Top cigars

To novices, smoking a cigar — hell, just venturing into a local cigar store to buy one — can feel more daunting than fun. The mechanics of properly smoking one (how to draw without inhaling?) don’t come naturally. Faux pas (when to ash the thing?) abound. And then there’s the basic question of which cigar, in a room stuffed with boxes of the things, to buy.

You’re not imagining it: cigar smoking is full of tradition, ritual and enigma. The good news, says Pierre Rogers, is that cigar smokers form a natural, welcoming community — acolytes not just to the rolled leaf, but to lighting them up together.

Community is Rogers’s purview. He’s the founder of PuroTrader, the world’s largest peer-to-peer cigar trading platform, hosted in an online service that also includes community-created cigar ratings, forums and blog posts. Rogers created the service as a searchable e-humidor for collectors after discovering that someone had stolen a single cigar out of a prized box he’d been saving for over a decade. “Initially, we set out to create a way for every collector for free to build an online humidor — a way to catalog their own collection, take notes on each cigar, and then make it searchable. You could log on and look at anybody’s humidor, anywhere in the world. The inevitable conclusion to that was, ‘You got something I want — how do we make that happen?'” he says.

A baseline of knowledge will help you focus on those pleasures and making new friends, rather than discerning the difference between a V cut and a straight cut. So I asked Rogers to give me a rundown of cigar etiquette and basic knowledge, along with the cigars he loves most, across a range of prices and through the common categories of mild-, medium-, and full-bodied. Consider them a good starting place to figure out what you like and don’t like.

The Short List

How to Smoke a Cigar

Step 1: Cut the cigar.

“Before you light it, you’ve got to cut it. The trick with a cut is when you look at any cigar, any shape, you can see where the roller has rolled an extra cap line between the wrapper of the cigar and head of the cigar. When you cut, you want to cut just above that line. You’re only removing the cap. You’re not cutting into the wrapper. If you cut into the wrapper, i.e. you cut a little too much off of the top, it will start to unravel and fall apart in your mouth. There are several different kinds of cuts: A straight cut is the classic way to do it.” — Pierre Rogers

Step 2. Toast the foot.

“[Use] a match or a butane lighter. You want to use the heat, not the flame. You want the cigar to be a quarter inch to an inch above the flame, and you want to toast the foot of that cigar. Rotate the cigar and toast. You should be literally toasting it. Browning just the edges, just barely. Don’t get any char or flame on the wrapper. — Pierre Rogers

Step 3: Draw and rotate.

“Once it’s evenly toasted, still using just the heat, draw and rotate. That should only take a moment to light it if you’ve properly toasted it, since the cigar is primed to make that happen. The different types of tobacco in there are meant to be smoked in a linear fashion; you don’t want a third of the bottom to be lit, because then you’re only tasting that one piece, and destroying the profile. Another obvious but overlooked tip: when using a match to light, let the head burn off, and only use the stick of wood to light the cigar. Allow the sulfur head to dissipate, because you don’t want to pull any of that into the cigar.” — Pierre Rogers

Step 4: Keep the cherry cool.

“One of my tips about maximizing the enjoyment of any cigar, cheap or expensive, new or old, is to keep the cherry cooler. You do that by taking long, slow, easy draws on the cigar. Don’t take short pulls where you heat up that cherry. That’s a way to create acidity, acridness, and a burnt carbon taste. — Pierre Rogers

Step 5: Taste the cigar.

“Allow the smoke to come into your palate from the tip of your tongue, front to back and side to side. You don’t want to push all that smoke out too rapidly. Just gently exhale the smoke. Obviously, with cigars, you’re not inhaling. It’s just for the flavor. So think about how that flavor hits your tongue. Start with the basic ones. Is it salty? Sweet? Bitter? Sour? Those are basics. We tend to all agree on those things. — Pierre Rogers

Step 6: Ash the Cigar

“The best way to do it is a light touch on the ash tray, and roll the cigar to let the ash fall off. The real reason you do it is to control the temperature of the cherry, the lit part. You want to keep it well lit but cool. There’s a perfect ratio. If you don’t smoke your cigar fast enough, because there are no additives in a cigar, it’ll go out. The cherry gets too cool. However if you start puffing away on it, and the cherry becomes really bright, it becomes bitter and acrid, and you don’t want that. So there’s this balance that you’re always trying to strike between keeping your cherry fully lit but as cool as possible.” — Pierre Rogers

Cigar Terms to Know

Wrapper: The single leaf that literally wraps the outside of the cigar. It imparts around 60 percent of the cigar’s final flavors. Its flavors have to do with its country of origin, the way it’s grown (in the sun or shaded) and the type of tobacco plant. Different examples include Connecticut, maduro, claro and oscuro.

Filler: The innermost leaves rolled within a cigar, almost always a blend of different types of leaves.

Binder: The tobacco that helps hold a cigar together. It must be the strongest leaf in a cigar, but also imparts flavor.

Ring Gauge: The diameter of a cigar, measured by sixty-fourths of an inch. The bigger the ring gauge, the bigger the diameter.

Head/Cap: The end of a cigar that is cut and put in your mouth. Make sure not to cut off the entire cap, which will unravel the wrapper.

Foot: The end of a cigar that is lit. Smell this end before lighting to get a whiff of all the tobacco inside.

Strength and Body: Are not the same. The strength of a cigar has to do with how powerfully its nicotine affects the smoker; the body has to do with the impact of the cigar’s flavors in the mouth, its mouthfeel, and its overall richness.

The Best Cigars of 2021

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Best Overall Cigar

Davidoff White Label Short Perfecto

$449 AT JRCIGARS.COM

The quality of the tobacco here is extremely high, and it’s a benchmark of construction. It’s smaller than other Davidoff cigars, meaning it won’t won’t break the bank, and it is an excellent example of a mild-bodied cigar that’s still rich and complex.

Tasting Notes: Starts with hay and buttery smoke, transitioning into earthiness and even a touch of pepper spice in its final third.

Filler: Dominican Republic

Binder: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut

Best Splurge Cigar

Illusione Epernay

$304 AT ATLANTICCIGAR.COM

This box-pressed cigar was designed to cater to the European profile — it’s milder than many Americans prefer — and it was named for the famous Champagne region. Just like a bottle of bubbly, it might be best saved for special celebratory moments.

Tasting Notes: Distinct floral notes give way to honey, coffee and cedar.

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Corojo, Nicaragua

Best Budget Cigar

Nat Sherman Sterling Selection

$15 AT CIGAR.COM

An approachable, balanced, and affordable cigar with fantastic construction. A prime example of the pleasant nuance of a Connecticut wrapper.

Tasting Notes: Connecticut wrappers impart a creamy, buttery flavor, with notes of cocoa, wood, and toasted bread. This cigar in particular is the perfect pairing with a cup of coffee.

Filler: Dominican

Binder: Dominican

Wrapper: Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut

Best Mild Cigars

“A mild cigar is similar to a great cup of coffee with a touch of half and half in it,” Rogers says. “It’s warm and rich, but it’s also soft and very approachable.” According to him, the best examples come from the Dominican Republic; they also tend to have a Connecticut wrapper, which is golden and light in color. “The flavor tends to be very subtle and soft,” Rogers says. “No sharp edges, no bitterness. Something that on a fresh palate with nothing in your stomach you can really enjoy, and it won’t disrupt your day. That’s what a great mild cigar is to me.”

Most Approachable Mild Cigar

Nat Sherman Sterling Selection

$15 AT CIGAR.COM

An approachable, balanced, and affordable cigar with fantastic construction. “They do a great job with all the finesse that goes into it — the branding, packaging, and the nuance of the cigar itself — and at a very reasonable price point,” Rogers says. It’s a prime example of the pleasant nuance of a Connecticut wrapper.

Tasting Notes: Connecticut wrappers impart a creamy, buttery flavor, with notes of cocoa, wood, and toasted bread. This cigar in particular is the perfect pairing with a cup of coffee.

Filler: Dominican

Binder: Dominican

Wrapper: Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut 

Best Short Smoke

Davidoff Aniversario Short Perfecto

$449 AT JRCIGARS.COM

“Davidoff is the Mercedes-Benz of cigars,” Rogers says. That means high quality — at a high price. The quality of the tobacco inside is extremely high, and it’s a benchmark of construction. But this smaller cigar won’t break the bank, and it is an excellent example of a mild-bodied cigar that’s still rich and complex.

Tasting Notes: It starts with hay and buttery smoke, transitioning into earthiness and even a touch of pepper spice in its final third.

Filler: Dominican Republic

Binder: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut

Best Mild Yet Complex Blend

Foundation Highclere Castle Churchill

$270 AT JRCIGARS.COM

Nicholas Melillo, the founder of Foundation Cigar Company, hails from “the great state of Connecticut.” That means he has a great appreciation for the light-colored wrapper that bears the Connecticut name, and the creamy smoke it produces. The Highclere Castle uses Nicaraguan filler and Brazilian binder to add complexity to the mild flavors.

Tasting Notes: Creamy, with pepper, citrus, and leather.

Filler: Nicaragua

Binder: Brazil

Wrapper: Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut 

Best Medium Cigars

An increase in the body of the cigar has a lot to do with with how its smoke feels in your mouth. “Is there an oiliness there? A richness?” Rogers asks. “Wine people call it mouthfeel, and it’s no different with cigars.” Medium cigars are what most people end up smoking — they’re a great middle ground. “It provides enough strength that can be paired nicely with everything from a coffee to a bourbon. Flavors tend to be richer, the mouthfeel warmer and oilier. The smoke tends to be denser and richer,” Rogers says.

Best Box-Pressed Cigar

Illusione Epernay

$304 AT ATLANTICCIGAR.COM

"This is a fantastic box pressed cigar,” Rogers says, indicating its squared-off shape from quite literally being pressed into a box. It was designed to cater to the favored European profile — milder than Americans prefer — and named for the famous Champagne region. And just like a bottle of bubbly, it might be best saved for special celebratory moments.

Tasting Notes: Distinct floral notes give way to honey, coffee and cedar.

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Corojo, Nicaragua

Best Spicy Cigar

Tatuaje Tattoo Series

$292 AT JRCIGARS.COM

Founder Pete Johnson and master blender Don ‘Pepin’ Garcia are well respected for making cigars that consistently receive high scores from reviewers. The secret may be “Cuban-esque” flavors, stemming from Cuban-seed Nicaraguan-grown tobacco.

Tasting Notes: More spice and pepper than other medium-bodied cigars, though it also features cocoa, sweet cream and cedar notes.

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Habano, Ecuador

Best Big Stick

Camacho BG Meyer Gigantes

$180 AT CIGAR.COM

Part of a bolder series of cigars made by Camacho, the Gigantes is a play on the 6-inch by 54-inch cigar format, with a large ring gauge. But bigger cigars aren’t necessarily more intense: a larger size means more airflow and less density of the tobacco.

Tasting Notes: Grassy and earthy, with subtle spice, mocha, woodiness, and a berry sweetness.

Binder: Brazil

Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Habano

Best Mellow Smoke

Padron 1926 Series

$64 AT THOMPSONCIGAR.COM

Padron is a beloved cigar-making institution, founded by Jose Orlando Padron, a Cuban refugee living in Miami, in 1964. The 1926 series is their most limited, and the natural wrapper version (as opposed to the darker, pungent maduro) is a mellow, smooth smoke.

Tasting Notes: Caramel sweetness, a cedar-y tang, and notes of black and cayenne pepper.

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Natural, Nicaragua

Most Balanced Smoke

Ashton Estate Sun Grown

$486 AT BESTCIGARPRICES.COM

While Ashton is generally thought of as an entry-level cigar, the ESG (Estate Sun Grown) jacks up the price tag. “Because of that high cost, it doesn’t get fair press,” Rogers says. Its sun-grown wrapper (as opposed to the more common shade-grown) creates a more oily, pungent leaf.

Tasting Notes: Oily nuts, leather, earth and cedar, with a light, creamy smoke.

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Sun-grown, Dominican Republic

Best Full-Bodied Cigars

Full-bodied cigars can go in a few different directions, particularly, becoming spicy. “You can have a few different kinds of spice,” Rogers says. “A white pepper, black pepper, or even a cayenne pepper.” Those larger flavors can hold their own against a steak dinner or a peaty Scotch. “But the key here remains balance. Strength is not flavor. When you smoke that cigar, you want the palate to be full of flavor. Rich, complex. That’s what makes a great full cigar — not the strength,” Rogers says.

Best Cognac Barrel-Aged Cigar

Arturo Fuente Anejo

$172 AT CIGARSDIRECT.COM

In 1998, the OpusX’s downfall was to cigar smokers’ benefit: After Hurricane Georges created a shortage of wrapper tobacco, the brand switched to Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper aged in Cognac barrels, and the Anejo was born. The OpusX returned, of course, but the Anejo stuck around, treasured for the sweetness that wrapper layered atop the spicy, robust binder and filler.

Tasting Notes: Cognac, oily sweetness, butter and nuts.

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf aged in Cognac barrels, America

Best Maduro Cigar

Padron Series 3000 Maduro

$30 AT THOMPSONCIGAR.COM

Padron grows its own maduro wrappers rather than sourcing them, then wraps them around long-aged Nicaraguan binder and filler. The result is one of the most balanced full-bodied cigars around.

Tasting Notes: A “barnyard” earthiness that gives way to cocoa sweetness and oily nuttiness.

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Best Affordable Full-Bodied Cigar

Ashton VSG

$270 AT BESTCIGARPRICES.COM

This is Rogers’s pick for an affordable, full-bodied cigar, with plenty of flavor and solid construction despite Ashton’s entry-level price. Its bold flavors are thanks in part to a sun-grown Ecuadorian wrapper that’s oily and rich.

Tasting Notes: Cedar, espresso, and dark chocolate.

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Sun-grown, Ecuador

Best Collector’s Cigar

Fuente Fuente OpusX

$140 AT HOLTS.COM

When it was released in 1995, the OpusX proved that Dominican-grown, Cuban-seed tobacco could be the best in the industry. Ever since its release, it’s been considered one of the best full-bodied cigars on the market, and is a collector’s favorite.

Tasting Notes: Cayenne pepper and leather.

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Dominican Republic

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Sours: https://www.gearpatrol.com/home/g37209684/best-cigars/

The Big Idea: A Stronger Smoke

The cigars we’re smoking are becoming more buff. Just look at this year’s Best of the Best winners: Full- and medium-full-strength smokes dominate, with the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua the lone representative on the podium for the medium-strength category. Absent entirely are any cigars from the mild or even medium-mild segments. Meanwhile, a numberof popular smokes, such as the J. C. Newman Diamond Crown Maximus and the CAO Vision, have debuted intense new versions that not only grabbed our attention but made our list for the year’s best cigars.

That means so long candela cigars, with their ultra-mild yellow-green wrappers, and hello to the flavors of Jalapa and Estelí, two of Nicaragua’s most popular regions for producing the dark, muscular tobaccos used in many of today’s premium stogies.In fact, 6 of this year’s 10 Best of the Best winners come from Nicaragua and feature its characteristically rich, earthy tobaccos. And the trend holds outside of our curated selection: Over the past several years, for the first time Nicaragua has outpaced the Dominican Republic as the leading exporter of premium cigars to the US.

The gravitation to stronger smokes is the result of a growing appreciation for the many flavor nuances to be found in fuller premium cigars, as with the current penchant for cask-strength whiskeys. We’re also firing up more stogies overall, with January 2021 exports to the US up by 55 percent compared to January 2020, according to the Cigar Association of America. This is unsurprising, perhaps, in the most homebound year in modern memory. With many of us now working from home, lighting up a mid-afternoon stogie is far more feasible than in an office environment. For smokers, at least, that’s one cloud with a silver lining.

Sours: https://robbreport.com/best-of-the-best/gallery/2021-best-cigars-1234616271/
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Here is the complete list of our Top 25 Cigars of 2020. They can also be downloaded as a PDF (US-letter or A4 format), or a JPEG.

#1 | Plasencia Alma Fuerte Robustus I

blankAlma means soul and reflects the core knowledge of the family – to cultivate excellent tobacco. The Alma Fuerte Robustus I embodies exactly that: a blend that is second to none, made from Nicaraguan top-quality tobacco. With the Alma Fuerte Robustus I, we particularly liked the depth of taste, which is particularly noticeable from the second third.

Tasting notes:

Pepperiness and caramel/cinnamon sweetness are a good match in this almost black box-pressed cigar. It develops cedary, nutty and coffee aromas with herbal spice. During the smoke it becomes more expressive.

Owner: Plasencia Group
Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 133 x 20.6 | 5 ¼ x 52
Released: 2019

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#2 | Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Imperio Sun Grown

blankThis Puro is a blend of seven years aged Nicaraguan tobaccos, all of which were cultivated on Perdomo’s farm called Natalie (the name of Nick Perdomo’s daughter). It utilizes only the top three percent of the state crop. Perdomo is known for offering the same blend with three different wrappers – and ESV also comes in the Sun Grown, Maduro and Connecticut variants.

Tasting notes:

From the beginning, this box-pressed cigar develops the pleasant sweetness of vanilla, a hint of bourbon and fine spices like nutmeg. The fruity notes of cherries, wood and nut aromas, as well as chocolate notes and gentle pepper are also present.

Owner: Perdomo Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Perdomo
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 152 x 21.4 | 6 x 54
Released: 2019

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#3 | Davidoff Limited Edition Special 53 Perfecto

blankThe new edition of a Puro launched by Davidoff in 2002. In 2020 it was relaunched worldwide in a limited quantity of 9,700 numbered boxes. The Perfecto is made exclusively from tobacco grown in the Cibao Valley. The original Corojo seed wrapper has been aged for ten years. The 53 ring gauge was developed for this wrapper.

Tasting notes:

As soon as this Perfecto “opens,” it unfolds floral, fruity, slightly bitter and sweetish flavors. It presents aromas of wood, nuts, leather and coffee, accompanied by chocolate sweetness, vegetal spice notes and a gentle salty note.

Owner: Oettinger Davidoff AG
Factory: Tabadom Holding, Inc.
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Dom. Rep.
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Strength: 7 (of 10)
Size: 156 x 21.0 | 6 1/8 x  53
Released: 2020

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#4 A.J. | Fernandez Bellas Artes Maduro Lancero Special Edition

blankSince 2016, the A.J. Fernandez cigars with the sonorous front mark Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) have been well received. Two years ago they also came on the market in a Maduro version. Abdel has created a special work of art with this slightly oval box-pressed Lancero. We were not only enthusiastic about the slim format, but also the exciting blend: Mata Fina from Brazil meets Mexico. For fans of the Lanceros vitola, this cigar is fantastic.

Tasting notes:

This Lancero presents ample sweetness, spice, pepperiness, and roasted notes. It is an elegant, creamy cigar with predominantly chocolate, fruit, wood, and a subtle chili spice … Everything is perfectly balanced and in full harmony.

Owner: A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Brazil
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 7 (of 10)
Size: 178 x 15.9 | 7 x 40
Released: 2019

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#5 | Daniel Marshall by Carlos Fuente XXXVIII

blankDaniel Marshall and Carlos Fuente, entrepreneurs and friends, introduced the DM 38th Anniversary cigar at the Daniel Marshall Cigar Lounge in Kitzbuhel, Austria. The cigar honors and symbolizes their 38 years of friendship. The pyramid shaped cigars are available to collectors at Daniel Marshall Campfire events around the world and allocated to the world’s top tobacconists and iconic hotels. 

Tasting notes:

This Torpedo offers the complex spectrum of aromas of cedar, coffee, nuts, leather, and exotic fruit. Everything is underlaid by a delicate sweetness. In the last third, it develops a gentle peppery kick. Pure harmony.

Owner: Daniel Marshall, Inc.
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia.
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Dom. Rep.
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Strength: 5 (of 10)
Size: 162 x 20.6 | 6 3/8 x 52
Released: 2020

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#6 | La Aurora 107 Anniversary Nicaragua Robusto

blankTen years after the launch of one of the most successful cigars, La Aurora 107 Aniversario, the oldest factory in the Dominican Republic has taken on the task of revamping this popular series under a new umbrella brand: Tobaccos of the World. The first big hit of the revised 107 is this 100% Nicaraguan cigar: La Aurora 107 Nicaragua Robusto. The line is completed by the 107 Ecuador (the original), the 107 USA (originally Maduro) and the 107 República Dominicana (originally Cosecha).

Tasting notes:

In the pleasant, cool, creamy smoke of this cigar, bitter chocolate and coffee can first be detected. Then spices like carraway, nutmeg and pepper accompany the aromas. An exciting, diverse, and harmonious cigar.

Owner: La Aurora S.A.
Factory: La Aurora S.A.
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 6 (of 10)
Size: 127 x 19.8 | 5 x 50
Released: 2020

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#7 | El Rey Del Mundo La Reina ER 2018 Gran Bretaña

blankThis royal cigar is especially close to our hearts. Not only because it is a real treat for the palate and also because its slim format makes it particularly elegant. But above all, because a great personality played a part in the blending and the naming process: Simon Chase (✝2019), CJ author and long-time marketing director of Hunters & Frankau. La Reina means “the queen” and therefore fits both the El Rey del Mundo (King of the World) as well as the United Kingdom as an Edición Regional – with Elisabeth II as head of state.

Tasting notes:

From the start, this Lancero with a pretty pigtail shows its qualities. It is smooth, creamy, and has thick smoke with the opulent sweetness of molasses, cappuccino, and honeydew melon, and a pinch of pepper in the finish – a taste-bud pleaser.

Owner: Empresa Cubana del Tabaco (Cubatabaco)
Factory: Antonio Briones Montoto Factory
Origin: Cuba
Wrapper: Cuba
Binder: Cuba
Filler: Cuba
Strength: 4 (of 10)
Size: 191 x 15.1 | 7 ½ x 38
Released: 2019

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#8 | Tatuaje ME II Churchill

blankPete Johnson’s brand Tatuaje is mainly characterized by the striving of its creator to look and be different, which is also manifested in this Churchill. It is wrapped in a Mexico San Andrés Oscuro wrapper; the binder and filler come from Nicaragua. The cigar follows in the footsteps of the Tatuaje Limited Series Mexican experiment from 2012. However, the edition back then was only very limited and the new one is already an integral part of the brand portfolio.

Tasting notes:

A box-pressed Churchill in a sandy Oscuro wrapper with voluptuous spice and a fine mocha aftertaste. It also offers a subtle sweetness, hints of fruity notes, but, above all, a whole garden of herbal aromas.

Owner: Tatuaje Cigars, Inc.
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 7 (of 10)
Size: 165 x 19.0 | 6 ½ x 48
Released: 2019

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#9 | Rocky Patel CSWC Mareva        

blankAt the 2019 Cigar Smoking World Championship (CSWC) final in Split, Croatia, event founder Marko Bilić announced that the new competition cigar in 2020 would be created by Rocky Patel. In January 2020, Rocky Patel released the CSWC Mareva, and two other vitolas in the line, the Robusto and Toro. All are made at Patel’s Tavicusa. Sadly, due to Covid-19, only a handful of live CSWC events took place around the world, however the dynamic Bilić introduced the Stay Strong 2020 season which attracted entrants for live online competitions throughout the year.

Tasting notes:

Along with the intense aromas of roasted coffee beans, almonds and earth, as well as a noticeable cacao sweetness, this cigar offers a broad spectrum. Later, perceptible acidic and bitter notes are added. It has a razor-sharp burn.

Owner: Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (Tavicusa)
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Strength: 5 (of 10)
Size: 130 x 16.7 | 5 1/8 x 42
Released: 2020

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#10 | Juan López ER 2018 Francia Punto 55 (Rerelease 2020)

blankThe Edición Regionales from Habanos have become popular cigars for passionados and collectors. Apart from that, they are proof for how much more international the world market for cigars is becoming. This cigar debuted in late 2018 and was reissued in 2020 for the 50th anniversary of Coprova, the Habanos importer in France.

Tasting notes:

This cigar offers spicy wood, earthy and nut aromas with the subtle sweetness of dried fruit and later caramel. Flavor-wise, it spreads a pleasant, creamy feeling on the palate with a gentle chili spice and, at the end, with crème brûlée.

Owner: Empresa Cubana del Tabaco (Cubatabaco)
Factory: El Habanero Factory
Origin: Cuba
Wrapper: Cuba
Binder: Cuba
Filler: Cuba
Strength: 5 (of 10)
Size: 130 x 21.8 | 5 1/8 x 55
Released: 2018 & 2020

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#11 | Días de Gloria by A.J. Fernandez Gordo

blankThe Nicaraguan puro from Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez which hints at the glory days of Cuban cigars, was initially launched at the 2019 IPCPR trade show and features seven years aged tobaccos from four of A.J.’s oldest farms in Nicaragua: Finca los Cedros, La Providencia 1, La Lilia and La Soledad. All of them located in Estelí. The cigar is also available in a Toro, Short Churchill, and Robusto.

Tasting notes:

A tangy cigar with dark, earthy, coffee and wood aromas. In very creamy smoke there is also slightly sweet bitter chocolate as well as a little pepper and salt. Towards the end, the coffee and pepper notes become more intense.

Owner: A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 152 x 23 | 6 x 58
Released: 2019

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#12 | Casa Turrent Origin Series San Andres Robusto Extra

blankIn late 2019, Casa Turrent finally released the Origin Series after an initial launch at InterTabac 2018 and 2019 IPCPR trade show. It is a series that also comes in three other different blends: Cuba, Miami, Nicaragua. Each blend is presented in the same sized vitola in 12 count boxes, with the Miami blend also available in a 24 count box.

Tasting notes:

This cigar is a spicy-sweet bomb. The sweetness of the Maduro wrapper and the multifaceted notes of spice keep the palate on its toes: between tangy peppery, fruity acidic to roasted and tart, this cigar plays through all the variations.

Owner: A. Turrent Cigars
Factory: Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. de C.V.
Origin: Mexico
Wrapper: Mexico Negro San Andrés
Binder: Mexico Negro San Andrés
Filler: Mexico, Nicaragua
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 140 x 21.4 | 5 1/2 x 54
Released: 2019

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#13 | Vega Fina & Great Wall Fusion Edition

blankReleased in mid-2020, the Vega Fina & Great Wall Fusion Edition Piramide was a collaboration between Tabacalera S.L.U. and China’s Great Wall Cigars. The cigar’s name clearly hints at the combined efforts of Vega Fina and Great Wall brands. Great Wall Cigars recently hosted the 6th Chinese Cigar Festival in their hometown of Shifang, China and many more collaborations with international cigar brands are expected from Great Wall Cigars in the future.

 Tasting notes:

This Figurado is densely rolled, its wrapper is extremely smooth. Alongside a sepia-like sweetness that lasts throughout, it offers nuances of exotic fruit, cedar aromas, fine, tart nutty aromas, and subtle acidity. It has a razor-sharp burn.

Owner: Tabacalera S.L.U and China Tobaco Sichuan
Factory: The Great Wall Cigar Factory (Shifang,China)
Origin: China
Wrapper: Dom. Rep.
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep., Brazil, Indonesia
Strength: 6 (of 10)
Size: 152 x 20.6 | 6 x 52
Released: 2020

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#14 | Viva La Vida Robusto

blankMade by Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez for Artesano Del Tobacco, the Viva La Vida brand was launched on the U.S. market in March 2019. The brothers behind the Artesano Del Tobacco brand, Billy and Gus Fakih, were in the cigar retail trade for 23 years from 1992 to 2015. They began working with A.J. Fernandez after becoming fans of A.J.’s San Lotano which led to the creation of the Artesano Del Tobacco brand in 2015. The cigar is available in four other sizes apart from the Robusto, a Torpedo, Gordo, Toro, and Diadema.

 Tasting notes:

This cigar presents a proper pinch of pepper/chili spice and at first tastes rather piquant. Later, sage, toasted aromas, coffee, fruity notes (citrus) and a cautious cinnamon sweetness are added. Creamy, harmonious, and bold.

Owner: Artesano Del Tobacco
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano Oscuro 2000
Binder: Nicaragua Corojo 99
Filler: Nicaragua Criollo 98
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 127 x 21.4 | 5 x 54
Released: 2019

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#15 | Villiger Cuéllar Black Forest Robusto

blankWith the Cuéllar Black Forest, Heinrich Villiger paid homage to his homeland. Right where the mystical Black Forest region ends in the south is the German Villiger headquarters in Waldhut-Tiengen. The owner grew up nearby and knows and loves the region through his numerous motorcycle tours. The Black Forest is a line extension to the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē launched in 2014 and, in addition to the Robusto, the Toro Gordo, Churchill and Torpedo formats are on the market – unfortunately only in the USA so far.

Tasting notes:

This dark, box-pressed Robusto presents a touch of pepper combined with gentle sweetness and coffee … almost like Cuban coffee. In addition, the cigar develops notes of earth and spice. It is expressive, robust, and wonderfully balanced.

Owner: Villiger Cigars North America
Factory: Tabacalera Palma LTD
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 127 x 19 | 5 x 48
Released: 2019

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#16 | Carlos André Airborne Corona Larga

blankThe name of this cigar conceals several stories: “Airborne” means to be in the air and, in aviation, is the term used for the moment when an airplane leaves the ground. This very multifaceted, round and therefore excellent cigar actually made us fly. Those who want to try their way through the entire line can do that in the Robusto, Toro, and Petit Corona formats. Carlos André is the name of the company owner’s youngest son – and with this the bond to the future is tied, the eighth generation of the family company Arnold André.

Tasting notes:

A whole spectrum of woody and nutty aromas, abundant fruity sweetness and spices cajole the palate with creamy smoke. A fine peppery kick also adds to the diverse smoke. Very harmonious.

Owner: Arnold André GmbH & Co KG
Factory: Arnold André Dominicana
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Brazil, Dom. Rep., Nicaragua
Strength: 5 (of 10)
Size: 146 x 16.7 | 5 ¾ x 42
Released: 2019

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#17 Flor de Copan Special Edition Rare Blend

blankUnfortunately, this excellent cigar – the name says it all – is limited and therefore rare. With this creation, Flor de Copán is offering the Singulares vitola for the first time – a compact, short Robusto with a 54 ring gauge. The blenders at Flor de Copán went through a long process looking for a different taste experience than the one we usually expect from Flor de Copán. The abundance of flavors, the excitement between fruit and roast aromas was a highlight for our tasting panel in 2020.

Tasting notes:

At the start, this thick Robusto develops the intense sweetness of vanilla and exotic fruit over fine roasted aromas and bitter notes. The fruity, roasted and bitter tones alternate in taking charge, and make it exciting.

Owner: Tabacalera S.L.U.
Factory: Flor de Copán Factory Honduras
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Strength: 7 (out of 10)
Size: 114 x 21.4 | 4 ½ x 54
Released: 2019

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#18 | Balmoral Añejo XO Nicaragua Rothschild Masivo

blankThe eponym for the latest and fourth Balmoral Añejo XO line (next to the Añejo XO, Añejo XO Connecticut and Añejo XO Oscuro) is the beautiful sungrown wrapper from Nicaragua. Master blender Francisco Batista also played a leading role in this series. Once again, he succeeded in creating a great blend of complexity, power and sweet gentleness. The vitola presented here, Rothschild Masivo, is the second format in the series, alongside the Gran Toro.

Tasting notes:

This cigar immediately offers a fine Maduro sweetness, paired with a potpourri of spice, which ranges from acidic and salty to gentle bitter tones. It then develops roasted and barbecue aromas. The sweetness accompanies the cigar throughout the smoke.

Owner: Scandinavian Tobacco Group
Factory: Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Brazil
Filler: Nicaragua, Dom. Rep., Brazil
Strength: 7 (of 10)
Size: 127 x 21.8 | 5 x 55
Released: 2020

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#19 | Laura Chavin Classic No.66 Edition 2019

blankThe Laura Chavin cigar brand has existed since 1999. After the previous owner’s bankruptcy, the cigars disappeared from the market in 2017. Last year the brand experienced a resurgence with new blends and a refreshed design. Currently, the following lines are available: Classic, Concours, Therre de Mythe, Virginy and Paso Fino. The cigars are produced by the Austrian Günther Schichl in the Dominican Republic.

Tasting notes:

This elegant format is flawlessly manufactured. The cigar has a razor-sharp burn and develops fruity, floral and woody aromas, accompanied by a finely dosed sharpness, smooth sweetness and delicate acidity. A cigar full of finesse.

Owner: Cigar Company Willi Knopf
Factory: Tabacaleria Altagracia
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Strength: 5 (of 10)
Size: 178 x 19 | 7 x 48
Released: 2019

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#20 | Joya de Nicaragua Cinço Décadas Fundador

blankIn 2018, Joya de Nicaragua celebrated its 50th anniversary with a new line of cigars, Cinço Décadas. A year later, the company added the Fundador to this line, a soft-pressed toro that pays tribute to the founders of the Nicaragua Cigar Company, as Joya de Nicaragua was originally called: Juan Francisco Bermejo, and Simón Camacho. Currently, the line consists of four vitolas: El General, Diadema, El Doctor and Fundador.

Tasting notes: 


At the beginning, this cigar offers floral aromas, the freshness of menthol and chili spice alongside nutty aromas and a nougat sweetness. Mid-way through, it becomes more tart, underscored by cacao sweetness and fruity nuances. The finale is chocolatey.

Owner: Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
Factory: Joya de Nicaragua S.A.

Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 8 (of 10)

Size: 152 x 21.4 | 6 x 54

Released: 2019

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#21 | Undercrown ShadyXX

blankThe ShadyXX is a collaboration between Drew Estate and Shady Records, a music label founded by hip hop artist Eminem and Paul Rosenberg, who is a cigar lover. The box-pressed Belicoso was created to celebrate the 20thanniversary of the record label in 2019. Fortunately, this cigar made a comeback in 2020. Like all Undercrown cigars, ShadyXX is rolled at the Drew Estate cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Tasting notes: 


A flawless box-pressed Belicoso, whose sweetish Maduro wrapper provides a subtle counterpoint to the sumptuous spiciness of the cigar. It develops tangy, finely acidic notes, leather aromas and even a fine sweetness in a creamy smoke.

Owner: Drew Estate, LLC
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico San Andrés
Binder: USA Connecticut
Filler: Brazil, Nicaragua
Strength: 7 (of 10)

Size: 127 x 19.8 | 5 x 50

Released: 2019

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#22 | Oscar Valladares Wild Hunter Oscuro Toro

blankThe camouflage design hints at the name of Oscar Valladares’ newest cigar line: Wild Hunter. The Honduran puro that gets its inspiration from heading out into the woods comes in a Natural or an Oscuro wrapper from the Copán region. The binder and filler of both cigars are from Oscar’s own farm, La Entrada and El Paraiso. Both cigars are offered in a 6 x 52 toro vitola.

Tasting notes:

Aromas of earth, cedar and oak are accompanied by herbal spice and later a sweetish chocolaty/toffee note. Occasionally it is slightly salty, delicately bitter (almonds) and sweetish. A complex cigar.

Owner: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
Origin:Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras Oscuro
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 152 x 20.6 | 6 x 52
Released: 2019

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#23 | Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder Brimstone

blankOwned and operated by a family of veterans out of Texas, Southern Draw Cigars has grown fast in the past years. The Brimstone is an extension to the Jacobs Ladder line, introduced at the IPCPR 2019. The company describes the original Jacobs Ladder as double ligero, meaning that it uses two different types of ligero. For Brimstone, they use three types of ligero. 150,000 cigars annually are being produced.

Tasting notes:

In the thick, oily smoke there are tart-spicy notes underscored with sweetness. Nuts, fruity notes, coffee, and chocolate create an interesting sweet-sour play. Towards the end, the cigar becomes more peppery and even spicier.

Owner: Southern Draw Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: USA Broadleaf
Binder: USA Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua, Dom. Rep.
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 152 x 22.2 | 6 x 56
Released: 2019

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#24 | Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52

blankOfficially, this cigar is called Project 40 06.52, which indicates the size of the cigar – a Toro.

It is the first of Alec Bradley’s Experimental Series. Alan Rubin, founder of Alec Bradley, says: “Project 40 is a generally accepted concept in multiple industries with the end goal to find how a service or product can have a positive impact on the mind and body. Since cigars bring people together, cause for relaxation and create positive experiences, I asked myself why this concept should not be applied to premium cigars.”

Tasting notes:

The cigar offers pronounced woody, nutty, coffee and cacao aromas with a sweet fruity impact to malt candy and a subtle salty note. Primary flavor notes of leathery, nutty flavors. The cigar is decidedly creamy.

Owner: Alec Bradley Cigar Corp.
Factory: J. Fuego Cigar Co. de Nicaragua
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Brazil
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 6 (of 10)
Size: 152 x 20.6 | 6 x 52
Released: 2019

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#25 | Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto

blankGlen Case has been smoking cigars since his teens and spent about 18 years in the financial industry. In 2004 he started Kristoff Cigars which has been a successful cigar brand since then. “Quality, consistency, availability” is their motto. In 2019, Kristoff announced the Kristoff Shade Grown. It uses a Connecticut-seed wrapper from Honduras over a Dominican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The line is offered in three sizes: Robusto, Churchill and Matador.

Tasting notes: 


This pretty cigar with a pigtail and closed foot offers ample earthy aromas over a subtle sweetness as well as a gentle peppery spice. Tangy, vegetal, tart and piquant notes, a light acidity and wood aromas develop in the creamy smoke.

Owner: Kristoff Exclusive Cigars, Inc.

Factory: Charles Fairmorn S.A.

Origin: Dom. Rep.

Wrapper: Honduras

Binder: Dom. Rep.

Filler: Nicaragua, Dom. Rep.

Strength: 6 (of 10)

Size: 140 x 21.4 | 5 1/2 x 54

Released: 2019

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Sours: https://www.cigarjournal.com/top-25-of-2020-the-complete-list/

All summer long, we’ve been smoking our fair share of premium, handmade cigars. Out of the whole lot, there was an abundance of cigars that impressed our expert panel of smokers. Here are 13 cigars that stood out the most in our June issue of Cigar Aficionado, all of which scored 92 points or higher—and range from less than $7 to more than 30 euros ($35). Get the most of what’s left of the season by making your way down (or up) this list and having a great smoke.

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series No. 4 Maduro (Nicaragua, 94 Points): The big and blocky No. 4 is a box-pressed smoke packed with Padrón’s distinctively reliable Nicaraguan tobacco. Wrapped in a dark, maduro wrapper, the medium- to full-bodied smoke shows a strong core of coffee, crushed black peppercorns and earth, with a chocolatey richness that rounds out the flavors. See full tasting note.

Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Churchill (Dominican Republic, 94 Points): Crafted by the Fuente family for Ashton Distributors, the Heritage Puro Sol Churchill is made entirely of sun-grown tobaccos, fitting as the name “Puro Sol” translates to “pure sun.” Hickory, walnut and leather hit the palate with a smoky backdrop of Islay Scotch and a hint of spiciness. The cigar is no stranger to high ratings, as it’s been named to the Cigar Aficionado Top 10 twice, with the Robusto and Corona Gorda sizes, in 2008 and 2005 respectively. See full tasting note.

Sancho Panza Belicoso (Cuba, 94 Points): It’s not as well-known as other Cuban brands like Cohiba or Montecristo, but Sancho Panza struck gold with this well-made belicoso that exhibits intense flavors. An assertive leathery character leads the way with notes of dried fruit, nutmeg and coffee coming through as well. A floral note also shows itself along with a spicy hint of black pepper. See full tasting note.

Alec Bradley

Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua No. 2 (Nicaragua, 93 Points): This all-Nicaraguan torpedo is box-pressed and covered in a gorgeous, dark-brown wrapper that hints at its full strength. A plethora of flavors come to the surface after it’s lit, including earth, leather and red pepper. The finish is full of coconut, malted milk and wood notes. It’s a complex cigar suitable for celebrating the birth of Montecristo. See full tasting note.

Undercrown Sun Grown Belicoso (Nicaragua, 93 Points): Drew Estate released the Sun Grown series in 2017 with an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, which is grown without the aid of shade in the cloudy foothills of the Andes mountains in Ecuador. Master blender Willy Herrera also added a stalk-cut binder from the Connecticut River Valley and filler from Nicaragua to complete this blend. Altogether, the belicoso brings an intriguing nuttiness that ranges from raw almonds to dense, sweet marzipan. At just $9.50, it’s also a relatively sweet deal. See full tasting note.

Joya Silver Robusto (Nicaragua, 92 Points): A definitive layer of crème brûlée adds sweet elegance to this softly pressed robusto. Msde at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, the 5-inch-by-50-ring gauge cigar features an Ecuadoran wrapper, Mexican binder and filler from Nicaragua. At only $7.25, it’s also an exceptional deal.See full tasting note.

Alec Bradley

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Robusto (Dominican Republic, 92 Points): Although Fuente is known for its roots in the Dominican Republic, the hallmark of this cigar is its toothy wrapper, grown in the west African nation of Cameroon by the Meerapfel family. Filled with Fuente’s signature Dominican tobaccos, the cigar has an undeniable citrus tang, and also shows notes of tea, honey and wood alongside bit of raisin and herbal botanicals. There’s a reason this smoke has been in demand for decades. See full tasting note.

My Father The Judge Grand Robusto (Nicaragua, 92 Points): Chocoholics and aficionados alike will love this chunky cigar, which looks like a chocolate bar and tastes like one too. The No. 7 Cigar of 2017, The Judge Grand Robusto delivers a sweet, rich smoke that calls to mind chocolate, caramel and peanuts. A delectable treat, it also features piquant hints of red pepper flake spice on the finish. See full tasting note.

Alec Bradley

OneOff Corona Gorda (Nicaragua, 92 Points): Illusione owner Dion Giolito has impressed with a number of unique cigars that have made the Cigar Aficionado Top 10. Banded with an eye-catching peace sign, the OneOff is toasty and nutty, leaving precise impressions of pecans and nutmeg, nicely detailed with hints of clove and black cherry. See full tasting note.

Trinidad Topes (Cuba, 92 Points): Solidly rolled with the Cuban brand’s trademark pigtail cap, the short and fat Topes burns slow and cool, steadily imparting an oaky smoke with prominent notes of almond and German chocolate cake. Although it’s expensive for its size at £33.40, the 92-point-score can justify the purchase of this medium- to full-bodied smoke. See full tasting note.

Alec Bradley

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Churchill (Honduras, 92 Points): The Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 series has made the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 list twice (in both 2004 and 2006). Long and box-pressed, the Churchill showcases notes of mint and licorice which warm to show leather, toast and espresso. The sweet finish smacks of cocoa powder and almonds. See full tasting note.

Partagás Serie D No. 6 (Cuba, 92 Points): Sometimes great things come in small packages. Such is the case with the Serie D No. 6, which measures a mere 3 1/2 inches long. Though it’s short, the 50-ring-gauge smoke carries a medium to full body and plenty of flavors like peach, walnut and wood. See full tasting note.

Alec Bradley

Nat Cicco Aniversario 1965 Liga No. 4 Toro (Nicaragua, 92 Points): The Churchill size of this same blend was the No. 18 cigar of 2018, so this Nat Cicco is no stranger to top lists. Driven by a bold cocoa-powder core, the squarely-pressed, pigtailed toro offers notes of toast, leather and black pepper before a sweet-and-nutty caramel finish. Retailing for less than $7, this cigar is probably the best deal on this list. See full tasting note.

Sours: https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/13-highly-rated-cigars-to-smoke-now

Cigars top

The Top 10 Cigars to Smoke Right Now

These supremely good stogies are highly recommended by the experts at Cigar Aficionado.

Top Cigars Promo Split 2

Cigar Aficionado has finally unveiled its coveted list of the Top 25 Cigars of 2020. After blind-tasting that and rated nearly 700 smokes, the stogie bible’s editors awarded top honors to a selection from the Dominican Republic produced by one of the industry’s most talented cigarmakers, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. 

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If you’re looking for a truly supreme stogie, read on to learn about the 10 best cigars of the year, as chosen by Cigar Aficionado’s experts: 

E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel 

98 points – $10.75

The leader of the list is a masterpiece from top cigarmaker, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, who has developed many award-winning cigars over his 50-year career. A brilliantly rich and structured smoke, the Pledge Prequel delivers bold and zesty puffs of spicy oak, licorice, black cherry and black pepper.

Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Robusto 

97 points – $17.05

Even after 25 years, this phenomenal brand remains a favorite amongst cigar lovers. As one of the first Dominican “puros” launched on the market, the OpusX boasts a unique Dominican leaf wrapper and full-bodied notes of caramel, cherry cordial and rum barrel.

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Hermoso 

97 points – $13.20

The Hermoso is the ultimate example of a bold, luxurious cigar. This compact Nicaraguan smoke has rich flavors of fudge, ganache, chocolate truffle and espresso to create an intense and premium experience.

La Mission L’Atelier 1959 

96 points – $8.50

From L’Atelier’s less traditional line, the 1959 offers a playful back-and-forth while smoking the entire cigar. Each note of sweetness or nuttiness is followed by a contrasting taste of salt or spice.

Punch Short de Punch 

95 points – $33.04 (£22.70)

The first robusto in Cuban Punch’s portfolio certainly does not disappoint. This rare brand executed one of their best cigars with the Short de Punch, which offers nostalgic flavors of oatmeal cookies, graham cracker, pecan and nutmeg in every puff.

Joya de Nicaragua Número Uno L’Ambassadeur 

95 points – $15.00

For those in search of a lighter option, this is your cigar. Nicaragua’s oldest producer has defied the country’s reputation for robustness and blended a creamy, toasty cigar with hints of vanilla, almond and cinnamon.

Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Robusto 

95 points – $10.50

This impressive smoke is a collaboration between rookie cigarmaking duo, Alec and Bradley Rubin, and industry veteran, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. The Gatekeeper maintains a synergy between spicy and sweet—with notes of black and red pepper, caramel, nougat and leather.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Churchill 

95 points – $14.50

A Nicaraguan brand that traces its tobacco roots back to the 1800s, Oliva Cigar Co. is no stranger to the Top 25. The Serie V Melanio Churchill is a high caliber cigar that delivers a delicious balance of chocolate and almond.

Rocky Patel Number 6 Corona 

95 points – $9.35

The Number 6 Corona is an ode to the excellence of Honduran tobacco, resulting in a flavor profile with layers of cocoa, vanilla, orange peel and black pepper, followed by a spicy finish.

Henry Clay War Hawk Corona 

95 points – $7.00

Don’t be fooled by the light outer wrapper—this cigar has a serious kick. The War Hawk is light yet strong, with notes of citrus, spice and nutmeg.

For even more smokin’ details, check out the full list of Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2020 here.

Tags: CigarCigar AficionadocigarsFood & DrinkListicleluxurysmokingtobacco

Maxim Staff

Sours: https://www.maxim.com/food-drink/cigar-aficionado-top-20-cigars/

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