Buying cigars in Madrid

In 2009, I spent my Christmas holidays in Madrid, Spain. Not only this is a very beautiful city, but it also has a couple of places that might interest cigar aficionados. Spain consumes more cigars than any other European country. This is why almost every tobacco shop (estanca) has a basic selection of Habanos (Partagas Serie D No. 4, Montecristo No. 4, Cohiba Robusto...) stored in decent conditions. However, some of the shops have a walk-in humidor. I visited two of the most famous cigar shops. Fortunately, they are located close to each other, next to the Bilbao metro station.

Jesus showing me his best Cohibas

Cava Cardenal Cisneros (Google Maps >) has a huge walk-in humidor and a very complete selection of both Cuban and non-Cuban cigars. Jesus, the owner, speaks English and will happily show you what he's got. I purchased some Partagas Serie D No. 3 LE 2006 and the new Regional Edition from Ramon Allones. This is the shop that I truly recommend.

Out of curiosity, I went to the other shop, Cava de Magallanes (Google Maps >), located just a few hundred meters away. There's also a walk-in humidor (which seemed slightly over-humidified to me), nobody was able to speak English though (make sure you carry a pocket dictionary if you're on a visit, English-speaking people are rare birds). However, I was able to purchase a few of Vegas Robaina Maestros.

And if you want to smoke a puro straight away, there is a Vips (sort of cafe-shop-restaurant) on the plaza Glorieta de Queveda which has an indoors smoking area, quite comfortable.

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7 Comments on “Buying cigars in Madrid”

  1. Nice article. Thanks for taking the time to write about that.

  2. I think you spent unforgettable moments in Spain. I look forward for Ramon Allones review.

  3. Nice review, nice city. When I was in Madrid in the early 90’s, one could smoke a cigar any and every where. Being a Yank, I always asked if I could lite up…they were always surprised at the request and threw matches and ashtrays at me. One time a female American tourist asked me to put it out (very confident that I would).Needless to say, she did not stay long. By the way, it was an outdoor cafe off the main square. I repeat, outdoor cafe. You ain’t in Kansas anymore. One for the good guys!

  4. Stopped in Cava Cardenal Cisneros last week in Madrid. Owner was great and the selection was fantastic. Thanks for the heads up on a great place to buy Cigars in Madrid.

  5. Madrileño says:

    I’ve had a bit of an unfortunate experience with this place, possibly from being overly trusting, but then it’s a specialist outlet highly recommended by all.

    I live in Madrid. I’m not into cigars at all, but I went to this Cava to buy some for a friend of my brother’s who lives in the UK. The order was for a box of 25 Bolivar Royal Coronas, and I was served by Jesús Llano himself, who seemed like a very nice chap.

    He filled an already open box from the cigar stands in the humidor, I paid and went on my way… I didn’t check the contents myself, but on arrival in the UK the box contained only 19 cigars, the ones in the bottom layer placed at each side as if to support the top layer without noticing.

    I find it hard to believe that someone so experienced could mistakenly leave out 6 cigars worth about 50 quid, although it’s also hard to believe this would be done on purpose unless you’re not expecting the buyer to ever return.

    I did, of course, since I live in Madrid. I broached the subject in a non-confrontational manner. Jesús went very red-faced, claimed to have noticed something amiss in his stock, and gave me the six missing cigars. Whether an honest (but glaring) mistake or bad faith I suppose I’ll never know, but if you’re considering asking a non-expert to get you something from this place during their visit make sure they check they get what they get before they leave.

  6. Cava Cardenal Cisneros is, for sure, best Cava in Madrid. His owner Jesus is a nice and funny person and he speaks a little bit English,just enought to buy some cigars (his sons speaks pretty good English) and have a good time. I think this man knows everything about cigars lol.

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