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The Importance of Cigar Quality

Apr 21st, 2023

Whether you’re a cigar newbie or well-versed in the world of stogies, picking a high-quality cigar is key. There is no such thing as the single best cigar, as palates differ and so many different cigar flavors exist. However, you’re better off opting for a high-quality cigar from one of the best cigar brands like La Aurora, which has been providing consistent, premium tobacco for 120 years and has multiple quality assurance levels. Still, many folks are unsure how to determine whether a cigar is high-quality.

Luckily, cigars are like wine - you can get a great one without dropping tons of cash, but you do need the right knowledge to help you get there. Read more to learn about all the important criteria to consider for the best smoking experience possible.

What kinds of cigars exist?

If you can dream it, it probably exists! There’s no shortage of variety with cigar flavors, and high-quality options tend to hail from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Take one of La Aurora’s bestsellers, for example - our 107® Nicaragua cigar contains 100% Central American tobacco from wrapper to filler and has a signature medium-bodied flavor that’s ideal for all experience levels. Like many Central American blends, this one contains spicy yet creamy notes with hints of leather and a complex aroma of licorice and walnut.

Beyond flavor and geographic origin, sizes are another factor to pay attention to. This cigar, in particular, is offered in multiple sizes, as are many. Not sure which size to choose? Base it on how long you plan on smoking it, as a longer length or larger ring gauge (thickness of the cigar) will result in a longer smoke. La Aurora offers many size options, including Toro, Gran Toro, and Robusto. A Gran Toro is the longest of the three and has the widest ring gauge. Many cigar aficionados, however, will say that the best cigar has the thinnest ring gauge because this means less filler tobacco inside. In reality, the outer leaf is where the best-quality leaves are used.

Where to buy high-quality cigars

Going with an unknown cigar brand might save shoppers money, but going with a more reputable and established retailer is a safer bet. La Aurora, the Dominican Republic’s oldest cigar brand, has over a century of experience and many accolades under our belt, making us one of the best cigar brands for consistent quality. Turning from a small factory into a world-renowned cigar brand, many of La Aurora’s cigars are rolled by masters of the craft, which results in a more balanced smoking experience. The 1903 Ruby Tubo cigar, for example, is only rolled by expert craftsmen with over 15 years of experience, and smokers can definitely tell the difference on their first puff.

How to tell a low-quality cigar from a high-quality cigar

Premium cigars should be 100% hand-rolled, like the ones sold at La Aurora. If the stogie isn’t hand-rolled, it will provide a lower-quality smoking experience. It’s also important that the cigar is made with only long-filler tobacco or tobacco that runs the length of the cigar. Additionally, the anatomy of a premium cigar requires three things: a binder, filler tobacco, and a wrapper. Before purchasing, make sure that the cigar checks all these boxes. Another thing to look out for in high-quality cigars is a triple cap featured in stogies like the La Aurora 107® Nicaragua cigar. This meticulous, time-honored technique used on many premium cigars ensures superior quality.

The best cigar brands will also prioritize quality assurance. La Aurora always ensures that our products come out perfectly every time. A rigorous inspection is done on aesthetics, performance, compliance with product standards, and durability, amongst other factors. We even work to ensure that the buncher who makes our blends carry out mixtures with precise amounts. When buyers stick with a high-ranking brand, they can rest safe knowing that inspections are carried out regularly and that consistent quality is guaranteed. Speaking of consistency - it’s time to get into the last detail of what to consider when cigar shopping.

Consistency is key when shopping for the best cigar

  • Color consistency: Beyond Cigar flavors and sizes, color is another factor to pay attention to. While there’s no way to tell the strength or taste of a cigar based just on color, always ensure a consistent and uniform color throughout the cigar’s exterior. Avoid splotchy colors.
  • Rolling consistency: No matter the size of a cigar, the density should be just right. This means no gaps or tears. It shouldn’t be packed too tightly or too loosely.
  • Flavor consistency: Just like consistency is key with the color and rolling quality, a cigar should taste the same from the beginning to the end. Cigars like La Aurora Hors d’Age are reported to have a smooth and well-balanced aroma and flavor from start to finish, as reported by cigar critics like Halfwheel.