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The 10 best Nicaraguan cigars I’ve tried and tested in 2024

Maduro cigars in a lineup ready to smoke.
Briley Kenney / The Manual

Most people love Cuban cigars, but I’m not most people. I won’t argue that Cuban cigars are bad; they’re definitely not, but I will say they’re usually popular because of the forbidden fruit situation. I would describe them as airy and light on flavor. Not bad flavor, just not particularly strong. Dollar for dollar, there are a lot of other cigars made elsewhere that are worth spending your money on because they are delicious. If I had to choose, I would go Nicaraguan almost every time.

Most Nicaraguan tobacco is grown in the small town of Esteli, and the local soil gives the tobacco its rich, complex, and full-bodied flavor. It’s on my bucket list of places to visit, and I’d love to get a first-hand look at how they grow, ferment, and produce cigars — some of the best in the industry. Nicaraguan tobacco is about as good as it gets if you like your cigars strong and memorable. And because they’re so flavorful, Nicaraguan cigars are super versatile. You can smoke them in the morning with coffee, after lunch, or late in the evening, and they pair nicely with a wide variety of beverages. Moreover, they come in various strengths, sizes, and blends, from mild and medium to some of the most full-bodied cigars you’ll have the pleasure of tasting.

Of course, as with all things, not all cigars are created equal, and not all Nicaraguan cigars will make you blush. You have to know where to look, and that’s where I come in. I’m here to share some of the best Nicaraguan cigars I’ve tried. Let’s discuss.

The best Nicaraguan cigars I’ve tried in 2024

The best Nicaraguan cigars in more detail

I want to start by saying that this was an incredibly challenging list to compile, and I did not take it lightly. Nicaraguan cigars offer some of the industry’s best blends and flavor profiles. They are also numerous and varied, ranging from mild to full-bodied, so there are a lot of options. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong. Nevertheless, here are some of my favorite Nicaraguan cigars, many of which I’m probably smoking right now.

Aganorsa Rare Leaf Reserve Corojo

Aganorsa Rare Leaf Reserve Corojo cigar
Aganorsa
  • Strength: Medium
  • Wrapper: Corojo
  • Favorite Size: Toro

If you’ve read any of my other lists, you already know this is a favorite of mine. It’s a regular in my humidor and a staple of my weekly lineup. Aganorsa makes a ton of fantastic cigars, so pretty much anything from their coffers would be worth the experience, but if you like cigars, this is one to try, at the very least. The Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper is unique and packed with flavor. There is a Maduro version, which I also love, but the Corojo is my go-to if I can only pick one.

Cohiba Nicaragua

Cohiba-Nicaragua-N5 best Nicaraguan cigars
Cohiba
  • Strength: Full-bodied
  • Wrapper: Sun Grown Colorado Oscuro
  • Favorite Size: Robusto

Cohiba is a name pretty much everyone recognizes, even outside the world of cigars, and for good reason. As you might expect, the Cohiba Nicaragua is an aged and Nicaraguan-inspired blend with an oily and beautiful Honduran Sun Grown Oscuro wrapper. It’s bold and full-bodied, so it packs a lot of flavor, but plenty of sweetness comes through, too. If you haven’t smoked one yet, you need to.

EP Carrillo Allegiance

EP Carillo Allegiance best Nicaraguan cigars
EP Carillo
  • Strength: Medium to Full
  • Wrapper: Sumatra
  • Favorite Size: Sidekick (Robusto) or Confidant (Toro)

The Allegiance is sort of a new kid on the block. It was born out of a collaboration between master tobacconist Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and the Oliva family, one of Nicaragua’s largest tobacco growers and cigar makers. It’s covered by a glorious Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and a medium to full-bodied blend, offering hints of leather, sweetness, nuttiness, coffee, and spice. I loved it so much that I immediately stocked my humidor with some boxes after I tried it. I have no doubts that you’ll love it, too.

HVC Cerro Natural

HVC Cerro Natural best Nicaraguan cigars
HVC
  • Strength: Medium to Full
  • Wrapper: Corojo
  • Favorite Size: Robusto Gordo

HVC, which stands for Havana City, is well-known for incredible cigar blends like their Hot Cake — definitely try that one. But for this list, I had to include the HVC Cerro Natural. It’s a solid medium to full-bodied smoke with a Corojo wrapper that’s flavor-rich and excellent to smoke any time of the day or night. If you’ve never had a cigar with a cup of coffee, grab one of these and test it out.

Liga Undercrown

Liga Undercrown Maduro
Liga
  • Strength: Medium
  • Wrapper: San Andres
  • Favorite Size: Robusto or Toro

Personally, I’m not a fan of the Undercrown series, but I don’t say that to discredit their quality or experience. Instead, I illustrate that point to show you that the “best” cigars are subjective. What I don’t enjoy, someone else most certainly will. There’s no denying the Liga Undercrown’s place on this list. It’s popular, it’s flavorful, and the Mexican San Andres wrapper blends well with the Nicaraguan fillers. You’ll get a solid mixture of sweet and complex flavors from this Maduro, so everyone should try it.

Oliva Serie V

Oliva Serie V Double Toro best Nicaraguan cigars
Oliva
  • Strength: Medium to Full
  • Wrapper: Sun Grown Habano
  • Favorite Size: Double Robusto or Double Toro

Oliva makes excellent cigars, and the Oliva Serie V series comes in various blends, including the ever-popular Melanio series. But the regular Serie V line is one that I always keep stocked in my humidor. It’s usually my go-to at the end of the night when I want a medium- to full-bodied smoke to close out my evening. It’s not super strong, just right, but it is packed foot-to-head with flavor.

Padrón Family Reserve No. 50 Maduro

Padron Family Reserve No 50 Maduro Best Nicaraguan cigars
Padron
  • Strength: Full-bodied
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua Maduro
  • Favorite Size: Robusto

You didn’t think I’d put together a list of incredible Nicaraguan smokes and forget to include Padron, did you? My fellow cigar lovers know exactly what I’m talking about. Padron is a staple of the industry, and it’s hands down one of the best. Sure, they can be expensive, but it’s also one of the few brands that warrant the premium price tag. The Family Reserve No. 50 is a 94-rated cigar enriched with flavors like cocoa, nuttiness, coffee, and earth. One of the most extraordinary things about this Padron line is that the bands are individually numbered. That way, you know they’re authentic. Never settle for a knock-off.

Plasencia 1865 Alma Fuerte Colorado

Plasencia 1865 Alma Fuerte Colorado
Plasencia
  • Strength: Medium to Full
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Colorado
  • Favorite Size: Eduardo 1 (Toro) or Sixto 1 (Gordo)

Like Aganorsa, Plasencia is another of my favorite cigar brands, and I try to recommend them as often as possible. However, the Plasencia 1865 Alma Fuerte Colorado is on an entirely different level from almost anything else out there. Wrapped inside a 10-year-aged Colorado from Jalapa, you’ll pick up lots of cream, leather, earth, and coffee flavors. But you’ll also get some toasty notes, sweetness, and a hint of floral. They can be difficult to find in some places, but it’s worth the hunt.

San Lotano Requiem

San Lotano Requiem Habano version best Nicaraguan cigars
AJ Fernandez
  • Strength: Full-bodied
  • Wrapper: Brazilian Habano
  • Favorite Size: Robusto or Toro

AJ Fernandez is a master blender and, ultimately, does not make a bad blend. His exclusive line of cigars includes the New World, San Lotano, and others. Yes, the regular San Lotano line is fantastic, but the San Lotano Requiem is a must-try. Your palate will be awash with luxurious flavors like pepper, chocolate, and cream. It also has one of my favorite flavors ever in a cigar, a slightly tropical and beachy taste that doesn’t kick off until you reach the back third.

Southern Draw Rose of Sharon

Southern Draw Rose of Sharon best Nicaraguan cigars
Southern Draw
  • Strength:  Mellow to Medium
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Favorite Size: Robusto or Toro

Jacob’s Ladder, Kudzu — another of my favorites — Cedrus, Firethorne, and Manzanita are just a handful of Southern Draw cigars I love. I smoke them down to a nub every time, too. But I have to call out the Rose of Sharon above all. It’s bold despite being a mellow to medium smoke, well-aged, and brimming with buttery notes of elegance. You’ll taste spice, leather, oak, earth, and a complex blend of flavors that will have you sighing with delight. Did I mention it’s crafted at the AJ Fernandez factory? That will make a lot of sense after you smoke one.

The best Nicaraguan cigars: Honorable mentions

Yes, it was a difficult list to put together. Yes, there are a few that didn’t make it on here and I still want to call them out. Here are some of the honorable mentions that you should also try if you haven’t yet:

Get to know our expert

Close up of cigars in humidor at home - Briley Kenney from The Manual
Briley Kenney / The Manual

I smoke cigars all the time, and I have many recommendations and plenty of advice to share with others. But none of those things qualify me as an expert. Really, it’s the years of experience, the time I’ve invested in the world of cigars, the excellent connections I’ve made with cigar makers and sellers, and the vast wealth of knowledge I’ve gained during that time. I know what goes into a good cigar, and I’ve certainly earned the right to recommend some to others, whether you’re a beginner and this is your first time smoking or have your own cabinet humidor stocked and maintained. Instead of waxing poetic, I’d rather let my recommendations and advice columns speak for me.

Editors' Recommendations

Briley Kenney

Briley has been writing about consumer electronics and technology for over a decade. When he's not writing about deals for Digital Trends or The Manual, he's writing how-to content and guides for other online publications. He's also a ghostwriter for more than one confidential SEO marketing agency. In his downtime, he's either spending time with his family, playing games, or enjoying a good ol' stogie.

Send all editorial inquiries HERE.

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