1. H. Upmann Half Coronas
This one might be the king of short cigars. With its dimensions being 3.50"x44 you’ll take around 30 minutes from start to finish. For a short cigar, it is very balanced and the amount of flavor you get from it is amazing.
H. Upmann is known for its light to medium strength and that is exactly what you’ll get with this half corona which makes it perfect for any time of the day. You can expect some floral notes and even a bit of ripe strawberry on the very beginning but it rapidly evolves to cream and coffee.
In the morning, combine it with a nice black coffee or even a cappuccino and you will spend the best 30 minutes of your day right there. Plus, they also come in a very convenient tin of 5 cigars, perfect for every day carry.
2. Partagas Series D No. 6
What if we told you that you can get all those wonderful flavors of the classic Partagas Series D No 4 in a shorter cigar? Well… you can with its shorter brother: the Series D No 6.
The blend on this cigar has been around for decades and it remained unchanged because it is considered by many as a perfect blend. Now, does this mean that you can have this cigar with your breakfast? For the majority of you, you better not. Don’t be fooled by its size — 3.50"x50 — this is a strong cigar and if you want to keep your eggs and toast inside you, you have to go with another option.
After lunch, it is a great time for it because you just had a nice meal and you are obviously going for that sweet dessert which will be a perfect match for this cigar.
3. Partagas Mille Fleur
Another Partagas? Yes, another one. Quite frankly, we were not that interested in this cigar for a long time. Not for any particular reason rather than the Cuban portfolio being so vast that we kept pushing the Mille Fleur to the back of our list of priorities to taste. However, we were wrong, we were very wrong. This cigar should be taken seriously because of the flavor and power it delivers right from the start.
Partagas is known for being strong and this cigar is no exception. What it has in strength, it also has in flavor and consistency, coating your palate with that typical sweet creamy thickness that you get from Partagas. The best time to enjoy this short cigar — 5.13"x42 — is after a good business lunch, paired with a nice aged rum or whiskey.
4. Vegueros Mananitas
From time to time, there are cigars that are created to have more quality than price, which makes them a great deal. That is the case of the Mananitas from Vegueros. Now, don’t expect them to behave like an H. Upmann or a Partagas because they won't. Keep in mind that these are entry-level long-filler Cuban cigars. Despite that, they are quite fun.
It is the only Piramide-like of this list(it is actually a Petit Belicoso) and usually, when you hear the word Piramide, you associate it with big cigars. That is not the case here. The Mananitas come in a 3.90"x46 size and it is the only cigar on the Cuban portfolio that comes in cans of 16. It’s “darker-than-normal” wrapper color is very appetizing despite having some prominent veins on it. It is a medium-body cigar that evolves to a full-body in the last third.
Experienced aficionados like to enjoy it in the morning, but if you are a beginner, eat something first and have a coffee or sparkling water with it. The flavor notes we got were earthy, a bit of hay and also some spiciness towards the end.
5. Montecristo Media Corona
No doubt that Montecristo is one of the most recognizable Cuban brands in the world. When you think Montecristo you immediately have the No 2 or No 4 engraved in your mind. However, the brand is much more than that and it offers short-cigar smokers an option. And a great one too.
The Media Corona — 3.5"x44 — is a medium-full body cigar with some bold flavors that can make you wish you were smoking it alone, just so you can be focused on how good they are. Some notes of dark chocolate, nuts, a bit of honey and some spices.
If you are a fan of Montecristo, give this a try. Despite being a bit strong to enjoy in the morning, pair it with a nice breakfast you will be just fine. The ideal time we found for it is on that mid-afternoon break or even that car ride back home at the end of the day.
6. Trinidad Reyes
The first time we tried this little pigtail guy we were blown away by the amount of flavor it delivered. Coming in a size of 4.38"x40, this Trinidad is the smallest member of the family. Its strong leathery notes are very present right from the start as well as some sharp tobacco and earthiness, giving it a very interesting kick.
This is the perfect cigar for those who enjoy the earthy flavors of the Cohiba Siglo line and the peppery notes of the Montecristo. The Trinidad Reyes provides these notes but keeps them just a tone down in strength.
After a few puffs, it transforms itself and becomes much sweeter and with some vanilla and cocoa notes and also a bit of nutmeg on the retrohale. In the last third, it becomes a bit spicy without losing its composure. A remarkable cigar from one of the most premium brands on the Cuban portfolio.
7. Por Larrañaga Panetelas
Let’s just get this out of the way: this is a short filler cigar. We understand if you skip this paragraph and read the next one. However, let us tell you why you should keep reading.
This is a short-filler cigar with a bigger body and soul than some long-fillers out there. At 5.00"x38, this panetela is a glorious short cigar. The burn is always razor-sharp because the ash does not hold on to it that long and, in this case, this is a good thing. Another good thing is the price. For example, at €79 you can get a box of 25 cigars. That’s €3 per cigar and you have to admit that for a Cuban, it is an incredible budget cigar.
Now, will it be as good as a Partagas Series D No 6? Of course not. But it will be head-to-head with the H. Upmann Half Coronas. The notes you can expect for it are cedar, a bit of salted caramel and a lot of earth and thyme. The band of Por Larrañaga is all golden and this brand is not that well-know and for that matter, it is a great conversation starter and cigars are just the right excuse to start a good conversation.
8. Cohiba Medio Siglo
Maybe the crown-jewel of short cigars. Appretiated by many for its characteristical earthy/grassy notes, typical all across the Siglo line. Compared with all the other cigars on this list, the Medio Siglo is the most expensive, but if you don’t mind spending a couple of coins more, it will deliver.
You can expect a perfect draw almost every time from this medium body cigar. Its size is a tribute to two other sizes on the Siglo line. It has a ring gauge of 52 — same as the big brother Siglo VI — and a length of 4.00" (102mm) — same as the Siglo I.
It is a cigar that evolves a lot in all the thirds. On the first one, you’ll get notes of vanilla and cedar, with a slightly sweet aftertaste. On the second third, it becomes a medium to full body cigars with some pepper to it. On the last third, everything comes together in that nice sourness that Cohiba always offers.
9. Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure De Luxe LCDH
If you are the type of person that likes flavor above all things, look no further. This magical blend from Hoyo de Monterrey is like chocolate: sweet and tasty all the way through. Hoyo is known for producing very tasty cigars with a light to medium strength, making them a safe choice for those who are just starting their cigar journey.
This short cigar — 4.50”x52 — offers great consistency in all boxes, with few to none construction problems. It is a special release for the La Casa del Habano, perfect for those that love second band cigars. The aging potential is huge as the flavors tend to mellow out and become even sweeter after only 2 years.
The flavors are overall sweet, ranging from chocolate, coffee, cream, and vanilla. There is only one issue with this Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure De Luxe. After having one, you’ll want to light up another.
10. Quai D’Orsay No 50
This cigar probably represents the best marketing campaign from Habanos since the beginning of time. The strategy was simple: get a good blend, revive a brand with a lot of exclusivity in the old days, make a short cigar and sell it cheap. Done, instant success.
The Quai D’Orsay is a great light cigar and the first thing that gets your attention is the very light wrapper, not usual in Cuban cigars (not as light, at least). The flavors are humble but delicious. It is not a cigar that will evolve much in all the thirds, but if you are looking for an affordable short and light cigar, give this one a try.
The flavors you can expect to get are cream, nuts, and a bit of woodiness at the end of it. The final spiciness in your tongue might remind you of a Hoyo de Monterrey, but a bit shy nonetheless. This is the last cigar on our list and, quite frankly, on our preference too.
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