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.
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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Crowned Heads Coalicion Sublime 61/2 * 54
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Many collaborators have made some great cigars. The Crowned Heads Coalicion is one of them. It was created when Jon Huber and Willy Herrera joined forces. What first caught my eye about this cigar was its dark rich wrapper. Upon lighting the cigar, you are introduced to a nice hint of cedar notes and spice. The draw on it was great. The aroma was enjoyable. At the halfway point of the cigar, the spice diminished a bit, and a nice hint of pepper was introduced. This transition was great. One note did not overpower the other. The cedar notes stayed present. A nice hint of earthy notes introduced itself. The full-body strength was still there. The burn on the cigar was perfect. Towards the end of the cigar, the notes were still present. It made the cigar that much more enjoyable. Many cigars will lose some notes as they hit the final point. Not this one. The flavor, strength and notes combined to make this one great cigar. To those looking for a good full-body cigar, I present to you the Crowned Heads Coalicion Sublime. Enjoy it. And if you are going to have a drink with it, I would recommend a nice scotch. Glenlevit is my go-to libation. Picked on 01/11/2022
Ashton VSG Sorcerer 7 * 49
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The Ashton VSG is always a staple in my humidor but I have never smoked the Sorcerer which is 7x49. The VSG is made with a Virgin Sungrown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and uses Dominican tobaccos that have been aged for 4-5 years. The shape of this cigar is very nice in that it is a slight box press. Its beautiful rustic brown color grabs attention immediately. Upon first light, pepper notes are upfront along with earthy notes and roasted nuts. very smooth at this point. Into the second third, woody notes along with coffee and dark chocolate were swirling about. Pepper was definitely notable in the background. I am seeing a good deal of complexity at this point. For a full body cigar it is very well balanced and smooth thus far. Into the last third, I experienced notes of coffee, coco, nuttiness and spiciness. It was a most enjoyable experience from start to finish as are all the VSG's. Construction was also perfect throughout!! The Ashton VSG is rich and delicious and should be a must try for all. Enjoy! Picked on 01/11/2022
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
Liga Privada Unicos
Davidoff 702 Series

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Crowned Heads Le Patissier 61/2 * 44
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I’ve always been a fan of the Crowned Heads brand, and I never hesitate to try one of their cigars. So, when I noticed they released Le Patissier, I just had to dive in. In case you’re wondering “Le Patissier” is French for “pastry chef.” The name alone told me I was in for a treat. Sweet! The cigar had a nice toothy, decadently delicious dark Connecticut broadleaf wrapper that leaned towards the rustic side. The aroma off the body and foot had an all tobacco sweetness with hints of barnyard. The construction was a little soft, but it did not affect the smoke-ability of this Lonsdale. The cold draw was effortless. The first third was all tobacco, and the smoke was wispy and white. Despite the soft middle, the draw was all flow. Into the second third, I picked up earthy and barnyard notes. However, the tobacco flavor and aroma stayed in the forefront. For the final third, the tobacco sweetness crowded out the other flavors, but I was able to detect some spicy notes. As for strength, this stick stayed in the medium range. Overall, this is a good stick that works well as an everyday smoke. I paired it with an iced water and a splash of lemon juice. Picked on 01/10/2022
Erik
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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HVC Edicion Especial 2015 Corona 5 * 46
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It’s a new year, a great resolution is to try something new and explore your palate like I did. I decided to try the HVC Edicion Especial 2015 corona. This dark toothy cigar has a beautiful appearance with its Mexican San Andrés wrapper and natural oily finish. Definitely a quality stick made by carefully selected tobaccos from two farms from Aganorsa leaf. This tobacco is then aged a minimum of four years. On to the fun part…Once lit, I immediately got notes of cocoa, earth and even raisin with a slight spice that was not overpowering at all. Definitely a full flavor medium strength stogie. Smoke output was good but was a bit tight on the draw. The burn was even throughout but did get a bit hot towards the nub. Towards the middle portion, flavors did stay with coffee added to the mix. Spice did died off but still maintain a great flavor profile. The last quarter, earth was the dominant flavor with coffee still lingering. Draw did get a bit looser but still wasn’t as I wanted it to be. Like I said before, temps did get high but that’s expected with a corona. Great experience so far, go ahead and give it a try! Your palate might just thank you. Cheers to 2022! Picked on 01/09/2022
Martin Ruiz
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Sports, video games, food, good beer
STRENGTH:All

FAVORITE BRANDS
Liga Privada No. 9
Arturo Fuente Fuente Opus X
Padron 1926 Serie Natural
Flor de las Antillas

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Flor de las Antillas Maduro Torpedo 61/8 * 52
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The only right way to start the new brand new year? Smoking an extraordinary cigar, and the Flor De Las Antillas Maduro Torpedo is just that. This Cigar shows its elegance with its Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that makes all dark chocolate lovers like myself mouths water. Removing it from the cellophane gives an instant aroma of fruitiness. The cold draw is a fantastic mixture of cocoa and earthiness, and after lighting it up the first few puffs are just the same with a taste of berries joining the mix and just the right amount of spice. The draw and burn are just perfect from the start with no issues occurring at all; the cigar also gives a wonderful hint of coffee right at the start of the second third and is then followed up by more cocoa and fruitiness which are perfectly balanced for my tasting. All the way from the Final Third to the nub the cigar was perfectly balanced with spice, fruitiness, and cocoa as well as some leather. I would say it was the perfect combination all throughout. This stick is a medium-full bodied cigar and I would definitely pair it with a nice Rum, but it is without a doubt one of the best cigars for its price! Picked on 01/06/2022
David W.
TASTE:Anything and everything, I’ll try anything once.
HOBBIES:Collecting coins, basketball cards, cigars, cigar swag and playing video games
STRENGTH:Mild in the mornings and medium to full in the afternoons and nights, depending on my meals.

FAVORITE BRANDS
Liga Privada T52
Casa Fernandez Maduro
Foundation Charter Oak Maduro
Muestra de Saka
RoMa Craft Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794

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Warzone Short Churchill 61/2 * 48
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For my first cigar review of the brand-new year, I laced up my boots and marched out the gate with the Espinosa Warzone. Once removed from its cellophane, this cigar had a strong yet very pleasant leathery aroma. The dry draw had a dominant grapefruit and plum-like flavor. The draw was easy and had little resistance, which is always welcomed. Once fired up, the first puff was heavy on the leather again with some citrus notes with lasting after taste of plums... almost exactly how it was before I lit the cigar. It has a slight burn on the retro hale but still has fruit-like taste with some nice bitterness. These flavors and aromas last more than half of the cigar until you get to the band. Once I removed the band and had about an inch and a half left, the cigar changed to a strong flavor of dates. It’s sweet-like, but also had the bitters of a citrus fruit. I can see this pairing well with a whiskey or an Olde English. If you are looking for a reliable smoking comrade that won't leave you behind, then the Espinosa Warzone is the one for you. Picked on 01/06/2022
Mari Mena
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Mi Querida Gordita 41/4 * 48
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I am obsessed with this little cigar. 4 inches only, but packed with only good flavors, I’ve been smoking mi querida gordita almost every other day for the last month and has yet to disappoint me. Medium to full in strength the cigar is very earthy with red pepper tones from the beginning till the nub. Dark chocolate notes start dancing around the second third but just as a complement of the earthiness and the pepper. At this point the pepper is just a secondary source and chocolate and coffee beans come forward, this is the moment I want to eat instead of smoke this cigar. The last third is glorious, it is all about flavors: the pepper still there but not as predominant as it was, the chocolate, earth and coffee flavors melt together and there is some zesty or flower notes lingering around. I can only think and how much I love this cigar and how being so small is such a satisfying smoke… Nice burn, firm ash, no draw issues. A 45-minute smoke that you are going to love. I'm a Steve Saka fan and love both lines of Mi Querida, Triqui Traca 648 is an amazing smoke but from the regular line Gordita its the best and more flavorful size. I paired it with a cup of hibiscus flowers tea and it was delicious. Picked on 01/06/2022
Adam
AGE:42
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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Plasencia Reserva Original Churchill 7 * 48
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Formally known as the Plasencia Organica, the Plasencia Reserva Original Churchill is a cigar that stands apart from the crowd, even before factors such as construction, flavor profile & draw are taken into consideration. Why you might ask? (if the introduction did not give it away) Well, it is composed entirely of organic tobacco, and that is something that you do not see very often in this industry. If the thought of smoking a cigar that has not been exposed to synthetic fertilizers or pesticides appeals to you, as it does to me, you are going to have to give this stick a test drive. In the case that means nothing to you, I am happy to report that it is a damn fine cigar regardless. First of all, the draw is exceptional…not restrictive in the least, yet provides enough resistance to assure you that the cigar is well put together. The tobacco contained within the cigar has been aged for a full five years after the curing process, and it is evident. It burns like well-aged tobacco should. I did not detect any hints of bitterness and the stick is not prone to requiring relights either, even during rest. Describing the flavor profile is a bit tricky, as I found that it was not really dominated by any one note in particular. It is smooth and nutty, earthy, with a subtle lingering mixture of sweetness and baking spices. This cigar is not too mild, not too strong and the volume of smoke it produces is generous. The all organic tobacco is a nice touch that I would like to see more of. This stick will provide you with a pleasant smoking experience from start to finish. I found it to pair perfectly with my morning café con leche. Cheers! Picked on 12/10/2021
Luz Holguin
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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Cain Daytona 550 5 * 50
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This underrated cigar is one of my favorite recommendations to make to cigar aficionados. A medium bodied offering that packs a punch thanks to having only ligero in the filler (often referred to as a milder version of the original Cain cigar). How do they achieve the milder, creamier flavor in an only ligero filler? The answer is Jalapa tobacco. All of the tobaccos in this cigar (filler, binder, and wrapper) are grown in Jalapa. Smoke this if not only for the experience of a unique blend by the Oliva family in Nicaragua. You will get notes of cedar, cocoa, citrus, pepper and oak. You will also get a very nice burn and a darn well made cigar. Picked on 12/10/2021
Rene L.
AGE:34
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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Recluse Amadeus White Robusto 5 * 52
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you know me at all, you know that I don't smoke Connecticut-wrapped cigars too often. That being said, it's always a good idea to have a few in your rotation to keep the palate fresh and to have something for when you simply want an easy, breakfast smoke. When I saw the Recluse Amadeus White Robusto, I was enamored with its simple yet elegant design, featuring very sharp box-pressed construction and a white and silver band paired with a shiny silver footer band. The cigar felt smooth to the touch, with minimal veins. Once cut and lit, I was pleased with the immediate cedar notes I encountered. Almost as immediately, I noted that the Amadeus White was going to be a super light smoke with very little body, BUT, that is not a bad thing! As I stated earlier, sometimes you haven't eaten a meal or are just wanting a light cigar to throw some smoke around with good company. In that aspect, the Amadeus delivers wholeheartedly. I cannot stress this enough: from start to finish, the Amadeus remained truly, truly mild. Smoke output was generous, and the smoke itself was fluffy and aromatic. The strength, however, was virtually non-existent. This was a welcome attribute, keeping in consideration that you are looking for a friendly cigar when you pick this one up. The woody notes found at the start remained constant throughout, and notes of almond creeped their way in before long to join the party. All in all, the Recluse Amadeus White is a wonderful way to enjoy a velvety smooth experience front-to-back, and is priced as such to where your wallet won't hate you either. Pro-Tip: Pairing this with an espresso or a pale ale would be heaven on earth. Picked on 11/23/2021
Robert Vallee
TASTE:Coffee, dark chocolate, earth
HOBBIES:Smoking, making music, playing cards
STRENGTH:Medium to Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Padron 1926 Serie Maduro
Punch Diablo
The Tabernacle

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San Cristobal Revelation Odyssey 53/4 * 60
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The San Cristobal Revelation is the kind of cigar that from the appearance alone gets me excited to start smoking it, from the sleek milk chocolate Sumatra wrapper that almost has a glossy finish to it, to the fancy artwork reminiscent of the tropical islands surrounded by gold ribbons and embossed lettering, this already has the looks of a classic cigar. From the cold draw all the way to the last quarter of the smoke, I was getting a blend of notes reminiscent of nuts, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla beans and citrus. At the first quarter of the cigar, it was a little bit spicier than I expected, but as I kept smoking, it kept getting smoother and more flavorful with the chocolate and vanilla notes being more pronounced towards the end. The burn was very consistent, and I only needed to touch it up maybe twice through my 45 minutes of smoking this stick. It gave off a solid medium gray ash that was easily stackable. For the money, this is a very solid choice if you are looking for a nice medium bodied smoke with minimal spice and excellent flavor, this was the first cigar from the San Cristobal line that I have smoked. It was quite the "Revelation" that I was missing out on a quality line of cigars. I look forward to picking up more of these and I wish I could give this stick a higher rating. Picked on 03/11/2021
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