Updated 12 July 2019: Some cigars in the sampler were changed due to availability. Extra care was taken to ensure that the overarching principles were still present, and that each cigar remained flavorful without pepper.
Someone recently asked on @MooCowRich’s Instagram about cigars that don’t exhibit the pepper tasting notes. Now, I figure we could write a little about pepper in two ways: get creative with it, or toss out some of the usual suspects. Here are a few of those common recommendations that come to mind:
- Stick to Cubans, they are less peppery by default
- Stick to Connecticut wrappers for the same reason
- Stock up on Macanudo or Montecristo White Series
- Accept that you're a classic Davidoff patron and loosen your wallet
- Get over it Bruh
None of the first four bullet points are terrible, mind you, but they’re lacking an appreciation of this gentleman’s root problem: it’s not that he doesn’t want to explore the wide world of cigars, he just isn’t a fan of pepper. Let's not throw away the baby with the bathwater and assume that you can't enjoy boutique cigars without enjoying pepper. Also, there are peppery Cubans as well as Connecticut wrapped boom sticks.
So today we put together an ensemble of cigars that offer a variety of flavor sans the pepper. Thanks to Rich for the suggestion!
Zino Platinum Scepter Chubby
The original cream machine, Zino Platinum is an incredible cigar for those that enjoy a silky smooth experience. I’ve been recommending this cigar to two groups of people ever since my first one: those that enjoy cream cigars, and those that want to avoid pepper. It’s never let me down, and continues to be the creamiest cigar on the market. Seriously, you could conquer habaneros with this stick.
Bespoke Basilica A Toro
While each Basilica is blended differently to achieve separate goals, the Basilica A holds a special place in my heart. Firstly, it features an interesting foot that allows you to taste the binder and filler without the wrapper. Secondly, it’s just a buffet of easy-going flavors without overtaxing your palate. If that doesn’t whet your whistle, you should know that I’d place this cigar in my top 5 experiences for the year.
Campesino Buey Manso
The return of Campesino this year was an answered prayer. It was like the rekindling of a friendship, or the return of a cancelled tv show. Firefly fans, y’all know the deal! This cigar is versatile, extremely affordable, and became a cult classic to everyone that had the chance to smoke it back in 2016. Now that they’ve returned, I invite you to give them a shot – especially if you’re also hunting cigars that aren’t peppery.
Crowned Heads Le Careme Robusto
Just because you’re not into pepper doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a variety of flavors. These last two picks emphasize unique flavors that you can’t find anywhere else while dropping the flavor that you like the least. Le Careme hits a particular note of chocolate that’s borderline bitter and hangs in that space for the duration of the smoke. I remember just a pinch of pepper in the first couple puffs, but that quickly dissipates into what some call Soufflé tasting notes.
Caldwell Long Live the King My Style is Jalapeno
Our last pick is a love or hate cigar. It’s funny to me (I’m in the love category) but this cigar is as polarizing as it gets without a smidge of middle ground. What’s it like? Three words: cinnamon buttercream icing. Yup! Take this beauty nice and slow, kick your feet up, and prepare for a one-of-a-kind experience that you can only find in the Caldwell Collection.
Tell Us! Which cigars do YOU feel are excellent for our pepper hating connoisseurs?