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Can you smoke high quality cigars on a budget?

With all the talk of economics and jobs, cigar smokers simply want to find gems on a budget.  After all, our passions shouldn’t suffer just because of bad times, should they? I’ve always stood by the premise of a good smoke is a great experience, no matter the cost, but my tastes as evidenced by this blog have showcased a personal demand for higher priced cigars. 

Quality doesn’t always justify the higher cost, but so far my experiences have been positive.  That being said, I’ve never found problems smoking inexpensive hand rolled premium cigars, because the overall experience has been wonderful.

With the average cost of a cigar in your traditional Brick and Mortar being between $7-$10, we and the difference in online vs  BM prices, we figured we’d aim a little lower for the budget conscious, because I refuse to sacrifice flavor for price.  In short, I won’t smoke tasteless, inexpensive cigars just because I’m on a budget.

A few of the cigars on this list bring the flavor, along with great construction while not being average blends from the multitude of companies out there who make cigars. In short, according to my taste, they’re all winners.PInar Del Rio 1878 Reserva Capa Oscuro

First up, Pinar Del Rio – 1878 Reserva Dominica Capa Oscuro.  A solid cigar with excellent construction and two types of corjoo filler  to provide a spicy experience followed by nutty notes.  Leather on the palate followed by creamy, medium finish

large_brickhouse-toro-single-prod-shotNext  up, BrickHouse – I’m a fan of the toro here, but also the Mighty Mighty Maduro.  Neither cigar is extremely complex, but they’re solid flavors.  Leather and cedar on the Toro with a medium to full finish while the Mighty Mighty boasts coffee and cocoa flavors.  This is actually an old blend from JC Newman Cigars, makers of Diamond Crown.

If you want a real treat, you can look hard enough online and find a vendor who sells Alec Bradley Seconds in either the Tempus or the award winning Prensado blends.  I’ve smoked way too many of both and they’re just as good as the firsts, same draw, same excellent construction, but you’re paying around $2.50 a bundle with no fancy box or band, rather than $9 or more online or in the BM.

Bahia Icon – was a solid blend I had a box of recently.  Full flavor, Bahia Iconplenty of leather and peppery spice with a medium to full finish, the Gran Robusto will give you a good, solid hour of cigar break downtime without disappointing on flavor or putting a major dent in your budget.

Oh, it just dawned on me because I’ve smoked both of these cigars out of samplers and enjoyed them. Alec Bradley American Classic and American Classic Sungrown.  Both cigars come in at under $5 a cigar. The original American Classic features mellow leather and spice notes while the Sungrown is a good expression of sungrown wrappers.

Nothing in this list is overly complicated, but will deliver an experience cigar smokers enjoy.  Downtime, a great conversation starter, or something to pair with your favorite libation while you relax in a passion shared by many others.  What’s on your budget friendly list?

The characters in my upcoming paranormal romance Burning for Derrick are also avid cigar aficionados, often filling their humidors with expensive stick and inexpensive gems alike.   Look for Burning for Derrick coming from Ardent Books soon!


What’s most frequently in your Humidor?

La Vina 12 and La Vina 18

ACCC S. E. 12 and ACC S. E. 18

Summer is upon us and that means more sunlight which means more smoking time!  Spending the evenings with a cigar and glass of Larceny bourbon is the perfect way for me to unwind after the first half of my work day. Let me explain.  As a writer, my day is split into two halves:  The first shift in the afternoon, and the second shift consisting of writing.  That being said, my downtime is extremely important.  Something I’ve noticed however is what’s in my normal rotation hasn’t changed that much.  For months due to convenience (and I just like them!) I’ve been smoking Alec Bradley Tempus seconds.  For the price I paid for a bundle, to keep my humidor full, not a bad thing . But I like variety. In fact I crave it.  Last year I’d picked up an ORTSAC sampler from .  This sampler along with the Pinar Del Rio sampler jolted new flavors into my palate and a good range of inexpensive cigars into my humidor.  Now while these cigars are great, they’re not on my normal high end list of cigars to smoke, but then again, that list is a short one and not meant for every day consumption.  Even if I could, I’m not sure I’d smoke a ACC S. E. 12 or ACC S. E. 18 day in and day out.

Masterpiece Platinum by ACC Cigars and glass of cabernet Sauvignon at Occidental Cigar Club, SF

Masterpiece Platinum by ACC Cigars and glass of cabernet Sauvignon at Occidental Cigar Club, SF

That’s why I like the Masterpiece Platinum and Tres Maduro by ACC Cigars, (who also make ACC Special Edition, because those cigars are complex and make me think and enjoy my time smoking on a so much deeper level than say Montecristo’s Media Noche.  The Media Noche is a solid Maduro, but that’s all it is to my palate. After time I grew bored with the Tempus Seconds.  I’ve smoked a LOT of them and love the dark coffee flavors and richness of probably my favorite cigar from Alec Bradley. Recently I discovered Tampa Humidor, who carries Alec Bradley Prensado 2nds, at the same price as the Tempus, so I snagged a box.  Thanks to a surplus in budget, I also picked up the Drew Estate sampler from CigarPlace It always amazes me at cigar smokers who can smoke the same thing day in and day out.  I’m a creature who craves variety, and not smoking for the sake of smoking.  Of course these same people I’ve noticed tend not to experiment, which is fine . Cigar smoking has very few rules.  Like what you smoke, smoke what you like  I tend to lean toward higher end cigars with more complexity.  I won’t lie however.  The Padrón Thousand series tastes the same every single time and is a solid, well constructed cigar.  I’ll reach for that cigar every single time with the understanding that it’s a  Padrón kind of day. The characters in my upcoming release Burning for Derrick are also avid cigar smokers as a way to take away the stress from their lives.  Derrick and his brother Max share a common theme in their dealings in espionage, which breeds many issues including nightmares and the need to find peace in downtime.  Both men enjoy the silence and smoke from a great cigar and keep a wide variety of cigars in their over sized humidors. What are staples in your humidor? Be sure to look for Burning for Derrick, my upcoming paranormal romance release from Ardent Books, coming soon!