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Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017

Top 25 Cigars of 2017: The Complete List

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 nominate 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 is the complete overview of our Top 25 Cigars of 2017. You can also download this list in .pdf (US letter), .pdf (A4) or .jpg.


#1 | My Father The Judge Grand Robusto

José Pepin Garcia – respectfully called Don Pepin – is a name known to friends of the cigar all over the world. And rightly so. Born in 1950, he left his homeland of Cuba in 2002 to go first to the United States (from 2003), and then to try his luck in Nicaragua – with resounding success. In 2009, he started his company My Father Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua, and opened an impressive factory. Together with his son, Jaime, and daughter, Janny Garcia, he creates cigars that are regularly showered with awards. My Father The Judge Grand Robusto was released at the end of 2016.

Tasting notes: This cigar starts off slightly salty, with interesting woody and almond tones. It is unbelievably smooth, nutty, delicately acidic, and develops subtle notes of anise, coffee and bread in the very creamy smoke texture.

Owner: My Father Cigars S.A.
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua Corojo & Criollo
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 60 | 127 x 23,8 mm
Released: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#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
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade Grown
Binder:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 54 | 152 x 21,4 mm
Released: 2015

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#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
Factory: Tabadom
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Ecuador Marron Oscuro
Binder:
Mexico San Andrés
Filler:
Dom. Rep., Nicaragua
Size: 7 x 49 | 178 x 19 mm
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#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
Factory: Cubanica
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper, binder, filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 50 | 152 x 19,8 mm
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#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.
Factory: Cubatabaco
Origin: Cuba
Wrapper, binder, filler: Cuba
Size: Sobresalientes, 6 x 53 | 153 x 21 mm
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#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.
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder, filler: Dom. Rep.
Size: 6 1/2 x 64 | 165 x 25,4 mm
Released: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#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.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 1/2 x 55 | 140 x 21,8 mm
Released: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#8 | Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generación V

The tobacco tradition of the Plasencia family spans five generations and five countries: the Canary Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The family employs 6,000 people, runs four factories as well as eight plantations, and produces around 40 million cigars per year. The youngest generation, with Nestor, Gustavo, and José Luis Plasencia, presented the Alma Fuente line in summer last year. It encompasses three powerful vitolas called Sixto II, Néstor IV, and the #8 in our Top 25 of the year 2017, named Generation V.

Tasting notes: A tangy box pressed salomón with a nutty impact, subtle roasted aromas and slightly peppery mint. Its earthy and woody aromas increase during the smoke; likewise, the sweetness of dried fruit. Full-bodied and balanced.

Owner: Plasencia Cigars S.
Factory: Fabrica de Puro Plasencia Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper, binder, filler: Nicaragua
Size: 7 x 58 | 178 x 23 mm
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#9 | Eiroa The First 20 54×6

With the Eiroa The First 20 series, the “Master of the Corojo,” Christian Luis Eiroa (CLE), is celebrating his first 20 years in the cigar business – years that mark his meteoric rise. With his youthful age of 45, Eiroa is one of the world stars in the industry. In 2015, his Eiroa Prensado 48×4 was named cigar of the year. This year, he has managed to reach the very top once again. All tobaccos are aged for at least four years and are considered the best that the family has cultivated, with a century’s worth of experience in tobacco growing. The tobaccos, as well as the cigars, come from Honduras.

Tasting notes: The first impression: hazelnut, cedar wood and cane sugar, followed by a spice explosion with a pepper kick. Then, increasing sweetness, several roasted and bitter tones. Complex and harmoniously blended.

Owner: C.L.E. Cigar Company
Factory: Aladino
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper, binder, filler: Honduras
Size: 6 x 54 | 152 x 21,4 mm
Released: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#10 | Bolívar Tesoro ER 2016 5ta Avenida

The origins of this brand, named after the South American freedom fighter Simón Bolívar, lie in Havana around the year 1900. At first the brand wasn’t a leading export, but from the 1950s it became very popular, particularly in Great Britain. Today, it’s considered a “connoisseur” brand, known for its earthy, full-bodied flavors. For this Edición Regional an elaborate format was chosen: the Double Figurado Salomones. Unfortunately, there are only 6,000 boxes of this fantastic cigar in circulation!

Tasting notes: At first, this cigar releases intense nutty and woody aromas, which is accentuated by a fruity sweetness and delicate peppery spice. In the second half, in the creamy, velvety smoke, a lot of spice is added.

Owner: Habanos S.A
Factory: Cubatabaco
Origin: Cuba
Wrapper, binder, filler: Cuba
Size: 7 1/4 x 57 | 184 x 22,6 mm
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#11 | A.J. Fernandez New World Puro Especial Robusto

Since the brand New World was launched by A.J. Fernandez three years ago, the classic line has been expanded by the New World Connecticut and, this year, by the New World Puro Especial.

A.J. Fernandez, who originates from Cuba, is – literally – on everybody’s lips. Not only has he had success with his own, strong brands, he also mixes successful blends for major cigar companies such as Altadis USA and General Cigar. The New World Puro Especial is on the market in the formats Robusto, Short Churchill, and Toro. The blend – a Puro made with Nicaraguan tobaccos that are entirely grown on company-owned plantations – was created by A.J. in conjunction with his father, Ismael.

Tasting notes: Following the pepper in the first few draws, a pleasant sweetness comes through. Coffee, cedar, and leather aromas then develop. The spiciness of ginger and the sweetness of honey. Exciting.

Owner: A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper, binder, filler: Nicaragua
Maße: 5 1/2 x 52 | 140 x 20,6 mm
Erschienen: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#12 | Joya Black Doble Robusto

The Joya Red line, released in 2014, is joined by its dark-colored twin sister, Joya Black. In its overall brand identity, both embody the arrival of the new generation at Joya de Nicaragua. The final result, however, came about through close collaboration of the young management team and experienced master blenders. For the first time in the company’s history, Joya de Nicaragua used a Mexican San Andrés Negro wrapper, which gives the Black line its velvety, dark touch. Joya Black is available in the formats Robusto, Toro, Doble Robusto, and Nocturno.

Tasting notes: The sumptuous sweetness of dried fruit, caramel, and fruitcake accompany this cigar. It is underscored by wheat tones, pepper and coffee. Now and then in the creamy smoke there are also notes of citrus.

Owener: Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Factory: Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 56 | 127 x 22,2 mm
Released: 2016


#13 | Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez Toro

Altadis USA, which in the United States has the trademark rights for this iconic brand, has repeatedly expanded the Montecirsto several times in recent years with new, exciting lines. For example, the Espada by Montecristo, and Espada by Montecristo Estoque, produced by Plasencia. In 2017, Nicaragua’s rising star A.J. Fernandez was allowed to add a further line: the Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez. It is available in the four box pressed formats Belicoso, Corona, Robusto, and Toro, and costs between USD 10.50 and 11.25. There was a small test run between Altadis USA and A.J. Fernandez: in 2016 the company launched the Montecristo Crafted by AJ Fernandez, which, however, was only available through JR Cigars and Santa Clara Inc.

Tasting notes: A very tasty cigar with forest floor, grassy, roasted, and cedary aromas. A complex blend, with notes of fruit, chocolate, and cereals. It is creamy in the smoke, and complex.

Owner: Altadis U.S.A., Inc
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Dom. Rep.
Size: 6 x 55 | 152 x 21,8 mm
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#14 | La Galera Maduro El Lector

José Arnaldo “Jochy” Blanco is proud of his family history. In the mid-19th century, the Spaniard José Manuel Blanco Lozada emigrated to the Dominican Republic and started working in the tobacco trade. His son became a tobacco farmer; Jochy now represents the fourth generation. In 1995, he founded the free-trade zone La Palma near Santiago, where today his farms and a first-class factory are located. There he produces a number of well-known labels on behalf of other brand owners. La Galera is the first cigar of his own brand and has only existed for two years. It is a tribute to the artful work of the torcedores.

Tasting notes: Following a sweet, creamy start, cedary and roasted aromas, as well as chocolate and nuts, come into play. This Toro cigar develops a lot of spices, some citrus freshness and pepperiness.

Owner: Indian Head Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Palma
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder, filler:
Dom. Rep.
Size: 152 x 21,4 mm | 6 x 54
Released: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#15 | Juan López Eminentes ER 2016 Suiza

This Edición Regional for the Swiss market was released commercially in November last year. It is available in numbered, 10-count boxes for 240 Swiss francs; the entire edition is limited to 6,000 boxes. Previously, the Sublimes format had only been offered in the Edición Limitada 2004 (Cohiba) and 2008 (Montecristo). The Spanish businessman Juan López Díaz founded the brand named after him in the 1870s. For many years, it was one of the best sellers among Cuban cigars. Today it is only found in a few countries. Particularly popular are the Selección No. 1 and No. 2 formats.

Tasting notes: The medium-bodied Sublimes are chocolatey, with delicate pepper, roasted and earthy aromas. Toward the end, there’s a nice competition between nougat sweetness, cedar, and chili spice.

Owner: Habanos S.A.
Factory: Cubatabaco
Origin: Cuba
Wrapper, binder, filler: Cuba
Size: 165 x 21,4 mm | 6 1/2 x 54
Released: November 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#16 | Flor de Selva Colección Aniversario N° 20 Egoísta

In the course of the 20th-year anniversary of her brand Flor de Selva in 2015, Maya Selva launched the Flor de Selva Colección Aniversario Nº 20 line. The first format was a Lancero, which immediately garnered many fans, and made it to 14th place on our Top 25 list of the year 2015. In the meantime, the formats Petit Corona, Robusto, Tempo (Robusto Grande), and our Top 16, the Egoista, a Short Robusto, have also been added.

Tasting notes: In the first few draws, this small, thick cigar is somewhat impetuous. Soon, harmony comes into play: creamy sweetness, notes of hay, herbs and roasted aromas come to the foreground, underscored by a peppery spice.

Owner: Maya Selva Cigars
Factory: Tabacos de Oriente 
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper, binder, filer: Honduras
Size: 89 x 22,2 mm | 3 1/2 x 56
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#17 | 2012 by Oscar Corojo Toro

It’s been five years since Oscar Valladares took off on a real campaign of conquest. He began manufacturing cigars and became popular with passionados worldwide in no time at all. To celebrate this success, together with his master blender Byron Duarte, he reissued his first cigar series – the 2012 by Oscar. The new version consists of a Corojo, Maduro and Connecticut line. Each line is available in four formats, respectively: as a Short Robusto, Torpedo, Sixty, and the Toro presented here. All formats are box pressed cigars.

Tasting notes: This box pressed Toro impresses with its creamy smoke, and develops aromas of roasted nuts, earth, grains, and wood. It has spices of pepper, the sweetness of treacle, herbs, and notes of fruit.

Owner: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 52 | 152 x 20,6 mm
Released: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#18 | Don Kiki Platinum Label Limited Selection Grande

Karen Berger is a name to remember. Karen is the widow of Henry “Kiki” Berger, one of the most prominent pioneers in Nicaraguan cigars, who entered the cigar business in 1996, and passed away in 2014. Karen is upholding the legacy of her husband and manages the family business as one of the few women in the industry. She was born in Estelí, Nicaragua, and learned her craft from the bottom up. In the year 2016, in addition to the brand Don Kiki, she launched her label K by Karen Berger. In addition, she manages the Don Kiki Cigar Superstore in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Tasting notes: This large caliber starts off with a dark chocolate and toffee taste in creamy, soft smoke. Then, nut and roasted aromas, light bitter and fruity notes are added. Very harmonious and creamy.

Owner: Don Kiki Cigars
Factory: Estelí Cigar Factory S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder, filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 60 | 152 x 23,8 mm
Release: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#19 | VegaFina Fortaleza 2 Rum Barrel Aged Salomon

The brand VegaFina is now considered one of the global classics. It originates in Spain, where it was first launched in 1998. Now it is available in 45 international markets and, due to its good price-performance ratio, is one of the overall bestsellers. In Spain, VegaFina is the top-selling brand. The Fortaleza 2 line has been on the market since 2011 and is somewhat more robust than the Classic line. It is manufactured in the biggest cigar factory in the world, Tabacalara de Garcia in La Romana, Dom. Rep., under the watchful eyes of Pedro Ventura, a member of the Grupo de Maestros.

Tasting notes: Aromas of chocolate, coffee and earth are pepped up by pepperiness and notes of spice. This is followed by dried fruit, some eucalyptus freshness, nutty aromas, and, toward the end, a mild chili sharpness.

Owner: Tabacalera
Factory: Tabacalera de García
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Size: 5 3/4 x 52 | 146 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#20 | Balmoral Añejo XO Torpedo Mk52

The name of this cigar comes from a torpedo of the Netherlands Navy called MK48. The cigar is produced in the factory of the Dutch cigar manufacturer Agio Cigars (Wintermans family) in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Agio Cigars is known for machine-made cigars and cigarillos. In 2013, under the management of Boris Wintermans, Agio entered the premium market and created a stir with its Balmoral Añejo 18 und Añejo XO series.

Tasting notes: The aroma spectrum of wood, earth and leather are accompanied by a delicate sweetness and a light sour touch. In addition, nutty aromas, a pinch of pepper and, at the end, subtle citrus notes develop.

Owner: Royal Agio Cigars
Factory: Agio C.T.C.
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Brazil
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep., Brazil, Nicaragua
Size: 6 1/4 x 52 | 159 x 10,6 mm
Release: 2015

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#21 | 1502 XO Churchill

The first XO (the abbreviation stands for “extra old”) of the brand 1502 appeared in 2016 in a Toro format and was limited (the name says it all) to 1502 boxes. This year, the brand owner, Enrique Sánchez of Global Premium Cigars, presented a box pressed Churchill as its successor. According to him, not even 1,000, ten-count boxes were produced. He doesn’t reveal the blend of the tobaccos that have been partly aged for 18 years. Enrique Sánchez is a young, dynamic cigar geek who has chosen his love of cigars as a profession. All the 1502 cigars are produced by Plasencia in Estelí.

Tasting notes: At first, a lot of spices, white pepper and salty and sweet undertones. Chocolate, raisins, and molasses define the sweetness. Yet, the coffee and nuts in the creamy smoke don’t come off badly.

Owner: Global Premium Cigars
Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper, binder, filler: n/a
Size: 7 x 48 | 178 x 19 mm
Release: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#22 | Micallef Reserva Limitada Privada Churchill

Micallef Cigars, a brand that has existed since 2016, is the result of a very special connection – one between the Texan entrepreneur Al Micallef and the legendary, originally Cuban, cigar-rolling dynasty Gómez Sanchez. Since the founding of the brand, Micallef has launched 13 lines, the prices of which range between USD 8.50 and 42.00. Our Top 22, the Micallef Reserva Limitada Privada, is available in a Churchill format and costs USD 42.00. Our research tells us that, from 2018 onwards, Micallef cigars will also be available to European passionados.

Tasting notes: The chocolate sweetness at the beginning is quickly complemented by coffee aromas and fine spices. There are also leathery and woody aromas and a pinch of pepper. What is a mild cigar at first becomes much more robust.

Owner: Micallef Cigars, LLC
Factory: Gómez Sanchez
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Dom. Rep., Peru
Size: 7 x 52 | 178 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#23 | Aging Room Solera Corojo Fantastico

The Aging Room brand is part of the portfolio of the company Boutique Blends Cigars, a cooperation between Rafael Nodal, his wife, Alina, and Hank Bischoff, and has existed since 2010. The cigars are produced by José “Jochy” Blanco in Tamboril, Dom. Rep. Our readers also love this brand: This year, the Aging Room Solera Dominican Sun Grown won the Cigar Trophy in the category Best Value, Dom. Rep. As well as the Corojo and Dominican Sun Grown versions, there are also the Maduro and Shade lines. All four lines are produced according to the solera principle, a method known from rum processing. Various tobaccos are blended and aged together. Each line is available in three formats: Fantastico, Festivo, and Fanfare.

Tasting notes: A full-bodied cigar with peppery spice and a touch of chocolate over the woody aromas. The sweet vanilla and cocoa notes and a delicate bitter taste are perfectly well balanced.

Owner: Boutique Blend Cigars, Inc.
Factory: Tabacalera Palma
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Dom. Rep.
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Size: 5 5/8 x 54 | 143 x 21,4 mm
Release: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#24 | MBombay Gaaja Torpedo

With some cigars, how the cigar looks is a part of the smoke. With the MBombay cigars, this is definitely the case; the rings alone are artworks in themselves. Brand owner Mel Shah – a former computer scientist – started his business in 2001 by opening a shop in California. In 2014, he launched the house blend MBombay, which became very popular with insiders. The Gaaja line, which appeared in 2016, means elephant in Sanskrit. The line consists of five formats: Robusto, Torpedo, Toro, Toro Maduro, and Torpedo Maduro. The cigars cost between USD 12.50 and 15.50; they are all box pressed.

Tasting notes: A range of woody aromas and herbal notes go hand in hand with fruity notes and a lot of creamy smoke. Then cedar aromas and delicate pepperiness develop.

Owner: Bombay Tobak
Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
Origin: Costa Rica
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Dom. Rep., Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay
Size: 6 1/2 x 54 | 165 x 21,4 mm
Release: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


#25 | El Galan Reserva Especial Connecticut Airoso

El Galan is a young cigar brand, founded in 2014 by the Cuban Felix A. Mesa. His family had been active in the Cuban tobacco business for generations. The name El Galan is an homage to Felix’s grandfather, who was a gentleman and always elegantly dressed, and who also placed emphasis on a good cigar – precisely a Galan. The Connecticut series is the milder version of the Reserva Especial and is available on the market in two formats – as well as the Airoso presented here, the Apuesto (5 3/4 x 54 / 146 x 21.4). The cigars cost between EUR 6.90 and 7.40, or USD 6.66 and 6.80.

Tasting notes: The cedary and earthy aromas are supported by creaminess, some peppery spice and a delicate tartness. In addition, the light sweetness of cinnamon and white chocolate and coffee aromas develop.

Owner: Aroma de Vuelta Abajo Inc.
Factory: El Galan Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder, filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 52 | 127 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2017


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