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Cigar Tasting Tips with Rene Castaneda of Orleans Group (video)

Every year scores of new cigars are introduced to the market, some by familiar names like Rocky Patel and Alec Bradley, and others by boutique shops like Pura Soul and Viva Republica. So what’s the best way to sift through this yearly surge to find the brands and the blends that suit your palate best? Well, Rene Castaneda of Orleans Group has some helpful advice for fellow cigar smokers trying to navigate this ever growing market.


Hey guys, I’m Rene from Orleans Group, and we’re talking a little bit about cigars today.

Here’s a cigar tip for when you’re trying a new brand. My advice always is, when you’re trying a new cigar, something you’re not familiar with, try to buy the smallest size or Vitola that you might find in the brand.

Usually we as manufacturers, when we’re trying to create a blend, we create the blend on the smallest size and then replicate the blend in the bigger sizes. We don’t start from the bigger to the smaller. So the best way for you to know what we were trying to accomplish in the blend is to smoke the smallest size. It might be a Corona. It might be a Robusto. Whatever was the smallest size that you find, the Vitola, go for that one before you go into any weird or larger or bigger cigars. Don’t just go with the fact that it has to be the bigger cigar that will be the best. Try first the smallest one. Give it a try, see if you like it, and then move to the other size, because now you know what we were trying to accomplish with the blend.

So in this case, the advice is always, start with the smaller cigars, and then move on into the brand to see if you like the brand. Enjoy cigars, find your cigars at, and have a good winter.