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: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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Todos Las Dias Toro 6 * 52
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I have always enjoyed any cigar blended by tobacco guru Steve Saka, and it seems I have apparently (unknowingly) saved the best for last! After making my rounds with all the rest of his Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust catalog, the only stone still left unturned was the Todos Las Dias, and I am absolutely enamored with what I discovered. The cigar is a handsome one, with a modern black and silver band -and matching footer band- adorning a chocolate colored wrapper. The dry draw contained subtle hints of hay and honey, and upon lighting it was off to the races. The first half of the Todos Las Dias was impressive enough, with a super smooth medium body profile and excellent draw. But I will whole-heartedly exclaim that the real beauty of this cigar undoubtedly lies in its second half. Once I reached the midway point, the flavor AND strength received a noticeable boost, with delicious notes of earth and cocoa dominating the experience, and a semblance of what I can best describe as chili powder lingering in the background. I've heard that this cigar can be quite powerful, but I personally felt that while it was certainly bold, it never became very 'strong'. The flavor, on the other hand, was out of this world, and I found myself burning my fingers trying to smoke it down to nothing. Burn was flawless, and aroma was wonderful. Overall, the Todos Las Dias is an astounding smoke from Steve Saka and his Dunbarton brand, and I can't recommend it enough. Going forward, my humidor will never be without it. Just make sure when you ask for it, you mispronounce it like Steve does ;) Picked on 07/21/2021
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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Asylum Martes 13 54x6 6 * 54
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According to the song “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer.” That may be true for superstitions, but not for the Asylum Martes 13 54x6. This potent yet flavorful toro offers nothing but smoking bliss. In case you’re wondering, “Martes 13” is Spanish for Tuesday the 13th, which is the Spanish equivalent to “Friday the 13th.” But you won’t need to throw salt over your shoulder to enjoy this Honduran puro that’s made from all-Corojo tobacco. However, you should smoke it on a full-stomach because it is potent. The first third starts off with an unexpected but delectable sweetness that is shortly replaced by some spicy and woodsy notes. Into the second third, I picked up some earthy and nutty notes.  Towards the end, a memorable tobacco sweetness took over, but the spice was still present. As I mentioned earlier, this is a strong stick but it’s well-balanced. Overall, the construction was firm, the burn was sharp, and the draw was effortless. I recommend the Asylum Martes 13 for the veteran cigar aficionado who is not afraid of walking under ladders or any other superstition for that matter. And yes! I smoked this on “Martes 13.” Picked on 07/13/2021
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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Plasencia Cosecha 146 La Musica Robusto 5 * 50
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If there’s one Company that knows about cigars, it’s Plasencia. They’ve been harvesting and rolling tobacco for 30 plus companies you and I smoke on a daily basis for years and was very enticed when I had the chance to review this treat. For staters, the appearance on the wrapper has a nice Honduran criollo ‘98 that smells like honey and cedar. Once lit I tasted notes of nutmeg and caramel with a slight spiciness to it. Very impressed with the even burn for how much I was pulling on it throughout. Towards the middle notes of molasses, cedar and a hit of leather stuck with the spiciness diminishing. Being on this portion of the cigar I can honestly say that it’s a medium strength full flavored stick. As I’m finishing, nutmeg came back and leather stuck around with little to no spiciness. Cigar had an over all great aroma of honey, caramel and nuts. If you haven’t tried a Plasencia, I would highly recommend putting one on your smoking list. Definitely worth the puff! Picked on 07/07/2021
RoMa Craft CroMagnon Mastodon LE 41/2 * 60
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The stubby look of the Roma Craft Mastodon suits its name being that it is a hefty 60 gauge. The dark wrapper and box pressed construction caught my eye immediately. On the cold draw I picked up hints of chocolate and coffee, and upon lighting it the aroma was very pleasant, I could almost detect what I thought to be a very soft vanilla scent. Now onto the most important part - the smoking experience! If you enjoy a leathery tobacco flavor this is the cigar for you. Delicious notes of leather and pepper stomped all over my palate with gusto, and the coffee notes detected in the cold draw made an appearance once again about halfway through. This is a cigar you will want to give attention to when smoking as I found myself relighting it a couple of times. The draw on this stick is amazing but you do not want to keep the ash as it will hinder the draw. As I neared the band, I wanted to remove it and after some fiddling I ended up sliding it off with no damage to the wrapper. Overall, this was an excellent cigar with monstrous flavor that I can’t wait to smoke again. Picked on 07/07/2021
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
Muestra de Saka
Foundation Charter Oak Maduro
RoMa Craft Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794

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Flor de Selva Maduro Robusto 43/4 * 50
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This month I wanted to explore a different country. Honduras has been becoming very popular lately and one of the top companies that has been known for the this regions quality is Flor De Selva. It is known to a lot of people, mostly because of the owner Maya Selva’s dedication to making great cigars. At first look this aged maduro wrapper of this cigar makes it look like a chocolate bar. (Don’t worry, I didn’t eat it.) It has a very earthy cold draw which is pleasant for chewers. At toasting and first puff, the earth and spice is very dominant. It has a great draw and produces a nice foot smoke aroma. Getting into the 2nd inch, I taste bits of dry coco and robust coffee notes. This made it much easier to smoke since I was drinking coffee with this review and made this a very enjoyable experience. Passing the half way point the taste of aged tobacco over takes my taste buds. It had a little bit of a running burn which corrected it self. Flavors and draw has not changed but, the smoke seems to have got a lot smoother in the retro hale. Reaching to the finale inch and a half, it did produce a small bit of sweet fig like notes but was still dominant of aged tobacco. My overall experience was good, it had little complexity but was very consistent and required no relighting. Best paired with coffee or a chocolate wine. Picked on 07/04/2021
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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La Galera Maduro Chaveta Robusto 5 * 50
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The La Galera Maduro Chaveta Robusto is a beautiful dark cigar made by Jose “Jochy” Blanco at Santiago, Dominican Republic. The combination of a dark Mexican San Andres wrapper with a Dominican binder and a combination of Dominican Criollo 98 and Dominican Piloto Cubano filler represents what a premium cigar should be. When I first saw this stick, its dark color made it look like it was going to be a strong cigar, but the flavor from the first draw provided a mix of cocoa, earth, and cedar with a touch of pepper. There was a subtle spice on the retro hale with a touch of coffee on the finish. I found this to be a solid medium cigar from start to finish. Its burn line and burn path remained relatively straight and the resulting ash was nearly white in color. The ash was also on the firm side and came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. I found this cigar had excellent combustion as it maintained an ideal burn rate and burn temperature. If you are looking to try something a little bit spicy, you need to try this cigar. Picked on 07/01/2021
Nat Cicco HHB Classic Robusto 51/4 * 56
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I chose to smoke the Nat Cicco HHB Classic because I was in search of something very different than what I usually smoke. I am usually not a fan of a Connecticut wrapper but as I said I was craving the unusual, hence this very sleek and elegant looking cigar. I love the pigtail top and footed bottom on a cigar. It hosts an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler. Upon first light, the cigar was very creamy with a perfect draw. Closely following were some nutty notes. Into the second third, pretty much the same notes were prevailing but with more intensity. A very robust smoke so far and very enjoyable. Into the last third, once again not overly complex with mostly the same notes but very engaging. It definitely kept my attention to the very end due to the smoothness and creaminess! Construction was spot on throughout. The balance in this cigar makes it a perfect smoke for the novice or beginner. The price point is also very good for the quality of this smoke. Give it a try for yourself -- enjoy!! Picked on 06/21/2021
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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Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection Maduro Robusto 5 * 52
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The first thing that caught my eye on the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection Maduro was the strikingly dark oily wrapper. I'm always a sucker for good-looking cigars, and this one certainly fits the bill. Upon first light, you are introduced to a combination of cedar notes along with some earthy notes. Some hints of spice are also present, paired with hints of cocoa. It has a great draw and aroma. So far, the Aganorsa Signature Selection is medium-full body in strength. At the halfway point, the strength goes up to a full body. The spice notes do diminish a bit, but a nice hint of pepper is now noticeable. The earth and cedar notes are still there, with the cocoa hints diminishing a bit. Toward the end of the cigar, the flavor is still present and the spice tones down for a smoother puff. The combination of all those flavors made this an enjoyable smoke from front to back. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a delicious and rich full body cigar. I would pair it with a nice glass of Crown Royal to compliment it just right. Enjoy. Picked on 06/15/2021
mari Mena
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Nat Sherman Epoca Reserva Corona 51/2 * 42
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No doubt 2020 will be remembered as a challenging year. Covid19 occupied every minute of our lives for the last 18 months or so, lots of business didn’t survive the economic impact of the pandemic. Among those, the Iconic and legendary Nat Sherman international, it was shocking for all us cigar aficionados since the name was synonym of quality and luxury. For ninety years Nat Sherman was a favorite of the American cigar aficionado and one of the most followed and trend creating names in the cigar business. I enjoy the classics. I like reading about old times and traditions. Today I wanna smoke one of those classics: Nat Sherman Epoca Reserva Corona The cigar is a long corona made in the Dominican Republic. A Dominican wrapper holds an equally Dominican binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. This cigar delivers a complexity of flavors that includes cedar, earth, and natural tobaccos with notes of pepper…The Epoca is a very beautiful cigar. The wrapper is light with a smooth soft feel in the mouth. The first third starts off on the mild side with Woody and Cedar notes and a touch of sweetness so subtle that is almost unnoticeable I can also taste some mild spice in the retrohale. The second third is consistently more of a mediun smoke loaded with spice, leather, cocoa, well balance and keeping an overall smoothness to the blend but at the same time makes it very rich and interesting to the palate. The final third, it is only a confirmation that the Epoca is very consistent in its profile. The mild spice sensation and the richness of flavors was a constant. At this point the finish had become long and lingering with a richer and stronger earthy tobacco flavor. The burn was very good, even and I would add that was slow and steady. No need to relight it The ash was gray in color, it was also firm and tight. The smoke volume was very good. The draw, I found it to be light and very easy. Overall, I consider Nat Sherman’s Epoca to be a medium bodied, medium Picked on 06/10/2021
Luz
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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La Aurora Hors DAge 2017 Toro 6 * 54
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This special edition La Aurora comes in a La Aurora branded humidor that is a nice memento to keep of this storied brand, not to mention practical too. The tobaccos are from 2017 so they are well aged and very, very smooth. In appearance the cigars are beautiful with a dark caramel hue and minimal veins. Notes of black pepper throughout the smoke that get a bit more intense towards the end, but this is nuanced by earthy, woodsy notes and a light sweetness reminiscent of molasses. An excellent choice! Picked on 05/09/2021
Javier Sanchez
TASTE:Leathery, woody cigars with pepper or spice
HOBBIES:Outdoors, hiking, music, traveling
STRENGTH:Medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Davidoff Nicaragua
Davidoff Signature Series
Aladino Corojo Reserva

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Fratello Oro Gordo 6 * 60
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Cigars and NASA - not usually a pair most people associate with one another. Nonetheless, Fratello taught us they can be brought together to create a unique relationship that is truly out of this world. Former NASA employee Omar De Frias launched Fratello in 2013, finding his passion for cigars impossible to ignore any longer. The Fratello Oro Gordo is a Dominican cigar made in the famed La Aurora factory, and carries a Connecticut Shade wrapper with Nicaraguan, Dominican, and Colombian fillers. Upon first light, we have lift off with heavy notes of pepper and cedar. These two primary flavors last the entire smoke, giving you consistency on the flavor and no issue with the draw. I found the Fratello Oro to be medium-full in strength, with a rich smoothness that any cigar enthusiast will enjoy. The Cameroon binder added some delicious natural sweetness every now and again. Overall, I was very impressed with the Oro, and it is definitely a smoke to try when you want to experience some of the nicest flavors the universe has to offer. Picked on 04/05/2021
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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HR Signature Sublime 61/2 * 54
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Every blend by Hirochi Robaina has much history behind it, and rightfully so, considering his grandfather is the famed "Godfather of Tobacco" Alejandro Robaina. The Robaina family has been growing tobacco in Cuba since 1845, and it shows in the HR Signature Sublime. Covered by a beautiful Ecuadorian Habano (H2000) wrapper and ending in a closed foot, the HR Signature Sublime starts with a mix of flavors, from earthiness with a mix of cinnamon, to some notes of cocoa. The retrohale contained notes of black pepper and dark chocolate. Entering the second part of the cigar, the cocoa evolved into more of a dark chocolate with a mix of white pepper and cardamom. By the third and final part of the Signature Sublime, the flavor now has delicious notes of espresso and earth. The burn line was amazing and flawless, and I found the cigar to be perfectly medium-bodied and well balanced. What surprised me was how the cigar kept the same level of flavor and richness from the first puff to the very last! I highly recommend the HR Signature Sublime, and if possible, pair it with a nice coffee in the morning, or, a premium rum after dinner ;) Picked on 01/26/2021
RJ Clyne
TASTE:Creamy, chocolate, cinnamon
HOBBIES:Making money and writing poetry
STRENGTH:Mild to medium

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

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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
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
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