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Its tough to pick a favorite amongst Rocky Patel’s award-winning portfolio. The ‘95’ rated Decade, the Edge series, the Vintage blends…all good choices! But I keep coming back to the ‘94’ rated Royale. A bold Nicaraguan blend finished with a silky-smooth Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper that produces rich notes of roasted nuts, pepper, oak, sweet cream, cacao, and caramel throughout.
I admit, I’m not much of a morning person. So I definitely need that cup of coffee when I wake up. But what’s a good cup of coffee without a cigar to pair with it? And there’s few better than Toraño’s Casa Toraño. A smooth, mellow classic that provides crisp notes of almonds, earth, and hints of cream on the finish.
Buffalo Trace begins with a mix of Nicaraguan long-fillers and barrel-aged Piloto Cubano tobaccos nestled beneath a Brazilian Arapiraca binder, all finished off with a gorgeous Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Potent, yet incredibly balanced, this beauty literally bursts at the seams with flavors of leather, cedar, spice, vanilla, and a hint of nuttiness. You've got to try this one!
The medium-bodied Ave Maria Holy Grail is rich, refined, and full in flavor. Beneath the golden Connecticut leaf and San Andrés binder are rich Nicaraguan long-fillers which lends their way to subtle notes of cream, cedar, oak, and hints of buttery toast on the finish. Another divine blend from Ave Maria—satisfying on every level.
Graycliff always delivers, and their 10-Year Vintage Maduro is no exception! This medium-bodied beauty is comprised of Honduran and Nicaraguan long-fillers that are masterfully-wrapped in an almost seamless, dark, oily and gorgeous wrapper. A creamy smoke from start to finish with notes of cedar, espresso, and cocoa throughout. A must-try!
A medium-bodied blend from CAO that is perfect for any time of day? Yes, please! The perfectly-aged Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos are masterfully nestled beneath a decadent Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. From start to finish, I love the richness and underlying hints of chocolate throughout—one of my "go-to" maduro's and must-have for my humidor.
What happens when master minds and blenders of the LAdC team get together? I'll tell you what happens: a star is born! La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Maximo is filled and bound with aged Nicaraguan tobaccos, and a Mexican Oscuro wrapper which elevates the experience—box-pressed and full of rich flavors, this cigar can't be beat.
Room101 Muzzle Loader has an extraordinary Nicaraguan wrapper surrounding a delicious blend of Mexican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. This well-constructed beauty is what you would expect coming out of AJ's factory. Hefty in size, producing a nice, firm ash that holds together, this premium is a must-try with notes of leathery goodness and hints of cream and cedar.
JC Newman kicks it up a notch with this bolder, zestier version of the original Brick House cigar. Featuring a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan long-fillers, this beauty is encased in a dark, spicy Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro wrapper. From first draw until finish, this cigar delivers with notes of cocoa, spice, pepper, and hints of natural sweetness.
Cohiba Black Robusto is what maduro dreams are made of! The gorgeous dark, oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper piqued my interest, along with a Dominican Politico binder and Dominican long-fillers, which are aged for 3 years in large tercios. Upon first draw, I experienced notes of spice, licorice, and wood with hints of natural sweetness.
San Lotano Oval Maduro is the perfect AJ Fernandez cigar, and one of my favorites! The dark, rich Connecticut Maduro wrapper adds the perfect amount of depth and goes beautifully with the Honduran and Nicaraguan long-fillers. Espresso and hints of cocoa are a hit, and finish on a sweet and lightly spiced note. A must try!
Montecristo Classic is perfect for anytime of day. A mixture of premium Dominican long-fillers and binder are nestled beneath an exquisite Connecticut Shade wrapper. I really enjoyed the hints of coffee, warm, subtle spice, and some nuttiness in this—super smooth from first draw, winding down with a woodsy, somewhat spicy finish.
The Alec Bradley Black Market cigar is so creamy and smooth, you won't want to put it down! Medium-bodied, long-fillers from Honduras, Panama, and Nicaragua are secured with a tasty Sumatra binder and expertly rolled with a Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper. Experience notes of pepper, spice, licorice, and a touch of cream and cedar!
This medium to full-bodied cigar uses tobaccos from four different regions. The Nicaraguan, Dominican, and Honduran fillers , along with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper leads to notes of spicy sweetness, along with hints of oak, raisin, and cinnamon. This cigar delivers the punch you'd expect while being beautifully balanced. One for the books!
Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Connecticut offers the subtle creaminess of a Connecticut Shade wrapper paired with the spice and punch you would expect from hearty Nicaraguan long-fillers. This versatile, medium to full-bodied smoke is full of body and flavor, pairing with everything from coffee to your favorite spirit on the rocks. A '93' rated must try!
This medium-bodied delight is comprised of aged Dominican fillers encased in a zesty Nicaraguan binder and wrapped to perfection with an Ecuadorian Habano leaf. Notes of spice and nuttiness entertain the palate from start to finish in this blend. An all-around fantastic smoke, this is one cigar great for any occasion!
Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne is celebration-worthy! Beneath the triple-fermented Connecticut Shade wrapper is a brilliant blend of Cuban-seed tobaccos grown in the rich soils of Nicaragua. Notes of coffee, wood, and hints of honey present themselves from start to finish, and create a luxurious, velvety-smooth, medium-bodied experience for all to enjoy.
This follow-up to the '92' rated original is the perfect cigar to enjoy morning, noon, or night. The Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers are beautifully wrapped in an Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf, lending to a subtle and smooth smoke. Hints of nut, spice, and light pepper balance this blend perfectly for anytime enjoyment.
Manuel Quesada 70th Anniversary is a special tribute to Manuel Quesada Jr., and is specifically blended by the master himself, Manuel Quesada. This cigar has a spectacular flavor starting with its balanced touches of Nicaraguan spice and earthy, Dominican flavors, with subtle hints of creamy undertones.
One of Caldwell's finest offerings, earning a '93' rating—this balanced, medium-bodied smoke delivers on both complexity and consistency. Rare Dominican tobaccos blended together smooth with a toothy Dominican Negrito wrapper atop creates an earthy flavor complemented by slight nuances of cocoa, and just a hint of spice.
A '91' rated cigar that is worthy of its name. Like a symphony, it comes together beautifully to create something greater than the sum of its parts. The creamy Connecticut wrapper drapes the rich Dominican binder and slightly spicy Nicaraguan filler to create a pronounced yet subtle experience sure to make anyone sing its praises.
A medium-bodied cigar that showcases slight spice but is full on flavors, this '92' rated gem hits you with earth and leather from the first draw, turning into a nutty and woodsy sweetness on the finish. Complex throughout and wonderfully constructed, this is definitely one of La Aurora's finest offerings!
This mellow addition to the Montecristo name has earned every point of its '91' rating. Its smooth, earthy Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper complements the Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos inside. You'll taste the complexity of each region this smoke is made of when you experience the exquisite draw and smooth finish!
Expertly crafted with a multiple-fermented Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The blend is comprised of long-leaf fillers from 5 different regions and makes for a complex yet well-balanced smoke! I really enjoyed the waves of subtle sweetness with hints of chocolate throughout. It was delicious and unexpected—in my Top 5 for sure!
Cohiba really outdid themselves by going the Nicaraguan route. Below the oily Honduran Oscuro wrapper are hand-picked, Nicaraguan long leaves grown in Jalapa and Estelí. Creamy and cool with notes of leather, cedar, and whispers of sweetness makes for a top-notch experience! Full-bodied, bold, and smokes like a dream!
Talk about upping the ante! The bold but well-rounded '93' rated Alec Bradley Sanctum is a rich and complex blend of Colombian, Honduran, and Nicaraguan long-leaf fillers which offer notes of spice, pepper, and vanilla. Sanctum starts off mellow, but gradually increases in intensity and flavor, sure to satisfy!
Aged to perfection, this '93' rated blend was a no-brainer! Featuring a 12-year-aged Honduran Broadleaf maduro wrapper with 5-year-aged fillers and binder, Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 offers up a semi-sweet experience of cedar and espresso nuances. The perfect balance of flavor, complexity, and richness that you can enjoy any time, any day.
The impressively-crafted Nat Sherman 1930 blew me away. It was not the mellow Dominican I have come to expect. This cigar is packed with Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers that exude flavors of cedar, a zesty spice, and hints of cocoa. This blend is perfect for when you're looking to kick things up a notch!
*Please Note Padilla Habano Artisano is sold out, and CAO America has been selected for this Expert Pick. We apologize for any inconvenience. Choosing another premium due to the immediate popularity of my first pick, I was proud to share with you this dual-wrapped gem from CAO. CAO Americana displays a beautiful maduro and Connecticut barber-pole style wrapper with a blend of Nicaraguan, Dominican, Italian, and American tobaccos. Hearty with hints of spice, this blend presents rich maduro textures with smooth notes of vanilla throughout. This '92' rated masterpiece is far from a runner-up!
Looking to kick it up a notch? Montecristo Platinum hits it right on the bulls eye with this complex blend! A smooth and rich mix of Dominican, Peruvian, and Nicaraguan long-fillers are wrapped in a flavorful San Andrés Cubano wrapper. Expect indulgent hints of leather, toasted almond, cocoa, and black pepper.
This maduro offers an excellent medium to full body that starts off somewhat woodsy and sweet, but develops richness during the burn with notes of cedar, espresso, and a slight nuttiness, all with a creamy finish. Wrapped in a San Andres leaf brimming with Nicaraguan long-fillers, this cigar is a classic.
This dark cigar is right up my alley with its Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper and potent blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers. This is definitely a spicy, but balanced premium with notes of leather, black pepper, earth, and espresso. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite blends from Diesel.
I usually gravitate toward maduros, but I make an exception for Oliva Serie 'G'. This cigar displays a gorgeous African Cameroon wrapper with Nicaraguan long-fillers. Notes of cedar and nutiness come through from the first draw to the last, with hints of coffee throughout. Medium-bodied and well-balanced.
Treat yourself to a San Cristobal Elegancia and prepare to enjoy a smooth and luxurious ride. Nestled beneath the beautiful Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper are Nicaraguan long-fillers, giving way to flavors of spice, oak, and nuttiness. This cigar pairs beautifully with both coffee and white wine!
Alec Bradley once again hits it out of the park with this box-pressed beauty! Encased in a Nicaragua Jalapa wrapper with Nicaraguan long-fillers from Condega, Jalapa, and Estelí nestled beneath, Tempus Nicaragua is a treat with toasty cedar, nuts, and hints of semi-sweetness followed by a finish of leather and spice. Quite a ride!
Reserve is another impressive offering from Romeo y Julieta! Full in body, this cigar is bursting with flavor. Expertly blended with Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers swaddled beneath a dark and oily Nicaraguan wrapper, expect hints of earth, spice, and sweetness.
Prensado Lost Art is masterfully made with a Honduran Corojo wrapper and a core of 5 different Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Expect complex flavors of white pepper, dark chocolate, earthiness, and hints of coffee. This bold and beautifully balanced treat is aromatic and delicious. Kudos Alec Bradley!
It's official! I'm in love with the Flor de San Andres by Rocky Patel. Its solid construction, dark Mexican San Andrés wrapper, and sugar skull band caught my attention right away. Not to mention the notes of cedar, dark chocolate, leather, and hints of nutmeg leading to an enjoyable experience.
Toraño Exodus Gold 20th Anniversary is a cigar that will awaken the taste buds! Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers are encased in a spicy, bold Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper. Enjoy hints of espresso, cedar, and smooth spice as you experience a myriad of flavors from start to finish with this outstanding cigar.
Rum barrel-aged Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan fillers are encased in an oily Oscuro wrapper. I immediately enjoyed notes of coffee, spice, and some hints of black cherry. A must-try for those who enjoy a solid medium to full-bodied cigar.
Talk about a real Nicaraguan through and through? The Nat Sherman Timeless Nicaraguan 556 is a box-pressed delight. This puro is simply mouth-watering with hints of chocolate, molasses, coffee, spice, and a bit of woodiness in both flavor and aromatics. Hats off to Nat Sherman, this tasty addition truly is Timeless.
Rocky Patel Connecticut is my go-to cigar for mornings on the lake during fishing season. This mellow blend is just perfect for pairing with coffee. A smooth start gives way to notes of nuttiness, earthiness, with hints of subtle leather and spice. Superior construction and effortless draw makes this a truly satisfying Connecticut.
Made by AJ Fernandez, this cigar is a box-pressed, full-bodied beauty! The Habano Ecuadorian Sun Grown Ligero wrapper appears marbled and smooth. This cigar offers notes of pepper, balanced with earthiness and coffee. It was a fantastic cigar that I would recommend to any enthusiast who prefers a full-bodied experience.
The latest release from the industry titan utilizes a Mexican San Andrés wrapper that is prized by many. Flor de San Andres is a perfectly balanced, medium-bodied blend with a rich espresso core and hints of spice and leather on the finish. Sugar skull or not, these cigars are truly a sweet deal.
Allow me to introduce Diesel's newest offering, Heart of Darkness. This full-bodied Nicaraguan beauty is encased in an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. Experience flavors of espresso, leather, wood, and spice. Raising the bar once again, this complex Diesel blend will satisfy the most discerning connoisseur.
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1 - Montecristo Sword Ashtray