Times are tough. Cash is in limited supply, and everywhere we look, prices are on the rise.
The demand for affordability and cost performance has made cigar collecting more challenging than ever. Premium cigar blends that were once considered economical border on being labeled as expensive, thus making research all the more taxing.
But with great duress comes opportunity, and for us cigar smokers that translates to branching out and discovering new blends.
Take the following five budget bangers for instance. Each of these I smoked and reviewed this year, and came away feeling thoroughly impressed by the value they offered for the smoking pleasure they provided.
So scroll down if you are looking to save some serious coin on your next Klaro order, and be sure to check out our in-depth reviews on each product page for more details on why each of these cigars rock. I even tossed in an additional "bonus budget banger" at the very bottom that I plan on reviewing soon.
Surpassing most of the other Connecticut shade-grown cigars I've smoked this year, the Partagas Cortado is truly a cut above in every regard. Creamy, sweet, and rather round-bodied at first, this cigar transitions to a dry and toasty final third.
Slow burning, and loaded with character, this cigar is currently a top contender for best Connecticut shade-grown cigar of the year in my book. Plus, it comes in at just $32.40 a 5-pack here at Klaro, so this definitely constitutes a budget banger in our cigar book.
Value priced at $27.45 a fiver, this "happy accident" was caused when an employee accidentally mixed up the batch numbers for a particular blend, and we couldn't be any more thrilled with the entire debacle.
Mellow ginger spice tastes blend with a mild, lemon tanginess and a saltine cracker note, followed by a toasty, dried oak tannin taste. There are some baking spice notes at play behind the scenes too, making for a fine little ginger snap cookie profile.
For me, walnut butter and big mugs of mocha always come to mind when I smoke the moderately priced Oliva Serie G Maduro. Chewy in texture, but silken in regard to its smoke, light doughy flavors are punctuated by a chocolate-covered espresso bean backing.
Wood tannin tastes throw contrast to the whispers of black cherry in this medium maduro. Flavorful, but a far cry from strong, this blend finishes with dark, fig-like flavors and a milky nuttiness. With pricing set at $30.65 per 5-pack, it's hard to ignore the cost performance of this personal pick of mine.
But unlike the medium maduro listed prior, this blend is packing when it comes to power! Retrohales are an intense bitter mocha mix, with mouthfeel being more of a milky mocha experience. Bits of graham cracker crumble here and there, sweet toffee, a touch of black pepper, perhaps a little dried red pepper flake for good measure, all followed by a slightly funky, fun earthy aftertaste. It all adds up to what is undoubtedly one of the most unique full-flavored cigars I've smoked all year.
Measuring at 6-inches in length, with a full 54 ring-gauge, this "Gran Robusto" is the largest cigar on this list, and also one of the most competitively priced. For a measly $33.15 you can score five of these fatties, all of which come loaded with flavor and performance.
This blend starts with a sweet, tart, and somewhat floral first half, with salted peanuts and a leathery earthiness leveling things out. Honeysuckle flavors and aromas from the Connecticut shade wrapper pop up in the center of the stick and earn this obscure all-Nicaraguan filled cigar a slot in the running for best Connecticut shade-grown cigar of the year at Klaro.
While it may be the only cigar on this list that I have not reviewed yet, I have smoked it and was flabbergasted by what I encountered. You just have to be in the right mindset for a robust cigar, because this budget banger is packing when it comes to firepower.
The name on the cigar band represents the blend's use of the two distinct kinds of viso leaf and the two forms of ligero long-filler inside, each hailing from a different tobacco farm in Honduras. This results in a cigar with sun-grown spice notes, a peppery finish, and thick, earthy depth in abundance. All for just $17.95 a 5-pack!