As a rule I do not purchase Cuban cigars as it is illegal to do so, and to many “aficionados” that makes me (and all other NC smokers) nothing more than “drugstore” cigar smokers. Of course I disagree with that assessment as will anyone with half a pallet that has tasted a Swisher Sweet and any one of the many great domestic cigars. Still, if you want to find the “best” domestic cigars there are some rules that will help you find them.
- Ignore Price–there are some really good domestic sticks out there for $5 and under. There are also some really nasty sticks out there for over $5!
- Ignore Half-Naked Women–sex sells, but not good cigars.
- Ignore “Cuban” Nomenclature–many domestic cigars are “rolled in the fine Cuban tradition” or have a distinct “Cuban” flavor. I am not saying some of the cigars marketed using this strategy are not good, but it is not because of anything “Cuban” about the cigar.
- Ignore Ostentatious Packaging–sure those fancy boxes and bands are attractive, but they have no correlation to the quality of the cigar.
- Ignore Most Cigars With Stolen Cuban Names–when America placed an embargo against Cuba many of the names used for Cuban cigars were stolen and placed on domestic cigars. As a general rule these cigars are manufactured by large companies pumping out tons of cigars that are just a notch above those drugstore smokes mentioned earlier. That is not to say you will not find a few good ones, but if you stick with boutique or family owned shops you will find better smokes.