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The after-dinner cigar gets all the credit. To me, it’s the morning cigar that gets me going. Pour a nice cup of coffee, fire up a Connecticut-wrapped gem, and gather my thoughts…an exceptional way to start the day. So, this month’s Alec Bradley Connecticut really resonates with me. A complex blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos finished with a seamless Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.
Normally, when you attach AJ’s name to a blend, it instantly puts it on the map. But La Herencia Cubana’s CORE line still flies under the radar. Why? As one of AJ Fernandez’s earlier releases, AJ’s celebrity hadn’t taken off quite yet. But let me tell you, this one deserves your attention. A bold, rich beauty ripe with notes of dark chocolate, spice, and hints of cashews.
As the first Cohiba with roots in Nicaragua, this '91' rated blend is worth toasting to again and again! Constructed with elegant complexity, this premium produces ample amounts of smoke and releases hearty flavors of leather, cedar, and pepper on the palate—all thanks to its Nicaraguan binder, long-fillers, and Honduran Jamastran Colorado Oscuro wrapper.
More than a favorite, this Monte is a '94' rated homerun. Stepping up to the plate in confidence, Montecristo Platinum is fitted with a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan, Peruvian, and Dominican long-fillers. This leads to one extraordinary result: a plethora of cashew, almond, and coffee nuances with slight spice throughout—a true pastime for any fan.
The complexity of the Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-fillers presents bold notes on the palate, which are complemented by a natural sweetness thanks to the cigar's Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper. This richly-balanced, box-pressed premium delivers a slow, even burn with a long finish—a '93' rated blend that is sure to have you falling head over foot!
This AJ blend is "all the rage" with its dark, oily Ecuador Habano Sun Grown Oscuro wrapper and Cuban-seed long-fillers from his farms in Estelí. This perfectly-powered blend brings attention to rich notes of cedar and spice which is rounded out by a creamy finish. Diesel Rage is one class act you don't want to miss.
Coming from one of the most prestigious cigar facilities in operation, AVO Heritage is worth every bit of your time. This remarkable '90' rated blend conveys rich, complex flavors thanks to its Cuban-seed Dominican long-fillers. At its core are toasty nuances of cocoa, with hints of sweet cedar and subtle spice to complete the experience.
This '94' rated rocky Patel is the ideal companion for the fall. Its oily Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan long-fillers presents a robust profile which lends itself to a long, yet sweet and savory finish. Bold but balanced, this premium brings forth toasty nuances, which complements the cool, crisp air perfectly—a must-have for the season!
I was pleasantly surprised with the '92' rated HC Series Connecticut. Well-rounded, complex flavors within the tri-country blend of tobaccos from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua certainly made up for the full-bodied profile I have grown accustomed to, while the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper kept the smoke smooth on the palate—a risk worth taking!
New to the Mark Twain portfolio, Riverboat is the perfect summertime selection. With both a Connecticut and Maduro wrapper, this barber pole-style premium presents robust Nicaraguan binder and long-fillers — experience notes of earth, toast, cedar, and sweet spice. Medium in body, this blend brings forth a subtle boldness that inspires both your palate and senses.
'94' rated, and for good reason, ROMEO by RyJ contains a robust Ecuadorian Habano wrapper along with a blend of Dominican Olor and Piloto long-fillers that create a uniquely complex and balanced experience to the palate. Introduce your taste buds to notes of chewy leather and dried fruit, all accompanied by slight red pepper spice.
Fashioned by AJ Fernandez, this decadent premium from Diesel features an Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper which perfectly covers lush Ligero leaves. An earthy richness is introduced to the palate and lends itself toward flavors of espresso, leather, and hints of black pepper. Bringing intensity to the experience, this cigar will surely captivate your heart and humidor.
Receiving a '90' rating like a badge of honor, this box-pressed cigar from Rocky Patel is rich from head to foot. The balanced flavors transition perfectly from this premium which carries long-fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras underneath its smooth Honduran wrapper. Slight hints of cedar accompany notes of espresso, leather, and chocolate—a cigar worth toasting!
This Pennsylvania Broadleaf maduro-wrapped follow-up to the original release is the perfect addition to my humidor. Its Sumatran binder combined with Dominican long-fillers ensures a consistent complexity that is thoroughly satisfying from head to foot, presenting a savory flavor profile complemented with a subtle, natural sweetness.
Graycliff 10-Year Vintage Maduro is one I always have on-hand during the cold months. This premium handmade contains extensively-aged long-fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras, all draped with a fully-matured Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper—all leading to creamy notes of cocoa with an earthy core—a perfect holiday treat that's consistent through and through.
This '95' rated super-premium has decadence written all over it. With Nicaraguan long-leaves from the country's top growing regions, Mi Amor has me falling in love over and over again with its dominant profile that's smooth and creamy from head to foot. Expect a long-lasting finish complemented with nuances of espresso, black pepper, and earthy undertones.
This '95' rated delight starts with an oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that covers dual binders and Nicaraguan long-fillers. Defining what it means to be a "full-bodied" cigar, this maduro keeps its construction along with a bold flavor profile from head to foot—prepare for a complex yet balanced experience. A true mainstay for full-bodied fanatics.
This Top 25 premium is a staple for my summers! The highest primings of both the sun-grown Havana-seed wrapper and Honduran binder are carefully selected, setting the tone for one medium to full-bodied experience filled with round, spicy flavors featuring hints of cinnamon, making the '93' rated Punch Gran Puro prime for a perfect day.
This box-pressed beauty by Alan Rubin is what comes to mind every time I'm in need of a premium that hits the spot. '96' rated, this lush blend burns slow and even, making way to a palatable treat filled with toasty nuances of leather, earth, and hints of chocolate. Spicy on the forefront, this premium offsets its power with some sweet nuances.
Smoke like a boss with CAO Consigliere! This tri-country blend of long-fillers are dressed in a dark, oily Brazilian Mata Fina maduro wrapper. Heavy on the palate, a nutty core is surrounded with hearty notes of earth and slight hints of cinnamon. Solid construction with an effortless draw, this premium is a bonafide showstopper!
Alec Bradley Nica Puro brings forth copious amounts of flavor with each puff. Concise notes of leather and cocoa, with slight cashew nuances create a robust yet smooth experience that results in one pleasing experience. Carrying a '91' rating, it's no wonder why this premium tops the charts!
This premium is worth celebrating, as this was the initial brand made in the first cigar factory that opened in Nicaragua in 1969. Continuing to top the charts on my favorites list with its full-bodied profile, cedar and earth nuances, and spice on the finish, Antaño is perfect when you want to sit back and reminisce!
A slight break from the fuller-bodied blends I enjoy, this did not disappoint in the least bit! The seamless Ecuador Connecticut wrapper and Nicaraguan blend led to some pepper notes upfront. About 1/4 of the way through, hints of pepper were balanced out by a heavy, smooth draw, full of flavor in each puff.
Before I get carried away, let's admire the premium at hand: A San Andrés wrapper, Ecuador Sumatra binder, and long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican. As for the flavors, prepare your palate for a rich, satisfying experience filled with notes of black cherry, coffee, cocoa, and hints of spice—this is one for the books!
H. Upmann 1844 Reserve made a lasting impression in my group of handmades. This cigar performed like a champion with top-notch construction. The deep, ample tobacco flavors from the tri-country long-filler blend of Peruvian, Nicaraguan, and Dominican leaves provided an experience that was smooth and flawless.
Hearty filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and long-leaf from the San Andrès Valley, along with a Cuban-seed Ligero wrapper offers one heck of a cigar which packs robust notes of earth, leather, and oak...all with a spicy kick. This is one premium from Diesel that delivers optimum flavor and performance—a limitless experience!
There was no doubt the #12 Cigar of 2018 had to make it in this lineup! Robust and full-flavored, this Ecuadorian-wrapped premium contains a tri-country blend of fillers that produce earthy aromas with underlying hints of spice. Strong but not overpowering, this cigar lives up to its name, packing a punch in all the right ways!
Never receiving an official release, this limited-edition premium was one I just had to try. Aged for no less than three years, filled with 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos, this cigar 'wow-ed' in every way! Rich flavors flourished from head to foot with nuances of almonds, cedar, spice, and earth. This is one Legacy that's legendary!
As a fan of full-bodied cigars, I sampled Camacho Ecuador and realized I made a huge mistake by not trying one sooner! Medium to full-bodied, the electric blue bands aren't the only thing bold about this blend. Expect big flavors of coffee and chocolate with a rich, bready aroma—this cigar is more than good, it's great!
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1 - Montecristo Sword Ashtray