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Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2018

Top 25 Cigars of 2018: The Complete List

Here are the Top 25 Cigars of 2018, selected by the Cigar Journal Tasting panel. These cigars have been released in the past 18 to 24 months and – depending on availability in the US, Europe or Asia – have made it into our tastings in due time before the end of the year. They’re the cigars that have impressed our experts the most. Cigars that you should, by all means, try.

Each one of these cigars has received an evaluation of 90+ points. We eliminated cigars (sometimes with a heavy heart) that are released in extremely limited numbers, which are only available in homeopathic quantities or in regionally very limited markets. Our panel consists of about 70 cigar lovers and experts from around the world, women and men, of all age groups.

Here is the complete list of our Top 25 Cigars of 2018. They can also be downloaded as a PDF (US-letter or A4 format), or a JPG.


#1 | Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro

Cigar Journal Top 25 of 2018The Grand Reserve was first presented in April 2018 as part of the Mountain on Fire event in the Austrian Alps and is (currently) exclusively available in Europe. Cigar lovers in the United States should keep a lookout for this cigar on their next trip to Europe. Distribution of the Grand Reserve series only started in October 2018. For the blend, which is kept secret, Rocky Patel dug deep into his treasure chest and used some of his oldest tobaccos. After production, the cigars matured in the aging room for a further two years. As well as the Toro, the Grand Reserve series also comprises a Robusto (5 1/2 x 50 | 140 x 19,8 mm) and a Sixty (6 x 60 | 152 x 23,8 mm). The cigars come in elegant ten-count boxes.

Tasting notes: This super creamy cigar offers the delicate sweetness of dried fruit and chocolate, the delicate bitter tones of tea, as well as woody, leathery, and nutty aromas. Caffè latte and herbal spice are “just” the encore.

Owner: Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Tavicusa
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Undisclosed
Binder: Undisclosed
Filler: Undisclosed
Size: 6 x 52 | 152 x 20,6 mm
Released: 2018

Cigar Journal Cigar of the Year 2018 Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro Top 25 Cigars


#2 | A.J. Fernandez Enclave Broadleaf Churchill

A third-generation Cuban grower and cigar manufacturer, A.J. Fernandez has made a name for himself in the industry for both creating many popular cigars bearing his name and for a multitude of other companies. Sought after not only for his extensive knowledge of farming, production and quality control, Fernandez’s name has become synonymous with Nicaraguan tobacco. The Enclave Broadleaf, which is the second release in the Enclave line, is the first cigar in the Fernandez portfolio to use a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The original Enclave was blended by A.J. Fernandez and his father, Ismael.

Tasting notes: An extremely tangy Churchill with earthy, nutty and leather aromas. This cigar develops an exciting play on the palate between the sweetness of chocolate and licorice as well as a zesty tang. A perfectly harmonious blend.

Owner: A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: United States of America
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 7 x 52 | 178 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2017

A.J. Fernandez Enclave Broadlead Churchill Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#3 | Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Soberano Maduro AT

Celebrating the Padrón company’s 30th anniversary in 1994, the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series is one needing no introduction. That said, the packaging of the Natural and Maduro Soberano additions represent the first time that Pardón has introduced a square-shaped tubo to its collection. The Maduro’s expressive taste stood out and delivers a fantastic cigar experience.

Tasting notes: This cigar has a whole herb garden, with eucalyptus, tarragon, pepper … and, in addition, a fine sweetness as well as gentle bitter tones. Coffee, roasted and nut aromas accentuate the expressive taste.

Owner: Padrón Cigars, Inc.
Factory: Cubanica
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 52 | 127 x 20.6 mm
Release: 2016

Padrón Anniversary Series 1964 Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#4 | Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Robusto Grande

Pappy Van Winkle whiskey has achieved cult status among Bourbon lovers, and the Pappy Van Winkle line of cigars, created by Drew Estate, has reached similar cult status among cigar (and bourbon) enthusiasts. Unlike its predecessor, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented cigars, the Tradition line is not aged in barrels that once contained Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. Tradition is said to be one of the first blends that Willy Herrera made for Drew Estate when he came on board. With nothing to do with former Pappy Van Winkle barrels, the blend is one that Julian Van Winkle, president of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, really enjoyed. We admit, we thoroughly enjoyed it, too!

Tasting notes: With nutty, coffee and toast aromas as well as wood and a cocoa/caramel sweetness, this cigar makes a promising start. It develops delicate salty, earthy tones and a very interesting sweet-sour play on the palate.

Owner: Drew Estate, LLC
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Size: 5 ½ x 54 | 140 x 21,4 mm
Release: 2017

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#5 | Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged Epicure Sun Grown

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, who had been making cigars in Cuba since the 1930s, Nick Perdomo Jr. founded Perdomo Cigars in 1992 and quickly became a powerhouse in the cigar industry. This Miami-based company that owns and operates one of the largest cigar factories in Nicaragua produces millions of cigars a year for itself and for many others in the industry. Perdomo Jr. was one of the first in the cigar industry to age cigars in bourbon barrels. The wrapper leaves of the Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged Epicure Sun Grown are first aged for six years, before spending an additional 10 months in bourbon-soaked oak.

Tasting notes: This spicy, creamy blend delivers fine wood aromas, coupled with walnut and a touch of a whiskey finish. Later, the profile develops more towards coffee and chocolate. This is pure harmony.

Owner: Perdomo Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Perdomo
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 54 | 152 x 21,4 mm
Release: 2017


#6 | Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed 60×6

The Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed 6 x 60 was the first new vitola since the Davidoff Nicaragua line was first released. The 6 x 60 box-pressed format, combined with a blend of Estelí Ligero, Jalapa, Ometepe and Condega tobaccos intrigued our blind-tasting, cigar-review panelists. In this first instance of a 6 x60 box-pressed cigar from Davidoff, master blender Henke Kelner has created a unique masterpiece for those who prefer a big ring gauge, box-pressed Nicaraguan puro.

Tasting notes: Tangy cedar wood, nutty roasted aromas; the sweetness of dried fruit … this cigar pulls out all the stops. Delicate bitter tones combine on the palate with discreet sour notes and a fine caramel sweetness.

Owner: Oettinger Davidoff AG
Factory: Tabadom
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 60 | 152 x 23,8 mm
Release: 2017

Cigar Journal Top 25 2018 Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed BP


#7 | Partagás Series No. 1 Edición Limitada 2017

The Partagás Series No. 1 Edición Limitada, produced under the factory size Nobleza, sits alongside the Cohiba Talismán and the Punch Regios de Punch as 2017 Edición Limitada releases from Habanos S.A. Although it didn’t receive as much media coverage as the Cohiba Talismán, the Partagás Series No. 1 Limited Edition satisfies the most ardent Partagás fans with flavors that stay true to the brand. For a fresh cigar that is probably yet to hit its stride – which it will with a couple of years in the humidor – it’s a gorgeous one that deserves much more attention than its Class of 2017 colleagues.

Tasting notes: This cigar is excellently rolled and starts off with aromas of leather, earth, wood, and nuts as well as an intense spicy taste. An expressive cigar with a toasty element and subtle pepperiness in the finish.

Owner: Habanos S.A.
Factory: Cubatabaco
Origin: Cuba
Wrapper: Cuba
Binder: Cuba
Filler: Cuba
Size: 5 3/8 x 52 | 137 x 20,6 mm

Partagas Series 1 Edicion Limitada 2017 Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#8 | Villiger La Vencedora Robusto

Best known for machine-made cigars and European cigar distribution, Villiger Cigars has reestablished itself in the North American premium handmade cigar industry. The rebranded La Vencedora (originally a Cuban brand purchased and released on the US market in 2005) is marketed as Villiger Cigars North America’s first “full-bodied” cigar and is made by Joya de Nicaragua. The 2018 La Vencedora, or “The Victor,” also corresponds with the company’s 130th anniversary in the cigar industry.

Tasting notes: Robust earthy, nutty and oaky aromas interchange with coffee and spice. In addition, this Robusto offers subtle citrus freshness and a proper pinch of pepper. Then this creamy cigar becomes cedary and somewhat harsher.

Owner: Villiger Cigars North America
Factory: Joya de Nicaragua
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 50 | 127 x 19,8 mm
Release: 2018

Villiger La Vencedora Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#9 | Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art Torpedo

Alec Bradley is a brand name synonymous with the premium cigar industry. Alan Rubin’s Prensado released a few years ago received glowing admiration from the cigar world. The Lost Art name extension tips its hat to the cigar maker’s time-honored craft and skill. The Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art Torpedo is one of our top 25 cigars of this year and was a standout among our panelists and among the other formats in the range, which include a Robusto, Gran Toro, Churchill, and Double T. Unlike the original Prensado, the Prensado Lost Art blend features an additional binder from Honduras.

Tasting notes: A Figurado with wood and plenty of coffee notes, cacao sweetness and tang. Pepperiness, sweetness and spices provide a match with each other on the palate. A balanced, harmonious and also pretty cigar.

Owner: Alec Bradley Cigar Co.
Factory: Raices Cubanas
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Honduras, Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Size: 6 ½ x 52 | 165 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2016

Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art Torpedo Top 25 Cigars 2018


#10 | Oscar Valladares Ciserón Edition

From working his way up with Rocky Patel, Oscar Valladares’s rise has been meteoric; he quickly became known for producing cigars of style and substance. Style and substance combine in the Oscar Valladares Ciserón limited edition that honors the work of Honduran artist Elmer Ciserón Bautista. Interestingly, it’s the first time Valladares uses a wrapper that does not consist of Honduran tobacco. Five pieces of Ciserón’s art were selected, with each artwork reproduced on 500 20-count boxes. With no artwork or labels to fall back on, our tasting panelists were drawn to this cigar, and eventually discovered that cigar art, history, and culture are even more tangible in this line of cigars from Oscar Valladares.

Tasting notes: This cigar is perfectly rolled, has a fantastic burn and forms a solid ash. The woody, nutty and coffee aromas are underscored by a honey sweetness, fruity notes, and herbs. At the end, the creamy smoke also develops notes of chili.

Owner: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 52 | 152 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2018

Top 25 Cigars of 2018 Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition


#11 | La Galera Habano Supremo Petit Figurado

Jochy Blanco, manufacturer of the La Galera brand, presented The Cubes, a limited edition of 333 square-shaped boxes containing 50 cigars rolled in irregular vitolas at this year’s IPCPR and at the subsequent InterTabac trade show. At InterTabac, Blanco told Cigar Journal: “For this limited release, we made a selection of our best tobaccos and rolled it into four totally new formats.” Be quick, as Jochy Blanco declared that these releases won’t be repeated again. Available in four different sizes, our tasting panelists selected the Petit Figurado as an illustrious selection in Cigar Journal’s Top 25 cigars of the year.

Tasting notes: The scent of toast blends with cedary, nutty and coffee aromas. Later, an almond taste develops, combined with the sweetness of dates, leather aromas, pepper and spice. A very complex blend.

Owner: Indian Head Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera Palma
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Size: 4 x 56 | 102 x 22,2 mm
Release: 2018

La Galera Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#12 | Balmoral Añejo XO Oscuro Rothschild Masivo

The Balmoral brand has developed in leaps and bounds since entering the premium cigar market. Before parting ways with Drew Estate, this partnership amplified the brand’s reach, ensuring that cigar lovers were able to discover the premium-cigar offering of the label. This year, the Balmoral manufacturer, Royal Agio Cigars, introduced two new lines to the Balmoral Anejo XO series, the Connecticut and Oscuro. These recent releases captivated our blind-tasting team, with the Oscuro being a standout in this year’s tastings. Multiple countries have supplied tobacco for this blend, which provides a rich and complex experience.

Tasting notes: This cigar delivers a lot of creamy smoke with an expressive taste and aroma profile; noticeable coffee notes, the delicate sweetness of dark chocolate, roasted aromas and abundant herbal spice, including a pinch of pepper.

Owner: Agio Sigarenfabrieken NV
Factory: Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company LTD
Origin: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep., Nicaragua, Brazil
Size: 5 x 55 | 127 x 21.8 mm
Release: 2018

Top 25 Cigars of 2018 Balmoral Añejo XO Oscuro Rothschild Masivo


#13 | VegaFina Classic Year of the Pig

According to the Chinese zodiac, those born in the year of the pig have a beautiful personality, are blessed with good fortune, love entertainment, and enjoy life. Cigar companies are increasingly releasing cigars based on the Chinese zodiac, and the Year of the Pig characteristics certainly suit a large number of cigar lovers around the world. VegaFina’s Year of the Pig release features a Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, binder and wrapper for good measure, produced in the Tabacalera de García factory in the Dominican Republic.

Tasting notes: Leather aromas, a gentle salty note, the scent of bread, wood aromas and spices … and that’s just the start. This creamy cigar develops floral notes, a pinch of pepper and a subtle chocolate sweetness combined with nut aromas, herbs, and dried fruit.

Owner: Tabacalera SLU
Factory: Tabacalera De Garcia
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Size: 5 ½ x 56 | 140 x 22,2 mm
Release: 2018

VegaFina Year of the Pig Top 25 Cigars 2018


#14 | Bespoke Limited Edition Spalato

Jeremy Casdagli’s Bespoke Cigar launched the Spalato limited edition to celebrate the 2017 Cigar Smoking World Championship finals in Split, Croatia. Leaves were expertly sourced by Hendrik Kelner Jr. and aged up to five years prior to production, with the final blend chosen by Marko Bilić, founder of the Cigar Smoking World Championship. Limited to only 10,000 cigars, the Spalato, referencing the Italian name for Split, is packaged in 15-count, numbered boxes. Visitors to Bilić’s Club Mareva cigar lounge in Split, Croatia, will appreciate the box design, which brings to mind the walls of the club.

Tasting notes: This interesting format develops a lot of herbal spice, cedary wood aromas, and a light salty piquant note. In addition, a fresh citrus acidic kick, meaty taste and lush creaminess.

Owner: Stirling International OÜ
Factory: Kelner Boutique Factory (KBF)
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Size: 5 ½ x 50 | 140 x 19,8 mm
Release: 2017

Bespoke Limited Edition Spalato Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#15 | Gurkha Heritage Maduro Toro

Named after cigars made by Nepalese fighters in the 1800s, Gurkha has become a cigar company known for their creative marketing, artistic packaging (including treasure chests, crates and vaults), and unique and limited blends. This second release in the Gurkha Heritage line is a three-country blend that includes tobaccos from Mexico, Brazil, and Nicaragua. Taking pride in offering both economical and high-end cigars, Gurkha continues to push the cigar industry envelope in both design and taste.

Tasting notes: Following a peppery start, spices and subtle sweetness come to the foreground. This is accompanied by woody, nutty, earthy and roasted aromas with a leathery element. In the creamy smoke there’s cappuccino and chocolate.

Owner: Gurkha Cigars, Inc.
Factory: American Caribbean Tobacco S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Brazil
Filler: Brazil, Nicaragua
Size: 6 ½ x 52 | 165 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2016

Cigar Journal Top 25 Cigars 2018 Gurkha Heritage Maduro Toro


#16 | Ramón Allones by A.J. Fernandez Toro

A classic Cuban heritage brand owned by General Cigar, the Ramón Allones reincarnation has now been put in the hands of famed cigar maker A.J. Fernandez. This is yet another collaboration between the two companies. With an all-new blend and traditional yet eye-catching packaging, this rendition of the Ramón Allones is blended with all Nicaraguan tobacco, most notably with Medio Tiempo, a rare leaf that only grows atop of few plants. These bold, flavorful leaves make this version of the Ramón Allones the most powerful to date.

Tasting notes: Absolute first-class handiwork. Coffee, earth and almond aromas develop, ample pepperiness, as well as dark chocolate. Added to this are hops, wood, leather and a vanilla sweetness, and also herbal spice in the creamy smoke.

Owner: General Cigar Co.
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 52 | 152 x 21,4 mm
Release: 2018

Ramon Allones AJ Fernandez Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#17 | Vegas del Purial Gran Reserva Belicoso

A few years ago, Félix A. Mesa was unknown. Today he’s a star in the cigar industry. Firstly, because his brands El Galán and Doña Nieves have long been listed in international specialty stores and rank high in the top lists. Furthermore, because none other than Carlos Fuente Jr. asked him to manage the future Fuente factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. His third brand is called Vegas del Purial. Again, the creation is a tribute to his roots, an homage to his family, and his gratitude to his new home of Nicaragua. Situated in the Cuban province of Las Villas, Vegas del Purial was the name of the farm of his paternal grandparents, Felipe and Caridad Mesa, whom he immortalized on the cigar ring. He uses Ecuador wrappers from Sumatra seed; all other tobaccos are cultivated in Nicaragua

Tasting notes: This cigar has a somewhat tight draw, but delivers an exciting combination of chocolate, vanilla, salty caramel, roasted nuts and pepper. Some tasters also discovered gingerbread and earthy aromas, and cinnamon and coffee in the creamy smoke.

Owner: Aroma de Vuelta Abajo, Inc.
Factory: El Galan Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 1/2 x 52 | 140 x 20,6 mm
Released: 2018

Vegas del Purial Gran Reserva Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#18 | Brick House Double Connecticut Corona Larga

Brick House, a brand created in 1937 by Julius Caeser (J.C.) Newman, was resurrected in 2009 by his grandsons, who currently manage the J.C. Newman Cigar Company – “America’s oldest family-owned cigar manufacturer” headquartered in the historic Ybor City of Tampa, Florida. J.C. Newman’s Brick House brand, which was originally a Cuban Puro in 1937, is now hand-rolled and aged for over one year in Nicaragua. The Double Connecticut is unique in that, instead of using Connecticut wrapper leaf from other countries, it uses a US-grown Connecticut and Connecticut Broadleaf binder for its blend.

Tasting notes: This elegant format develops considerable smoke volume and has a perfect burn. Fine spicy cedar aromas, buttered toast and delicate pepper are accompanied by a sweetish base tone.

Owner: J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
Factory: Puros de Estelí Nicaragua S.A. (PENSA)
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: USA
Binder: USA
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 ¼ x 46 | 159 x 18,3 mm
Release: 2017

Brick House Connecticut Corona Larga Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#19 | Plasencia Alma del Campo Travesia

Best known and respected for supplying the largest and most well-known cigar companies with premium tobacco for decades, the Plasencia family is making another attempt at having their name mentioned specifically for cigar making. A Nicaraguan puro grown on Plasencia-owned farms, the Alma del Campo is the Plasencia’s second release since they created their own distribution company, Plasencia 1865, in 2016. The second of the Alma line, the Alma del Campo is packaged in 10-count boxes that double as an ashtray, so the artwork is not only appealing but functional.

Tasting notes: Dried fruit, pastry, rum, as well as leathery and cedary aromas make for a nice aroma/taste spectrum. A harmonious, fine-spicy cigar; creamy in the smoke and diverse in taste.

Owner: Plasencia Cigars
Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 ½ x 54 | 165 x 21,4 mm
Release: 2017

Plasencia Alma del Campo Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#20 | Tatuaje RC No. 3

Since 2003, there have been few cigar companies hotter than Tatuaje. Founded by Pete Johnson, who is also wine maker, the Tatuaje label has become a “cult classic” for producing popular regular releases, seasonal series and sought-after, event-only cigars. Tatuaje is recognized as the original boutique cigar company and continues to expand its already large portfolio to appeal to all segments of the cigar community. The RC (Retro Cuba) No. 3 is a European exclusive that covers half of the cigar in a foil wrap, reminiscent of an old Cuban packaging method.

Tasting notes: Aromas of leather, nuts and whole wheat cookies combine with fruity notes, and pleasant bitter tones like coffee and dark chocolate. A creamy cigar with a light ginger sharpness and full harmony.

Owner: Tatuaje Cigars
Factory: My Father Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 ½ x 56 | 165 x 22,2 mm
Release: 2018

Tatuaje RC No. 3 Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#21 | La Aurora Hors d’Age 2017 Toro

Known as the original cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, La Aurora Cigars released the Hors d’Age 2017 this year. This limited release, first introduced at the Procigar Festival in the Dominican Republic and then at the IPCPR in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a cigar that was literally 12 years in the making. The Hors d’Age, whose tobacco was harvested in 2006 and was aged twice as long as other cigars in La Aurora’s line-up, is limited to just under 100,000 cigars.

Tasting notes: A gentle, harmonious, well-balanced cigar with subtle sour notes, the sweetness of dried fruit and also toasted and leathery aromas. The creamy smoke is underscored with pleasant notes of spice and a fruity sweetness.

Owner: La Aurora S.A.
Factory: La Aurora
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Columbia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Size: 6 x 54 | 152 x 21,4 mm
Release: 2018

La Aurora Hors d'Age 2017 Limited Edition Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#22 | Joya Silver Corona

Made by the oldest and one of the most renowned factories in Estelí, Nicaragua, the Joya Silver is Joya de Nicaragua’s forth and latest installment in its modern cigar lineup, geared towards those new to the cigar lifestyle. The release of the Silver coincides with Joya de Nicaragua’s 50th anniversary. To add to the “edginess” of the flavors and marketing of the Silver, it is also the first box-pressed cigar of the Joya portfolio and is developed by what the company calls the youngest executive team in the industry, and the most senior master blenders of Nicaragua.

Tasting notes: Offering up contrasting notes of bitter earth and milk chocolate, this cigar creates an interesting battle of competing notes in a display of intriguing complexity that is rounded out with espresso.

Owner: Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 1/4 x 42 | 133 x 16,7 mm
Release: 2018

Joya Silver Corona Top 25 Cigars 2018


#23 | My Father La Opulencia Robusto

My Father Cigars, headed my Don Pepín García and his son Jaime, is a giant in the cigar industry. With multiple award-winning lines, the powerhouse based in Doral, Florida, is synonymous with Nicaraguan cigar manufacturing. Their already full lineup of offerings became even more comprehensive in 2017 with The Opulent, or La Opulencia. Debuting at the 2017 IPCPR, La Opulencia has the look, feel and taste that cigar enthusiasts are accustomed to from My Father. With traditional artwork displayed on the box and on the bands, La Opulencia sports the signature cream-and-gold My Father band, with a secondary band displaying the latest name. This line stands out due to the emerald green ribbon adorning the foot. 

Tasting notes: A classic: coffee and chocolate, roasted nuts, toast, crackers and again espresso. A winning blend with herbal hints, a delicate sweetness and exciting aromas throughout.

Owner: My Father Cigars, Inc.
Factory: My Father Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5 ¼ x 52 | 133 x 20,6 mm
Release: 2017

La Opulencia My Father Top 25 Cigars of 2018


#24 | La Flor Dominicana La Volcada Churchill

Known for making cigars that are full of strength, La Flor Dominicana follows up its 2016 release of the Andalusian Bull with the debut of La Volcada. Like the Andulasian Bull, La Volcada was inspired by founder Litto Gomez’s roots in Spain and Uruguay. Inspired by the steps of the tango, a dance that many argue originated in Uruguay, the Volcada’s roots are unquestionably Dominican as its filler leaves are grown on the Gomez’s personal farms in La Canela.

Tasting notes: A pretty cigar with a pigtail, creamy smoke, and exciting in the course of the smoke. Alongside the scent of flowers and citrus notes, it has the sweetness of molasses, pepperiness, bitter notes of Angostura, earthy and roasted aromas, as well as wood aromas with cacao.

Owner: La Flor Dominicana
Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Dominican Republic
Size: 7 x 48 | 178 x 19 mm
Release: 2017

La Flor Dominicana La Volcada Top 25 Cigars 2018


#25 | Macanudo Inspirado White Toro

Believing that good things come to those who wait, Macanudo introduced the Macanudo White in 2017, a cigar using a six-year-old Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and four-year-old fillers from Nicaragua and Mexico to create an Inspirado that is beautiful yet bold; complex yet nuanced. The original Inspirado lines (Orange and Black) were originally limited to Europe and online retailers, respectively. The White rendition joins the aforementioned Orange, the reblended Black (which was released alongside the White for even more contrast), and the recently debuted Red.

Tasting notes: A smooth cigar with a fine cedar aroma, notes of wheat, some freshness of mint and subtle bitter tones. It has a slightly malty note; delivers spices, nuts, fruity tones, sweetness, and gentle pepper.

Owner: General Cigar
Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaragua, Mexico
Size: 6 ½ x 50 | 165 x 19,8 mm
Release: 2017

Macanudo Inspirado White Top 25 Cigars of 2018


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