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Bang for your Buck!! Cigars under $8

It is becoming more and more difficult for the average cigar smoker to afford this lifestyle. New releases now routinely debut with prices of $20, $30 and more per cigar, and we are in an era where some cigars have become exclusive. It takes a savvy shopper to find a bargain, and bargains can still be found, if you know where to look. To help you get the most for your buying power, we searched through the past 12 months of ratings to provide you with this list of 14 cigars that scored 90 points or higher, and none of them retail for more than $8. Shorter sizes such as petit coronas and robustos naturally figure prominently on this list, but there are also larger sizes such as Churchills and toros, which shows that you don’t always need to downsize when trying to save a few bucks. Vegas Cubanas Invictos (93 points, $7.30) Vegas Cubanas was created by José "Pepin" Garcia in 2003 when his company was in its infancy in Miami. As Garcia’s brands increased in popularity, interest in Vegas Cubanas declined, eventually only being released in small quantities. In 2017, the line returned to regular production, now made in Nicaragua at My Father Cigars S.A. Drawing and burning exceptionally well, it starts off floral and herbal but attains rich and satisfying notes of smoked meat, pecan and nutmeg. Padrón 2000 Maduro (92 points, $7.20) While many Padróns are known for being fairly expensive, the core line remains quite reasonably priced. Rustic in appearance, this box-pressed Nicaraguan puro exhibits even combustion and has a lush draw, providing a backdrop of cedar and earth with hints of black coffee, toasted marshmallow and vanilla to rich effect. Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Juniors (92 points, $4.15) This medium-bodied smoke is wrapped in a broadleaf wrapper grown in Honduras, delivering a creamy texture with a balanced mixture of sweet and spicy notes, along with a clear intonation of fresh tobacco. Sold in tins of five and retailing for less than five dollars each (before taxes), this petit corona is the most affordable option on this list. Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Maduro (91 points, $8) While the natural version of the Hemingway line is clad in a Cameroon wrapper, this mini perfecto is a maduro, rolled with a rather toothy leaf of Connecticut broadleaf around Dominican binder and fillers. Despite its nipple foot, it draws beautifully with a peppery smoke that takes on sweeter aspects of raisin and marshmallow before an earthy finish. Its 4-by-49 dimensions and medium-full body make it ideal for a short evening smoke after a hearty meal. Don Pepin Garcia Original Exquisitos (91 points, $7.90) American-made cigars are something of a rarity in today’s market but still can be found and better yet even at a wallet-friendly price. Popularly known as “blue label,” the Don Pepin Garcia Original line was first made in 2003 with an Ecuadoran wrapper but now is cloaked in a chocolate-hued leaf of Nicaraguan Corojo which foretells the chocolatey undercurrent that pervades the smoke. Pencil shavings and a big note of earth lead to an almond finish. Joya Silver Corona (91 points, $7) In almost six decades of business, Joya de Nicaragua has established itself as the quintessential Nicaraguan cigar, consisting solely of Nicaraguan leaves. Starting in 2014, the company decided to steer in a new direction with lines such as Joya Red, Black and Silver, the latter of which features different tobaccos than they typically use such as its Ecuador Havana wrapper and Mexican San Andrés binder (the filler is still Nicaraguan) to reach a wider market. Formerly the No. 21 Cigar of 2019, this corona is chocolatey from first puff to last, with hints of oak, leather and herbs. La Galera Habano Half Corona (91 points, $6.05) From Dominican cigarmaker José "Jochy" Blanco, this short robusto is rolled with an Ecuador Habano wrapper that is reportedly five years old, atop a Dominican Corojo binder and a combination of Piloto Cubano, Criollo '98 and Pelo de Oro filler. Every puff evokes a fresh cup of Ethiopian coffee. Notes of blueberry, coffee bean and pepper precede a mixture of oak and cinnamon on the finish. It comes in handy tins of five, making it ideal to carry in a shirt pocket on the golf course. Nat Cicco Casino Real Churchill (91 points, $6.19) The Nat Cicco brand has been producing cigars at wallet-friendly prices since the 1960s and the premium Casine Real Line continues that tradition in spades. Retailing for just over $6, this 7-by-52 Churchill is the biggest cigar on this list. Clad in a dark and oily wrapper, it imparts a medium-to full-bodied smoke featuring a hearty core of earth and coffee balanced by sweeter secondary notes of dried herbs, raisin and caramel. Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Robusto (91 points, $7.49) The Sancho Panza brand dates back to Cuba in 1848. General Cigar makes the non-Cuban version, and this robusto is in collaboration with Matt Booth of Room101 Cigars, who was tasked with revitalizing the sleepy brand after he joined General’s parent company Scandinavian Tobacco Group as creative director. Clad in an oily Ecuador Sumatra leaf, the smoke has a holiday feel to it with gingerbread, molasses and baking spices coalescing in a finish reminiscent of sweet tea. Brick House Double Connecticut Churchill (90 points, $7.85) Featuring both a genuine Connecticut shade wrapper and Connecticut broadleaf binder, the Double Connecticut line was released in 2017 by J.C. Newman in answer to customer demand for a Connecticut-wrapped version of the budget-friendly Brick House brand. This blond Churchill is on the milder side with wood and vanilla balanced by touches of tea, dried flowers and a hint of baking spice before a light, honey finish. Gran Habano Connecticut No. 1 Lunch Break (90 points, $5.64) Looking for a cigar that lasts, say, the duration of a quick break before a meeting or to just get away from your desk for a few minutes? Then this pigtailed petit corona might be just the cigar for you. With its slow, cool combustion, herbs and cedar set the stage with bursts of pecan and impressions of leather, toast and graham cracker. And, best of all, it has a retail price that is just under $6 (before taxes). Henry Clay War Hawk Corona (90 points, $7.27) For students of history, the War Hawks were a group of nineteenth-century politicians known for their aggressive political stance, led by Congressman Henry Clay. Once the No. 10 cigar in 2020, this 5-by-44 cigar is more flavorful than its size or light Ecuador Connecticut wrapper would suggest, though it’s not as bold as its namesake. The open draw gives off impressions of wood and cinnamon atop a core of both cashew and peanut. There is a bit of spice on the finish. Oliva Serie G Figurado (90 points, $7.75) Made with a Cameroon wrapper atop Nicaraguan Cuban-seed tobaccos, this long, sharply pressed cigar gradually widens down its length before tapering again into a nipple foot. Once the flame burns past the foot, the draw opens up considerably to reveal notes of sweet anise and dried herbs with touches of spice and dusty wood. The Big Payback Maduro Toro (90 points, $7.50) When first released in 2014, Payback Maduro was made and distributed by Davidoff’s Camacho factory in Honduras for Room101 owner Matt Booth, who created the brand as a series of premium cigars at an affordable price as a “payback” to his customers. In 2019, the line was brought back with a new blend from General Cigar’s HATSA factory, whose parent company Scandinavian Tobacco Group now owns Room101. Its core of leather and licorice is sweetened by ground clove and coffee liqueur before an earthy finish.


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