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CIGAR JOURNAL’S TOP 25 CIGARS OF 2019: #19 TO #14

Each year, our tasting panel members smoke hundreds of cigars in order to give you the results of these blind tastings with the most objective impressions possible through our ratings. At the end of the year, we traditionally use the occasion to select those cigars that have remained in our memory.

Only the cigars that received a combined score of 90 points or more and those that were initially released less than two years ago are eligible for selection.


#19 | E.P.C. Encore Majestic

The E.P.C. Encore Majestic has been created by Ernesto Pérez Carrillo as a box-pressed Robusto featuring solely Nicaraguan tobaccos. Ernesto Pérez Carrillos named this line Encore in reference to his earlier career as a jazz musician.

Tasting notes:
The spicy/tangy wood aromas of this cigar are underscored by a subtle mixture of sweetness and pepperiness. In addition, the creamy smoke releases fine fruity notes, chocolate, nuts and coffee.

Owner: E.P.C. Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 6 (out of 10)
Size: 137 x 20.6 | 5 3/8 x 52
Released: 2018


#18 | Tatuaje Reserva SW Short

Pete Johnson created this Short Churchill in 2018 with the same blend as the other cigars in the Reserva series: an Ecuador Habano Rosado for the wrapper; the binder and filler are comprised of Nicaraguan tobaccos. The result is an intense taste with medium strength. The cigar was baptized “SW,” an abbreviation for Sir Winston.

Tasting notes:
This cigar presents earthy, hay, toasted and nutty aromas with the sweetness of cappuccino in the creamy smoke. Added to this is a lot of spice and a pinch of pepper. Additionally, there are floral notes, cacao and coffee present; overall, a great deal of harmony.

Owner: Tatuaje Cigars
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 6 (out of 10)
Size: 121 x 18.6 | 4 3/4 x 47
Released: 2018


#17 | La Aurora 115 Anniversary Robusto

The creation of this cigar is supposed to mark a milestone and then continue to be produced regularly on the market. Its launch in 2018 was the celebration of the 115th anniversary of the oldest Dominican factory, La Aurora. It was founded in 1903 by Eduardo León Jimenes, the grandfather of its current owner, Guillemo León. The cigar is a Robusto (127 x 19.8 | 5 x 50) with the classic blend of the brand, which comprised tobaccos from various countries of origin: the wrapper is from Ecuador and is a Sumatra seed; the binder is from mata-fina tobacco from Brazil; and the filler is comprised of tobaccos from the Dominican Valle de Cibao, from Nicaragua, and Brazil.

Tasting notes:
The earthy and woody aromas are supported by spicy/tangy flavors. Tart roasted aromas, chili spice and sweetness (licorice, cacao), cloves, and fruity notes give the cigar an exciting profile.

Owner: La Aurora S.A.
Factory: La Aurora S.A.
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Brazil
Filler: Dom. Rep., Brazil, Nicaragua
Strength: 8 (out of 10)
Size: 127 x 19.8 | 5 x 50
Released: 2019


#16 | Joya de Nicaragua Cinço Décadas El General

It can’t be said any other way. This cigar more than lives up to the occasion, exactly as the Joya advertising slogan says. In 2018, the brand Joya de Nicaragua celebrated its 50th anniversary, and thus fifty years of the production of premium cigars in Estelí, with an edition that earned much applause and was therefore taken into the regular portfolio of the brand. Cinco Décadas (Five Decades) was offered in two vitolas. In addition to the spectacular Diademas, is also El General, in an elegant Churchill format, that especially delights passionados who love the classic taste experience. A grand cigar that marks a very special date in the calendar.

Tasting notes:
With almost every draw, this cigar offers new experiences. Earthy, nutty and woody aromas, herbs, the freshness of aniseed, the sweetness of chocolate and coffee. It is very creamy, from time to time, fruity and continuously exciting.

Owner: Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Factory: Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: undisclosed
Binder: undisclosed
Filler: undisclosed
Strength: 8 (out of 10)
Size: 178 x 19.8 | 7 x 50
Released: 2018


#15 | Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto Limitada 2018

The Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto Limitada 2018 features an Ecuadorian Sumatra seed wrapper and fillers from Nicaragua. Released in 2018 destined for Hong Kong and Europe, the Limitada is unlike the regular production of Oliva Serie Vs round instead of being box-pressed. It comes in a 10-count, black-lacquered wooden box.

Tasting notes:
This cigar has a mild, creamy start in the woody and earthy aromas and accompanies this with spicy, slightly peppery smoke. Afterwards, it offers leather, the sweetness of dried fruit, spicy tones, and a gentle acidity. A perfect harmonious smoke.

Owner: Oliva Cigar Co.
Factory: Tabacalera Oliva S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 6 (out of 10)
Size: 127 x 19.8 | 5 x 50
Released: 2018


#14 | Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Maduro Imperio

This offering from Nick Perdomo has a dark Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper and a blend of premium Nicaraguan fillers, grown and aged on Finca Natalie (named after Perdomo’s daughter). The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro. Available since September in limited numbers at selected retailers, the Imperio comes in boxes of 20.

Tasting notes:
This box-pressed cigar pulls out all the registers and is a taste-bud-pleaser. At first, it is delicately bitter and acidic, peppery and herbal. Then it’s creamy with fine chocolate sweetness, dried fruit, and espresso. Full of harmony; very multifaceted.

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


TOP 25 CIGARS OF 2019
Cigars # 25–20: December 9
Cigars # 19–14: December 10
Cigars # 13–8: December 11
Cigars # 7–2: December 12

Cigar of the Year 2019: December 13


 


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