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How To Pick Your First Cigar: A Beginners Guide

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Starting out your cigar journey can be a delightful experience, but choosing the right cigar can be a bit overwhelming. When you visit a cigar shop the selections in any humidor is enormous so it's important to make an informed decision that suits your needs. In this guide, we'll walk you through three crucial steps to help you pick your first cigar with confidence, followed by five beginner cigar recommendations.

Step 1: Determine Your Nicotine Strength Tolerance

One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing your first cigar is understanding your nicotine and strength tolerance. Cigars come in varying strengths, ranging from mild to full-bodied, and selecting the wrong one might lead to an unpleasant experience. If you're new to smoking or prefer a milder sensation, go for cigars that are "mild" or "medium." Your best bet is to tell the tobacconist that's what you're looking for. On the other hand, if you are a regular smoker and/or prefer stronger flavors on your palate like espresso and dark liquor then go with "medium to full-bodied" cigars. Remember, selecting a cigar that aligns with your tolerance level will contribute to a more enjoyable experience overall.

Step 2: Assess the Time Available to Enjoy the Cigar

Smoking a cigar is an experience that deserves attention and relaxation. Before picking your first cigar, consider how much time you have available to enjoy it fully. Cigars come in various sizes and shapes, each offering a unique smoking duration. For a shorter smoking session, lets say under 1 hour, choose smaller cigars, such as a cigarillo or a petite corona. On the other hand, if you have more time to spare, go for a Robusto or a Toro, which provides a longer smoking experience. For the longest smoking experience, go with a Churchill sized cigar. Personally, Toro size is my go-to when I want to really sit back and enjoy a cigar. Picking the right cigar size will ensure that you can savor it without feeling rushed or pressured.

Step 3: Determine Your Budget $$$

Cigar prices can vary significantly, with some high-end or rare selections commanding up to and even more than $100 USD. As a beginner, it's essential to set a budget that you're comfortable with before venturing into the world of cigars. Not to worry, there are PLENTY of excellent cigars available at every price point. Remember that the price doesn't always reflect the quality of the smoking experience. It's about finding a balance between your budget and taste preferences that'll help you select a cigar that pleases your palate and wallet.

Top 5 Beginner Cigar Recommendations
  1. Arturo Fuente 8-5-8: A classic and well-balanced cigar with a medium body, featuring a smooth and slightly sweet flavor profile.

  2. Romeo y Julieta 1875: Another fantastic choice for beginners, known for its consistent quality, mild to medium strength, and nutty, woody notes.

  3. Oliva Connecticut Reserve: With a creamy and slightly peppery taste, this cigar provides a mild to medium smoking experience, perfect for beginners.

  4. Perdomo Champagne 10th: Known for its elegance and refined taste, this cigar offers a creamy smoke with hints of almond and cedar.

  5. Davidoff Signature No. 2: An exquisite cigar that boasts a mild, woody character, creating an indulgent smoking experience for novices.


Choosing your first cigar is an exciting moment. Remember, the journey of cigar smoking is a gradual one, so take your time exploring different options and flavors. By understanding your nicotine tolerance, available time, and budget, you can confidently select a cigar that will give you a memorable experience. Sit back, relax, and savor the moments of pure indulgence that the world of cigars has to offer. Happy smoking!


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