About once a week, I receive an e-mail from somebody who wants to offer cigars to one of his/her friends and does not really know how to proceed. The question is always the same: "what cigars should I offer to my smoking buddy?". I would reply with 2-3 suggestions that were first to come to mind, but realized that they often depended on my mood and on my recent experiences. So, not only in order to save time but mostly to provide a longer list of recommended smokes, I decided to write this blog post. Many thanks to brothers from Cigar Asylum for helping me out.
Below you will find a list of smokes that most of cigar smokers will like to receive as a gift, whatever their smoking experience. I tried to select cigars that are more or less available across the country, fall within a reasonable budget (with a couple of exceptions, of course) and are suitable for every kind of smoker (i.e. no powerhouses). I think that this list might be useful not only to non smokers, but also to beginners who have smoking friends with longer experience. As for me, from now on I will only have to paste a link when replying :)
Oliva Serie G [review / compare prices] and Oliva Serie O [review / compare prices] are very good smokes for less experienced smokers. More seasoned smokers would probably prefer the Oliva Serie V [review / compare prices], one of my all-time favorite cigars.
The X000 line is probably one of the best price/quality ratios available on the market. My personal favorite is Padron 2000 [review / compare prices]. If you are willing to spend more money on your gift, you can have a look at 1926 / 1964 series. I'm fairly sure that EVERY cigar smoker will appreciate getting a box of Padron 1926 [review / compare prices]. However, please note that this is the most expensive cigar in this list.
Don Pepin Garcia
Don Pepin Garcia is a legend in the cigar business and while some of the blends are quite pricey and may be difficult to find, the Cuban Classic [review / compare prices] is widely available and is not too hard on the pocket. Many smokers enjoy its flavors with a touch of sweetness.
Almost anything from Fuente is quality, however our choice here goes to the Hemingway line. Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story [review / compare prices] is an excellent smoke, but you can also check out Work of Art and Best Seller lines.
CAO is another well-known brand that makes quality sticks. It appears that the two blends which will suit everybody's palate are CAO Gold - including CAO Gold Vintage [review / compare prices] - and CAO La Traviata, a great budget stick. The latter one is pretty tough to find, so if you see it at your local Brick & Mortar store, don't think twice.
Another major brand in our selection is Ashton. Ashton VSG [review / compare prices] is the second most expensive cigar in this list, but it's definitely a great gift.
Elected as the Best Bargain Cigar of 2009 by Cigar Aficionado, the Brickhouse line [review / compare prices] is actually good. A decent budget alternative.
Both natural and maduro versions of the Cubao [review / compare prices] deserve the good press and high ratings they earned. The price is also acceptable.
Avo cigars are usually very reliable in terms of construction and provide an enjoyable though slightly one-dimensional flavor. The typical example is the Avo Domaine [review / compare prices] which scores very high in the looks and construction departments.
This list should give you enough choice for your gift. Feel free to bookmark it for future use & share it with your friends. We hope that you found it useful.
PS And, of course, feel free to add your suggestions below. Your feedback is, as always, appreciated.