Every year, we put out a list of the best cigars we have tried. This list is entirely free of brand advertisement of any kind. It is only a summary of the cigars we really enjoyed and had the pleasure to taste.
2020 was a truly special year for us all. The pandemic forced us to be less present with our friends but it also helped us to focus on what really matters: providing you good quality content. Enjoy the list and please reach out to us if you have any questions or suggestions.
#1. Partagas Serie P No. 2 Tauromaquia Joselito El Gallo
This cigar was a true revelation. Only 1000 boxes were made with the most beautifully aged leaves you can imagine. The only thing this Partagas shares with the regular production Serie P No. 2 is the name and vitola. Every other aspect is as separated as the earth is from the sun. Before being rolled, the leaves were aged 5 years, and this process transformed the cigar into a delicious and velvety medium-body, with wonderful sweet tones of caramel and roasted coffee. The smoke is somewhat grey and with a lot of texture, where you can find some cream, vanilla, and hints of cedar and honey. A well-deserved #1 spot on our list and probably one of the best cigars we have ever tasted.
#2. Cohiba Behike 52
This one was somewhat expected. We really thought it would win the first position but that Partagas really made us more excited than the Behike 52. However, this is and will continue to be a very special cigar. Its low availability adds to the romance and being able to taste one is a great experience. For those of you who are just starting, please know that the Cohiba Behike line is made using a very rare leaf that grows in a very limited amount of plants. That leaf is called Medio Tempo and it is the holy grail of leaves because it is as rare as it is delicious. It grows on the top of the plant, giving the cigar more strength and a ton of flavor that you can never find in any other cigar on the Cuban portfolio.
#3. Hoyo De Monterrey Double Coronas
This cigar is a big cigar, no questions about it. With a ring gauge of 49 and a length of 7.63″ (194mm), it might scare the less experienced, but please give it a chance. As we like to call it, this “gentle giant” is a true delight. Very light, impressive construction, and with a lot of delicate flavors such as vanilla, a bit of honey, and sweet milk chocolate on the aftertaste. There is a popular suspicion that says construction quality grows with the size of the cigar. We believe that might seem a bit of a myth but we have to say that of the hundreds of Double Coronas we have tried, not a single one had any construction issues. Perfect draw, perfect burn lines, and perfect ashes every single time. If you want to start your journey on bug cigars, this is the one to look for, if you can find it.
#4. Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2
A list (and a humidor) will never be complete without a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2. One of the all-time best-sellers, it is as classic as they come. Usually, lounge owners recommend an Epicure No. 2 as the first cigar to try when you want to get into Cubans and we couldn’t agree more. Once you try this light-body cigar, you will understand what the fuss is all about. The best pairing for it — in our opinion — is a nice cappuccino because it will complement the flavors of cream, milk, chocolate, and sweet cinnamon that you find in Epicure No 2. It is not a cigar only for the beginners out there, you can always find it in every experienced aficionado’s humidor. It is that good.
#5. San Cristobal De La Habana Prado LCDH
San Cristobal de La Habana is a brand that doesn’t get as much appreciation as it deserves. It was launched in 1999, as a tribute to the beautiful city of Havana. Their editions are very few when compared to popular brands like Cohiba, Partagas, or Montecristo but in the last few years, the brand has been discovered by aficionados all over the world and there is a reason behind it. The quality of the leaves is second to none. On top of it, this exclusive edition for the La Casa del Habano stores is one of the best ever produced. It is a small cigar — petit piramides — but the only thing small about it is the size. The strong flavors of wood, nuts, and a bit of earth.
#6. Cohiba Piramides Extra
Cohiba is probably one of the most well-known cigar brands in the world and we dare to say that even non-cigar smokers know about it. It is the star of the company when it comes to Cuban cigars and for a very valid reason. The effort and dedication put into it are second to none. And that shows when you light them, especially this Piramides Extra. The smooth and velvety wrapper has little to no veins on it, a characteristic that we all appreciate. The flavors you can expect in this cigar are sweet wood, cinnamon, a bit of honey. It finishes with very delicate caramel and rich leather flavors. It is a truly wonderful cigar that really embraces the spirit of Cohiba.
#7. Hoyo De Monterrey Escogidos LCDH
Looking at this list so far, it is not a surprise that we are fans of Hoyo de Monterrey. But being a fan has nothing to do with producing such a list and if Hoyo didn’t deliver, it would never even be mentioned. However, Hoyo delivered. And it delivered with a lot of quality and a ton of flavor. The Escogidos are a special edition made exclusively for La Casa del Habano — the Habanos’ franchise stores around the globe — and as almost all their editions the cigars are on the next level of construction, maybe because their name is on the traditional red second band. The shape is big but very elegant and the 49 ring gauge makes it very comfortable in your mouth. Its light-medium body delivers light flavors of earth, cream, and nuts evolving to a beautiful finish of cedar and spices. With age, they will become rounder and, if properly aged, the cigar will transform into a very sweet and mild cigar.
#8. Bolivar Belicosos Finos
The Bolivar Belicosos Finos have been performing flawlessly in the last couple of years. They are a regular presence in some of the most influential lists in the industry and for a very valid reason: the Bolivar Blicosos Finos is an exquisite cigar. They might not look the part with their single band and simple presentation but, in this case, what matters is all on the inside. The strong blend has that unique capability of tasting great when they are fresh out the box and evolving like a charm over the years. The ones we tasted 2, 3, and 5 years and all were consistent, beautifully built, and with a perfect draw. They come in boxes of 25 and also in cabinets of 25. If you get the chance, buy them in the cedar cabinets as they tend to age better in them.
#9. Quai D’Orsay No. 54
The launch of the Quai D’Orsay was a success. Habanos used all the hype from the old references of the brand and relaunched two new vitolas named Quai D’Orsay No 50 and Quai D’Orsay No 54. At the moment, in Habanos’ portfolio of cigars, there is no better bang for your buck. You get a somewhat big cigar — 5.30”x54 — for values that range $10 to $12 per cigar. Due to the shortage of these cigars in the market, you might have to pay a little extra but still, for a Cuban cigar that is a great price point. It is a light cigar, which also offers another alternative to beginners. Being light doesn’t mean they lack flavor because they don’t. The Quai D’Orsay No 54 delivers notes of vanilla and nuts, perfect for a pairing with your morning cappuccino.
#10. San Cristobal De La Habana La Punta
Another San Cristobal? Yes, another San Cristobal. That being said, you can understand why they are on this list, we really love them! The construction is always flawless and having a San Cristobal La Punta takes us back many years when cigars had that extra weight in them when the tobacco was carefully cured and aged properly. The dark wrappers are a constant feature on all the La Punta boxes we got so far and the smell you get when you first open one is something that you will remember forever. In this piramide, you can expect floral flavors and a hint of vanilla, spices, and espresso, and roasted cocoa. A great treat best enjoyed after a nice dinner.
A message to the community
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Please note that smoking is bad for your health and we do not encourage it at all. These articles are written to show the differences between cigars and never to influence anyone to start smoking. If you are a cigar smoker, please respect others around you.