From left: Padrón Family Reserve No. 44 Maduro, Cohiba Siglo I, Herrera Esteli Miami Short Corona Gorda, Casa Turrent Serie 1942 Gran Toro and the Don Pepin Garcia Original Invictos.
We’ve just updated our cigar tasting database with dozens of new reviews, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. While the Coronavirus outbreak has forced many to alter their original holiday plans, we hope everyone is still able to carve out some time (and space) to enjoy the unofficial kickoff of summer.
We analyzed the newest ratings from the March/April Cigar Aficionado to find 15 of the best. The entire test had 29 smokes that rated 90 points and above, which is considered outstanding on our 100-point scale. One cigar even achieved a rare 95 points, classic on our scale.
Padrón Family Reserve No. 44 Maduro (Nicaragua, 95 points): This famous Padrón, made with some of the company’s oldest tobaccos, was a stunning classic and a nearly perfect pirámide. See full tasting note.
Cohiba Siglo I (Cuba, 93 points): At only 4 inches by 40 ring gauge, this tiny smoke leaves some very lasting impressions on the palate, proving good things can come in small packages. See full tasting note.
Herrera Esteli Miami Short Corona Gorda (Nicaragua, 93 points): Whereas most Herrera Esteli cigars are rolled at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua, this cigar is made at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami. See full tasting note.
Padrón Serie 1926 No. 1 Maduro (Nicaragua, 93 points): It’s not only the biggest cigar in the Padrón Serie 1926 line but also the highest scoring Churchill in the tasting. See full tasting note.
Casa Turrent Serie 1942 Gran Toro (Mexico, 92 points): Save for a small amount of Nicaraguan leaf in the filler, this cigar is made from all Mexican tobacco. (You can read all about the San Andrés Valley, Mexico’s famous tobacco region, in June’s Cigar Aficionado.) See full tasting note.
Montecristo Petit No. 2 (Cuba, 92 points): In 2013, Cuban cigar distributor Habanos S.A. had a brilliant idea: Take an iconic cigar like the Montecristo No. 2 and make it shorter. The result is this cigar, a quicker option than its big brother and a great smoke all on its own. See full tasting note.
Don Pepin Garcia Original Invictos (U.S.A., 92 points): Before the Garcias rolled cigars in Nicaragua, they made them in Miami. A precious few are still rolled there, including this top-rated Don Pepin Garcia Original, casually known as the “blue label.” See full tasting note.
The Oscar Habano Sixty (Honduras, 92 points): This smoke is made in Honduras by Oscar Valladares, a relative newcomer to the industry who’s helping to keep the oft-forgotten region of Honduras relevant by making excellent cigars with Honduran tobacco. See full tasting note.
Fuente Fuente OpusX PerfecXion No. 5 (Dom. Rep., 91 points): This cigar’s slender size means that the Cuban-seed, Dominican-grown wrapper plays a major part in the character of the smoke. It is rolled by the Fuentes in the Dominican Republic. See full tasting note.
Quai D’Orsay Senadores Edición Limitada 2019 (Cuba, 91 points): Once a regional cigar brand made in Cuba primarily for France, Quai d’Orsay is now global. This cigar marks the first time that a Quai d’Orsay was ever released as an Edición Limitada. See full tasting note.
Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask Robusto (Nicaragua, 91 points): The Brazilian binder in this blend was actually aged for a time in a sherry cask. It’s rolled by A.J. Fernandez for General Cigar. See full tasting note.
Montecristo Nicaragua Series Churchill (Nicaragua, 91 points): Another great smoke from A.J. Fernandez, this one is made for Altadis U.S.A. with tobacco grown solely in Nicaragua. See full tasting note.
Nestor Miranda Collection Habano Gran Toro (Nicaragua, 91 points): Draped in a dark, oily wrapper from Nicaragua, this hefty smoke features a touch of Brazilian and Dominican leaf in the filler that lend to the cigar’s rich and earthy notes of coffee bean, vanilla and leather. See full tasting note.
Tatuaje Avion 12 (Nicaragua, 91 points): Elegantly box-pressed with a shapely foot, this smoke is covered in an Ecuador cover leaf and offers a warm, toasty character, rich with hazelnut, chocolate and espresso. See full tasting note.
Joya Black Doble Robusto (Nicaragua, 91 points): When this smoke debuted in 2016, it was the first cigar from Joya de Nicaragua to feature a Mexican San Andrés wrapper. The binder and filler use Nicaraguan tobacco. See full tasting note.