Pondering what constitutes the best Cuban cigars money can buy is akin to asking for the finest red wine on the market, or the greatest possible car that one can drive. While it’s undeniable that some cigar brands are better than others, thanks to prestige and production techniques, the label of “best Cuban cigars” will always remain within the eye of the beholder.
Survey a hundred cigar enthusiasts on the best Cuban cigars and you’ll likely receive dozens of answers. The terms “best” and “favourite” are frequently interchangeable when it comes to cigars. There are many things to consider when looking for the best Cuban cigars to add to a keep, though. Common things to bear in mind are:
- Brand – there is no doubt that the manufacturer will influence the quality of a cigar. If you’re seeking the best Cuban cigars, you can rarely go wrong with anything made by Montecristo, Cohiba, Partagas, Bolivarr, and H. Upmann – though this list is by no means exhaustive.
- Manufacturing Process – the best Cuban cigars are handmade and rolled by a skilled employee. Technology will play a part in the production technique but look for a personal touch.
- Age – Cuban cigars are comparable to fine wine; they improve with age. The tobacco used in a cigar needs to ferment before application and sale. Typically, the best Cuban cigars contain tobacco that has fermented for at least three years.
- Combustion – a cigar should not burn bright and then fade away. The best Cuban cigars enjoy slow and steady combustion, staying alight for a prolonged period.
- Storage – high-quality cigars must be kept in a humidor to maintain their quality. This also leads into…
- Trader – we’re not trying to be snobs here, but you’re extremely unlikely to find the very best Cuban cigars available for sale through a supermarket or high street tobacconist. You’ll need to build a contacts list and find a supplier of higher-end cigars, potentially online.
- Aroma and Flavour – Finally, we have arguably the most critical factors of all – though these are entirely personal. All cigar experts will have their own ideas of what constitutes the ideal scent and taste, but the best Cuban cigars will undoubtedly stand apart from lesser competitors.
We appreciate that this does not really answer the question of what the best Cuban cigar in the world is … but in a roundabout way, it does. There is simply not a black-and-white answer, and nobody can simply place an order and own the cream of the crop.
While different industry bodies hand out awards to various cigars each year, including proclamations of the finest product around, nobody will ever form a consensus opinion – and the title of “best Cuban cigar” will change hands every year anyway.
In a way, this is a relief. After all, a great deal of the fun of cigar collecting comes from trying different cigars, trading with like-minded collectors from all over the world, and learning what becomes a personal favourite. The best Cuban cigars are the ones that you enjoy smoking, sharing, discussing, and owning.