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.
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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Laranja Reserva Azulejo Toro 6 * 52
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Normally, I don’t let a cigar stay in my humidor for too long. But! I have always been curious about what would happen to a cigar if I were to age it for one year. According to the experts when a cigar is shipped, it is ready to smoke and does not require any further aging. If you do let it age, those in the know say, it tends to mellow out the strength and some of the flavors. So! Without really trying, I let the Laranja Reserva Azulejo age for one year and four months. It wasn’t on purpose. It just happened that way. I kept putting off smoking it until finally I decided it was time. The cigar had a muscular dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper that made it look imposing. Almost menacing. The construction was firm, which due to the aging I expected it to be soft. Despite its firmness, the cold draw revealed an easy flow. At first light, I got a very pleasant tobacco aroma, and I picked up some spicy notes along the way in addition to some earthiness. Into the second act, the spice died down, but the sweetness kept on coming while the earthiness gently faded away. The draw was all flow. The burn was sharp, but the ash was dark. The smoke was thick, and it had a blue tint. There was not much change in the flavor profile, which was okay by me since I love tobacco aroma. The Azulejo is billed as a full-strength cigar, but this one was just over the medium mark. This could have been attributed to the aging. I’m not sure since I didn’t have another one to compare it to. Overall, would I smoke this cigar again? Absolutely! Will I let it age again? Not unless I have another one to compare it to. Picked on 11/22/2022
David Williams
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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Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto 47/8 * 48
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Have you ever picked up a cigar and said to yourself, "this one is going to make me sick"? Most people have. But this can be the biggest misconception. I thought I would prove it to myself and many others, so, I embarked on smoking the darkest cigars I could find. The first cigar I grabbed is the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto. One of the darkest wrappers on the market with an oily sheen and great looking black and chrome band. Using my trusted Xikar Xi cutter and Tactical lighter, I started my journey. The first puff gave me a nice blast of leather and cocoa as if I had made a fresh cup of coffee in a leather factory. The draw was easy and had barely any resistance. Smoking 15-20 minutes in, the smoke is thick and chewy as it leaves a long after-taste of sweet cocoa and marshmallow. This would be a GREAT cigar to smoke around a campfire. Past the halfway point, the ash finally fell off. I was pleasantly surprised the ash stayed on strong with me moving around as I worked, constantly putting it down and picking it up. I removed the band and continued to smoke as the flavor profile changed back to leather and a robust cinnamon bread-like note on the retro hale. This rich flavor lasted until there was only about a half inch left, and I never felt that much strength. So, with this being the first cigar on this experimental journey, the Inspirado Black Robusto debunks the myth so far! I also recommend a good rum or Scotch with this blend if you want to increase the flavors. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some boots and a belt to make... Picked on 11/18/2022
William lazo
TASTE:Nutty, woody, pepper, cream
HOBBIES:Video games, watching football and MMA, movies
STRENGTH:Medium-Full
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Alec Bradley Magic Toast Gran Toro 6 * 54
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The Alec Bradley Magic Toast Box Pressed Gran Toro starts off with an impressively rich flavor profile, mixing a bit of sweet earth, terroir, and black pepper. By the one-inch mark there is a bit of room temperature black coffee entering the profile, notably by way of a touch of acidity in the profile, which is just mild enough to be noticeable but not enough to be dominating. In the second half, it adds a bit of creaminess and softness to the profile but at the midway point the flavor dries out a bit and pick up a sharper wood flavor as the main accent. In the final, I got lots of chocolate with slight hints of black pepper that settles well with a great scotch and a late-night coffee, but I did love the draw and the aroma that the cigar was letting out. Picked on 11/17/2022
Rene L.
AGE:35
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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Partagas Cortado Robusto 5 * 50
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Okay, listen... I'm not one of 'those' smokers that are too cool to smoke a Connecticut Shade wrapper. I won't deny that my palate normally caters more towards fuller-bodied sticks, but there's always a time and a place for the lighter stuff! I have a somewhat short list of favorite go-to Connecticut-wrapped cigars, and proudly included in this list is the Partagas Cortado. A newer offering from the brand, this is not only the first Partagas to sport the aforementioned CT Shade wrapper, but also the first stick of theirs to hail from Nicaragua. Contrasting beautifully against the elegant red, white and gold band, the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade leaf glistens with a buttery sheen that is just asking to be set ablaze. Once combusted, the sweet aroma of walnuts fills the room. The awesome thing about this cigar is that the filler tobaccos are quite the quality mix - two different types of Nicaraguan tobacco, a bit of Honduran, and even a touch of Mexican to top it off nicely. The result is a super tasty, mild to medium strength smoke that is absolutely perfect to start your day with. After a quick and subtle white pepper introduction, notes of nuts and cedar are prominent from start to finish. There is not a whole lot of complexity to be found throughout, but that's not really the point here. The Partagas Cortado is a prime candidate for a daily stick that won't ever let you down, with reliable, consistent construction from General Cigar Co. Even burn line all the way down, and a flawless draw to boot. Pair this one with either a spiced rum or an espresso to really amplify the experience even further. Yeah, I know... it might not be the same Partagas your dad used to smoke, but, trust me - don't knock it til' you try it! Picked on 10/30/2022
Mari Mena
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Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve Toro Corojo 6 * 54
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Presentation is everything and it is the first thing that stands out about the Rare Leaf Reserve. the classic look, the band, the oily wrapper. The pre-light aroma transmits power, a mix of spices with sweet notes of cinnamon and cedar. First puffs are all about almonds, very nutty and creamy with some pepper. This cigar feels heavy in my hands, it is packed and I like it, construction is solid and the draw is perfect: not too tight, not too loose. After about an inch of smoking, the pepper is all gone and the creaminess takes control: latte, leather notes show now, the aroma is a perfect reflection of the flavors I’m getting on my palate. The second third is sweet with some floral/citrus notes. The creaminess and nuttiness have been the highlight of the entire smoke experience of this stick, they’ve been always there on the background. The pepper and the spices reappeared on the last third, there not predominant but to make the blend more interesting. I loved every inch of this cigar. No relights and no draw or construction issues. I paired it with a café con leche but with some Rum Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros might be even better. Picked on 10/29/2022
Martin Ruiz
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Sports, video games, food, good beer
STRENGTH:All

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

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Oliva Serie G Churchill 7 * 50
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The Oliva Serie G Churchill isn't the first cigar that comes to mind when thinking about the prestigious Oliva Brand. Lately I've been in a Cameroon wrapper mood so I decided to give it a smoke. This Cigar contains an Authentic African Cameroon wrapper with Nicaraguan long fillers as well as a Cuban-seed Habano Nicaraguan binder. On pre-light I get notes of almonds and cocoa with a hint of pepper. After lighting the cigar, the first third contains notes of espresso, dark chocolate, and leather. Moving into the second third, the cigar transitions to more peppery, wood and cocoa, as the leather notes linger. As the cigar nears the last third it gets a lot sweeter with the notes of chocolate coming back strong along with espresso and leather. This is by far one of my favorite Cameroon-wrapped cigars, an absolute gem for the price. Definitely a mild cigar that would pair great with a morning coffee. Picked on 10/25/2022
Sam Pafford
TASTE:Natural tobacco / anything new
HOBBIES:Video games, dogs, documentaries, smoking new cigars
STRENGTH:Medium to full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Oliva Serie V Melanio
ADVentura the Navigator
Crowned Heads Mil Dias

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Matilde Limited Exposure No. 1 Toro 6 * 50
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Matilde's Limited Exposure No. 1 weighs in at 6" by 50 and is composed of San Andres Wrapper with HVA, Piloto Cubano, and Corojo fillers. This particular cigar was made in 250 boxes of 20 and was released in September of 2021. When I went in for the cut I noticed without trying to, that the triple cap on the cigar was very well constructed and made for a very easy and effective straight cut. The initial light brought some pretty solid spice that after about a 1/4" mellowed. The draw was perfect for me, the slight resistance of a well but not overly packed cigar is a great way to start any stick. As soon as the cigar warmed up it developed a very nice creamy texture that lasted throughout and the rest of the profile emerged. Throughout the cigar I found a consistency of a modest spice, wood, and leather. I started to notice the coco off the San Andres coming through into the second third and a light earthiness into the middle of it. Predictably, the cigar got stronger the more it burned with coco and earth becoming more abundant. Had absolutely no problems with the construction of the cigar; it burned straight, great draw, long ash, healthy and easily cut cap, chef's kiss! I have to say, for a medium to full bodied guy like me this was really a nice one. If you like some spice (not overpowering) and enjoy the adventure of trying different cigars, I hope you're able to get your hands on this one because for 10 bucks the flavors and quality of construction will make this a reliable and entertaining experience from a group you probably haven't tried. Looking forward to trying more from Jose Seijas's Matilde! Picked on 10/25/2022
Adam Stewart
AGE:43
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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CAO BX3 Robusto 5 * 52
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Since the BX3 landed, I found that its dark, stately wrapper, combined with a bright and vibrant band was causing me to steal glances nearly every time I passed it by. Eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I took one home. After learning what the "BX3" namesake stood for, my curiosity was peaked even further. BX3 stands for "Brazilian times three" and the cigar features a Mata Fina wrapper draped over an Arapiraca binder that holds together a blend of Brazilian, Honduran, Mexican & Nicaraguan fillers. Yeah... quite a combination! After a bit of a slow start for whatever reason, this baby really came into its own after I got about a half inch in. I could try to pick apart all of the different flavors that came rushing at me, but to be honest, I found myself thinking about one thing throughout the entire smoke....S'mores! That's right....S'mores. It is all there. The cocoa...the marshmallow....and the graham cracker. It took me way back, I tell you, and I didn't even need to leash up the dog and grab the camping gear. Construction was good, as is usually the case with CAO products, smoke output was strong, and the flavor was pure magic. I paired it up with a frosty Royal Jamaican Ginger Beer, and forgot about all of my troubles for nearly an hour. Picked on 10/24/2022
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

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Los Statos Deluxe Churchill 7 * 49
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Many cigars call my attention the second I see the wrapper. This particular stick comes covered in a white and green paper, so it is obviously hard to see the wrapper before committing. But, just like at Christmas time, once you take off the cover you will be surprised! Luckily, this Los Statos Deluxe Churchill was an awesome, tasty surprise. Matt Booth of Room 101 made a great cigar with Los Statos. Once you light this cigar, you are introduced to a nice woody and oaky flavor. A nice spice is also present. It starts off as a nice medium-full bodied cigar. The draw is fortunately excellent and open. At the halfway point, all the previous notes are still present, and the draw is still great, so consistency is spot on. Not a bad thing at all since so far I'm really enjoying it. The spice comes and goes, but never to the point where it disappears completely. The strength goes up to a full body cigar towards the end of the cigar, and the spice notes finally do go down a bit. The woody and oaky notes are still present. It is difficult to find cigars that are consistent all the way through. I definitely found it here. I would recommend the Los Statos Deluxe to those looking for a good full-bodied spicy cigar with outstanding flavor. Do not be afraid of the wrapping on the cigar. Remember, life is full of surprises... Enjoy guys. Picked on 10/14/2022
Jose Mauricio Gomez de Cordova
TASTE:Woody, spicy, peppery
HOBBIES:Archery, photography, cooking, reading
STRENGTH:Medium to Full
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Asylum 13 Connecticut Toro 6 * 52
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The Asylum 13 Connecticut Toro is a smooth to medium body cigar with a golden Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper embracing a great blend of Honduran long-fillers. This cigar has mild, sweet, and spicy flavors when first smoked, and in the second third, the spice increases, but also the smoothness. By the last third, it had maintained its rich flavor, and I was surprised at how well the Connecticut wrapper blended into the taste. This could easily become a daily cigar for many people who like stogies more on the mild side. The blend is great for a relaxing cigar to smoke at the end of the day or with the first cup of coffee in the morning. Picked on 10/14/2022
El Borracho Maduro Toro 6 * 54
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I was super excited to smoke the El Borracho Maduro because I really enjoy the original Borracho!! This cigar is made by Dapper Cigar Company. The maduro version was added to its original El Borracho in 2018. This cigar has Nicaraguan binder and filler along with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Upon first light, a very unique smokey flavor is upfront (which I happen to love) followed by earthy and woody notes. The cigar is pretty much medium to medium plus at this point. Into the second third, Some nice chocolate notes appear. There is also a slight sweetness swirling around. The final third ends in notes of pepper, woody and earthy. Chocolate notes also sneak in at the very end. Strength, body and flavor all end up to be medium to medium full. Construction throughout was spot on! Even though this cigar was amped up from the original Borracho by adding more Nicaraguan Ligero, it is very smooth and any type of smoker can enjoy!! Definitely a must try. Picked on 10/14/2022
Joseph Pizzuto
TASTE:Nutty, creamy, woody, leathery
HOBBIES:Rap, making music, basketball, comedy
STRENGTH:Medium to full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Natural
Davidoff Nicaragua
Liga Privada Unicos

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Ozgener Bosphorus B50 4 * 50
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Here we go, the Ozgener Bosphorus B50! This short stick is packed with an assortment of flavor. Before lighting this one, I was greeted with alot of nutty notes on the dry draw. Upon my first light I was met with an overwhelming leather and cocoa profile. Throughout the first half of the cigar I was pleased with the smooth draw and great construction. "Man! What an amazing burn!" (which stayed that way all the way down to the nub.) Being a small vitola size it is perfect for a 20 to 30 minute smoke, taking me only 25 minutes! About halfway through, a subtle transition is noticed from the leather and cocoa to more oaky and earthy notes. Interesting switch, and overall just a great small cigar offering everything one could need as a full body smoker. Being that this stick didn't burn hot towards the end, you can literally smoke this one to your fingertips! Highly recommend this short smoke for anyone's humidor. Picked on 10/07/2022
Robert Vallee
TASTE:Coffee, dark chocolate, earth
HOBBIES:Smoking, making music, playing cards
STRENGTH:Medium to Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Padron 1926 Serie Maduro
The Tabernacle
Punch Diablo

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Macanudo Inspirado Jamao Toro 53/4 * 52
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The Macanudo Jamao (Hah-Mau) is the newest limited edition cigar from the popular Inspirado line that I have been itching to try since it was first announced back in June and landed here in our stores. This particular smoke is unique as they went a little experimental with the blend using a habano wrapper that is grown in the Mao region of D.R., while the seed that they used derives from Jamastran, Honduras. The cigar is named after a combination of the names of these two regions. To my surprise, this cigar is fairly mild and smooth, but packs enough flavor that even a full body smoker like myself will not be disappointed in the Jamao. Through the first 15 minutes of smoking this stick, it is somewhat spicy but as you go down the cigar gets richer and creamier to the point where the spice is very subtle. The aroma of this cigar is very pleasant, I couldn’t stop getting comments from people nearby clamoring to know what I was smoking cause it smelled so good! It gives off an aroma almost similar to freshly baked bread, one of the more prevalent flavors I was able to recognize while enjoying this smoke, along with powdered cocoa and cashews. If you are already a fan of the Inspirado White or the Inspirado Orange I can confidently recommend this cigar to someone looking to maybe experiment a bit and try something a little different. Grab this one while you can because only 2,300 boxes are being made! Picked on 07/28/2022
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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Warped La Hacienda First Growth 4 * 50
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I love the short robusto format of this "First Growth" cigar from the Warped La Hacienda line. The wrapper, a beautiful medium brown and reddish Corojo, pairs perfectly with the elegant blue band. The pre-light aroma is fresh like hay, and there is a fruity sweetness as well. Initially, the cigar is medium to full, and black pepper is prominent in the flavor profile. As the smoke progresses, some earthiness sneaks in. You can also taste citrus and cedar notes throughout, while the body remains quite strong with pepper in the background. Towards the end, the cigar becomes more creamy and woody. The burn was solid, the ash was tight, and the stogie produced plenty of smoke. When you try this cigar, take your time to smoke it slowly, as this short stick can fool you, it can last over one hour. At $8.50 per stick this is a great value! Picked on 06/23/2022
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