Cigars

11 Best Gas Station Cigars That Are Actually Worth It

The best gas station cigars can function as a pretty good band-aid until you get home to your humidor.

For just a few bucks, you can land a fair few reasonable substitutes – if you’re looking in the right place.

Best overall
blackwoods

Backwoods

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easiest to smoke
black and mild

Black and Mild

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SMOOTH pick
dutch masters

Dutch Masters

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Not all gas station cigars are created equal. I’ve come across some trash on road trips that I’d rather forget.

Let me help you skip all that nonsense. Here are my top picks for gas station cigars:

TOP PICKS

Gas Station Cigars – Our Top Picks

BackwoodsBest-tasting Gas Station Cigar

Black and MildEasiest Gas Station Cigars to Smoke

Dutch MastersMost Widely Available Gas Station Cigars


And the best of the rest…

NUb CigarsBest for When You Want a “Real” Cigar

Macanudo Cafe Creamy Gas Station Cigars

Avanti Cigars Liquorice-flavored Gas Station Cigars

Garcia y VegaA Step up From Backwoods

Parodi Aged Gas Station Cigars

Braniff CigarsBest Classic Cigarillos

Prime Time Little CigarMost Outlandish Flavors

Arango SportsmanBest for a Longer Smoke


Our 3 Best Gas Station Cigars

Backwoods – Best-tasting Gas Station Cigars

When I think of gas station cigars, Backwoods are the first that come to mind.

blackwoods

Backwoods

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The cigars themselves are hardly the sleekest things. They look a little ugly and misshapen – but for me, that’s part of the charm.

Backwoods are solid, dependable, and probably the most popular gas station cigar in the US. The purists may look down on them, but there’s a reason you can find them in every gas station. The value for money here is immense. 

This classic American brand is one of the only machine-made cigars with a broadleaf wrapper. You’re getting gas station prices and convenience, without having to compromise with a man-made wrapper.

Backwoods use Cuban seed tobacco as the filler and come in a variety of flavors. They range from spicy, deep, and smokey all the way to fruity sweet.

My personal favorites are the Honey Berry Backwoods. They’re sweet without being cloying, and with enough berry-sharpness to keep things interesting. I love the nice, big body on the smoke – they’re a solid 8/10 smoke for me. 

They’ve also got a few more flavors to choose from:


Black and Mild – Easiest Gas Station Cigars to Smoke

Black and Milds are known for their characteristic wood tip, perfect for rookies looking for something easy to smoke. You’re never going to get any tobacco in your mouth from these smokes.

black and mild

Black and Mild

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They were very popular in the nineties, and it almost feels as though the price hasn’t increased since then. They’re super cheap.

These smooth, slightly sweet cigars come in a variety of strengths and flavors and are easy to find in most gas stations.

They’re produced by the John Middleton Co. out of Pennsylvania, and use their bespoke pipe tobacco as filler. Compared to other gas station cigars it’s incredibly smooth, another bonus for beginners who might find regular cigars hard to handle.

While there are plenty of flavors available (Apple, Cream… even Wine) my favorites are still the originals. They remind me of my younger days, stopping on long drives for a smoke and a coffee. Nostalgia central.


Dutch Masters – Most Widely Available Gas Station Cigars

Dutch Masters are available at almost every gas station and are the perfect option for people looking for flavored smokes.

dutch masters

Dutch Masters

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Their fusion flavor range can run as cheap as a buck, so it’s a pretty low-risk investment. They come in packs of 2 or 3, which is sort of perfect for what gas station cigars should be – a decent band-aid until you can get back home to your humidor. 

For something a little more substantial, try out their Sports smokes. These thicker, more flavourful cigarillos offer a richer and longer experience than the fusions and come in delicious variants like honey or chocolate.

These cigarillos should not be compared with premium cigars. I think of them more as a sweet treat that still manages to give me a smokey satisfaction, while not adding to my waistline.

These wallet-friendly smokes are particularly good for travel because they come sealed, foil fresh sleeves. Plus, because there are only two in a pouch, you’ll almost definitely have smoked them before they start to dry out at all.

A worthy substitute when I’m on a trip, not a fine work of art that will impress other people.


Best of the Rest – Gas Station Cigars

NUb – Best for When You Want a “Real” Cigar

NUb cigars are short and fat cigars, designed to offer the most enjoyable part of a cigar without being a “quick smoke”.

nub cigar

NUb Cigars

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All nubs are between 3 ½ and 4 inches, and they tend to have a wider ring gauge to compensate. This means that a nub can last as long, and contain as much tobacco, as a far longer cigar like a Presidente or Churchill.

The NUb brand is produced by the Olivia company in their Nicaragua factory, with the same level of care and quality ingredients as the primary brand.

Despite their smaller form factor, NUb cigars hold up perfectly well in terms of flavor and draw when compared to traditional, premium cigars. 

The smoke is velvety and smooth, with nutty spiced notes that feel decadent and complex. These are not cheap gas station cigarillos, they’re legitimately good stogies.


Macanudo Cafe – Best Creamy Gas Station Cigar

Macanudo is like NUb to some extent. The quality here is much better than some of the more popular cigarillos on this list, but with that comes an increase in price, too.

macanudo cigar tin

Macanudo

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Because of this, it’s far rarer to find a Macanudo in a gas station than a Backwood, for instance. But, every now and again, they do show up – and they’re perfect for the Gent who wants a smoke on the road without compromising on a luxury experience. 

These short cigars are handmade in the Dominican Republic, which has garnered them a cult following from people sick of mass-produced, machine-rolled smokes.

Each smoke comes in an individual “freshness pack”, which makes them a perfect choice for road trips. If the pack stays sealed, you’ll have an immaculate smoke available whenever you need it, regardless of the weather conditions. Everything stays perfectly preserved, so the integrity of the cigar is almost guaranteed. 

Macanudo Cafe Court Cigars are $20.45 for a pack of 5 via Famous Smoke Shop


Avanti – Best Liquorice-flavored Gas Station Cigar

Avanti Cigars stand out through their use of quality ingredients. All of their Kentucky/ Tennessee tobacco is aged for at least two years, before being dry cured using hickory and oak.

avanti cigar

Avanti Cigars

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In fact, Avanti is the only large producer in the US that still dry cures their smokes. This process allows the sugars of the leaf to ferment naturally, producing a characteristic light sweetness that I’ve been unable to find elsewhere. 

They don’t use any artificial binders, and when the cigars are rolled, they’re left to age for at least a month.

As a result, their smokes are uniquely rich, warm, and spiced.

They offer a range of flavors including vanilla, cherry, and mocha – but my favorite is the licorice-esque “anisette”. It’s a love-it or hate-it flavor, but if you’re into aniseed it’s a must-try.

Avanti Anisettes are available for $6.35 for a pack of five via Famous Smoke Shop.


Garcia y Vega – Best Step up From Backwoods

Garcia y Vega has been producing cigars since 1882, and their experience shows. They’re one of the best machine-made cigarillos out there, so you should snap one up if you’re lucky enough to find one at a gas station.

garcia y vega

Garcia y Vega

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Because they’re good quality but still relatively affordable, they’ve become known as an introductory cigar for younger smokers looking to move from Blackwoods, etc to more premium smokes. 

They use high-quality Caribbean basin Cuban seed tobacco, wrapped inside Indonesian tobacco leaf. The elements combine to produce a light and aromatic flavor, perfectly preserved by FoilFresh packaging.

For the price, you’ll be hard pushed to find better quality – particularly in a gas station.

Garcia y Vega Elegantes are available for $52.95 for a pack of 50 via Famous Smoke Shop.


Parodi – Best Aged Gas Station Cigars

Parodi are short, Italian-style cigars made with aged American tobacco.

parodi cigar

Parodi

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Parodi means “good taste”, and you can’t really argue with that assessment. They’re owned by Avanti, so benefit from the same Dark Fire curing process and radiant Kentucky tobacco fields.

Produced out of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Parodi cigars are medium-bodied with a satisfyingly smooth effect.

If you’re a fan of lightly flavored cigars, they’ve got some delicious Ammezzati and Cherry Vanilla blends that will make you feel like you’re having dessert.

Parodi Kings are available for $6.35 for a pack of five via Famous Smoke Shop.


Braniff – Best Classic Cigarillos

Braniff Cigars have been going since 1888, started in Switzerland by husband and Wife Jean and Louis Villiger.

braniff

Braniff Cigars

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They’ve been charming Europe for over a century with their Chio cigarillos, but they’ve only been available in the US since 2002.

These affordable cigarillos are inspired by the Caribbean methods, encasing Cuban seed filling in a long and thin natural wrapper. They’re affordable and smooth, making them a great option as a no-brainer gas station cigar.

Braniff Cigars are available from $1.28 per single or $37.99 for a box of 50 via Famous Smoke Shop


Prime Time Little Cigar – Most Outlandish Flavors

Prime Time cigars are known for some pretty “out there” flavors.

prime time

Prime Time

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I mean, watermelon? Fireball? Some of these cigarillos remind me more of vapes than cigars.

These cigars are machine produced in the US and measure 3 inches in length with a ring gauge of 20. They get their flavor from a sweet flavored filter at the tip, rather than tobacco that’s been directly infused itself.

Either way, they do a good job of mimicking the flavors they’re going for, even if they are sometimes a little too sweet for my tastes.

They’re one of the cheaper options on the list, so even if you try a weird flavor and don’t particularly enjoy it, you’ve hardly wasted a fortune. 

I’m a big fan of their “dragonfruit flavor”, which is definitely not something I’ve seen elsewhere.


Arango Sportsman – Best for a Longer Smoke

Sportsmans are probably closer to the cigar end of the spectrum than cigarillos, but they’re still small enough for a quick 30-45 minute smoke.

arango sportsman

Arango Sportsman

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They’ve got a touch of vanilla to them, and are smooth enough to smoke right down to the end.

They use Dominican and Honduran tobacco, encased in an Ecuadorian wrap. So, quite a range of ingredients – but they all come together beautifully.


FAQs – What You Should Know About the Best Gas Station Cigars


For more information on how to get hold of gas station cigars, check out some of our buyer’s guides:

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