From left: Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro, Villiger La Vencedora Churchill, Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de Río Seco, E.P. Carrillo Core Plus Maduro Churchill Especial No. 7 and Cohiba Robusto.
The results are in. The newest addition to our online database consists of 81 ratings from the April issue of Cigar Aficionado, and a whopping 20 smokes earned 91 points or higher. Three of those cigars earned scores of 94 points, near-classic on our 100-point scale.
Our April tasting comprised reviews from six size categories: Churchill, corona gorda, figurado, miscellaneous, robusto and grande. Nicaragua and Cuba continued to impress the tasting panel, as cigars from either country took the top spot in every category.
When conducting a new tasting, our panel of editors taste blind, meaning each cigar is stripped of its original band and assigned a numeric code for the rating process. The editors have no idea what cigar they’re smoking during the tasting, so price, country of origin and cigar manufacturer are not considered when a final rating is delivered.
To determine a score, our editors consider four different categories: Appearance and cigar construction count for a maximum of 15 points; flavor and smoking characteristics (quality of draw, texture of smoke, etc.) count for 25 points each; and the remaining 35 points are allotted to the overall impression, or level of enjoyment, of the cigar.
Below are the top cigars from April, and you can click here to peruse all of the ratings from the issue:
Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro (Nicaragua, 94 points) This box-pressed torpedo is made entirely from Nicaraguan tobaccos by A.J. Fernandez in Nicaragua for Rafael Nodal, who owns the Aging Room brand. See full tasting note.
Villiger La Vencedora Churchill (Nicaragua, 94 points) La Vencedora is a reblend of an older Villiger cigar of the same name. Whereas the original was a mild cigar, the new version is a rich, Nicaraguan puro rolled at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. See full tasting note.
Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de Río Seco (Cuba, 94 points) This fat Cuban cigar—at 5 1/2 inches by 56 ring—is the newest addition to the Le Hoyo series, an offshoot of the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. See full tasting note.
E.P. Carrillo Core Plus Maduro Churchill Especial No. 7 (Dom. Rep., 93 points) Created by cigarmaker and Cigar Aficionado Hall of Famer Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, owner of EPC Cigar Co., this cigar is rolled with a dark Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. See full tasting note.
Cohiba Robusto (Cuba, 93 points) The Cobiba Robusto is from the core line, or Línea Clasica, and at £34.30 it’s one of the more expensive cigars in the Cuban portfolio. See full tasting note.
Montecristo Petit Edmundo (Cuba, 93 points) The Petit Edmundo is the Montecristo Edmundo’s little brother. An inch shorter than its predecessor but rolled with the same ring gauge, smoke this cigar when you’re short on time but don’t want to sacrifice on quality. See full tasting note.
L’Atelier LAT52 (Nicaragua, 93 points) Rolled at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua, the LAT52 is virtually identical in size to the Cohiba Behike BHK 52, something brand owner Pete Johnson is not at all secretive about. Priced at only $8, it’s one of the better bargains of the issue. See full tasting note.
Padilla Vintage Reserve Churchill (Honduras, 92 points) Rolled with a dark, Mexican San Andrés cover leaf, with a binder from Honduras and filler tobaccos grown in Nicaragua. See full tasting note.
San Lotano Requiem Maduro Toro (Nicaragua, 92 points) Created by cigarmaker A.J. Fernandez, this bold blend is characteristic of cigars that Fernandez produces at a consistent clip. In fact, the Robusto size actually scored 91 points in February’s cigar tasting. See full tasting note.
H. Upmann No. 2 (Cuba, 92 points) This classic size in the H. Upmann portfolio comes from a box dated March 2017. It’s a tawny-brown torpedo with a sweet and complex smoking profile. See full tasting note.
Fuente Fuente OpusX PerfecXion 888 (Dom. Rep., 92 points) Rolled with a tapered head that ends in an unusual point, this special OpusX size came to market last year. See full tasting note.
Padrón Family Reserve No. 50 Natural (Nicaragua, 92 points) The Padrón Family Reserve No. 50 was released in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary. In 2015, the No. 50 Natural earned the No. 5 spot on our Top 25 Cigars of the Year list. Today, it still offers all the signature traits of a great Padrón. See full tasting note.
Micallef Gomez Sanchez 1RA Generacion Leyenda No. 1 (Nicaragua, 92 points) Measuring 7 1/2 inches by 54 ring gauge, this long cigar is crafted with a tapered head and rolled with a four country blend of tobaccos. See full tasting note.
La Antiguedad Toro Gordo (Nicaragua, 92 points) Made by the Garcia family at their My Father Cigars factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, the La Antiguedad line generally scores well in the pages of Cigar Aficionado. With the Toro Gordo, the Garcias were able to scale the blend up to hefty proportions and still maintain the character of the cigar. See full tasting note.
Oliva Serie V Melanio Torpedo (Nicaragua, 92 points) This box-pressed cigar is named after Melanio Oliva, an Oliva family ancestor who grew tobacco in Cuba during the late-1800s. See full tasting note.
Asylum Premium 44×4 (Nicaragua, 91 points) This cigar is a rich, powerful little smoke with an all-Nicaraguan blend that still packs an earthy punch. See full tasting note.
La Aurora 107 Belicoso (Dom. Rep., 91 points) Made by La Aurora, one of the oldest cigar companies in the Dominican Republic, the 107 Belicoso is a brawny cigar that shows notes of leather and cedar tempered by sweet hints of cinnamon raisin bread. See full tasting note.
Room101 Farce Connecticut Churchill (Dom. Rep., 91 points) Farce Connecticut is the follow-up to the original Room101 Farce, released last year. It’s a milder cigar that produces lots of thick, creamy smoke. See full tasting note.
Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Gran Toro (Honduras, 91 points) This hefty smoke from Alec Bradley is a re-release of a limited-edition cigar from 2015. The company says the Gran Toro is rolled with 10 different Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos from various regions and crop years. See full tasting note.
Serino Taíno Toro (Nicaragua, 91 points) Serino Taíno was designed as a tribute to the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, known as the Taínos. The blend is a composition of Ecuadoran Habano cover leaf over a Corojo ’99 binder from Condega, Nicaragua and filler tobaccos from three regions in Nicaragua: Estelí, Ometepe and Jalapa. See full tasting note.