Around 20 years ago, if a cigar cost $10 or more, it was considered the highest of the high-end. At that time, only Davidoffs, Padrons, and Opus X were among the very few brands that reached that price range. However, with inflation, taxes, and costs going up, $10 is a very solid price for cigars today.
I don’t mind paying for quality, so if I think the cigar is worth it, I will pay almost anything. That said, some of my favorite cigars, ones I talk about constantly, are still below that $10 range. So, for all of you who are looking for the best premium cigar for your money, I’ve put together a list of the five best cigars for under $10.
Foundation Charter Oak
While boutique cigar makers, like Nick Melillo, usually demand a higher price due to their size, Nick set out to make a budget-friendly everyday cigar with all the characteristics of his other brands. He succeeded in doing so with the Charter Oak brand.
Charter Oak is Nick’s love letter to his home state of Connecticut. The name and band all pay homage to the rich history of the state. It is handcrafted with Nicaraguan tobaccos and is available in two wrapper varieties, both from Connecticut. With a creamy shade-grown or rich Broadleaf, this everyday cigar is a tremendous deal.
If you want to know more about this brilliant brand of cigars, read all about them right here.
Romeo by Romeo
While AUSA has been making some of the best-selling brands for decades, it was only a few years ago where the brand really started to make a change towards bolder, more full-bodied smokes. While AUSA had some stronger smokes, it was really the release of the Romeo by Romeo where they kicked it into high gear.
The Romeo was released to much fanfare. It was lauded by critics for its blend, band, and shift in focus to a bolder, fuller profile. Its Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is oily and bursting with flavor. This cigar was even named the #3 cigar of the year when it was first released and has been a staple of the AUSA portfolio ever since.
Arturo Fuente Chateau Sun Grown
Today I feel like when discussing Arturo Fuente, people only mention the brand’s limited and high-end offerings. It’s always about Anejo or Opus X etc. However, one of Arturo Fuente’s staple lines, and one of my all-time favorites, is the Chateau line, particularly in the sun-grown variety. These were, at one time, my everyday cigar. Literally, I would smoke at least one a day.
The Chateau line is handcrafted at the legendary and historic Fuente facility in the Dominican Republic. It uses finely aged Dominican tobacco for the filler and binder, followed by a stunning and oily Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper. The pristine construction, plus the complex profile, makes this one of the best cigars for the price on the market.
La Mission by L’Atelier
Pete Johnson of Tatuaje fame launched a sub-brand known as L’Atelier. It is an offshoot of Tatuaje, and although the cigars are still crafted at the My Father factory, the look, taste, and smoke differently than your average Tatuaje. There is a touch of elegance and luxury to the brand, which I think was the point. Among the several top releases from L’Atelier, I always found myself drawn to the La Mission.
Named after a famed winery, a favorite of Pete, La Mission is a spectacular and well-balanced smoke. It is crafted with aged Nicaraguan tobaccos, including the special Sancti Spiritus leaf, grown only for Pete Johnson. Its San Andres wrapper adds in touches of dark fruit notes and a slight spice, making this an excellent pairing for a full red wine.
Espinosa Larajana Reserva
Since this cigar was first released, I have not stopped talking about it. The Laranja is one of the finest cigars to come out of Nicaragua and the crown jewel of the Espinosa empire. From its blend to its backstory and stunning visuals, this cigar showcased that Erik is an all-around mad genius.
The cigar takes its name from the Portuguese word for orange. This is fitting as its Brazilian wrapper has a slight orange hue to it and emits wonderful notes of spice and citrus. The band is a throwback to old soda bottles, which as a retro head, I absolutely love. At this price, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better cigar — except for the other ones mentioned of course.