Felix Mesa’s newly launched El Galan brand Doña Nieves Sentimiento made it to Cigar Journal’s list of the best cigars of the previous year: The Top 25 of 2016. The Ternura, a Torpedo, excited us at year’s end with its aromatic complexity and harmony.
Enrique Sánchez first introduced his XO line at IPCPR 2015, and began distribution in spring 2016. The first XO is a box-pressed Toro – but Sanchez let it slip that every additional, annual XO will be released in a different vitola.
Orange, the original Inspirado line debuted at InterTabac 2014, followed in 2015 by the Inspirado Black line. In 2016, both cigar lines were made available in the US.
Franco-Honduran cigar maker Selva introduced the “Grand Pressé” at the IPCPR 2016, and it has been available to European consumers since fall. The new Toro Grande format is an exciting addition to the Maduro line.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Cuba’s best-known cigar brand, Cohiba, released three cigars: the Cohiba 50 Aniversario, the Cohiba Majestuosos 1966, and the Cohiba Medio Siglo. The latter is the first new vitola to join the Siglo series since 2002 – a very successful new release indeed!
The man responsible for the blend of Gurkha Cigars’ Heritage line, which debuted at IPCPR 2015, is none other than the company’s sales director, Juan Lopez. The Heritage line’s intriguing blend hooked us right away, and in 2016 the cigars finally made their way to Europe.
Launched in early 2016 for the Swiss market, the Punch Supremos is an Edición Regional 2015 that was commissioned by Swiss Habanos importer Intertabak. The Edición Regional Suiza 2015 was produced in a limited run of 50,000 pieces in Cuba.
Released in 2016, Dunhill Aged Maduro is the newly arrived Maduro version of Dunhill’s long-established “Aged” series. This new line from the BAT producer won over our tasting panel and earned itself a place in Cigar Journal’s Top 25.
As the name suggests, Hamlet Paredes was responsible for Rocky Patel’s Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes line, which debuted in the US in mid-2015. The line is rolled at Rocky Patel’s TAVICUSA factory in Nicaragua and has been available in Europe since early 2016.
In fall 2015, three Villiger San’Doro variations were introduced in Toro formats. In 2016, the blends became available in Robusto and Churchill formats. The San’Doro Colorado Robusto our tasting panel smoked for the winter issue of Cigar Journal has lingered on our minds.
Newly released in 2016 by La Aurora, the Dominican Republic’s most time-honored cigar manufacturer, the Black Lion line kicks off Cigar Journal’s list of the best cigars of 2016. In particular, the La Aurora Black Lion Cameroon Toro won over the tasting panel.
Very soon, we’ll be releasing our much-anticipated list of the best cigars of 2016. Our Top 25 is the shortlist of newly released cigars reviewed in the previous tastings that have remained on our editors’ minds and are among our all-time favorites.