Cheap Smoke: Quintero Nacionales

Quintero Nacionales

Origin : CubaQuintero cigars
Format : Corona
Size : 5.5 x 40
Price : ~$2.50
More info about purchasing Quintero cigars...

This review is submitted by MaltaMan and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

I was sold a box of 25 of these cigars here in Malta which only cost me €42.00.

Now you get what you pay for and I usually smoke Partagas, R & J, Ramon Allones and other quality cigars.

I considered this cigar to be weak in earthy and tobacco tastes and with sugary herbaceous flavours. The cigar burned quickly and with lots of smoke.

Would I purchase this cigar again? The answer is an emphatic NO, well only if it were given to me free. Otherwise I shall stick with quality cigars in future.

Cheap Smoke: Perdomo Fresco Torpedo

Perdomo Fresco Torpedo

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 x 54
Price : ~$3
More info about purchasing Perdomo Fresco cigars...

This review is submitted by MoBarbq (Wes) and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

This is the epitome of a bargain/value cigar, as I see it. The Cigar Authority recently featured Nick Perdomo talking about a little demo he likes to pull on tours of his factory. He takes out a Perdomo Fresco (without a band) and hands them out to the group, asks them to smoke it, and then tell him what they would be willing to pay for such a cigar. To noted praise about the stick from the group, many say $8 or $9. He then tells them what it is they are smoking, and says it sells for $3.00. Many are shocked. I'm guessing that before this experience, some of those in the crowd probably would have never purchased a $3 cigar, so it is a good lesson that all of us can learn from: Don't let the lower price tag lead you to a premature judgment about a cigar.

This is a bundled cigar that does not taste or smoke like a bundled cigar! I've been smoking these for going on two years now. I have tried all the vitolas, but have to say I like the torpedo vitola the best. It has a nice weighty feel to the hand, with a larger ring gauge and a beautiful sheen to the wrapper. They are well rolled and have a nice weight, making you realize there is a lot of tobacco in this cigar. This is a Nicaraguan puro with an earthy “barnyard” aroma to the wrapper and foot. As to appearances, the stick has a very fancy and colorful band, which is a clue that this is not a typical bundled cigar. Most bundled cigars are naked, but Perdomo even puts a fancy band on their low-end Fresco. The construction is excellent, and I have not had one yet that had any draw problems; they have always have a flawless draw for me. Sometimes I have to make a minor burn correction, but that is a small price to pay, and is no different from what I have to do with many cigars I smoke. I am sometimes known to be a biter, and the wrapper stands up well to being firmly held in the teeth. It smokes like cigars I have paid much more for. The bundle can be found in the mid to high $40 range and that is for a bundle of 25, not 20-as many manufacturers have gone to. There are cheaper bundles out there, but I have had many of them, and none hold a candle to Fresco. As singles, I have paid anywhere from $3 to $3.95, with the other vitolas available for slightly less. It can be had in both Connecticut wrappers or Maduro, as I had here.

I would call this a medium-bodied cigar. With the Maduro, I routinely pick up some nuances of chocolate, as well as something akin to molasses, and sometimes notes of coffee. It produces plenty of smoke and the ash chunks off in about ½ inch segments, something which is nice for commuters to know, as it is conducive to smoking while driving -and not getting covered in ash. If you are looking for a good value cigar, you need look no further than Perdomo Fresco.

Thumbs Up!

Cheap Smoke: Brick House Robusto

Brick House Robusto

Origin : Honduras
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 54
Price : ~$5
More info about purchasing Brickhouse cigars...

This review is submitted by Brian P and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

At First Glance

The Brick house Robusto has a rugged appearance with a weather worn wrapper, tiny tight veins running randomly throughout, and a slightly shimmery surface. Just gives you that “classic” impression. Nice cap with distinct lines making it very simple to cut properly. Overall construction is fairly tight, not really any soft spots. As odd as it is to say, it just feels balanced and good in your hand. Contrary to what some will say, you don’t get that with a lot of cigars. And give it a little sniff – an anticipatory teaser with deep oak and light floral scents.

Developing the Relationship

Responds well to toasting and gives off a light cedar bark type of aroma, very outdoorsy – kind of makes you want to sit around a campfire. Initial draws felt a bit firm but gradually opened up a tad bit. Smoke production was neither too much nor too little – perfect amount for rolling over your tongue to get the flavors without overpowering. A little dry at the first draw the smoke took on some moisture and oils and never let up after. The flavors create the perfect cycle – shake of pepper, small semblance of a kind of oak/cedar woodiness, and on the aftertaste almost a little minty/aged taste. I have to stress that this cycle continues throughout – consistency, balance, and near razor sharp burn. At no point is there any bite in the smoke or any lessening/overpowering of flavors. Smoke is perfect and feels great coming off your lips. Even down very close to the nub the tobacco doesn’t heat up and scorch your tongue.

Bottom Line

Make friends with this stick. This is a perfect cigar for nearly all occasions whether it’s paired with single malt in a lounge or a beer on a truck tailgate. It is hands down the most consistent stick I’ve experienced. Making Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 list at number 17 with a 92 rating you simply can’t pass this one up. And since it’s specially made to be the perfect recession cigar ($4.95 dealer dependent) even Congress wouldn’t cut its funding!

Thumbs Up!

Mataza Robusto Gordo (by Alec Bradley)

Mataza Robusto Gordo

Origin : Honduras
Format : Robusto Gordo
Size : 5 x 54
Wrapper : Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler : Nicaragua & Colombia
Binder : Honduras
Price : $3.40-$4.00, $85/box of 25

Many of you out there won’t know much about this cigar unless you have read Stogie Guys’ take on this brand. Mataza is made by Alec Bradley, in Honduras, comprised of a multinational blend of tobaccos. Devan Brown, of Hiland's Cigars in Scottsdale (which is the only store known to have these cigars in stock at this moment) got in contact with us here at Cigar Inspector, and sent me a sampler of 6 cigars consisting of 3 robusto gordos (5x54) and 3 magnums (6x60). I smoked most of the samples and came to the conclusion that the robusto gordo was the better of the two and decided to accent this stick in this review. So here goes,….

Read the full review of Mataza Robusto Gordo (by Alec Bradley)...

Cheap Smoke: Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Maduro

Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Maduro Rothschild

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Short Robusto
Size : 4.5 x 50
Price : ~$3.50
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Chateau cigars...

This review is submitted by Lloyd L and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

My favorite 'cheap smoke' comes from one of the biggest names in the business, Arturo Fuente. Known for their uber-premium Opus X and Hemingway lines, it's nice to know that Arturo Fuente also makes quality cigars with a budget-friendly pricetag.

The cheap smoke that I really like is the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Maduro Rothschild. It's a mild to medium blend which has a nice cocoa flavor. At just under $4 a stick (when you buy a box), its a price that you just can't beat and a cigar you can afford to light up daily.

Thumbs Up!

Cheap Smoke: Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Dominican/Nicaraguan mix
Binder : Connecticut
Price : on-line price for a box of 20 can be found for $29.99 ($1.50 per)
More info about purchasing Pioneer Valley cigars...

This review is submitted by TJ and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.


This cigar, in my opinion, has a gorgeous, very dark, wrapper. The wrapper is slightly toothy with a light oily sheen. The stick is firm, with no worrisome soft-spots and only a few prominent veins but not concerned about them affecting burn. A quick whiff and I’m met with a strong cedar scent, thanks to the cedar sleeve that covers more than a third of the stick. Behind that, I get the standard barnyard presence. Double band, red, that stands out against the nearly black wrapper. Straight cut, torch lit…

Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

The smoke

I’m not one to identify things such as saddle leather, black currant or green wood. Seriously, what the hell does leather taste like, and why would someone even know this? I focus on construction, draw, strength, burn and volume of smoke. I do appreciate the feel of the smoke in the mouth and make note when pleasing. Let's see how this cigar plays out.

The Pioneer Valley maduro burns like a champ. The several I’ve smoked produce a nice white ash that is fairly strong requiring no touch-ups, with a straight burn line that, when does get wavy, corrects itself. This is important to me as this is my fishing cigar and its constantly being bumped and put down, often going extended periods of time without attention. Draw tends to be on the loose side, maybe too loose for some. I have to remind myself to slow down as it tends to get hot if drawn to fast/often. I get a very, very mild nicotine flavor and rate this cigar in the medium category. This robusto produces a good amount of smoke, but it does not coat the mouth as a more expensive cigar might. For the price however, I don’t knock too many points off. I must point out that with the cedar sleeve on, and the age of the sticks in my collection, I do get a nice cedar taste; my horrible palate notwithstanding.

Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

The Verdict

The Pioneer Valley Maduro will not blow you away with multiple flavor profiles, nor will it be a stick you reach for on special occasions. This is a stick however, that I enjoy on a regular basis and bring fishing for a few reasons. First, it’s not a full bodied cigar which is great for early morning as is often the time I fish. I don’t need to worry about a full stomach before smoking one of these. Second, I don’t get upset if I have to put it down to handle a fish and it falls overboard, or gets stepped on. The low-cost of the cigar eases my mind that if it goes to waste I haven’t burned a hole in my wallet. Lastly, the great burn and short size of the robusto doesn’t force me to commit to a 2-hour smoke. 60 minutes or under affords me both the enjoyment of a cigar and the time to fish. This cheap smoke, one that I do not hesitate to hand to others, is certainly box-worthy for those of us not concerned about hints of raisins or earth.

Thumbs Up!

Cheap Smoke: Padron Londres Maduro

Padron Londres Maduro

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona
Size : 5.5 x 42
Price : ~$3.00
More info about purchasing Padron Londres Maduro cigars...

This review is submitted by Rick and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

The Padron Londres Maduro is a 5.5 x 42 Nicaraguan Puro with a nice dark oily wrapper and good construction. This cigar is a medium to full body stick, slow burning, offering a plentiful volume of smoke for about an hour which makes it a great afternoon or evening smoke. They are good to go right off the truck but do get even better with age. I think the thinner ring gauge enhances the flavor of the maduro wrapper which I personally prefer over the natural. Even though my comfort zone is around a 50 RG these smokes really hit home and at the price point they just can’t be beat. At just under $3 a stick at my local B&M, I always pick up a few when I’m there to have them on hand!

The cigar once lit, opens right up with a rich maybe dark roast or espresso coffee flavor complimented with a nice cocoa overtone. The smoke is very smooth and easy on the retrohale in which I sometimes detect a slight nutty flavor, usually in the first third.

Entering the second third, the cigar picks up a little adding some more cocoa to the mix along with a rich dark tobacco undertone. The retrohale starts to introduce a just little spice at this point but it’s pleasant and not the least overpowering. The ash is a light to medium gray and holds on fairly firm revealing a nice conical shaped cherry when tapped off.

The final third reveals more of the same never getting hot or harsh right down to the very nub. The cigar burns well from start to finish and I never felt the need to touch one up. The draw is typically perfect from stick to stick. This cigar is one that is very consistent, really delivers and at this price point I don’t see my humidor ever being without them. I hope this review qualifies because I wouldn’t call this a cheap cigar but rather a top notch cigar that is inexpensive!

Thumbs Up!

Cheap Smoke: Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Double Robusto
Size : 6.25 x 47
Wrapper : African Cameroon
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : $3.80 each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 cigars...

This review is submitted by jesseboston81 and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

The Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 has always been one of my favorite go-to cheap smokes, primarily because it tastes like a cigar at least twice its price! The cigar I smoked for this review was no exception, and hopefully this review communicates everything I love about this smoke.

Read the full review of Cheap Smoke: Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8...

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