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Article Click for Full Map

Published on January 7th, 2013 | by Siz


Cigars for a Newbie – The Journey from Cigar Newbie to Cigar Nut

So you’re just starting to dive into the world of cigars. You’ve talked to a few friends that enjoy smoking. You’ve hung out with them enough to where you’ve gotten over the “smell of cigar smoke”. Now you actually enjoy that sweet aroma of a stogie. Congratulations, you’ve passed the first step of becoming a true cigar addict!

The question you have now is… What the hell should I smoke? What is an ideal cigar for a newbie? I get asked this question all the time by my friends. I see this question all the time on forums and on r/cigars. Honestly, most people get tired of answering this question because it is asked so frequently. A lot of the time newbies don’t know where to go to search out this information. They don’t want to waste their money on cigars that they won’t like, or crappy cigars. That’s one of the reasons I do these reviews on the site is to help people out and help them determine if a cigar is for them, or not.


What if I buy the Wrong Cigar

What if I buy the Wrong Cigar


Most people can read my reviews and be more confused than when they started. They have no clue about what a draw is, or how to pull out specific flavors. They just want to be told what to buy and how much it’s going to cost them. That’s why I’ve created a nice little treasure map here for you. I know I’m going to have people that disagree with my treasure map, and my choices of cigars that I suggest. A lot of people are going to give their own suggestions as well, and that’s great! That’s what makes this cigar community so exciting and fun to be a part of.

But in all honesty this treasure map is just a guideline to help you down your own path. It’s as much for me and my friends as it is for everyone. That way I don’t have to send 8 text message back and forth to tell someone what they should buy. I can tell them “Hey go to my site and go to /newbies and see my suggestions! Doesn’t that seem a whole lot easier? Yeah I thought so too.

Click for Full Map

Click for Full Map

I am a Cigar Newbie!

There, you finally admitted it, now we can get you on the right path. Three easy things to remember if you’re a cigar newbie: Start light, small and cheap, easy enough right?

Start light

I always suggest new cigar smokers to start with a lighter colored wrapper. Most of the time this simple step is going to give someone a smoother, lighter, bodied cigar that isn’t full of strong nicotine and dominant flavors. We don’t want to scare people before they even fall in love with this hobby do we? No, I didn’t think so.

Cigar Wrapper Color Chart

Cigar Wrapper Color Chart

Start Small

Small, when it comes to cigar sizes most people want more bang for their buck. I understand that, I was the exact same way when I first started smoking. If I had it to do all over again, I would start with smaller vitolas. Start with coronas or robustos. The smoking time is going to be shorter and typically the flavors are going to be more pronounced. To this day I can sit back and think about all the huge cigars that I smoked early on. Now looking back I think it was a mistake.

Start Small - Cigars for Newbies

Start Small – Cigars for Newbies

I think most new cigar smokers would enjoy smaller cigars for the mere fact that they may not even like smoking cigars. If you smoke a smaller stick and don’t like it half way through you can trash it without feeling like you’re wasting a big ole cigar. That leads me into my next point.

Start Cheap

Start cheap, now when I say this, I don’t mean $2 bargain bin rejects from the factory. I mean starting with $5-7 cigars. This is the sweet spot for new smokers. Most newbies don’t know what they like yet. They don’t feel comfortable parting with more than $7 per stick. Hell, I don’t even like paying more than $10 / stick and I’ve been smoking for awhile.

Start Cheap - Cigars for Newbies

Start Cheap – Cigars for Newbies

All I’m saying is, if you’re a new smoker, don’t go jump into the Davidoff or Ashton side of the humidor. Start out with some excellent cheaper sticks to help you develop your palate. These three simple steps will get you off on the right foot and on your way to smoking some great cigars without breaking the bank.

Here are a few of my suggestions for some cigars for newbies:

1) Macanudo Cafe Crystal

2) EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut

3) Rocky Patel Cameroon

All three of these cigars have some common traits with each other. They are very mild bodied cigars, with light wrappers, and can be found in that sweet spot of $5-7 depending on where you shop. I think this is a great place to start your cigar journey.

Check those out and let me know what you think. However, if you’re past the initial ‘honeymoon’ stage of cigar loving. Then stay tuned because Part 2 is coming very soon, and take a look at the treasure map below just for fun!

Click for Full Map

/> Click for Full Map

About the Author


  • jyow617

    Not bad sir! I would also add the EP Carrillo 2012 Short Run, San Cristobal Elegancia, and Perdomo 10th anniversary champagne to the list. I also remember really enjoying an Arturo Fuente Hemingway when I was new.

    • Well 2 of those 3 will be in part three in two weeks if you would just hold your pants! So thanks for ruining those suggestions, but at the same time great minds think alike!

      • Mark VanSledright

        Hahaha, I was going too suggest the !0th Anni and a Fuente to that initial list as well. The EPCNWC Robusto is almost the perfect starting point for a new smoker. I gotta hold of my pants for now.

        • Thanks Mark! I enjoyed the EPCNWC as well, great all around smoke.!

  • travelingstogie

    I enjoyed the read Eric. Just found out that I’ve been doing it all wrong! 😉

    • Haha, Veeral obv you didn’t read it closely I said this was mainly for my journey 🙂 … But yes you’ve obviously been doing it wrong! Haha glad you enjoyed it man.

  • Great read Eric. I still have my humidor from college and haven’t smoked a cigar since then. It’s always nagging me to get back into it since I have it. I’d definitely be a newbie though so great pointers.

    • Yeah man definitely need to get back into it! It’s incredibly relaxing for me. Sometime we need to meet up w/ Jeremy and have a stick!

  • Disagree with starting a newbie too mild. It could turn off those with a palate for more flavor who might find mild cigars too boring. I usually tend to recommend medium-bodied sticks for the beginner so that they can go more mild or more bold from there depending on their palate. My go-to would be the Perdomo Lot 23.

    • I love the Lot 23, great stick for sure! I can see your point about starting in the middle. However, like I said I always suggest people start with a Mild body and Mild strength cigar and they can judge where to go from there.

  • Miguel Rocha

    Great read! I agree on price point. Regrettably I had some high sticks in the beginning that I now realize I had no idea what I was experiencing. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Miguel, I think everyone jumps out and buys a few high priced sticks to start.

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