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.
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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Nat Sherman Timeless Prestige Hermoso 51/2 * 54
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This Dominican stogie by Nat Sherman sports a Habano wrapper with Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos in the filler. This cigar looks very elegant with its light brown/golden color and golden rings. The pre-light aroma is sweet and woody. Throughout the smoke I picked up many different flavors, from spicy cinnamon to salted nuts and bitter chocolate. This cigar is absolutely delicious with medium to full body and a great burn. This cigar was originally called the Timeless Dominican and had been in Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 lineup before. Two years ago, Nat Sherman re-branded their whole portfolio and this cigar was re-branded as the Nat Sherman Timeless Prestige. However, I find it to still be the same quality and craftsmanship as before. The cigar is blended by Michael Herklots and handmade at the Quesada family factory in Santiago (MATASA). The Timeless Prestige Hermoso is an earthy treat to your senses with creamy texture and terrific flavor nuances as you smoke. I really enjoyed the harmony on this blend and if I take into account the great price...it's a win win! Picked on 01/17/2020
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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Warped Corto X46 41/2 * 46
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The Warped Corto is a soft, box-pressed cigar with a nice, deep-chocolate brown and red wrapper that covers a Nicaraguan binder and filler. “Corto” is Spanish for short. There are virtually no veins present and the cigar is rolled to perfection. This cigar has a perfect draw in which you can feel the leather, some earth notes, a well-defined black coffee, and black pepper. Through the nose, there is a nice amount of spice, but there is also a nice cocoa aroma that compliments the notes from the stick. The burn was even with a nice carbon line. The ash was white and chunky. If you are a smoker that likes medium to full-body cigars, but don't have a lot of time to smoke, then you need to try this one. Picked on 01/10/2020
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

HVC First Selection Broadleaf 2018 Toro 6 * 52
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HVC is a brand that was created to pay homage to Cuba. The HVC First Selection Broadleaf is made at the TABSA factory in Nicaragua, and everything that is made there is always amazing. The pre-light / cold draw is a mix of slight cedar and dark chocolate with an undertone of coffee. The cigar starts with some earth and dark chocolate and the retrohale has some notes of coffee and pepper, which makes this cigar amazing to pair with some Flor de Caña rum. Entering the second half I get to taste more of that well-balanced Nicaraguan puro flavor with the wood and spice complimenting each other, and the retro hale has more of a peppery dark chocolate with a long finish to it. The end of the cigar remains almost the same, maintaining the well-balanced full flavored profile of dark chocolate and wood. Throughout the smoking experience I was happy to appreciate the excellent construction that gave me a flawless burn, and never needing to relight even after a short 5 minute interruption. Overall the HVC First Selection Broadleaf Toro is a delicious stick that I highly recommend to any smoker looking for a rich cigar that isn't overly powerful. Try one today! Picked on 01/08/2020
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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CAO Orellana Limited Edition Toro 6 * 52
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Like all things that come from the Amazon, the CAO Orellana Limited Edition Toro is a dark, mysterious, and enticing stick. In lieu of a paper band, the Orellana has a dark cord wrapped around its length. Prior to smoking, I unraveled the cord. It came off without a hitch. Although the cord left a slight impression on the wrapper, it did not damage it. Appearance-wise, this is one muscular-looking stick. Its reddish-brown wrapper is dark, toothy and somewhat veiny. I noticed a slight firmness to it when I did a squeeze test. Prior to lighting, I sniffed its foot, and I got an earthy and tobacco aroma with hints of chocolate. The cold draw was tight, and I could taste some chocolate. Once lit the draw’s tightness loosened up a bit after a few puffs and after I massaged the body a little. Flavor-wise, I got a deep, rich tobacco sweetness that was accented with spice. This flavor carried through the entire smoke. The retro-hale was peppery. Strength-wise, the Orellana starts out medium, and gradually builds its way up to strong, very strong. I urge you smoke it on a full stomach. During the second third, the spice and tobacco flavor stayed the course, but the pepper in the retro-haled died down a bit. The draw got looser at this point. The burn was on point and the ash was thick. The smoke was billowy, but not too much. In the final third, there was not much change in the flavor profile, except that the earthiness picked-up. Also, the strength became more pronounced. I recommend the CAO Orellana LE Toro to the aficionado who is not afraid of an anaconda-strength stick and wants to explore Brazilian tobacco. Picked on 01/06/2020
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

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
Adam
AGE:40
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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Leaf by Oscar Maduro Lancero 6 * 38
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The Leaf line by Oscar has had me intrigued since it first arrived on the scene some time ago. They are rustic, the twisted tobacco leaf that each one is packaged in is far more interesting of a vessel than cellophane, and even the band itself is made from tobacco stems. I give them a lot of credit for their creativity alone. When I discovered that they added a lancero to the line, I jumped on it. This stick starts off with a nice peppery kick. On top of the pepper, I picked up flavors of earth, plum, cocoa, and molasses, though it is definitely not the sweetest maduro I have had as of late. The pepper seemed to fade and return on and off as I smoked, but the cigar remained fairly strong throughout. That said, I would recommend smoking this with some food in the belly. The draw was impressive...fairly easy for a lancero. Construction was well executed, though as noted previously, it has a rustic, old world feel to it including bumps, lumps and veins. It is not quite as “polished” as many other cigars out there. Some may disagree but I find that adds to the charm. Burn required minimal adjustments, smoke production was right about medium, and the ash was light grey. Espresso or perhaps an imperial stout would both be excellent pairing choices. I was fortunate enough to enjoy mine while sipping on 40 year old port, and had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I hadn’t passed and moved northward. Cheers and happy smoking! Picked on 12/28/2019
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
Oliva Serie V
La Flor Dominicana Limited Edition
Espinosa Habano
CAO Flathead
New World
Asylum 13 Ogre
La Galera Habano
CLE Prieto

My Father The Judge Toro 6 * 56
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All Rise... My Father Cigars has introduced The Judge. This great Nicaraguan cigar has an Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro wrapper, a Nicaraguan Corojo binder, and Nicaraguan filler. This combination gives the cigar a nice medium to medium-full body and powerful taste. At first light, you are introduced to a nice medium tobacco flavor. Hints of pepper are introduced along with some hints of oak and cedar. The pepper is not an overwhelming amount, just enough to entice the palate. At halfway through the cigar, a nice hint of spice is introduced. Again, not overwhelming. It compliments the flavors that you are enjoying from the first part of the cigar. As we approach the end of the cigar, the spice diminishes a little. You will still taste it, but not as much as before. All the other flavors are still there, while the strength does pick up a little. This is a great cigar for those who enjoy a good medium to medium-full body smoke. Try it. I am sure you will like it! Picked on 12/27/2019
Room 101 10th Anniversary Toro 6 * 50
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As I sit here and write my final review of this year, I am very excited to share with you this special 10th Anniversary Room 101 cigar by Matt Booth! Not much information is disclosed about the tobaccos used in this special edition, but the wrapper is a Nicaraguan Rosado. Made in one size only -- 6x52 -- this cigar was made in Nicaragua at the factory of A.J. Fernandez. Only 500 boxes of 20 were released. This special 10th anniversary cigar marked Matt Booth's 10 years in the industry! Upon first light, some notes of spice and pepper are upfront, slowly accompanied by a little sweetness. Nice combo to start with. Into the second third, cocoa notes along with earthiness are spot on, with spice and pepper still lingering. Construction is perfect at this point-- the draw was a bit tight at the beginning, but has opened up nicely. Into the final third, spice is still around, along with cocoa and nutiness. The cigar overall had nice complexity-- a solid medium plus in strength. It really was a pleasure to smoke this Room 101 10th anniversary, as I have always been a huge fan of Matt Booth!! Enjoy and Happy New Year. Picked on 12/26/2019
Elvis Batista
TASTE:Anything but BITTER CONNECTICUT
HOBBIES:Cooking, Swimming, Cycling, Racing Sports & Cigars
STRENGTH:Depends on the day, but usually from Medium to Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Liga Privada T52
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Natural
Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel Aged
Aging Room Quattro F55

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Mombacho Diplomatico Toro 6 * 52
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Mombacho Diplomatico Toro is a cigar I could not wait to review since I first smoked it back in IPCPR 2019, it is no secret how big of a rum fan I am, and I think my love for cigars is not questioned. My patience paid off, and I could not be more thrilled about what this cigar came out to be after it aged even more after the first one I tried months ago, it is a medium-bodied cigar with tons of floral and woody notes with almost some sour like taste, sets the tastebuds into a salivating action that allows a broader perception of flavors from your sip of sweet Diplomatico rum. An Ecuadorian Colorado Habano Wrapper, packing Mombacho's highly selected Nicaraguan binders and fillers were just the right recipe for such a fantastic pairing delight. Picked on 12/23/2019
Marianela Mena
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Reading, running and smoking good cigars
STRENGTH:Medium-Full and Full

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

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Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 485 5 * 48
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Edition one has become a stapler on my cigar rotation. It impressed me the first time I smoked it and still doing the trick 10 or 15 cigars later. Medium in body and complex in flavor profile, this stick delivers plenty of earth, fruit, floral and cedar notes. Opens up strong and flavorful. My palate encounter hints of dried fruits, pepper and right up front. The party of flavors continue on the second third. Adding to the mix a dash of pepper and the cedar becoming more a grassy note than combine with the fruity flavors make for a delightful smoking experience. On the final third Earthy notes accompanied by a sudden sweetness makes its way upfront with some underneath cedar to give a perfect finish to this cigar. Satisfactory from beginning to end. You would never imagine that such a simple looking cigar is capable to give so much joy to the smoking experience. I pair the Edition Cloud Hopper no. 485 with a cup of Hibiscus tea and it was a combination made in heaven. A whole new level of enjoyment. Picked on 12/04/2019
Rene L.
AGE:32
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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Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu No. 5 4 * 40
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Cigar smokers in a hurry sometimes find themselves with a dilemma at hand -- try and race through a favorite stick at the expense of rushing the meant-to-be relaxing indulgence, chucking the literal piece of art halfway through, or alternatively, selecting from the stressfully small catalog of tasty, high quality cigars that won't consume more than a half hour of your precious time. Throughout the years, I've found myself constantly coming back to my favorite little smoke when I don't have too many minutes to burn: meet the Tatuaje Verocu No. 5. This petite cigar is made in Nicaragua by boutique giant Tatuaje, and is unbelievably delicious. Boasting a dark brown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper on top of premium Nicaraguan binder and filler, this medium-bodied long-filler beauty is made with the exact same benchmarks as its bigger brothers, and you will be hard-pressed to find another cigar that packs as much remarkable flavor into such a small package... particularly with the same expert construction and impeccable burn that normally is reserved for more, ahem, endowed examples. Rich notes of cocoa, coffee, leather, and just a splash of spice round out the experience, which is a delightfully convenient 25-30 minutes. If you don't believe the Tatuaje Verocu No.5 can be every bit as satisfying as a full-size stogie, I have 7 words for you: Don't knock it 'til you try it. You can thank me later! Picked on 10/26/2019
Michael Diaz-Silveira
AGE:25
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!
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
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

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

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
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

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