Recently I posted on 5 Must-Have Accessories for Smoking Outdoors in Winter, and I got some great responses! Now that we’ve talked about how we stay warm and keep our cigars from drying out, I want to share some of what I’m smoking this winter with you. Six non-Cuban cigars followed by four habanos. These cigars are all on the short side, so they won’t keep you out in the cold for too long. Please note that these are not cigarillos, you'll still need at least 25 minutes to go through most of these cigars, and twice as much for a few robustos on the list.
Joya Red Short Churchill
This has become a very popular Nicaraguan puro over the past couple years, and it’s easy to understand why. The construction rocks, and the flavors are a tasty combination of earth, leather, and nuts with just a hint of plum and citrus to balance it out. Best of all, you can pick these up for around $6 each, which is just a crazy bargain for the quality. For winter, I smoke the Short Churchill, which measures 4 3/4 x 48.
Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda Natural
Here is another short cigar you can get for around $7. This cigar was a collaborative effort between Willie Herrera and Drew Estate. Personally, I think it’s one of Drew Estate’s best. The stogie measures 4 7/8 x 46, and has a delicious, smooth, classic blend of flavors which is perfectly balanced. Because it’s so reasonably priced, you can really load up on these for the winter; it’s the perfect everyday smoke!
Illusione Fume d’Amour Viejos
This Nicaraguan puro measures 5 x 50, and it’s one of my very favorite cigars at the moment that I reach for when I have some more time and/or when it's not that cold outside. Illusione releases are a rare treat, but they have real staying power—I’ve been enjoying these since their release last year, and I don’t imagine I’ll tire of them anytime soon. Perfect draw and a razor sharp burn make for a smooth smoking experience. Flavors include a wonderful mesh of sweet and spicy: cocoa, nuts, and cream sprinkled with cinnamon and red pepper. I love those spicy notes on a cold winter’s day!
[review] [compare prices]
Oliva Serie G Special G
If you’re in search of a classic cigar which has built up a loyal fan base over the years and is perfect for winter, look no further than the Oliva Serie G Special G. This is a squat Perfecto measuring just 3 3/4 x 48. Don’t be fooled by the small stature of this cigar, however—it is a flavor giant! Hay, hazelnuts, and spice pack a memorable punch. Even on a super cold day, this smoke will feel like it is over way too quickly. The good news is these only cost around $4 per stick, so you can stock up.
[review of the maduro robusto] [compare prices]
This cigar includes filler leaves from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, a Nicaraguan binder, and a Brazilian wrapper (for the maduro; there are also habano and natural versions). It measures 4 x 38, and features a great mix of cedar, cocoa, and pepper. There are no surprises here, no major twists or turns, but it is quite enjoyable. The only drawback I’d cite with this one is that it tends to get a little harsh near the end, so you can’t really smoke it down to the nub. Oh yeah, and these are really cheap, like $3 per stick.
H. Upmann Sun Grown Short Churchill
These cigars measure 4.5 x 54, and are rolled in sun-grown Ecuadorian wrappers with Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers and a broadleaf binder. It’s a mellow smoke with notes of wood and leather and sound construction. The flavor profile is simple, but sometimes simple is what you want. In particular, this cigar stands out to me for its sweet, unique aroma.
[review of the magnum] [compare prices]
Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto (Cuba)
This short robusto was among our favorite Cuban cigars last year. It measures just 4 x 50, and it’s reasonably priced around $9. Construction is always good, and the flavors—lots of cocoa and spice—are perfect for the holidays. As a bonus, the flavors have actually improved with time; a little aging does these cigars a lot of good. You can smoke the Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto right down to the nub without a hint of harshness.
H. Upmann Petit Corona (Cuba)
Another H. Upmann, but a Cuban this time (and JFK's favorite by the way)! This petit corona measures around 5 inches and features great, consistent construction and delicious earthy flavors with some spice thrown in for good measure. There’s nothing radical or unexpected here, but you don’t always want a lot of curveballs. At $7 per stick, it’s a great value. This is a pretty well-known cigar, but I still think it deserves more props. Give it a try this winter.
Montecristo Petit Edmundo (Cuba)
This short robusto measures around 4 1/3 inches and sells for around $11. It’s a great-looking cigar with an oily wrapper and awesome construction. The burn is pretty straight and does a good job self-correcting (I love low-maintenance cigars, especially in the winter; I want to keep my hand warm in my pocket, not constantly be adjusting a wavy burn line). Flavors include dry cedar and bitter chocolate. There’s an amazing mix of saltiness and sweetness with just a hint of pepper. You’re not going to find better balanced notes anywhere. The value is outstanding. Make sure you have enough time for this one though, I really don't like rushing a Petit Edmundo.
Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill (Cuba)
If youre looking for a reasonably priced Cuban cigar for winter that offers a short smoking time, this petit robusto is the way to go. The length is around 4 inches with a stout 50 ring gauge. The construction is as flawless as the appearance, and the stogie offers a delightfully complex bouquet of flavors including coffee, chocolate, leather and fruits. Its a very satisfying stick which you can smoke right down to the nub without heat or harshness.
So there you have it … 10 of the best short cigars for winter! You will find additional ideas in our selection of the best cigars under $5.
Now it’s your turn! What are your recommendations?
UPDATE: Readers' Suggestions
Here is a list of other great short smokes suggested by our readers:
- Asylum Petite Corona
- Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story
- Avo Domaine Puritos [review of the perfecto]
- CAO Gold Karats
- Drew Estate Papas Fritas
- J. Fuego Origen
- Nica Rustica Short Robusto
- Rocky Patel Vinage 1999 Juniors
- Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador Papi Chulo
- H. Upmann Half Corona (Cuba)
- Montecristo No. 5 (Cuba)
- Partagas Shorts (Cuba)
- Por Larranaga Petit Corona (Cuba)
- Rafael Gonzalez Perlas (Cuba)
- Ramon Allones Small Club Corona (Cuba)
- Trinidad Reyes (Cuba)