A Beginners Guide to Boutique Brands

January 10, 2018

Hello, my friends, Nick Libretti here for JR Cigars. I am used to saying that in my videos so let’s just keep it going in the written word as well.  From my many YouTube videos which at least one person has watched (thanks mom), it is easy to see that I have a wide array of favorite cigars.  A good cigar for me has many factors including my location, what I’m drinking, my mood, etc.

However, there are some smokes that I will like regardless.  I have done quite a few videos on beginner smokes, which are always my favorite.  I love being able to pass my knowledge (which is limited ill admit) to a new smoker and seeing how they enjoy your choices.

So for this article instead of doing my generic Beginner Cigar bit, I decided to do something more specific.  Being a fan of the emerging boutique cigar community, I would love to share my picks for the best boutique cigars for the beginner.


Warped Maestro del Tiempo

This cigar means the master of time… end of the story.  Kyle Gellis has proven yet again that although he is one of the youngest major manufacturers, he is a force to be reckoned with.  His signature style can be seen brilliantly in this delicious little smoke.

It is produced, like many of his cigars, by Casa Fernandez and is crafted with their legendary Aganorsa tobacco.  It has hints of coffee, wood, and nuts with a dash of spice towards the end for a great finale.  The 6012R size has become very popular among cigar enthusiasts for both its outstanding characteristics and its limited release.

Tatuaje Skinny Monsters

It’s safe to say that Pete Johnson was one of the founders of the boutique cigar community.  He loves to do his event-only cigars, special releases, and limited brands that make his cigars all the more desirable.  With the MY Father factory being his producer, he is able to combine innovative marketing strategies with some of the best cigars on the market.

No boutique collection is complete without some of the Tatuaje Monster series.  Pete releases a new blend every year, with each one taking its name from old-time movie monsters.  My personal favorite is the Jason because it is very hard to beat a Tatuaje with a broadleaf wrapper.  For a variety, you should check out the skinny monster collection, with each different release being rolled into a perfect Lonsdale size for optimum flavor.

RoMa Craft CroMagnon

In the past half-decade, no manufacturer has captured the hearts and minds of boutique aficionados like RoMa Craft.  Their blends are outstanding, their presentation is brilliant and their creative names make almost no sense to the general public, but that’s the point.  If you haven’t tried a CroMagnon yet, then stop reading right now and go smoke one.

It is a broadleaf beauty that is full of flavor but smooth on the retro-hale.  RoMa Craft is a must-have for the boutique humidor.

Foundation Tabernacle

I know you guys saw this one coming.  Nick Melillo has become a dear friend of mine but not because I particularly like him.  I mean he is ok I guess, but I am much more of a fan of his products.  Foundation cigars have created hit after hit over the past 2 years with no end in sight.

While I am a huge fan of El Gueguense and its Maduro sequel, Nick and I both find ourselves drawn to the Tabernacle.  Its brilliant broadleaf wrapper is grown in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley, which of course is located by the “mighty” Connecticut river.

It is a Connecticut broadleaf at its finest with rich chocolate notes and a nice subtle sweet spice from its Nicaraguan tobacco.  Nick is literally becoming the “Foundation” of boutique cigars. Love ya, Nick!


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