Each year, our panelists smoke hundreds of cigars in blind tastings so that in our tasting notes we can give you the most objective impressions possible of our smoking experience. For the Top 25 list published at year’s end – that is, the cigars that particularly stood out for us – we asked numerous panelists to pick their personal favorites from the tastings of 2017.
Only the cigars that received a combined score of 91 or more, and those that were initially released less than two years ago were eligible for selection.
Here are our Top 25 cigars positioned #7 to #2.
#7 | Rocky Patel Fifty-Five Robusto
Rocky Patel is one of the most dazzling characters in the cigar world. In the mid-Nineties, he unceremoniously ended his career as a lawyer in Hollywood and entered the cigar business. In 1996, he founded the Indian Tabac Cigar Co.; in 2003, Rocky Patel Cigars. His cigars from Honduras and Nicaragua are regularly found among the top lists. Furthermore, with his legal skills, he’s one of the vital pillars, when it comes to defending the industry against overregulation. With the Fifty-Five, Rocky celebrates his birthday. We’re celebrating with him.
Tasting notes: The first draws are characterized by cocoa, chocolate and espresso. Toast aromas, a subtle fruity sweetness and nutmeg are pervaded by delicate bitter notes, coffee and licorice.
Owner: Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Tavicusa S.A.
Size: 5 1/2 x 55 | 140 x 21,8 mm
#6 | La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull
Litto and Ines Gomez founded La Flor Dominicana in 1994.Their passion for tobacco and their tireless quest for quality and consistency have catapulted their brand to the frontrunners among the world’s leading premium brands. In the meantime, their son Antonio also works in the business. In 2016, he was honored for his creation La Flor Dominicana La Nox with the Cigar Trophy’s Best Cigar Dom. Rep. Likewise in 2016, the Andalusian Bull was named cigar of the year by Cigar Aficionado. And in 2017, it was also nominated the best Dominican cigar for the Cigar Trophy.
Tasting notes: Caramel sweetness with alternating nutty, coffee, leathery and cedary aromas, accompanied by peppery spice and fruity notes. During the smoke, the spice gains momentum; the sweetish coffee scent increases. Very harmonious.
Owner: La Flor Dominicana
Factory: Tabacalera La Flor La S.A.
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Binder, filler: Dom. Rep.
Size: 6 1/2 x 64 | 165 x 25,4 mm
#5 | Romeo y Julieta Edición Limitada 2016 Capuletos
At the beginning of 2017, the sought-after Ediciónes Limitadas 2016 reached Habanos fans all over the world. Among them, a Romeo y Julieta edition called Capuletos, named after Capulet, Juliet’s family name in the famous Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet. The cigar was rolled in a Sobresalientes format, which, typically for the limited editions, is not part of the standard portfolio of the brand. In the manufacturing of the Romeo y Julieta Capuleto, only tobaccos were used that had been aged for longer than two years and that come from the Vuelta Abajo region. The wrapper features a darker coloring than the brand’s classic formats. Unfortunately, this edition is largely already out of stock.
Tasting notes: Lush wood aromas and a delicate sweetness pervade the very creamy smoke of this cigar. It develops nutty, coffee and roasted aromas; delicate tartness and caramel sweetness. Toward the end it becomes slightly stronger.
Owner: Habanos S.A.
Wrapper, binder, filler: Cuba
Size: Sobresalientes, 6 x 53 | 153 x 21 mm
#4 | Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Presidente Maduro AT
As early as 2016, it was occasionally possible to get hold of the two new Padrón 1964 formats. The year 2017 finally saw the official launch of the cigars in an unusual square tubo. Like most of the cigars of the 1964 Anniversary Series, the line that commemorates the year the company was founded by José O. Padrón, both new releases carry prestigious names: Soberano (the sovereign) and Presidente. The Presidente Maduro in a Toro format particularly impressed our panelists. Ranked number four on our list of the best cigars of 2017, the youngest winner is on a long list of cigar awards for the series.
Tasting notes: An expressive cigar with earthy aromas, minty freshness, pepperiness, and chocolate. Also coffee and cedary aromas, as well as the sweetness of dried fruit are noticeable in the creamy smoke.
Owner: Padrón Cigars
Wrapper, binder, filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 50 | 152 x 19,8 mm
#3 | Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour Churchill
The Winston Churchill line by Davidoff released a few years ago received a spin-off with a slight modification to the blend of the base line this year, the Late Hour. The special feature of this line is the Nicaraguan tobacco from Condega worked into the filler, which was tightly compressed in original Scottish single malt barrels made of American white oak and aged for six months. The classic Davidoff Winston Churchill in a Churchill format had already secured itself a place in our Top 25 of 2015. Our panelists are now also enthusiastic about the Late Hour.
Tasting notes: This Churchill starts off with fine sandalwood and leathery aromas, delicate pepper and a light salty note. It then develops a creamy smoke, a subtle sourness, coffee and chocolate notes, as well as earthy aromas.
Owner: Oettinger Davidoff AG
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Ecuador Marron Oscuro
Binder: Mexico San Andrés
Filler: Dom. Rep., Nicaragua
Size: 7 x 49 | 178 x 19 mm
#2 | Perdomo Bourbon Barrel Aged Epicure Connecticut
The Perdomo Bourbon Barrel Aged, which saw its first release in 2015, is the name giver for the wrapper that is matured in bourbon barrels for several months. In the filler and binder, Nick Perdomo, known as a perfectionist, processed tobaccos that had been aged for no less than seven years. In classic Perdomo style, this line is available in three different wrapper versions. Our Top 2 from the 2017 tastings has a Connecticut Shade-Grown wrapper from Ecuador. A fantastic smoke!
Tastingnotizen: The sweetness of caramel and dried fruit undermines fine earthy, nutty and cedary aromas in a creamy smoke. Chocolate, almonds and spices make for harmonious, interesting and smooth smoking enjoyment.
Owner: Perdomo Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Perdomo
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade Grown
Size: 6 x 54 | 152 x 21,4 mm
Top 25 Release Schedule
December 11, 2017 (Monday): No. 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20
December 12, 2017 (Tuesday): No. 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14
December 13, 2017 (Wednesday): N0. 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8
December 14, 2017 (Thursday): No. 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
December 15, 2017 (Friday): Cigar of the Year 2017