When CStoreCigars first began, not even but a little over three years ago, the cigarillo market was dominated by a few brands that it seemed EVERYONE smoked. Black & Mild was (and still is) one of the top sellers in every corner store. Swisher was number one worldwide in sales volume (and still is!) and it seemed to be here in the US, as well. You couldn't find Backwoods anywhere due to a shortage in leaf. And the rest of the players - White Owl, Game, Dutch, and a handful of others - all had significant market share on convenience store shelves.
Skip ahead to today - and you'll find not only has the market changed - but the landscape of cigarillos is now changing to a more centralized market not only on a regional level - but even down to the city in some areas. There are brands out now that you may never even heard of - but they are some of the top sellers in other areas of the country - who may wind up at the top of the heap somewhere down the road. There are multiple reasons for this happening. One - many large distributors of tobacco products figured out they could make their own brands and sell them to their retail customers for a larger profit due to diminishing profits from large manufacturers. It also gives them more control of their own supply chain both internationally and domestically. Production and shipping during tough times when large manufacturers couldn't keep up with demand due to drastic weather conditions where tobacco is produced and events like Covid resulted in empty shelves. You'll find these copycat versions most anywhere with names that sound like the version the mimic. Some are actually pretty good - and some others - mmmmhh...not so much.
The legalization of marijuana also changed things such that cigarillo sales have increased in every state where it has been legalized already.
So - as of today - we can't really determine the ranking on a national level of ALL cigarillo brands because some you'll only find sold in certain areas of the country. Give it a few years until the market shakes out some of the newer brands and we'll do another review of them then. But for now - we're trusting one of the biggest cannabis influencer's in the industry and his take on some of the bigger names in cigarillos ranked from worst to best. Not every cigarillo is on this list - but I would be willing to bet it covers at least 80-90% of cigarillo smokers, depending on where you live.
There are many characteristics that are important to a cigarillo smoker - whether you are smoking them as a cigar (which believe it or not- a LOT of people do!) or gutting them and rolling them up with your finest cheeba. Burn time, staleness, flavor and availability are some of the top reasons someone would choose one brand over another. One other is affordability - but if are choosing one brand over another just because it's much cheaper - well, as they say - you might just get what you pay for...
So- without further ado - here are eight brands that DeezysGasStation has ranked in cigarillo brands based on the above. You may or may not agree with this list - please comment on the list - or send us some of your own choices and why you think they are some of the best (or worst!) and we'll work on an updated one soon!Good Times' brand, 4 Kings. Based out of Tampa, FL, Good Times does massive volume across the country with brands such as 4 Kings, City Life, #HD and more. They likely have the most extensive flavor list you'll find on the planet - although your local store may only carry a few popular flavors for their shelves. Deezy puts them at the bottom of the list for one main reason and that's they burn the back of your throat when you smoke them. (He also makes a point that - they sell 4 for 99 cents and "that should just tell you what they will taste like!") So - while they are widely popular in sale volume - they very well may not be your go-to when choosing a wrap. Some of the more popular flavors of 4 Kings are Sweet and Delicious and Watermelon.
Also sold by Altadis, USA, Dutch Masters is considered one of the oldest cigarillos on the market and probably one of the best. Dutch Palma's are one of the top selling cigars by far just for their consistency. Always fresh, great tobacco flavor and rarely any production issues - Dutch Masters is offered in a handful of flavors in a smaller version of their full size cigars that many people smoke - hence why they are sometimes called "mini-Dutches".
Now to the top three-
Swisher's. As we've pointed out in the past, Swisher is the top selling cigar brand worldwide. You won't find another brand comparable in sales by far - and the depth of Swisher's line will likely always take up half of C-store and smoke shop shelves for years to come. Outside their line of cigars that millions of people buy, their cigarillo line consists of cigarillos, mini's, BLK, and Leaf's to mention a few. Also known for their flavors, Swisher is one of the top manufacturer's to get flavoring right. They may have had a few not-so-great flavors in the past - but to get so many flavors on point and maintain consistency in production attests to Swisher's dominance in the market. In addition, Swisher is also entrenched in the hip-hop industry offering several contests each year promoting creative expression with A-List parties and events.
Deezy puts Garcia Vega's at number 2 for the simple reason that they are consistent and not a lot of flavors. Like Dutch Masters, Garcia Vega is one of the longest standing cigarillo companies in the world with it's beginning dating back to 1882. (Hence, their newest 1882 line). Smooth draw, perfect taste and no burn - Garcia Vega's have been a long time favorite of blunt "connoisseurs".
And topping the list, Deezy puts Garcia Vega's "baby" at number one - Game. Based on flavor, availability, burn time and consistency - Game is one of the most popular cigarillo brands today found almost hand in hand with Swisher in every corner store or smoke shop in the country. Whether you're into flavors or no flavor (Diamond is one the top natural cigars you'll find anywhere) - Game will satisfy just about any blunt smoker on the planet. And not bad for a line that came on the market in 2007. Who knows? If the market continues the way it's trending - we could see a day where Game becomes the top seller worldwide!
As honorable mention - Deezy puts Swisher's Optimo's just above Phillies on his list. Optimo's have been a long-time favorite of many promoting a "slow-burn". But as Deezy puts it - they really just go out every ten to fifteen seconds, which is why they didn't make it higher on his list. You'll also find in times when production is an issue - you're likely to find Optimo's missing on store shelves more than other brands due to the tobacco used.