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Cigar Journal’s Top 25 Cigars Of 2021: #7 To #2

Today we are revealing the six cigars ranking from positions 7 to 2.

#7 | Oliva Serie V Melanio Limited Edition 2020 Toro Grande

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Debuting in 2006, the Oliva Serie V was followed six years later by the Oliva Serie V Melanio which paid tribute to the first man in the Oliva family to grow cigar tobacco. The Melanio version differs from the original with its Sumatra-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. Fast forward eight years, and with three previous limited editions under their belts, this Toro Grande was released. Unlike previous Melanio iterations, it is not box-pressed.

Tasting notes:

As well as roasted and nut aromas, this cigar presents a malty cocoa sweetness with a fruity citrus note. This is followed by nutty, wood, coffee, leather, and earthy aromas that come through in the thick smoke.

Owner: Oliva Cigar Co.
Factory: Tabacalera Oliva S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 7 (of 10)
Size: 152 x 21.4 | 6 x 54
Released: 2020

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#6 | VegaFina 1998 Vintage 1 VF42L

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Released in the middle of the year, the Vega Fina Vintage 1 is a limited edition extension to its VegaFina 1998 brand. The blend features similar components to the VegaFina 1998, but introduced two thinner ring gauge formats: VF40 and VF42L. Both cigars feature Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Colombian fillers, Indonesian binder and an Ecuadorian wrapper, with tobaccos aged three years.

Tasting notes:

This elegant format presents a potpourri of flavor sensations: sweetness and fruity acidity, herbal spice, and a gentle pepperiness. In the creamy smoke of this cigar there is a hint of the roasted flavors of coffee and aromas of sponge cake.

Owner: Tabacalera SLU
Factory: Tabacalera de Garcia
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Dom. Rep., Nicaragua, Colombia
Strength: 6 (of 10)
Size: 187 x 16.7 | 7 3/8 x 42
Released: 2021

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#5 | A.J. Fernandez New World Connecticut Churchill

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A line extension of A.J. Fernandez’s New World, this differs from the others, being a non box-pressed cigar and featuring Brazilian and Nicaraguan fillers bound with San Andres tobacco and wrapped in U.S.-grown Connecticut Shade. The Churchill complements five other sizes in the line, while the series is offered in three other lines: New World Oscuro, Puro Especial, and Cameroon.

Tasting notes:

The creamy smoke of this Churchill provides the palate with a lot of spice, subtle sweetness, and fruity tartness. The aromas of cedar, earth, nuts, bread rolls and cocoa are accompanied by both a subtle pepperiness as well as sweetness.

Owner: A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: USA
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Nicaragua, Brazil
Strength: 5 (of 10)
Size: 178 x 19.8 | 7 x 50
Released: 2020

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#4 | Davidoff Dominicana Robusto

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The Davidoff Dominicana pays homage to the Dominican Republic, the brand’s home since 1990. The cigar, almost completely Dominican, features a hybrid leaf 257 wrapper, while the filler includes five Dominican tobaccos: Corojo 99 Seco, Piloto Viso, San Vicente Mejorado Seco, San Vicente Seco, and Yamasá Viso. The sole non-Dominican tobacco in the blend is another hybrid (151) from Ecuador. Rolled a year before their release the tobacco comes from the 2014 crop.

Tasting notes:

This Robusto with a pigtail develops sumptuous coffee aromas. These are joined by those of nuts. The aromas are underscored by sweetness, spice, acidity, some pepperiness, and earthy tones.

Owner: Oettinger Davidoff AG Basel
Factory: Tabadom
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Dom. Rep.
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 130 x 20.6 | 5 1/8 x 52
Released: 2021

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#3 | CLE 25th Anniversary Robusto

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Celebrating Christian Eiroa’s dedication to the cigar industry for many years, the CLE 25th Anniversary is a Honduran puro. Eiroa founded CLE Cigar Co. in 2012 after starting his cigar career with the Camacho brand and his father’s Caribe Imported Cigars. The 25th Anniversary is available in 4 different violas, with the 5×50 robusto being our pick.

Tasting notes:

With the freshness of aniseed, the bitter tones of espresso, herbal spice, and a light salty note, this cigar offers an exciting flavor profile. A fruity sweetness and nuts are also added.

Owner: CLE Cigar Company
Factory: Fabrica de Puros Aladino S.A. de C.V.
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 127 x 19.8 | 5 x 50
Released: 2020

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#2 | Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro

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One of the busiest, most energetic brand owners in the cigar business, Rocky Patel’s The Sixty by Rocky Patel commemorating Patel’s 60th birthday in February 2021 is available in 4 vitolas. But it is the 6 ½ x 52 Toro-sized cigar that caught our attention. Made in Nicaragua at Patel’s Tavicusa factory, Mexican San Andres leaf wraps Nicaraguan filler and binder which were aged for six years prior to rolling, then aged for another two years.

Tasting notes:

This extremely creamy Toro unfolds leathery, coffee and cocoa aromas with a chocolaty sweetness and a touch of pepper. It is full-bodied and perfectly harmoniously balanced.

Owner: Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: 8 (of 10)
Size: 165 x 20.6 | 6 1/2 x 52
Released: 2021

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