Skip to main content

These Cigars from Downton Abbey Are the Best I’ve Smoked In Years

Highclere Castle

OK, the cigars are from Highclere Castle, setting of the fictional show (and movie) Downton Abbey. But you’ll forgive the bait and switch at first puff, for these cigars from Highclere Castle are simply superb. They’re not only fit for royalty, but they are also, in fact, produced by and in part for royalty. I say “in part” because you can get your hands on them, too.

The royalty in question would be George Herbert, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, who is the current resident of the stunning Highclere Castle and who holds a title with some three centuries of history behind it. Nick Melhillo, the renowned master cigar blender retained by Lord Carnarvon to produce The Highclere Castle Cigar, looked to that bygone era as he sourced the tobacco used in these fine smokes.

Highclere Castle

The Highclere Castle Edwardian Cigar (the firm also makes a Victorian blend, but I’ve yet to have the pleasure) takes inspiration from turn-of-the-19th-century tobacco blending. Melhillo selected Criollo and Corojo tobaccos grown in volcanic soil for the filler, a Mata Fina tobacco from Brazil as the binder, and a Connecticut Shade wrapper. Both Criollo and Corojo tobaccos are Cuban in origin, though these cigars are hand-rolled in Nicaragua. They are rich and robust without being overly assertive. Mata Fina is a sweet, aromatic tobacco while Connecticut Shade is subtle and mild.

So what does that all mean when blended together? Superlative smoothness, subtlety, and complexity. You know from first draw that these are fine cigars, and that’s confirmed the next morning when your mouth is left almost unfazed by that dreaded cigar breath. In the puff of a Highclere Castle Cigar you will detect hints of leather, wood smoke, a light pepper, and a sweetness that’s almost like citrus.

Highclere Castle

The cigar makers describe their stogies as having an “elegantly clean” finish and I can attest to that. Each draw is a pleasure with almost no cumulative effect on your mouth. More often than not, by the time I’m about 60% done with a cigar, I’m ready to put it out. With these, I slide the ring off and puff until there’s almost nothing left to hold onto. And on that rarest of special occasion, like a night with old friends, I light up a second.

The cigars come in Churchill, Toro, Corona, Robusto, and Petit Corona sizes and 20 to a box. And while that box will run you well over $200 (closer to $300 for the Churchill) they are truly worth it. Also, you can always buy in smaller quantities.

If this is your first time lighting up, here’s how to smoke a cigar like you know what you’re doing.

Steven John
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
We now know how season 2 of ‘The Rings of Power’ will open
What to expect from Rings of Power season 2
Morfydd Clark in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.


After two years off the air, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set to return to Amazon Prime Video at the end of August. Ahead of its return, showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne sat down with Total Film to talk through the new season and what it has in store. The interview also includes a new image of Morfyyd Clark's Galadriel on her horse at night, but many were drawn to what the showrunners said about how the new season will start.

Read more
These two Greenworks cordless drills are basically $52 a piece for Prime Day
Greenworks cordless drill set prime day deal


Interestingly, there are quite a few tool and outdoor-related deals, including another Dewalt bundle on a cordless drill and impact driver. While that deal is slightly more expensive, we've found an excellent alternative. Greenworks, as you may know, is an affordable outdoor gear and tool brand that's best known for its lawn and mowing options. But it also makes tools like this 24-volt cordless drill and impact combo kit. It comes with the drill, an impact drive, two batteries, a charger, and a bag. All of that is yours for just $105 but split in two, that's basically $52 per drill. Regularly $150, that saves you about $50 on an already well-priced set. Like most of the Prime Day deals you'll want to shop this one soon before it sells out.

Read more
These are the 10 best action movies on Hulu to stream now
From action comedies to more dramatic titles, you can enjoy a lot of action flicks on Hulu
Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle


If you're looking for great action movies to stream, it can be hard to know where to begin. There are some great options on services like Amazon and Netflix, but they aren't the only places where interesting action can be found. If you're desperate for a great popcorn flick, check out our list of action movies on Hulu. From newer titles to action classics, they've got you covered, and we've combed through their options to find the best titles for you to start with.

Read more