The Best Clove Cigarette Brands: Ultimate Guide

Best Clove Cigarette Brands


Love them or hate them, clove cigarette brands are a reality. Despite the bans and unclear regulations regarding clove cigarettes, these brands are virtually everywhere, catering to virtually every need and taste. A majority of these brands are based out of Indonesia, the home and the biggest market for clove cigarettes. Before we explore the best brands, let’s get a lowdown on what clove cigarettes are and why you need to reconsider your decision to embrace them. 

Clove Cigarettes Spelled Out:

A blend of tobacco, grounded clove, and clove oil makes a clove cigarette. Cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, and other spices might be a part of the mix to boost the flavor profile. Call them clove cigarettes, Kretek cigarettes, or Kreteks – all mean the same. Interestingly, the local name, Kretek, comes from the distinctive sound burning cloves make. Read More… 

Origin From Indonesia, the largest market for clove cigarettes
Composition Typically 60-80% tobacco, 20-40% ground clove buds, and clove oil
Dimensions Longer and slimmer than regular cigarettes
Color Typically brown or tan, with variations based on their composition
Filters Some have filters, some are filterless, and others have a cork-style tip
Unique Feature Dual-flavor option, offering both regular tobacco and clove sensations
Health Risks Similar risks as traditional cigarettes, including cancer and heart disease
Legal Status Subject to bans and regulations, varying across regions and countries
Clove Cigarette Price Slightly higher than regular cigarettes due to unique composition
Smoke Thicker smoke yet less harsh & easier to inhale than regular ones
Flavor The spiciness of cloves is complemented by a subtle sweetness of artificial sweeteners 
Complexity A layered and complex flavor profile and an olfactory delight
Target Customers Marketed to youngsters due to their sweet taste disguising the effects of smoking
Top Brands Marlboro Clove Cigarette, Classic Clove Cigarette, Djarum Black Kretek cigarettes, Gudang Garam, Sampoerna, and more

What Clove Cigarette Brands Hide?

The signs are encouraging for cigarette brands in India and beyond. The clove cigarette market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is gearing up for a 5.7% growth from 2022 to 2027, resulting in a whopping USD 8,588.22 million increase in the market size. But why the buzz? Well, it’s all about the new products hitting the shelves, a surge in demand thanks to the rise of organized retailing, and, the ever-growing number of smokers in APAC.

However, popularity comes at a cost. Here, the cost is your health and life. Note that, clove cigarettes are as big a health hazard as their regular counterparts. Research links them to cancers, and some serious ailments of the heart, lungs, and brain. The culprit is the excessive amount of tar, carbon monoxide, and carcinogens they deliver.

Research Insights

Here’s what a growing body of research has to say. 

  • Tar & CO in Abundance:

If the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Report (2021) is to go by, clove cigarettes carry more tar and carbon monoxide than regular smoke. So, you run a higher risk of cancer. 

  • Mystery Ingredients:

Clove cigarette brands keep the ingredients secret. The Toxicology Research speaks of the presence of clindamycin (an antibiotic) and octodrine (an amphetaminic stimulant) in kreteks that can compromise your health big time.    

  • Health Problems on the Horizon:

The PubMed Central report from 2021 isn’t pulling punches. It associates clove cigarettes with issues like asthma, oral diseases, heart troubles, and even heart attacks. That’s a reason big enough to rethink your decision to smoke. 

Best Clove Cigarette Brands:

Now that you know the ins and outs of the clove cigarette, it’s time to focus on the best clove cigarette brands in India and the world. From the globally acclaimed Marlboro Clove Cigarette to authentic Indonesian gems like Djarum Black 20 Kretek cigarettes, our evidence-based list spills the beans on all the top picks and more. On the note that smoking is deadly, let’s begin.

Brand  Manufacturer Country of Origin Market Share
Djarum Black Clove Cigarette PT Djarum Indonesia 25%
Sampoerna  PT HM Sampoerna Indonesia 23%
Gudang Garam   PT Gudang Garam Indonesia 20%
Bentoel   PT Bentoel Internasional Indonesia 7%
Wismilak  PT Gelora Djaja  Indonesia 3%
LA Lights PT Djarum Indonesia  2.5%
Kretek International Kretek International Inc. USA N/A
Minak Djinggo   PT Nojorono Tobacco International Indonesia N/A 
Marlboro Clove Cigarette Phillips Morris International USA N/A 
Camel R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company USA N/A

1. Djarum Black

It’s hands down the world’s leading Clove Cigarette brand with a 23% market share and presence in over 50 countries. Manufactured by the Djarum Group, the cigarette offers everything you associate with a Kretek, great taste and lasting mouthfeel, smooth draw, and a decent nicotine hit. Founded in 1951, Djarum used aggressive marketing to attract and retain customers. Plus, it offers plenty of choices, including the iconic Djarum Black 20 kretek cigarettes.

Popular Djarum Clove Cigarette Brands:

Djarum Black Clove Cigarette The iconic black-papered cigarette ticks due to its secret recipe and flavors
Djarum Special Clove Cigarette Smooth milder clove flavors in both regular and gum mint varieties
Other Variants Djarum Super Menthol, Djarum 76, Djarum Cherry, and more 
Djarum Black 20 Kretek Cigarette Price in India: INR 250 

2. Sampoerna:  

Make way for the largest tobacco company in Indonesia with a 23% share in the clove cigarette market. Founded in 1913, it is credited with kickstarting commercial kretek cigarette manufacturing and rolling out 40+ top-selling kretek varieties to date. Its best-selling brand, Sampoerna A, debuted in 1934 and continues to enthrall smokers with its unique eugenol formula and distinctive flavors. Sampoerna’s ownership changed hands in 2005 when Philip Morris International acquired it for $5.2 billion. This helped strengthen Sampoerna’s distribution and competitiveness.

Popular Sampoerna Clove Cigarette Brands: 

Sampoerna A Mild A mellower, smoother version; best-seller alongside Black Clove Cigarette
Sampoerna A Magnum A longer, slimmer “king size” format
Sampoerna A Star A special edition marking the brand’s 100th anniversary, featuring gold tobacco flakes
Other Variants Sampoerna Kretek Mintz, Sampoerna K, Sampoerna U
Sampoerna A Mild Price: $ 41.95

3. Gudang Garam 

With a 20% market share, Gudang Garam simply walks into the list of the best clove cigarette brands in India. Founded by Surya Wonowidjoyo in 1958, the brand offers regular, mellow, slim, and special editions to support diverse customer needs. Gudang Garam was among the pioneers of kretek exports. Presently, it employs 27,000+ workers for production and processing. A consistent taste and balanced clove and tobacco notes make it one of the top female cigarette brands in India.  

Popular Gudang Garam Clove Cigarette Brands: 

Gudang Garam International Flagship; known for its distinctive taste and aroma
Gudang Garam Surya Reputation for its quality cloves and smooth signature tobacco blend
Gudang Garam Surya Pro Mild It is a smoother, mellower version with less clove kick
Gudang Garam Surya Pro Deep Taste Full-bodied rich clove flavors for seasoned kretek smokers
Gudang Garam Surya SLIM Ladies’ clove cigarette brand with thinner narrow-sized sticks
Gudang Garam Price in India: INR 249

4. Bentoel 

Financial reports put Bentoel’s global clove cigarette market share at 7%. In Indonesia, the market share is even higher, between 12-15%. Launched in 1970 with distinct white packaging, Bentoel produces regular Machine-made Kreteks, Mild Kreteks, and White Cigarettes. In 2009, British American Tobacco overtook it for $494 million. With that, Bentoel added Dunhill, a luxury cigarette brand, and Vuse, a top vape brand, to its product portfolio in Indonesia.  

Popular Bentoel Clove Cigarette Brands:

Bentoel Biru Signature Offering; Known for its smooth mellow clove flavors
Bentoel Mild Lighter clove variant targeted at mass market
Bentoel Slim Thinner compact-sized sticks with a niche appeal
Club Masimal Higher quality limited edition variant
Bentoel Biru Price: $ 38.95

5. Wismilak: 

Founded in 1938, Wismilak is among the oldest and the leading clove cigarette brands in India. Its 5% market share speaks for its popularity and cherished heritage. Wismilak offers a vast variety of hand-rolled and machine-rolled clove cigarettes in filterless and filter formats. A selection of Cigars and Filter Rods is also available. The brand also sponsors several local sports clubs whose alumni have grabbed Olympic medals in weightlifting and other sports. 

Popular Wismilak Clove Cigarette Brands:

Wismilak Diplomat The company’s bestseller, known for its signature spice mix and tobacco blend
Wismilak International A smoother and more affordable version for everyday smokers
Wismilak Deep Taste A recent launch, known for bolder clove flavors
Wismilak Slims Unfiltered slim clove cigarettes with lower levels of tar and nicotine
Wismilak Kretek Price: $ 59.95

6. LA Light

Meet L.A. Light, one of the top clove cigarette brands with a market share of 2.5%. Owned by PT Djarum, the brand that also owns the Djarum Black Clove Cigarette, LA Light offers a triple blend of cloves and tobacco, giving you that smooth, light vibe. Launched in 1996, it quickly struck a chord with youngsters and females with its sleek, stylish aura and pearly-white packaging. LA Light offers a strong clove kick and a subtle fruity hint resembling lychee.

Popular LA Lights Clove Cigarette Brands:

LA Light Ice Indonesia’s best-selling menthol cigarette, known for a smooth and icy flavor
Djarum LA Light (10 packs) Price: $ 37.95

7. Kretek International

Kretek International doesn’t produce clove cigarettes but makes them accessible to Americans. As the leading importer and distributor of specialty tobacco products in the US, Kretek International is associated with some of the top clove cigarette brands. Djarum Black, Sampoerna, and Bentoel – you name it. The company also introduced DJEEP Paris, one of the world’s top cigarette lighter brands, and Tajmahal, one of the top Bidi brands in the US. Following the ban on flavored cigarettes in 2009, it has been selling kreteks as filtered cigars in the US while preserving original blends.

Popular Kretek International Clove Cigarette Brands:

Djarum Black Clove Cigarette Sampoerna Bentoel

8. Minak Djinggo   


When Minak Djinggo made its way into the market in 1984, the local fishermen and sailors took an instant liking to it. Reason? Well, the kretek came wrapped with paraffin, making it water-resistant. It was cheap, filterless, and packed a punch with a strong clove kick and aroma. On the downside, the kretek unloaded excessive tar (38 mg) and nicotine (2.4 mg). The brand is owned by Nojorono Tobacco Int., the fourth-largest Indonesian kretek producer as of 2019.

Popular Minak Djinggo Clove Cigarette Brands

Minak Djinggo Nojorono Minak Djinggo Rempah  Special Edition: Minak Djinggo 76
Minak Djinggo Price: 

9. Marlboro Clove Cigarette

Make way for the leading clove cigarette India, Marlboro Clove Cigarette. Owned by Phillips Morris International, Marlboro Clove Cigarette offers a hallmark flavor profile with a blend of the finest tobacco and cloves. If its spicy, sweet, yet bold aroma fails to impress you, the cooling and invigorating effect will. At 84mm, the Marlboro Clove Cigarette is a kingsize cigarette that contains tar (6 mg) and nicotine (0.5 mg) within “acceptable” limits. 

Popular Marlboro Clove Cigarette Brands

Marlboro Filter Black Clove Cigarette The latest Marlboro product, with a fine blend of Clove Cigarettes and White Cigarettes for a smoother taste 
Marlboro Clove Cigarette Price in India: INR 450

Clove Cigarette Brands: Takeaway

So, that was my take on the top clove cigarette brands in India and the world. These brands continue to stand out for their unique flavors, quality blends, and a touch of cultural heritage. From the boldness of Djarum and the smoothness of L.A. Lights to the robust character of Minak Djinggo, each brand brings something special to the table.

Clove Cigarette Brands: FAQs

  • Can I get original clove cigarette brands in India?

Yes. Several clove cigarette brands like Marlboro Clove Cigaratte, Black Clove Cigarette, Classic Clove Cigarette, Gudang Garam International, and more readily available online.

  • What is the clove cigarette price?

It depends on the brand and seller. However, these kreteks cost more than regular cigarettes due to their unique composition and manufacturing process.