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.
Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro 6 * 52
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When we first received this cigar in our store I picked one up immediately as I had heard amazing things about it -- all true by the way! The Grand Reserve was originally made for the European market a few years ago, but thankfully made its way to the states recently. The blend is totally TOP SECRET but what we do know is that the tobacco is Nicaraguan and has been aged for two years. The cigar comes in three vitolas. Presentation is extremely appealing and classy -- draws your attention immediately. Upon first light, notes of pepper are right upfront joined quickly by sweet and floral notes. Creaminess soon jumps in as the pepper subsides. Chocolate and coffee notes are also coming to play. This is a very very enjoyable smoke thus far. Into the second third, sweetness and spices are equally prevalent and balance each other to perfection. Construction has been spot on--awesome burn, draw and strong ash. Cream and fruity notes are are coming into action along with some coffee notes. The cigar at this point is a strong medium in strength but so extremely smooth! Into the final third, the same notes are still floating around as well as nutty notes popping in and out. I have to be honest, this is one heck of a good cigar and definitely worth the price point. I HIGHLY recommend you try this. I have smoked quite a few and they have all been consistent and a beautiful and delicious smoking experience! Enjoy. Picked on 10/18/2020
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 Kuba Arte Keo #2 513/16 * 54
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The Acid Kuba Arte Keo #2 is one of five commemorative cigars Drew Estate created to celebrate their twentieth anniversary. Drew Estate commissioned five well-known Brooklyn graffiti artists to design the band for the cigars and its box, which was made to look like the company’s iconic water tower. The cigar is named after SCOTCH70 who is known for his traditional graffiti style. As for the cigar, it is an artfully handmade torpedo with a dark rustic maduro wrapper that screams “Smoke me,” which I did. Its construction was nice and firm and had very little give. Before lighting, I gave it a sniff test and picked up a nice soothing floral aroma. The cold draw was effortless. Its sweet tip was just right. Once lit, the Keo #2 had a nice mellow tobacco flavor and aroma to it. The smoke flowed easily through the cigar despite the firm construction. The retro-hale revealed more of the floral aroma and the finish was creamy with subtle hints of spice. The burn was sharp, and the ash was the whitest I have seen in a cigar in a long time. Throughout the second and final third, the rich tobacco flavor and aroma took center stage while the floral notes took a back seat. The spice did pick up in the last third, but it was not overpowering. Strength-wise, the Keo #2 is medium with a slight leaning towards strong. Overall, the Acid Kuba Arte Keo #2 is definitely a work of art that truly personifies why the Acid brand by Drew Estate has been a favorite among cigar aficionados for the last two decades. Picked on 10/15/2020
RJ Clyne
TASTE:Creamy, chocolate, cinnamon
HOBBIES:Making money and writing poetry
STRENGTH:Mild to medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Ashton Symmetry
Arturo Fuente Magnum R
The Oscar Maduro
H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez

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Villa Zamorano Robusto 5 * 50
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What even needs to be said besides elegant, when referring to Villa Zamorano by Maya Selva Cigars. To its golden-brown Sumatra wrapper. With a Honduran binder, and Nicaraguan/Honduran filler this cigar can go one of two ways. Sweet or spicy which is what Honduran Cigars are known for. The first time I had the pleasure of trying the Villa Zamorano amidst a gala far too fancy for I, with the only word on the menu I could understand being Champagne. Usually an odd pairing for a cigar but with the cocoa and almost vanilla cream flavor brought the best out of this cigar. The first inhale of this cigar I was immediately hit with a touch of spice, a resistant draw which is a sign of a masterful roll, and an aroma that had people around me asking what I was smoking. It immediately transitioned to Coffee, Roasted Nuts, Dark Chocolate and notes of cream throughout. Overall a very smooth and nice medium body cigar especially for the price ranging from $4-$6. I almost don’t want to recommend this cigar to anyone for how much I enjoyed it. Picked on 10/14/2020
Joaquin Ortiz
TASTE:Natural
HOBBIES:Diving, tennis, the beach, boating, music & computers
STRENGTH:Medium-Full

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

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Aladino Habano Rothschild Vintage Selection 41/2 * 48
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The Aladino Habano Rothschild Vintage Selection is a medium strength robusto that is handmade by Don Julio Eiroa in Honduras. It features a Habano maduro wrapper that surrounds a binder and filler composed of Authentic Corojo tobacco made from original Cuban-seed Corojo. After rolling, the cigars are aged for four to five years. At first light, I felt a big array of coffee, roasted nuts, pepper and some lingering dark chocolate. The second third had more earth and almond notes than the preceding part. Pepper and spice backed off a bit, but never really went away. Wood, and some leather made appearances as well. The draw was smooth and clean with a beautiful light gray ash. I would recommend the Aladino Habano Rothschild Vintage to anyone wishing to enjoy a beautiful cigar at a very good price. Enjoy! Picked on 09/21/2020
George Perez
TASTE:All. Except soft
HOBBIES:Smoking good cigars, watching movies, Jazz music, spending time with family
STRENGTH:Medium , Medium to full, Full

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

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Diamond Crown Maduro Robusto No. 3 61/2 * 54
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JC Newman has been synonymous with excellent cigars. The Diamond Crown Maduro is a testimony to that. What caught my eye first with the cigar is the dark oily look it has. It has a Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper and a binder and filler from the Dominican Republic. At first light, you are introduced to hints of oak and cedar. Some hints of pepper are also present. It gives off a delicious, welcoming aroma that makes you love the cigar that much more. At the half way point, the hints of pepper do go up a little; not too much, just enough to keep the experience interesting. The hints of oak and cedar are still present, and the strength of the cigar does go up from medium to medium-full. Towards the end of the smoke, the hints of pepper do diminish a bit, while it still stays consistent with its flavor of oak and cedar throughout. This is one great cigar for anyone who wants to broaden their horizon and spoil themselves at the same time. Picked on 09/20/2020
Marianela Mena
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La Aurora TAA Exclusivo Toro 6 * 50
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Making a TAA cigar is a big compromise and a very demanding task. It needs to have the look and of course the flavor of an special cigar. La Aurora TAA is a wonderful surprise for the senses. Aromas that take you to the tobacco farms, scents of rain and wet soil with a touch of citrus. The cigar has a beautiful Ecuador wrapper, a Dominican binder and Dominican and pennsylvania broadleaf as fillers; It may sound more simple and unpretentious that what in reality is. An elegant brown and gold band worthy of an special cigar ornate this stick, a special blend made for the TAA. After lighting it up and taking the first puff a subtle unidentified sweetness take over my palate, following for fairly strong woody notes. What a contrast! this notes accompanied each other without interfering, or without one overpowering the other one. The cigar starts as a medium, very creamy and soft, gaining strength after the first third. Those aromas from the beginning become flavors and one can feel hints of earth and cedar, the sweetness still but it develops some peppery notes here and there, In the last third the strength has increase a bit more but flavor has done it as well and is almost a full bodied smoke. Good draw and a perfect burn…It is a fact, La Aurora never disappoint. Picked on 08/28/2020
Erik Ruiz
TASTE:Leather, wood, earth
HOBBIES:Working out, going to concerts, learning new instruments
STRENGTH:Medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Mombacho Cosecha
Tatuaje Mexican Experiment
Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro

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Liga Privada No. 9 Corona Viva 6 * 46
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There is a lot to say about the Liga Privada No.9 by Drew Estate, so I'll do my best to keep it concise. I would like to start off with the presentation of this gorgeous cigar, a very nice dark-toned US Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a glossy oily finish. After a year with the Neptune family I finally came across the opportunity to smoke a Liga No.9 and I must tell you, what a big regret of mine not trying it earlier. Great full-bodied stick with notes of leather and earth throughout. Strength did ease up after about halfway through. As far as construction, very well built with almost no imperfections, and I found myself marveling at the strong, bright white ash. I'd always heard about the supreme quality of the Liga Privada line, and in no way was I disappointed. I would highly recommend this stick to a smoker that's getting into richer, fuller-bodied cigars. Picked on 08/24/2020
Luz Normand
TASTE:Earthy, Pepper
HOBBIES:Cooking, Reading, Traveling
STRENGTH:Medium

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

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Back2Back URNY LE 2019 7 * 52
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This collaboration from Davidoff and Back2Back originally came out in 2019 and sold out of the Davidoff store in Brooklyn, so the cigars are well aged by now. I love the presentation of the cigars in a "spray paint" can-and why not, the UR New York team is composed of two great urban artists, Mike Baca and Fernando Romero. This is certainly an impressive cigar to give as a gift (remember this for the holidays!). This cigar smokes like the Davidoff cigars we know and love: flawless construction, shiny golden brown US Connecticut wrapper, and that earthy taste with notes of cedar, herbs, and honey. This is definitely a premium cigar more aligned with the Davidoff White Label line than the Back2Back line. If you like torpedos, if you like mild to medium cigars that are satisfying and smooth and creamy, if you like beautiful cigars...this is the cigar for you. Made in limited quantities so once they are gone, they are gone. Enjoy today. Picked on 08/14/2020
Adam
AGE:41
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Music, Reading, Art, Nature, Craft Beer, Slacking
STRENGTH:All

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

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Padron 1964 Anniversary Exclusivo Maduro 51/2 * 50
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As odd as it may sound considering the current state of affairs in the world, I have barely had any time lately to sit down and spend some quality time alone enjoying a decent smoke. That said, when the opportunity arose, I wanted to make it count, and decided to go with something tried and true… something I knew would not let me down. Enter the Padron 1964 Anniversary Exclusivo Maduro. This particular vitola is possibly my top choice in the Padron Anniversary line up for a couple of reasons. It is not too big, yet not too small either, and usually burns for about an hour. The draw is nearly always perfect. It is smooth, but very flavorful. I also find it to be one of the best values in the Padron Anniversary series, which is always a nice benefit. Upon firing it up, I was immediately greeted with rich notes of cocoa and molasses, which persisted all of the way through the stick. The one I just burned had spent a year or more resting in my humidor, so it had barely any noticeable spice. You might notice a greater level of spice emitted from younger ones with less time in the humi, but never anything too intense on these. Smoke output was also excellent, with delicate clouds rolling away from the cherry even while at rest. The cocoa / molasses flavors seemed to be the most dominant in this stick all the way through, with hints of cherry along with macadamia nut beginning to mingle as it burned. Toward the end I was experiencing all of those flavors along with black coffee or espresso. No touch ups required all the way through. Simply put, this cigar is a classic that has endured the test of time. It is simple, yet elegant. It has no need for flashy branding or packaging, and yet, it remains a consistent best seller. If you have not done so thus far… do yourself a favor and pick a few up. Try one right off the shelf, and then leave one or two inside your humidor to put some age on them. You will be happy you did. Cheers. Picked on 07/27/2020
Edwin A.
TASTE:Wood , Pepper, Coffee and Earthy
HOBBIES:Working Out, Traveling and Smoking Good Cigars
STRENGTH:Medium-full , Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Perdomo Reserve Champagne Connecticut
Liga Privada T52
Tatuaje Nicaragua
Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970
Sin Compromiso

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Muestra de Saka Unstolen Valor 6 * 52
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Everybody that knows me knows I am a big fan of Steve Saka and his contribution to the world of tobacco. With that said, this cigar is totally different from the rest of the premium Muestra de Saka line, by the simple fact that it Was not blended by him! Instead, he challenged master blender and General Manager of NACSA (Nicaraguan American Cigars S.A.) Raul Disla to create a couple of test blends, and Saka picking the best fitting one for a new Muestra de Saka cigar. I'm happy to say that the Unstolen Valor meets all the expectations a fanboy like me would have. It start off with a mix of black pepper and earthiness to it, with a peppery retrohale and some leather notes as well. Reaching the second part, it stayed pretty much the same, earthy with a mix of pepper and spice along with a sweet component to it. The ash is as white as they come and the construction of this cigar is A+. The third and final part of this delicious stick is burning slow and is producing a pretty good amount of smoke, the pepper notes have increased and the retrohale is now more of a mix of espresso and earth. I have to add, to enjoy the full experience of this cigar you must retrohale! Overall, I am very impressed with the Unstolen Valor, and it definitely deserves a place among the Saka lineup. Picked on 07/25/2020
Rene
AGE:33
TASTE:Wood, Earth, Leather
HOBBIES:Guitar, Beer, Sarcasm
STRENGTH:Medium/Full

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

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Las Calaveras Edicion Limitada 2020 LC48 51/2 * 48
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Every year, boutique smokers everywhere look forward to the latest iteration of Crowned Head's limited Las Calaveras blend. Pretty much since its introduction in 2014, I've been eagle-eyed while waiting for their annual arrival at Neptune, being that I am always impressed with the release. For 2020, the limited cigar sports a purple and gold band, with a gorgeous Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that encases premium Nicaraguan components. Upon removing the golden footer band, I cut my Las Calaveras and giddily began lighting it up. After a small blast of pepper in the beginning, it wasn't long before I was smack dab in the middle of Flavor Town. Creamy notes of cedar, earth, and almonds were prominent, with the spice subsiding and only showing up again periodically, albeit at the most opportune moments. Towards the end, the Las Calaveras became quite leathery, and rounded the final lap with more earthy tones and a naturally sweet finish. Overall, I would rate the strength as in-between medium and full. As always, the burn was even, no relights were necessary, and the draw was beyond excellent. It amazes me how this line consistently gets it right even after experimenting with various blends year by year - a true testament to Crowned Head's expertise. There were only 1,000 boxes of each vitola made for the entire world, so make sure you stock up on this scarily impressive offering before they're gone. I am always on the look-out for this series, and I firmly believe every smoker should be as well. Picked on 07/12/2020
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
Arturo Fuente Fuente Opus X
Illusione "Original Documents"
Illusione Maduro
Davidoff Nicaragua
El Gueguense
Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour

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Warzone Toro 6 * 52
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When I heard General Cigars and Espinosa were teaming up to create a cigar, utilizing their own unique styles, to say I was excited would be an understatement. I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. The cigar is constructed nicely, and I appreciate the thought process that went into designing the band, and the Warzone has a beautiful one. The cigar has a Cameroon wrapper, with a Honduran binder and a filler from Colombia and Nicaragua. The Warzone is a medium to full-bodied cigar with notes of white pepper, cedar and cocoa. On the cold draw you will pick up on the cocoa and cedar. As the cigar is toasted, you can smell the cedar. The first third lends itself to the cedar. As it transitions into the second third, the cocoa and white pepper become more prevalent especially on the retro hale. On the final third, the white pepper stands out a bit more but not to overwhelm your senses. The Warzone pairs well with a dark rum. It’s a good cigar to end your day. Picked on 01/03/2020