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Cigars for Beginners

Imogen Wright

While some people spend their time wondering what cigar they can try next, you also have a good proportion of new cigar smokers who are getting ready to enjoy their first cigar but find themselves wondering "What cigar should I try first?" With thousands of cigars available worldwide, the prospect of choosing where to start can be daunting and faced in an unfamiliar surrounding with a fully stocked walk in humidor that feeling will only intensify but with that comes experienced cigar smokers with ample advice.

Usually they will suggest something mild from H. Upmann or Romeo y Julieta - both good choices as from a beginner's point of view you have to look at it in the way of, if you were learning to cook then you might want to start with something simple rather than following a Michelin star recipe! Just like many past times, you have to start at the beginning and work your way up which also goes for learning how to smoke premium handmade cigars.

Mild cigars are generally the best for beginners because one of the most important aspects in smoking cigars is developing an appreciation for the flavour. A mild cigar won't overpower you, the only way it will is if you inhale. That for cigarette smokers might seem a foreign concept which may take some getting used to but as long as you remember these three words, you'll be fine. DO NOT INHALE!

The word mild has been mentioned a couple of times but it's important to note that mild doesn't have to mean bland! Over the years cigar smokers have tended to drift towards more full-bodied cigars but this is due to their taste developing and eventually you will tend to desire more flavour of which are the full-bodied cigars. Strength is only one component of a cigar and in my opinion, flavour is more important than strength but as has been said, mild doesn't have to mean bland. In fact, there are plenty of cigars classified as mild that are far from being bland. Below is a perfect sampler for you to try a variety of strengths.

Connecticut is one of the most widely used mild wrappers and is also sought for its sweet aroma. Ecuadorian Connecticut is also mild, but with a little more flavour and a shade or two darker in colour. Corojo is a little darker in colour than the Connecticut wrapper. The Corojo was originally grown in Cuba but because of the embargo, it is now mostly grown in Honduras. This wrapper tends to have a very spicy, peppery, robust flavour, favoured by many cigar smokers.

Habano is similar in colour to Corojo and is also from Cuba, but today it grows mostly in Nicaragua. The leaf produces a heavy, spicy flavour and is often dense with nicotine, so it may overwhelm a beginner. The Maduro is the darkest in colour and enjoys the lengthiest lifespan, from seedling to wrapper leaf. Not every leaf can be turned into a Maduro wrapper and, interestingly enough, they tend to defy their ominous looks. These cigars are often sweeter, which has earned a nickname of "dessert smoke."

Be sure the cigar you choose is listed as "mild" in the retailer's store, or on their website. I would even suggest adding "medium-bodied" cigars to the mix. So also keep in mind that there are plenty of excellent, medium-bodied "first-smoke" candidates available to new cigar smokers.

Click here for our mild cigars

Top 5 Cigars for beginners

H.Upmann Coronas Junior

H. Upmann Coronas Junior

This cigar is creamy with hints of coffee and some nutty flavours as well. This small havana promises to have a good future. Attractive, good draw,thick smoke with complex flavors for such a small cigar. Simply excellent.

Romeo y Julieta Petit Corona

Romeo y Julieta Petit Corona

A wonderful smoke, a hint of sweetness on the lips and spice in the mouth. Light and cedary aroma with a pleasantly sweet vanilla flavour in the first half. Don't miss the opportunity to try a few.

Montecristo Open Junior Tubed

Montecristo Open Junior

A small cigar perfect for lighting up when time is short. This size is produced for only one other Habanos, Hoyo de Monterrey, where it is called Le Hoyo du Depute. Enjoy its delicate flavour for around twenty minutes.

Punch Petit Coronations Tubed

Punch Petit Coronations

Medium flavour and medium to full strength, a good balanced smooth and complex Havana that is well constructed and generally comes with a dark chocolate brown wrapper.

Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto

Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto

A fairly new addition to the Hoyo range. It was added to the brand in 2004 and was probably one of the best new cigars produced in that year. Full of flavour, spice, rich and sweet. The cigar lasts around 40 minutes and have a great flavour and complexity. Definitely a cigar to be smoked with at least 6 months age.

All of the above are available online and in shops so if you're a beginner wanting to get into the wonderful world of cigars, pop on down to one of our shops for export advice whether it be how to cut a cigar or how to light a cigar or you could even sample a cigar in one of our stunning lounges. We look forward to seeing you!