My best UK budget cigars Part 1: £8 or less per cigar
Cigars have long been one of life’s little luxuries. Particularly over here in the UK, they are often associated with wealthy gentlemen of good taste, sat around after an opulent dinner, passing around a cedar box of Cuban cigars and a decanter of port. The thought of cigars being available to the common man or woman sadly seems to be rather alien to us Brits. Especially if they are hand rolled budget cigars.
There are two big problems with enjoying the sophisticated hobby that is cigar smoking here in the UK. The first one is the smoking ban in public places that happened back in 2007. That isn’t to say that there aren’t cigar friendly places, they are just fewer and further between. The second reason is that cigars are viewed as oversized cigarettes in the eyes of the tax man.
As a result, this means that cigars are taxed at just under £285 per kilo. Add to that VAT at 20% and there is a considerable mark-up on cigars in the UK. To give a real world example, this means that a Brick House Double Connecticut Toro Cigar that weighs in at about 20 grams and costs £15.29 to buy for example, is actually worth £6.53 before tax and VAT. With this in mind, is it possible to find good value cigars in the UK market?
I think that the answer is yes we can, so I’ve compiled a list of my twenty four best value budget cigars available in the UK. I have split the list into three different sections. Under £8 in this article, and Under £10, Under £12 in follow up articles. My criteria for a cigar to appear on this list are as follows:
- They must be available to buy online in the UK.
- I must have smoked and enjoyed them at least once.
- I must have taken enough notes to make a concise review.
DISCLAIMER: All prices and links are correct as of 28th February 2021.
Not every cigar listed here is available for the same price everywhere in the UK. During my research I found that prices can differ by a couple of pounds so I have linked through to the cheapest I could find it online. I haven’t included postage prices as a lot of online retailers offer free delivery on orders over a certain value. Also, you may be lucky enough to visit the shops in question.
BUDGET CIGARS – £8 AND UNDER
I am going to kick things off with one of the first “proper” cigars I ever smoked. Since I first tasted the Jose L Piedra Nacionales as it was called back in 2009 this cigar, and it’s bigger brother the Cazadores, have been a mainstay of my humidor. These Cuban budget cigars have a sweet and creamy flavour of caramel, bay leaf and cardamom and are well worth a try for the price.
Another beautiful Nicaraguan cigar that has only been available in the UK for a little over a year. This is not only an exquisite example of the lancero vitola, but also a lot of cigar for the price. Black cardamom, caraway seed and carrot are the opening flavours before you are treated to a meaty middle third. For my full review of this budget cigar that made my top nine of 2020, click here.
We head over to Nicaragua for the next of our budget cigars. Chinchalero was one of the first non-Cuban cigar brands that I ever properly explored. Starting with the Perla (now called a Chico, 4″ x 30 and coming in at £3.25) I have smoked almost every vitola and blend available by this brand. This cigar is a full of meaty and dried fruit flavours with notes of truffles. I chose the Picadillo vitola as I feel it gives a good amount of cigar for little cost.
Honduras is the origin of the next of my budget cigars and the first figurado. Cigars with this shape to them do need a bit more care taking at the end otherwise they can get clogged with bitterness as you reach the final third. That being said, this is a cigar that is as beautiful to look at as it is to smoke. For my full review click here.
This is another Nicaraguan budget cigar that has a flavour that you expect to pay more for. Sneaking in just under £8, I would say that this cigar is well worth giving a go. It might need a little looking after, but the forthright flavours of bay leaf, malt loaf and toffee are well worth it.
This brand is relatively new to the UK and I really can’t recommend these budget cigars highly enough. With notes of dark chocolate, gentle earthiness, ginger and chilli con carne, this is a delicious Nicaraguan stick that truly does belie its budget price. For my full review, click here.
These budget cigars are exclusive to Cgars and Turmeaus. They are another line of cigars that I have smoke just about every vitola that is on offer. This particular one is a Peruvian puro with a full bodied yet creamy, and spicy flavour with notes of leather, strong tea and cocoa. A good amount of flavour and a satisfying smoke for the price.
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The final entry for my budget cigars in the £8 and under section once again sits right on the border of this category. This one made also my top nine cigars of 2020 and is well worth picking up and tasting if you haven’t had one yet. With notes of cocoa, cookie dough and pumpkin pie running through the cigar from foot to head, this one has found a permanent place in my humidor. For my full thoughts and review click here.
If you want to spend a bit more, here are my best budget cigars for £10 and under or £12 and under. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any good cigars for £8 or under so do please let me know if there are any that you think I should add to a future revision of this list.