non-Cuban version of the El Rey del Mundo cigar brand. El Rey del Mundo, meaning “King of the World,” used to be made by Villazon & Co. (owned by General Cigar) in Honduras, but it seems like in the end of 2009 operations in Honduras were stopped. Are these now being produced in Nicaragua?

The packaging of this cigar is impressive. The cigars are individually wrapped in tissue paper with the band on the outside.

Read the full review of El Rey Del Mundo Robusto...

Vegueros Brand Renews Itself with Three New Vitolas

Vegueros Cuban Cigars

Anyone who is familiar with Cuban cigars is also familiar with the Vegueros brand name—and will be thrilled to learn that the Vegueros brand is coming out with three brand new vitolas. Along with some refreshing changes to the brand’s image, these new vitolas are paving the way for a new era of Vegueros excellence.

The history of Vegueros dates clear back to 1961 when the Francisco Donatién Factory in the Pinar del Rio Province started manufacturing cigars. The factory was erected in 1868, but previously specialized solely in cigarettes. The high-quality cigars produced in the factory used tobacco farmed in the famous Vuelta Abajo region. Named for the farmers that worked the tobacco and sugar cane plantations in the area, the Vegueros line became quite famous as well. Vegueros were rolled especially for national banquets and other important events. Tourists began purchasing the cigars, and eventually, in 1997, Habanos SA began exporting them.

Previously, there were just four vitolas in the Vegueros line: Especial No. 1, Especial No. 2, Mareva and Seoane. Now, Vegueros is rebooting the brand, and has introduced three new vitolas: Tapados, Entretiempos, and Mañanitas. These cigars are being made in Western Cuba instead of Havana, and originally debuted at the 2013 Habanos Festival. They were going to be released some time ago, but delays have resulted in a prolonged wait. As far as I know, they are now available in a lot of shops worldwide.

Mañanitas is a petit belicoso measuring 4 inches with a 46-ring gauge, Entretiempos is a robusto measuring 4 3/8 inches with a 52-ring gauge, and Tapados, the longest of the new vitolas, measures 4 3/4 inches with a 46-ring gauge. The original lines included cigars no thicker than a 42-ring gauge, so these new cigars are quite a change. These cigars, like the original ones, are being rolled at the very same Francisco Donatién factory. This same factory rolls Trinidad cigars, originally produced in Havana.

Along with the new vitolas, the Vegueros brand is renewing its image with new packaging. The new Vegueros logo is based on the old one, but the yellow color has been switched out with a more subdued tan. The dark green has been replaced by a brighter green, and the logo has been re-styled with a subtle gradient and a new look and feel. The boxes feature a white, black and green color scheme and subtle stripes for an elegant, modern design. Each of these metal cans will come with 16 cigars inside. All three vitolas will feature medium to strong flavors. All of these developments are very exciting, and we have a lot to look forward to with the new rebooted Vegueros brand! The reviews of these new cigars will be published in the coming months.

Quick Smoke: Bolivar Super Coronas 2014 Limited Edition

Bolivar Super Coronas 2014 Edicion Limitada

Origin : Cuba
Format : Grand CoronaBolivar
Size : 140 x 18 mm (5.5 x 48)
Ring : 48
Intruduced in : 2014
Hand-Made
Price : £17 each (in the UK)
More info about purchasing Bolivar cigars...

Bolivar Super Coronas is a Habanos edicion limitada released this year, it just started hitting the shelved in the UK. Its factory name is Hermosos No. 3 which corresponds to a 5.5 x 48 size.

Pre-light: Slightly earthy smell, well-packed but pliant, excellent draw through the largest of my Victorinox Cigar Penknife hole punches. Fresh "green" taste; tobacco, moss, grass.

1/3: Very mild (hence ideal following a light meal or earlier in the day). Slight spiciness (fruit cake) mingled with chocolate, very cool. Excellent & even burn with a nice ash stack formation.

2/3: The cigar warms up pleasantly releasing stronger chocolate flavours together with milky coffee (continuing the mild theme) and also some woody hints (as if from a log fire) - possibly oak. Ash holds to a good 2", keeping straight with a superb even burn. Wrapper stays perfectly intact and the draw remains pleasant and "warm".

3/3: A slight bite becomes evident during the last phase; white pepper and dark chocolate mingle with a stronger burnt wood taste, but the smoke remains velvety and can safely be passed round the sinuses to deliver the full flavour.

Bolivar Super Coronas is an overall mild to medium bodied cigar with clear but uncomplicated flavours. Coffee or a light drink complement it well and it can be enjoyed at lunchtime, despite its size (mine took around 90 minutes). The construction is excellent and price wise it compares very favourably with something like a Partagas D4.

Construction : ★★★★½
Flavour : ★★★½☆
Overall : ★★★★☆

Camacho Criollo Corona

Camacho Criollo Corona

CamachoOrigin : Honduras
Format : Corona
Size : 5.5 x 44
Wrapper : Honduran Criollo
Filler : Honduran Criollo and Dominican Piloto Cubano
Binder : Honduran
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5 each
More info about purchasing Camacho Criollo cigars...

Just before the IPCPR trade show in 2013, Camacho Cigars launched an aggressive makeover of their line in a campaign they called the “bold standard.” While a complete re-branding has been part of this campaign, the changes in Camacho’s lines are more than band-deep. The blends have also been consolidated and transformed, with Camacho choosing to focus on just seven different cigar lines (excluding special & limited editions). Camacho Criollo is one of those regular lines, available in seven different sizes: Robusto, Corona, Toro, Figurado, Gigante, Churchill, and Robusto Tubos. I had the chance to try the Camacho Criollo Corona.

Read the full review of Camacho Criollo Corona...

Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 Maduro

Padron 1926 Serie No. 2 Maduro

PadronOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Figurado
Size : 5 ½ x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $17 each
More info about purchasing Padron 1926 cigars...

Sometimes it can be a difficult decision when opening the humidor. I have worked hard over the years and finally have somewhat of a respectable collection of cigars to choose from. This time however there were no hard choices or debating to be done. My mind and palate we craving this cigar and man was it right on!

The wrapper on the Padrón 1926 No. 2 Maduro is a gorgeous, silky dark maduro leaf. Just by first glance at the cap you could see the care and precision used to put it on… just perfect. The bands on all of the Serie 1926 and 1964 Padrón cigars are always appealing to the eye. Each has a double band with lovely gold outline and writing and every cigar has its own ID number printed on it. Just another sign of the quality level Padrón puts into their smokes. The pre-light smell portrays an earthy wholeness and the pre-light draw is loose with a rich velvet undertone.

Pre-light Score: 10 pts.

Read the full review of Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 Maduro...

Free Cigar Tasting Sheet

Cigar Tasting Sheet

We've been asked quite a few times about the best ways to keep track of the cigars you smoke. Some aficionados simply use a paper pad, others prefer storing their tasting notes online, in a private or public blog. Another solution is using a cigar tasting sheet, but it's quite difficult to strike a balance between simplicity of use and enough detail. We decided to give it a try and came up with our own cigar tasting sheet, which uses a 100-points ratings system (we thought it was more common than the 5-stars system).

If you like what you see in the picture above, the cigar tasting sheet is available for download as a printable file to the newsletter subscribers (if you were already subscribed, you should have received a download link via e-mail - check your inbox). Print out the sheet(s), get some transparent sheet protectors and a binder from Amazon, and you're good to go. Here is the newsletter subscription form:

The download link will be in the welcome e-mail. Why subscribe? You'll receive the latest articles from the blog right in your mailbox, plus some contests and offers that are exclusive to subscribers. And, of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

We hope you enjoy the sheet. Last but not least, please share your feedback and suggestions - we can easily edit some aspects of the sheet if there's a demand. Also, if you need a slightly modified version for your cigar club, just get in touch and we'll see what can be done.

Cigar Release: Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

The Hoyo de Monterrey brand sees an addition to the Le Hoyo line, a 54-ring gauge jawbreaker (by Cuban standards):

Le Hoyo de San Juan is the new heavy ring gauge vitola for a historic line that is reinventing itself and expanding the Serie Le Hoyo. It incorporates in its blend Seco and Ligero leaves coming from San Juan y Martínez, the historic denomination of origin where the brand was born in 1865, bringing to this new vitola the unique consistency and intensity that San Juan y Martínez soil confers to the leaves thar are grown there.

Le Hoyo Series was traditionally known for its slender and medium ring gauges (like the Hoyo du Député). The new Le Hoyo de San Juan vitola, sporting a 54 ring gauge, is characterized by its light flavor. It is an attractive option for those who like a lighter Habano that is delicate and aromatic, as well as exceedingly elegant and complex.

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

Le Hoyo de San Juan will initially be available in the brand’s classic Cabinet Selection or Slide Lid Box (SLB) of 25 and 10 units.

The boxes also include innovations in the brand’s image. A new adhesive papeleta -rectangular seal- on the short side of the box and also the white ribbon that adorns the boxes of 25 units that will help to identify this new Hoyo de Monterrey vitola.

Le Hoyo de San Juan: Cigar Stats

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

Brand: Hoyo de Monterrey
Commercial name: Le Hoyo de San Juan
Factory name: Geniales
Dimensions: 54 ring gauge (21.43 mm) x 150 mm (5.9 inches)
Presentation: Cabinet Selection (SLB) of 25 units / Cabinet Selection (SLB) of 10 units

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