Prized for its elegant and delicate flavours, the Dominican Republic is home to some of the most prestigious cigar brands.

In this guide, you will discover our selection of the Best Dominican Cigars:

  1. Davidoff Yamasá
  2. Avo Classic
  3. Fuente Fuente OpusX
  4. La Aurora 1903 Emerald
  5. Davidoff Signature No 2
  6. Ashton VSG
  7. Macanudo Gold Label
  8. Arturo Fuente Hemingway
  9. Montecristo White Series Vintage Connecticut
  10. E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic

You can use the links above to jump ahead. You can also head to the menu below to see we cover.

La Aurora 1903 Emerald Cigar Look & Feel

What Are The Best Dominican Cigars?

Before you discover our top picks of the best Dominican cigars, bear in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list. After all, the Dominican Republic produces a rich diversity of cigars. However, this guide will give you a reliable overview.

Similarly, feel free to leave a comment if you have a personal favourite or feel that we left something out!

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1. Davidoff Yamasá

Davidoff Yamasa Cigar At Saga
  • Filler: Piloto, Condega, Estelí
  • Binder: Yamasá San Vicente
  • Wrapper: Yamasá
  • Preferred Vitola: 6⅛ x 52 Piramide
  • Assembly: Tabadom [Dominican Rep.]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Full
  • Smoking Time: 75 Minutes
  • Pricing: $21 / Single [Buy Now]
Review Coming Soon

A wonderfully unique blend that we first sampled while shooting our Davidoff documentary, the Yamasá is the fruit of 20 years’ work. The Kelner family developed swampland due to the nearby Rio Ozama in order to grow tobacco.

This process produced remarkably rich and earthy tobacco, which is particularly unusual for the Dominican Republic. If you want to sample something that breaks away from the norm, we suggest you discover this wonderfully spicy and earth Davidoff blend.

"Subverting expectations, the Davidoff Yamasá provides a whole new perspective on Dominican tobacco."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

2. Avo Classic

Avo Classic Cigar Look & Feel
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Preferred Vitola: 7.5 x 50 No. 3 Churchill
  • Assembly: OK Cigars, Dominican Republic
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Mild
  • Smoking Time: 85 Minutes
  • Pricing: $11 / Single
Review Coming Soon

A luxurious Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper conceals a Dominican blend in this classic cigar that carries the jazz pianist’s namesake. It provides you with the opportunity to enjoy an experience surprisingly similar to a Davidoff Signature at almost half the price.

Aside from an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, the cigar is comprised entirely of Dominican tobacco. It offers a uniquely creamy and elegant overall experience.

3. Fuente Fuente OpusX

Arturo Fuente Opus X
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Dominican Republic
  • Preferred Vitola: 5¼ x 50 Robusto
  • Assembly: Château de la Fuente [DR]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Medium – Full
  • Smoking Time: 60 Minutes
  • Pricing: $22.38 / Single
Read The Review

Fuente’s flagship blend needs no introduction. Released in 1995, it has been an iconic cigar that represents Dominican savoir-faire for over 25 years.

A Dominican puro, it has been made only using the country’s native tobacco. This composition results in a wonderfully oily cigar with lavish aromas of exotic spices, wood, and salted caramel.

4. La Aurora 1903 Emerald

La Aurora 1903 Emerald Cigar
  • Filler: Barrel-aged Dominican Cibao Valley, Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua
  • Binder: Barrel-aged Dominican Cibao Valley
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Sumatra
  • Preferred Vitola: 5 x 54 Perfecto
  • Assembly: La Aurora [Dominican Republic]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Medium
  • Smoking Time: 50 Minutes
  • Pricing: $21 / Single [Buy Now]
Read The Review

Although a blend consisting of tobaccos from other territories, the La Aurora 1903 Emerald deserves to be on this list for several reasons. Firstly, La Aurora is the Dominican Republic’s oldest cigar manufacturer.

As you’ll learn in our brand guide and as this blend’s name suggests, it was founded in 1903 by Eduardo León Jimenes. Its first cigars were the “Preferidos” figurados to which the 1903 blend pays homage.

Furthermore, the 1903 Emerald makes clever use of its prestigious Cibao Valley tobacco, which can be found in both the binder and filler. When combined with Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Nicaraguan, and Brazilian tobacco, it results in a truly harmonious smoking experience.

5. Davidoff Signature No 2

Davidoff Signature Number 2 Second Third
  • Filler: Dominican Piloto Seco, San Vicente Seco, Olor Seco
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut-Habano Seco Hybrid
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Preferred Vitola: 6 x 38 No. 2 Panatela
  • Assembly: Tabadom, Dominican Republic
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Mild
  • Smoking Time: 45 Minutes
  • Pricing: $20 / single
Read The Review

The aforementioned Davidoff Signature is an undisputed classic cigar. It was both Zino Davidoff and Dr Schneider’s favourite and they were known to enjoy one every morning.

Refined and harmonious, it offers a premium experience that consists of floral tea, cedar, and cream. If you’re looking for a particularly delicate Dominican cigar, it ticks all the boxes.

6. Ashton VSG

Ashton VSG Cigar
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown
  • Preferred Vitola: 7.5 x 54 D. Corona
  • Assembly: Château de la Fuente [DR]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Full
  • Smoking Time: 90 Minutes
  • Pricing: $14 / Single
Review Coming Soon

Produced by Fuente Cigars, VSG stands for “Virgin Sun Grown” and refers to its dark, matured Sumatra wrapper, which is grown at a high altitude.

Meanwhile, both the filler and binder consist of Dominican tobacco from the Fuente estate, which produces a bold and hearty flavour profile.

7. Macanudo Gold Label

Macanudo Gold Label & Espresso Coffee
  • Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano, Mexican
  • Binder: San Andrea Mexican
  • Wrapper: Golden Connecticut
  • Preferred Vitola: 5.2 x 54 Robusto
  • Assembly: General Cigar Company [DR]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Mild – Medium
  • Smoking Time: 60 Minutes
  • Pricing: $9 / Single
Read The Review

An extension of the celebrated Macanudo Café, the Gold Label features high-grade wrapper sourced from only from 1st and 2nd primings of US Connecticut volado leaf.

Its delicate blend delivers a tableau of aromatic herbs with a creamy opening that mellows into a mineral bouquet towards the finish.

Similar to the Avo Classic and Davidoff Signature, it is one a few that have contributed to the Dominican Republic’s reputation for refined mild cigars.

8. Arturo Fuente Hemingway

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Cigar & Omega
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Cameroon
  • Preferred Vitola: 4 x 49 Short Story
  • Assembly: Château de la Fuente [DR]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Mild – Medium
  • Smoking Time: 45 Minutes
  • Pricing: $7.50 / Single [Shop Now]
Read The Review

Fuente’s hommage to Hemingway is another prized blend by one of the Dominican Republic’s most famous cigar producers. It features a Cameroon wrapper while the binder and filler are all Dominican.

Consequently, it produces yeasty and caramelised notes with hints of cedar throughout. Overall, it’s a wonderfully versatile cigar for a contemplative smoke.

9. Montecristo White Series Vintage Connecticut

  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: USA 2008 Vintage Connecticut
  • Preferred Vitola:6.5 x 50 Double Corona
  • Assembly: Tabacalera de García [Dominican Rep.]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Mild – Medium
  • Smoking Time: 75 Minutes
  • Pricing: $14 / single [Buy Now]
Read The Review

Following from the success of the original Montecristo White Series, the Vintage Connecticut swaps out the Ecuadorian wrapper for a genuine American shade-grown from 2008. Furthermore, it adds a hint of Peruvian tobacco in the filler.

Therefore, it has added personality, which is a step away from the mild and creamy experience similar to those offered by Davidoff, Macanudo, and Avo.

10. E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic

EP Carrillo Encore Majestic
  • Filler: Estelí, Condega, Jalapa
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Preferred Vitola: 5 3/8 x 52 Majestic
  • Assembly: Tabacalera La Alianza [DR]
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Medium
  • Smoking Time: 60 Minutes
  • Pricing: $11.60 / Single
Review Coming Soon

Although a Nicaraguan puro, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s critically-acclaimed blend is assembled in the Dominican Republic. Despite the factory’s location, we’d technically consider it to be a Nicaraguan cigar.

However, we still wanted to feature it in this guide to illustrate how the lines can sometimes be quite blurry and we discuss it more below. Otherwise, it’s a magnificent cigar with rich notes of candied citrus fruit and salted caramel.

Dominican Cigar Characteristics

Davidoff Tobacco Field Dominican Republic

Davidoff Tobacco Field, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, which is just 80 km (50 miles) east of Cuba. The two islands are separated by the Atlantic strait called the Windward Passage in which lies the Septentrional-Oriente fault zone.

Given their geographical proximity to one another, it’s no surprise that Cuba and the Dominican Republic tobacco may share some characteristics. However, while they are similar, they are far from identical.

Indeed, the Dominican Republic’s short distance from Cuba was one of the reasons that many exiled settled there following the Revolution. Today, the Dominican Republic hosts its own versions of Montecristo, H. Upmann, Romeo y Julieta, Bolivar, and many others.

Similarly, Davidoff transferred its cigar production from Cuba to the Dominican Republic in 1990. However, this was a strategic decision made following a perceived decline in Cuban cigar quality. You can learn more about Davidoff’s transition in our interview with Dominican tobacco legend Henke Kelner as well as our Davidoff cigars documentary.

Because of these trends in migration during the second half of the 20th century, it’s often believed that the Dominican Republic only recently started producing cigars. However, it has been growing tobacco for the last 400 years.

Emerging Factories

La Aurora Tobacco Field

La Aurora Tobacco Field, Dominican Republic

Although the Dominican Republic had been growing tobacco for centuries, it was often exported and assembled into cigars overseas. In the USA, New York and Tampa, Florida, hosted a plethora of workshops and factories while European manufacturing facilities were found in Spain and Holland.

La Aurora is often credited for having launched the first factory on Dominican soil. Founded in 1903, it initially hosted just six employees and the tobacco was transported from the family’s fields to the factory on the back of a donkey.

As the Dominican Republic’s infrastructure improve, the tobacco industry followed suit and became more established. As mentioned above, a major event was the Cuban Revolution and many of those who fled the country either settled in the USA or the Dominican Republic.

Some cigar manufacturers established new factories in Florida while others chose the Dominican Republic. In either case, the embargo prevented access to Cuban tobacco so they instead worked with Dominican varieties.

Dominican Tobacco Varieties

Klaas Kelner Inspecting Davidoff Pilon

Klaas Kelner, Davidoff

If you read our guide to the best Nicaraguan cigars, you’ll notice that the country mostly focuses on its regions and the notion of terroir. Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic places an emphasis on its own tobacco varieties, which consist primarily of the following:

  • Olor Dominicano: A native variety known for its light and sweet qualities.
  • Piloto Cubano: A Cuban variety noted for its fuller body.
  • San Vicente: A Piloto hybrid that is slightly milder.

While different regions are occasionally mentioned, it’s not quite as common.

This is because tobacco farming in the Dominican Republic tends to be concentrated in a comparatively small area that surrounds the Cibao River Valley near the city of Santiago de los Caballeros. Meanwhile, Nicaragua’s tobacco-growing regions are dotted around different parts of the country.

Finally, you can learn more about the Dominican varieties and how they’re incorporated into cigars with our video on how cigars are rolled that was filmed in the Davidoff factory.

Manufacturing Practices

Davidoff Rolling Factory Floor

Davidoff Galera

It is often claimed that Dominican cigars are milder than those from Nicaragua. However, this belief isn’t quite true. Indeed, this reputation may have been due to the popularity of cigars from Davidoff and Macanudo.

Nevertheless, the Dominican Republic is a very diverse country. Furthermore, like Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic imports and exports tobacco between other countries with the exception of Cuba.

As mentioned in our guide to the best Cuban cigars, the island only makes puros and doesn’t export its tobacco.

As you will have noticed above, Dominican cigars can therefore include tobacco from different countries. While some can argue that it may dilute the Dominican Republic’s identity, it also offers a greater range of diversity to the cigars that it can produce.

Like Cuba, though, Dominican producers will use volado tobacco to make cigars. These large and thin leaves are found at the bottom of the plant and offer mild flavours.

In Nicaragua, these are discarded and only viso, seco, and ligero tobacco is harvested. You can learn more about these with our priming guide.

Consequently, the Dominican Republic has its own traditional and cultural practices, which differentiate it from other countries.

How Did We Rank These Cigars?

Avo XO Cigar First Third

All the cigars listed above have been fully-reviewed or at least formally tested using the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula. This quantifiable review matrix was developed in order to create a fair and balanced methodology.

We first tested this standardised model with our review of the Avo Nicaragua in August 2019. Since then, it has been carefully revised and optimised in order to improve its accuracy.

Therefore, rest assured that the cigars featured here were thoughtfully curated rather than chosen by random.

What Next?

Firstly, did we miss anything out? Feel free to let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, now that you’ve seen the best Dominican cigars, why don’t you also check out our related guides below?

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