3 Minute Deep Dive: Barrel-Aged Cigars Explained

Some may call it a gimmicky selling point, or complete overkill, but barrel-aged cigars are really "firkin" fantastic. 

So what if they only provide but a sliver of the flavors and aromas that a barrel-aged craft beer can create?! There is still a lot to love in a boozy stogie, because we're not just talking bourbon and rum casks anymore.

Below, you will find a few quick facts about barrel-aged tobacco, along with a list of four of our current cigar faves here at Klaro. All of which is intended to help add a splash of knowledge and taste to your humidor collection...

A Little Barrel Aged Cigar Backstory

Cohiba Cigars

One of the first things to know about barrel-aged stogies, is that cigar manufacturers aren't throwing whole sticks into a firkin for a 6-month-long siesta. 

No, it is far safer and more effective to toss a more robust leaf like the binder, into a retired oak barrel.

This allows workers the ability to roll the barrel around every so often, thus allowing the tobacco leaves inside to evenly absorb whatever nuances have been left behind from that now-bottled booze.

From what we can tell, the Cuban Cohiba name was the first cigar manufacturer to gain notoriety for aging its cigar tobacco in repurposed barrels. These rum cask conditioned leaves were occasionally what ended up in some of Fidel Castro's favorite cigars.

4 Must-Smoke Barrel Aged Cigars

#1 Macanudo Estate Reserve Flint Knoll 

Aged in French Oak Chardonnay casks, this limited edition collaborative cigar offers an intriguing divergence from the traditional "bourbon & rum" approach to barrel-aging. Light oaky tannins and a tartness from the wine barrels add an additional layer to this surprisingly full-flavored stick.


#2 Diesel Whiskey Row 

Diesel Whiskey Row Gigante
Big, bold, and boozy as all hell out of the bag, this collaborative beast from AJ Fernandez and Rabbit Hole Distillery is about as macho as it comes. Get past the ring gauge and nicotine, and you'll find a cigar that's more of a bourbon barrel aroma masterpiece than a total booze bomb.


#3 Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne

Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne
While Cohiba may hold the title for being the first to stuff cigar tobacco leaves in alcohol-soaked barrels, Perdomo was the first to truly capitalize upon this act outside of Cuba. Although the act of whiskey barrel-aging its cigars remained a family secret for years, Perdomo eventually began to promote this technique. Light in color, but big on flavor and depth, the Champagne version is as complex as it comes, with just enough barrel tannins and sweetness to remind you of its heritage.

#4 Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask

Dark, oily, and intoxicatingly aromatic, this twist on the AJ Fernandez "Diesel Whiskey Row" collab line with Rabbit Hole Distillery opts for a very different kind of barrel. Sticky sweet, and subtly spiced, this mouthwatering maduro makes for one of the best after-dinner smokes we have ever encountered.


For more on the fascinating world of barrel-aged cigars, check out our in-depth dive entitled: "Why Barrel-Aged Cigars Kick Ass"