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.
Rene L
AGE:30
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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Romeo 505 Nicaragua Robusto 51/2 * 50
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It has been a LONG time since I've smoked a Romeo y Julieta. If you've followed my reviews, you might be able to guess why I decided to light this one up - it's Nicaraguan! My favorite country of origin for tobacco is the highlight here, being that it is the very first RyJ to utilize it to the fullest extent; it features 100% Nicaraguan tobacco AND is rolled there as well. Naturally, I knew at the very least that I would probably LIKE the cigar, but I was surprised at how much I actually did. I happen to love box-pressed cigars, so that was already a point in its favor, but once it was lit and about an inch in, I already knew it would be my next Staff Pick. There was a momentary blast of spice in the very beginning, though that subsided fairly quickly and opened up into a very rich, leathery note that never let up. Earthy notes are also detectable, and hints of cinnamon showed face as well. No relights were needed, the burn was more than fair, and the cigar just looked and felt well constructed. I encourage you to try this one, especially if RyJ had perhaps gotten a bit lackluster as it had for me in recent times. Cheers! Picked on 02/23/2017
EP Carrillo Seleccion Oscuro Especial No. 6 Toro 6 * 52
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The wrapper used for this new release is a Mexican San Andres -- but a special middle leaf which is thinner and adds a sweetness that most do not. You can sure distinguish this nice sweetness upon the very first puff!! Wow! The first third starts off with earthy notes along with a rich sweetness along with cedar notes. Into the second third, some spice comes into play and balances out the notes very nicely. Going into the last third, the sweetness disappears totally and earthy notes are mostly predominant. Overall, the flavors were very interesting and kept me wanting more. This was a very enjoyable experience from start to finish. The draw was a bit tight at the beginning but loosened up. The burn was spot on along with a nice tight ash. A perfect combination -- chocolate, espresso, creaminess, earth and a slight spice -- and you have a blend that made the top 25 Cigar Aficianado list this year -- a must try!! Picked on 02/23/2017
Marianela Mena
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Reading, running and smoking good cigars
STRENGTH:Medium-Full and Full

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

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Montecristo Espada Guard 6 * 50
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When Plasencia and Grupo de Maestros join forces one can be sure the result is going to be outstanding. This all nicaraguan cigar has everything you could ask for: look, impeccable construction, flavor and complexity. You will find so many flavors alternating and playing all together. Cocoa, pepper, spice and predominantly leather in the first third; coffee and almond notes in the background of the second half that take over in the last third. All these flavors work beautifully together creating an unforgettable cigar. Nice draw and an even burning line makes this full bodied cigar a winner and a must have for all cigar lovers. Picked on 02/12/2017
Andrew
AGE:24
TASTE:Leather, Wood, Espresso
HOBBIES:Golf, Hanging with my dog, Smoking cigars
STRENGTH:Medium/Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Tatuaje Black Label
Ashton
Illusione "Original Documents"
La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero

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Eiroa Toro 6 * 54
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If I were to blend my own cigar, it would definitely be on a corojo wrapper. I really enjoy the spicy kick you get out of the wrapper. When it comes to corojo wrappers, in my opinion, no one does it better than Eiroa. The Eiroa Toro is an Honduran puro that is rolled at their Aladino Factory. The Toro starts off with red pepper and woodsy notes. The draw was a bit firm at first but eventually opened up during the first third. As the cigar progresses, some notes of dark fruits appear that leave a sweet after taste. You can really appreciate all of the fruity and spicy notes on the retrohale. Towards the final third, the cigar has developed toward a full bodied smoke. The Eiroa Toro is a consistent cigar offering great flavors and a generous smoke output. I usually prefer my corojo wrappers no bigger than a 50 ring gauge so I can taste the wrapper a bit more. However, this cigar was still excellent despite being a tad bit thicker than my preference. If you enjoy your cigars on the stronger side, I suggest you give one of these a try. Picked on 02/10/2017
Tyler Bartley
AGE:29
TASTE:Everything
HOBBIES:Drawing, Traveling, Formula 1 racing, Baseball, History
STRENGTH:Medium to Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Matilde Renacer
Gurkha Cellar Reserve 15 Years
Tatuaje El Triunfador
Dunhill 1907
Don Pepin Garcia Blue Edition
Rocky Patel Vintage 1992

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Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 2 6 * 55
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I really felt compelled to write a review on this cigar because its just so consistent in all aspects every time. I don't typically smoke cigars in the 54+ ring gauges but being a Fuente fan I had to give this smoke a try. Upon lighting the cigar smoked beautifully, effortless draw and burn. The first half of the cigar had an almost sweet/spice and tea like taste. Very much medium and never overpowering or harsh. Towards the end of the cigar heads back to a milder territory. I also decided to drink a Cuban Coffee with this which gave it a fantastic accompanying taste. I'd also like to point out that I was able to smoke this cigar up until the band without having to dump the ash! Picked on 02/04/2017
Michael Diaz-Silveira
AGE:22
TASTE:Wood, Leather, Nut, Maple
HOBBIES:Guitar, Football, Basketball, Volleyball
STRENGTH:Full

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


BONUS
Adrenaline Junkie!
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Crowned Heads La Imperiosa Magicos 41/2 * 52
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If you are looking for a quick 45 minute smoke, look no further. Crowned Heads La Imperiosa Magicos is sure to hit the spot and put you in a placid mood. This extra dark stogie delivers a medium to full bodied smoke, presenting notes of delicious chocolate, cedar, and some pepper. With a solid ash and good burn, one cannot simply ask for more. Picked on 01/28/2017
Luz Normand
TASTE:Earthy, Pepper
HOBBIES:Cooking, Reading, Traveling
STRENGTH:Medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Ashton
Arturo Fuente
Tatuaje Black Label
Illusione Fume D'Amour
CLE Signature Series

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Leaf by Oscar Connecticut Toro 6 * 52
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The first time I saw a Leaf by Oscar cigar I thought "wow, this is one ugly cigar". I did not know at the time that the cigar was wrapped in a tobacco leaf. Clever! Opening the tobacco leaf reveals a beautiful cigar with a subtle light brown cigar band that is almost the same color as the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigar wrapper. This is one of my favorite parts, it feels like unwrapping a gift. Lighting this cigar is easy, the burn is very straightforward and the draw is perfect. Oscar Valladares makes these cigars in Honduras for Jim Robinson (a.k.a. Island Jim), and I've never had or heard anyone complain about their construction. This is a medium bodied Connecticut, probably best suited for the seasoned smoker but is also a great cigar for newbies to try. It will provide you a pleasant smoking experience, with a bit of pepper but not too much, a nice hay flavor, and a creamy finish. This cigar is a winner. Picked on 01/27/2017
Adam
AGE:37
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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601 La Bomba Warhead III 71/2 * 38
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This is one cool little smoke. It is a chocolate brown lancero sporting a pig tail, a soft box press and a solid punch. It is made by Espinosa at La Zona, and packaged in military green boxes with great WWII style retro artwork. The construction is superb. Despite its narrow 38 ring gauge (which, by the way, showcases the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper quite nicely), this stick burns well from start to finish with almost zero corrections required. The most prominent flavors I pick up are cocoa and espresso bean, dark fruit like cherry or currant, a caramel like sweetness, and a good dose of pepper. The strength increases steadily as you smoke, and you can expect a burn time of around 1 hour. If you are bored of your go to, or just want to try something unique, definitely check this one out. Consider pairing it with a good Tennessee whiskey or milk stout. Cheers! Picked on 01/21/2017
Daniel Gutierrez
AGE:25
TASTE:Wood, Cream, Cedar
HOBBIES:Painting, Animation, Music
STRENGTH:Medium/Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Padron 1926 Serie Maduro
Partagas
Arturo Fuente Fuente Opus X

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Padron 1926 Serie No. 48 TAA Maduro 51/2 * 60
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I love cigars with a slight toothy and rugged wrapper. You see and feel the bumps on the tobacco. Rustic is what comes to mind. The pre-draw was effortless and notes of earth, cocoa and oak. Upon lighting the cigar I got some spice like pepper, cumin, some sea salt and nut. Getting through the first and second quarter it got smoother and hearty in flavors. The cocoa was more prominent and the spice would creep back up every couple puffs. Third and fourth quarter was amazing. Usually some would put the cigar down after getting through the band but this cigar, you'll be burning your fingers to get the end. The flavors remaind and not too harsh. Truly a complex stick to sit back and relax, or reflect on your success on 2016. Enjoy! Picked on 01/12/2017