Alternatives to Guantanamera Cuban Cigars

Here is my rundown of alternatives to Guantanamera Cuban Cigars, one of poorest Cigar brands to come out of Cuba.

I've come across time and time again the scenario where someone, who wants to buy one Cigar just for that one-off special occasion, not knowing any better, ending up purchasing one of the worst ever brands to come out of Cuba - Guantanamera.

Established in 2002, Habanos SA decided to license the brand to Internacional Cubana de Tabacos sometime after 2005. The tobacco used is from the Vuelta Arriba region. This region is known to produce lesser quality tobacco than other regions of Cuba. Short filler is used, and all Cigars are machine made.

Now, enough of the history lesson, let me explain why I'm not a fan of the Guantanamera brand. Firstly, I don't think I've ever come across a positive review of any of the vitolas that are part of the Guantanamera brand. They are bland, uninspiring and very un-Cuban when it comes to the flavours.

Guantanamera Cristales
The plastic tube does not indicate that the Guantanamera Cristales is a special or excellent Cigar.

Secondly, the plastic tube does not do anything to enhance the Cigar. Actually, it's no doubt a marketing trick to entice novice smokers into purchasing the Cigar. It is a well known fact that tubes, plastic, glass or aluminium actually help age the Cigar, where it develops almost like a bouquet of flavours, much like a wine in a bottle effect. However, this only applies if the Cigar in question is of good quality to begin with. Like the old saying goes, you can't turn shit into gold.

Last but not least, there are other Cigars from other more famous brands that cover all the bases of that the Guantanamera tries to cover but fails miserably. You can buy an authentic, hand made Cigar for roughly the same price of a more revered brand, such as Montecristo or Punch.

Steve's picks on Guantanamera alternatives

So, now I'll get to the point of the article where I'm going to help you the reader pick a Cigar that's a much better alternative to something from the Guantanamera range. I'll be giving you a few suggestions of Cigars that are relatively in the same price range as Guantanamera Cigars, yet are vastly superior in construction, flavour and value for money.

Hoyo de Monterrey - du Depute

  • Width: 4 3/8"
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Price: ~£7.50
  • Smoking Time: 40mins

While Guantanamera are bland and uninspiring, Hoyo de Monterrey are creamy and indulgent. The Hoyo de Monterrey du Depute is a cracker of a little Cigar, and can be smoked any time of the day.

Hoyo de Monterrey de Depute

Montecristo No. 5

  • Width: 4"
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Price: ~£7.00
  • Smoking Time: 45mins

When it comes to choosing a Cigar that does have a little bit of history to it, you can't go wrong with one from the Montecristo marca. The Montecristo No. 5 is a great stepping stone towards it's bigger brothers, as the flavour profile contains similar qualities. A complex mix of sweetness balanced with spice, the No. 5 is unquestionably Montecristo.

Montecristo No. 5

José L. Piedra Cazadores

  • Width: 6"
  • Ring Gauge: 43
  • Price: ~£6.00
  • Smoking Time: 50mins

If you're looking for a Cigar that is a little more rustic, a Cigar that is more representative in terms of what a Cuban smokes, then you're in the correct ball park with the José L. Piedra Cazadores. A word of warning, the Cazadores, meaning hunter in Spanish, is a full bodied smoke. But remember, you want to find out what it is to smoke a Cuban Cigar in it's truest, roughest sense. You're not going to discover anything when you smoke a Guantanamera, so don't be afraid to purchase this Cigar instead.

José L Piedra Cazadores

Punch Petit Corona

  • Width: 5 1/8"
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Price: ~£8.50
  • Smoking Time: 1hr

Like the Hoyo de Monterrey brand above, the flavour profile of the Punch brand is more of a creamy like coffee flavour, but unlike the Hoyo, I find Cigars from the Punch marca to be a little bit more spicy with some earthiness.

Punch Petit Corona

Conclusion

Well, I hope that I've opened your eyes to Cuban Cigars that are much better alternatives than the Cigars in the Guantanamera brand. These Cigars are much, more representative of what actually is a Cuban Cigar really is.

If you think I've missed a Cigar that you think I should include on the list, then why not add a comment below, or email me at cigars@stevegriff.com?

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