Staff Picks

Our hard-working staff is busy smoking dozens of cigars, so you don't have to! Each week, they choose their favorite stick from the bunch.
Joaquin Ortiz
TASTE:Natural
HOBBIES:Diving, tennis, the beach, boating, music & computers
STRENGTH:Medium-Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
La Galera 1936 Box Pressed
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Natural
Alec Bradley Tempus
Partagas
Acid Yellow
Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real

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Macanudo Inspirado Red Robusto 5 * 50
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To celebrate their 50th Anniversary, Macanudo released the Inspirado Red. It is a full-bodied Nicaraguan cigar with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras. The Macanudo Inspirado Red Robusto is a beautiful, dark, box-pressed cigar that is a complete departure from what we normally expect from this famous brand. At first light, I felt a big array of coffee, roasted nuts, pepper, a touch of sweetness and some lingering dark chocolate. The second third had more earth, almond and cocoa notes than the preceding part. Pepper and spice backed off a bit, but never really went away. Wood, caramel, and some leather made appearances as well. The draw was smooth and clean with a beautiful light gray ash. I would recommend the Macanudo Inspirado Red Robusto to anyone wishing to try a full-bodied cigar at a very good price. Enjoy! Picked on 09/06/2019
Marianela Mena
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Reading, running and smoking good cigars
STRENGTH:Medium-Full and Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Liga Privada T52
Eiroa Classic
Tatuaje Miami Seleccion del Cazador
Aging Room Quattro F55
Ashton VSG
Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo

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Cohiba Connecticut Toro 61/2 * 52
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A Mexican San Andres binder, Brazilian Mata Fina, Dominican, Piloto Cubano, Nicaraguan Jalapa and Dominican Olor as fillers accompany this gorgeous Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and blends to create a mild to medium stick. With a white and gold band this cigar looks as luxurious as its name. The wrapper has a beautiful flawless gold shade, with some visible veins, but they are very small and very subtle. The foot of the cigar exudes earth and cedar notes. Right away I can taste some sweetness and cream with wood and hay notes being the predominant flavors. Then I taste a tad of pepper on my palate, I found the first third is delicious, Very light with notes of cedar and a great aroma. In the second third the pepper increases a bit on the palate, just for a moment before I can start feeling the tobacco sweetness again with mild pepper on the background. Reaching the final third, I got plenty of cedar, playing around earth and toasty notes, dulling away the pepper and playing along with some tobacco sweet notes. Sweet, wood and Cedar are the predominant flavors during the entire smoke. Creamy, Smooth and Delicious are the right adjectives to describe the Cohiba Connecticut. Construction is flawless with a nice draw, solid gray ash and even burning line. Complex and satisfying this cigar can be enjoyed not only for a Connecticut leaf lover but for every cigar smoker out there. Picked on 09/02/2019
Michael Diaz-Silveira
AGE:24
TASTE:Wood, Leather, Nut, Maple
HOBBIES:Guitar, Investing, Travel
STRENGTH:Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Herrera Esteli Habano
Eiroa CBT Maduro
Liga Privada No. 9
Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Connecticut
CAO Amazon Basin


BONUS
Adrenaline Junkie!
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Eiroa Dark Natural 5 * 50
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The Eiroa Dark Natural is one of the newer releases from Christian Eiroa. This cigar caught my attention 1st being an Eiroa, Eiroa makes some of the most exquisite cigars on the market today, and 2nd its presentation. The cigar has an elegant wrapper that was just screaming my name. I began by torching the foot of the cigar till it was completely charred black. At first puff I was taken to paradise. The cigar is creamy, it’s nutty, and has a small amount of spice. The cigars ash burned evenly and the draw was perfect. I would say to pair this cigar up with a woody whiskey, or a dark coffee. Another great addition to the Eiroa line be sure to pick one up and try it. Picked on 09/01/2019
Curtis Yap
TASTE:Spice, Sweetness, Oak, Roasted nut, Coffee
HOBBIES:Smoking excellent cigars, Cooking, Going to new restaurants and bars, Playing badminton, Muay Thai, Always enjoy a good whiskey, scotch or tequila
STRENGTH:All

FAVORITE BRANDS
Illusione "Original Documents"
Illusione Maduro
Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour
Davidoff Nicaragua
Arturo Fuente Fuente Opus X
El Gueguense

Island Jim San Andres #2 Torpedo 61/2 * 52
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At first glance you can’t help but chuckle when you see the Island Jim #2 Torpedo. From the shaggy foot, to the colorful band, and the way it resembles a #2 pencil, you would think it belongs in a novelty shop. Then you start to think, “Why is my local tobacconist carrying it?” Now it becomes intriguing. The cigar has an open cap so there is really no need to cut it but you can. On the pre-light, you pick-up notes of hay and earth tones. What I liked about this cigar is that because of the shaggy foot, you get to taste the binder and filler before you reach the wrapper. The binder and filler had a subtle, sweet, pleasant taste. Once it got to the wrapper, I started to get the earth notes and hay even on the retro hale. During the second third the cigar picked up, I started to get some spice and just enough pepper to keep me interested. On the final third, the cigar remained the same. It is a mild to medium smoke, with a good draw and a very light smoke. Overall, it’s a good cigar to enjoy. Picked on 08/26/2019
George P.
TASTE:All. Except soft
HOBBIES:Smoking good cigars, watching movies, Jazz music, spending time with family
STRENGTH:Medium , Medium to full, Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
New World
Espinosa Habano
CAO Flathead
La Flor Dominicana Limited Edition
Oliva Serie V
Asylum 13 Ogre
La Galera Habano
CLE Prieto

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Nestor Miranda Special Selection Rosado Gran Toro 6 * 60
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Nestor Miranda has had a great reputation with making incredible cigars. This is one of those instances yet again. The first thing that caught my eye with this cigar was the dark rich color that it has. The Nestor Miranda Special Selection Rosado Gran Toro is a medium to full-body cigar. It has a Nicaraguan Habano Rosado wrapper, Nicaraguan Criollo '98 binder, and a combination of Nicaraguan Condega, Esteli, and Jalapa fillers. Upon first light, you are introduced to a nice pepper note, along with an earthy, cedar profile. The pepper taste never becomes overwhelming, but is just enough for you to enjoy the cigar throughout. The aroma of the Nestor Miranda Special Edition Rosado was outstanding, and had a nice even burn to it from start to finish. For being a big cigar, it had a great draw to it. Midway through, the pepper does diminish a bit, although the other flavors are still present - and I was also introduced to a nice coffee taste that really enhanced its flavor. The cigar stayed consistent all the way to the end. It had the flavor and strength that made this cigar very enjoyable. I would absolutely recommend this cigar to anyone looking for a fantastic medium to full body cigar. Picked on 08/19/2019
Davidoff Winston Churchill LE 2019 Robusto 5 * 50
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In honor of Winston Churchill, this special Limited Edition “The Traveler” was created. Made with a Dominican wrapper, San Andres binder, and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican. The packaging is exquisite—boxes of 10 which act as a travel humidor. This cigar does not disappoint in presentation nor performance—simply stunning! The cigar has a nice dark wrapper, smooth and oily. Upon first light, woody and earthy notes are upfront along with spice. Starts off with nice complexity. Into the second third, the notes turn into cream, coffee and nuttiness. I am so loving the changes and complexity. The cigar is a medium to full at this point and totally keeping me interested! Into the final third, woody notes reappear along with leather and also a salty sweetness. The consistency in construction throughout was spot on as is expected from a Davidoff cigar. I enjoyed the experience very much—rich and complex. It is a bit pricey but a very nice treat. Enjoy! Picked on 08/18/2019
Luz Normand
TASTE:Earthy, Pepper
HOBBIES:Cooking, Reading, Traveling
STRENGTH:Medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Arturo Fuente
Tatuaje Black Label
La Aurora Preferidos Cameroon Platinum
Montecristo Espada
Crowned Heads Headley Grange

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Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2019 Robusto Extra 51/2 * 49
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I am such a fan of Cameroon wrapper that I could not resist to pick this cigar up and light it up immediately when I first encountered it at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas. It was 9:30 am and about 40 minutes later I was burning my hands smoking this cigar to the nub. The blend also features a Honduran Olancho San Agustin binder over a Nicaraguan Ometepe filler. The Cameroon wrapper was grown in 2009 -a fantastic year for Cameroon tobacco- and set aside for a decade this special Partagas Decadas project. This robusto is a real pleasure to smoke. Body is on the mild to medium range, really smooth and full flavored. The perfect morning cigar! As a bonus, the box is beautiful and the cigars are elegantly presented in glass tubes, a great gift for yourself or a special someone. Picked on 08/11/2019
Jose Alonso
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Watching movies, listening to music, spending time with family, reading, writing, photography
STRENGTH:Any

FAVORITE BRANDS
Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real
Davidoff 702 Series
Liga Privada Unicos

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Acid Blue (Remi) Kuba Maduro 5 * 54
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The Acid Blue (Remi) Kuba Maduro is a good stick if you just want a cigar to help you unwind after a long day. The dark, USA Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper was a little on the veiny side, but it did not affect the smoking. The cold draw was effortless. This Acid’s construction was firm with a little give. Once lit, the Acid Blue Kuba Maduro took me on a sweet, mellow trip with notes of chocolate and a slight heightened sense of spice. It was blissful. The retro-hale was a little peppery. The draw was smooth. It hardly felt like I was smoking a cigar. The first third started mild, but as the Kuba entered the second and final third, it picked up in strength. However, it never passed medium. The ash had a nice contrasting black and white look to it. The only slight bummer of this Acid trip was the burn. It started to canoe in the first third, but it straightened itself without having to cut to retouch it. Overall, if you’re looking for a smoke that is nice and easy, I suggest you tune in and lit up an Acid Blue (Remi) Kuba Maduro. Picked on 07/16/2019
Adam
AGE:39
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Music, Reading, Art, Nature, Craft Beer, Slacking
STRENGTH:All

FAVORITE BRANDS
Tatuaje Black Label
Liga Privada No. 9
Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970
Arturo Fuente

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Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto II Hexagon 6 * 60
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"The hexagon is nature’s most perfect shape...think of the honeycomb." - Nestor Andrés Plasencia Before I say anything else about this stick, I've got to start with its truly dynamic appearance. Elegant dark tobacco, glistening with oil, adorned with black and gold labels, pressed into a hexagon shape. Aesthetically speaking, this is one of the most beautiful cigars that I've ever had the privilege of laying my eyes upon. The Alma Fuerte is a Nicaraguan puro, composed of tobaccos from four different regions... Jalapa, Condega, Estelí, and Ometepe, the wrapper being grown in the shade in Jalapa. Even pre-light one can smell the richness just oozing off of this stick. Yes, my expectations are high. Upon lighting, flavors of earth, pepper, licorice, espresso & dark berries immediately greet me. The draw is easy and pleasant. The strength...and intensity of the flavors... begin to dramatically increase as I work my way through the stick. On an interesting note, a subtle herbal, almost Creme de Menthe like flavor joined the party somewhere in between second third / halfway point. As for the burn, while not terrible, it was not perfect either. A few touch ups were required...but I was blazing it outside during a moderately windy day, so that may have been a contributing factor. All in all though, I found it to be a very satisfying smoke, and plan to sample the others sizes of this blend in the not so distant future. I have also read that six months to a year or so in the humidor does wonders for this blend...I'll be throwing a few in there shortly to revisit down the road. As for pairing...go bold...select a good Rye, or, if you really want to make your taste buds dance...mix up a Carthusian Sazerac to sip on while you burn. Cheers! Picked on 05/26/2019
michael Perez
TASTE:ALL
HOBBIES:Motocross, fishing , cooking, smoking a good cigar
STRENGTH:Mild to Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
CAO Flathead
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Natural
Padron 1964 Anniversary Natural
Rocky Patel Vintage 2006

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La Galera Habano El Lector Toro 6 * 54
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The Galera Habano El Lector is a great cigar made by Jochy Blanco a 4th generation cigar maker. This Cigar has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and has a Corojo binder and Dominican Filler. This cigar has a beautiful golden wrapper with minimal veins. This is a great medium body cigar that is packed with so much flavor. Once I lit the cigar I got notes of wood with some sweetness in the back ground with a mild hint of cinnamon. The second third was very creamy with some sweetness and spice towards the end. The final third of this cigar gave me hints of wood and chocolate notes with a hint of black pepper. This is a great cigar to enjoy that is made by a cigar maker who has a passion for growing tobacco. I strongly recommend this cigar. Enjoy and keep smoking Picked on 04/11/2019
Leonardo Segura
TASTE:Cedar, Dark Chocolate, Coffee, Hydrating/Refreshing, Oaky, Earthy, Creamy
HOBBIES:Golf, Long walks on the beach, Smoking cigars, Traveling, Learning
STRENGTH:Mostly Full, Some Medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Ambos Mundos Habano
Brick House
La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero
Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf
San Lotano Habano
La Galera Habano

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Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli Robusto 5 * 52
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If you’re looking for a cigar that you can enjoy without scrutiny, look no further than the Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli. This robusto is unapologetically consistent in flavor all throughout. While this lack of complexity might traditionally discourage a cigar connoisseur from picking this stick up, it is not a detrimental quality. This is a valuable characteristic for the smoker looking for a cigar that they can pay little mind to as they relax on a poolside. Furthermore, this stogie also has a peculiar feature in its smoke. The smoke one draws is heavy and lingers on one’s tongue until it is all expelled. This lets one enjoy the rich grassy and earthy flavors this cigar carries to its fullest extent. This is a stick to pick up on your way to an all-inclusive beach resort vacation, where you might want to smoke a cigar with simple good flavors rather than nuanced notes. The Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli Robusto: a cigar for someone with a drink in their hand, on a beach, without a care in the world. Picked on 04/04/2019
Rene L.
AGE:32
TASTE:Wood, Earth, Leather
HOBBIES:Guitar, Beer, Sarcasm
STRENGTH:Medium/Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro
Liga Privada No. 9
Eiroa CBT Maduro
Kristoff GC Signature Series
Tatuaje Miami Seleccion del Cazador

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Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas 4 * 52
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It's no secret that Drew Estate is responsible for some of the most acclaimed and sought after premium cigars in the world, and the Liga Privada brand is not only one of them, but one of my personal all-time favorite smokes. And thus, I was extremely excited to light up the new Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas. This cone-shaped little stogie has a charmingly rustic look to it, and is part of the renowned Unico line of Drew Estate's catalog, which feature specially selected aged tobacco based largely on the vitola at hand. Eager to begin, I forgoed the cutter and simply twisted off the pigtail cap at the cigar head and started giddily torching the shaggy foot. Immediately, I was greeted with a noticeable yet manageable pepper blast that lasted for the first couple of puffs, that led way to a rich profile consisting of notes of dried earth, leather, molasses, and oak. The slick USA Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper has a beautiful oily sheen to it that hinted at the boldness this cigar was about to provide, and in no way was I disappointed. I would classify the Nasty Fritas as medium to full-bodied during the first two thirds, with it picking up strength closer to the finish line. Underlying pepper remained for the entire duration of the smoke, but expertly so as it never once became overwhelmingly spicy, but 'just right'. The pyramid form factor of the Nasty Fritas contributed to its nearly flawless burn line, and also allowed it to billow out smoke relentlessly (Don't have a chimney in your house? Now you do.) All in all, the Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas is a superb addition to the highly-respected Unico line from the mighty Drew Estate, and is perfect for when you want a short-ish smoke that doesn't sacrifice one single bit of flavor. Pair it with a quality single malt scotch to amplify the deliciousness even more! Cheers. Picked on 01/06/2019
Emmanuel Bermudez
TASTE:Earth, cedar, woody, Spicy
HOBBIES:Photography, Music Production, Sampling Wine/Whiskey, Cooking, Art, Nature, Sunbathing, Reading, Meditation
STRENGTH:Mild To Medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Ambos Mundos No. 1 Habano
Rocky Patel Olde World Corojo
Brick House
Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Connecticut
My Father

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Ambos Mundos No. 1 Toro Habano 6 * 50
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After building my palate with milder, Connecticut-wrapped cigars, I wanted to expand and develop it further with the next natural step - a Habano wrapper. The Ambos Mundos No. 1 Toro Habano is from Nicaragua, and has a smooth Ecuadorian Habano wrapper along with Nicaraguan binder and filler. After lighting and getting a couple of puffs in, I immediately noticed the aroma... burnt cedar and cinnamon. This complimented the earthy, spicy notes found from the get-go extremely well. Midway through the cigar, the taste took a turn towards the cedar side, while still maintaining the earth and spice throughout, adding some nice complexity. I also have to mention that the draw was perfect, the burn was even from beginning to end, and no relights were needed. I highly recommend this cigar to both new smokers trying to broaden their horizons, and experienced smokers who enjoy a flavorful Habano wrapper. Picked on 11/28/2018