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.
Erik Ruiz
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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CLE 25th Anniversary Robusto 5 * 50
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This gorgeous 25th Anniversary CLE Robusto was such a fantastic way to end 2020 as hectic as it was. The “25th” is actually the number of years Christian Eiroa has been in the cigar industry so this is definitely another milestone cigar. Being a 100% Authentic Corojo from wrapper to filler, this really enticed me to try it. For starters I immediately had notes of pepper, oak and a strong aroma of cider added to the mix. Towards the middle, the pepper eventually died down and chocolate, coffee and oak took over. With a cider and earthy retro-hale, I would definitely say this is full on flavor and medium in strength. Now onto the last third, notes of chocolate and oak remain and becomes creamier. Temp does become a bit hot but definitely worth the smokey goodness. You can try this stick in 4 sizes including the TAA (11/18). So forget about last years problems and toast to new beginnings! Cheers! Picked on 01/16/2021
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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Flor de Selva Doble Corona 71/2 * 52
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Great find for Connecticut shade wrapper enthusiasts. The Flor de Selva Double Corona earned "Cigar of the Year" by L'Amateur de Cigare in 2017 and "Best Buy" by Cigar Journal in 2015. This Honduran puro is a different take on the classic Conn Shade cigar, as you will find sweet marshmallow, cinnamon, and creamy flavors with a sprinkle of nut and pepper (like a sweet potato casserole haha). There is a woodiness and earthiness to the flavor that balances splendidly with the to other notes. The aroma is subtle and refined. The cigar burns and draws like a champ and it is overall a very pleasant, mild to medium smoke with a body that is right in the middle and flavorful. Whether you are a novice wanting to try a tasty, well crafted Honduran or a more seasoned smoker who wants a milder offering in their humidor rotation, this cigar fits the bill. Bravo to Maya Selva and her factory on this instant classic! Picked on 01/16/2021
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
Davidoff 702 Series
Liga Privada Unicos

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Montecristo Espada Oscuro Guard 6 * 50
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What do you get when Altadis’s Grupo de Maestros and Plasencia Cigars collaborate to make a premium cigar? You get the Montecristo Espada Oscuro Guard – a Nicaraguan puro that captures the essence of this Central American country’s finest tobacco. Its eye-catching maduro wrapper has a reddish hue to it and an oily sheen that is begging to be smoked, which I did. Prior to lighting, I was able to pick up a mouthwatering tobacco sweetness. The cold draw was a little tight, but once lit this cigar opened up nicely. During the first third, it was all tobacco with some faint hints of chocolate. The retro-hale was peppery but not overpowering. The finish left a spicy sensation. The smoke was billowy, and the ash was a little dark. The Espada Oscuro’s flavor profile did not change much during the second and final thirds, but that’s all right because it had one of the most comforting tobacco aroma and flavor I have smoked in a long time. As for strength, this is a nice medium-full strength smoke that’s perfect for both the novice and seasoned cigar lovers. Overall, this is a great straight-forward cigar that will appeal to most if not all aficionados. Picked on 01/11/2021
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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Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No.142 Robusto 5 * 50
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The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 Robusto has a US Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that has been fermented for three years, a San Andres binder and a mix of Esteli, Jalapa and Jamastran filler. It is another masterpiece from Foundation. This medium to full-bodied cigar starts with notes of coffee, earth, pepper and orange sweetness. The pepper receded into the background, giving way to notes of earth and coffee. These notes moved into the forefront with the pepper and orange notes settling in the background. During the second third, there was a gradual increase in the pepper. By the midway point, the earth and orange notes played for position to be the top secondary note while the coffee remained grounded in the background. In the last third, I saw the coffee notes remain grounded with the earth and orange still alternating as the main secondary note. This cigar had a beautiful burn with an ideal temperature, and the resulting ash was on the firm side with a mostly silver-grey color to it. The draw was so smooth, it allowed me to enjoy this smoke from the beginning to end. I recommend this cigar for anyone who wants to taste and make the jump from medium to full. Enjoy! Picked on 01/06/2021
AVO Regional North Edition Perfecto 65/8 * 50
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Two new Avo Regional cigars have recently been released--North and South. I chose to smoke and review the North edition first because I love its perfecto shape! The North and South both are limited releases. The North is a medium strength cigar with a "Dominican" wrapper and fillers from many different regions in the Dominican. Upon first light, cedar and earthy notes are prevalent. I will say I was very surprised to find some spiciness as well throughout the smoke. Into the second third, nuttiness joins the cedar and earth. I was also picking up a bit of a citrus taste. Into the last third, coffee notes are definitely showing up even though cedar and earth are still hanging around. Overall, this cigar was a very smooth smoke from start to finish. Construction was pretty perfect--just a bit of a loose ash. The draw was perfect! The strength stood at a medium--very smooth and creamy throughout with a touch of spice fading in and out. As I already mentioned, these are limited so get yours while you can! Enjoy this special experience. Picked on 12/23/2020
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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CAO Bones Blind Hughie Toro 6 * 54
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For many years, CAO has been making great cigars for everyone to enjoy. And thanks to brand ambassador and master blender Rick Rodriguez, that trend proudly continues. The CAO Bones Blind Hughie Toro is a great new offering from the beloved brand. Named after the slang term for dice, each box of Bones even comes with an authentic pair of die included! Aside from the cool packaging, what caught my eye first was the striking dark color of the wrapper, looking extremely inviting. Upon lighting, you are introduced to woody and nutty notes, with some hints of pepper. You get the full effect once you retrohale. It starts off as a medium-bodied cigar, but don't get too comfortable yet! At the half way point of the cigar, the flavors are still consistent, while the hints of pepper go up a bit. Not overwhelming, but just enough to make you enjoy the cigar that much more. The strength does increase noticeably to push it into medium-full bodied territory. Towards the end of the cigar, the cedar and nutty flavors are still present, with the hints of pepper diminishing a bit. Again, just enough to compliment the flavors of the cigar. Overall, the CAO Bones Blind Hughie is a super consistent, bold tasting smoke that is as solid as all CAO cigars have proven to be over time. Don't be afraid to take a gamble with this latest CAO cigar - you have nothing to lose. Picked on 12/12/2020
Marianela Mena
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Mombacho Cosecha 2015 6 * 52
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A range and Variety of Tastes, good construction, a good looking solid ash, an even burn and of course a good draw are some of the characteristics of an excellent Cigar. It should start off mild and have changes of flavor and strength to keep the palate interested. I was thinking about all that when I decided to smoke the Mombacho 2015, I have smoked some Mombacho cigars before and they were very enjoyable being the Mombacho Diplomatico one of my favorites from their catalog. Featuring 100% Nicaraguan tobacco from a single year crop the cosecha 2015 promises to be a great experience. I would say I had some doubts, you know?. The cigar is pricey, Mombacho is a young cigar company; should I go with something I know for sure I’m going to like? At the same time Claudio is a great guy, he’s been in the cigar business for a long time, he knows what he is doing and the cigar was calling out for me to smoke it. What the heck…it looks great and enticing. Once lit, the first puff was like heaven, very earthy and cedary with a subtle saltiness. I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth and creamy it is. A few puffs later a dash of pepper and the strength start to increase to plain medium to medium plus. At some point I taste some sweetness in the background and after 2-3 inches it develops leathery and grassy notes and becomes more peppery, the strength increases a bit and it taste and smell of hay and tobacco. It reminds me of the first time I entered an aging room. The last part is an array of flavors, kind of oaky, definitely the strength is medium to full at this point but somehow still smooth and silky. I have no regrets. Consistent, flawless construction, the flavors blended and play very well together. Beautiful solid ash and even burn line, good draw, Mombacho 2015 delivers the whole package. Perfect for an special occasion or as your everyday cigar if you can afford it. Picked on 12/04/2020
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

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Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Maduro Robusto 5 * 54
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If you ever have the opportunity to visit a cigar factory, you should try and make it the Perdomo tour in Esteli, Nicaragua. There's few manufacturers that have the quality control Perdomo does. One cool thing you need to know about Perdomo is all the cigars are draw tested. I can attest to that! The Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Maduro Robusto is my latest pick, which has a beautiful blue and gold band over a dark leathery wrapper. After cutting, I found the cold draw is somewhat sweet with earthy notes, and once lit up the cigar is what we can call a 100% Nicaraguan puro! Earthy with a mix of black pepper, the retrohale is a mix of that black pepper, leather, and some dark coffee. The second part keeps those earthy notes and the leather component of the retrohale are now incorporated into the mix puff by puff, the cigar is smoking and burning amazing! The third and final part of the cigar has notes of dark coffee with some earthy notes and the retrohale is more of a mix of white pepper and dark chocolate. Overall, this was a delicious treat, and if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?? This cigar won’t break the bank and will give you an excellent 45-60 minutes of vacation away from reality. Picked on 10/26/2020
Rene L.
AGE:33
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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Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed Toro 6 * 52
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: most of my favorite cigars seem to hail from the country of Nicaragua, and it's a trend that continues here with the Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed Toro. As a brand that is primarily known for their Dominican offerings, I was a bit curious going into this one, thinking that it would no doubt be a GOOD smoke, but HOW good was the question. I'm happy to report that this cigar not only met my expectations, but exceeded them tremendously and has found itself a home as one of my new favorites. There is something to be said about a cigar that is delicious upon first puff, a rarity indeed, but this Davidoff provides just that. Literally while lighting the cigar, I was inundated with rich flavor, a glorious mixture of pepper and cream, and it wasn't long until it blossomed into a tasty bouquet of coffee, cocoa, and leather notes. The aroma was also something to behold, filling the room with an enchanting allure that only fine tobacco can produce. My one and only complaint would lie in the burn - my cigar needed to be touched up on more than one (or two) occasions as a result of a wonky burn line. Besides that small detail, I would consider the Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed Toro to be quite a perfect smoke, and worthy of even the most picky of humidors. Enjoy with a coffee or a glass of aged Scotch on the rocks. Picked on 10/24/2020
RJ Clyne
TASTE:Creamy, chocolate, cinnamon
HOBBIES:Making money and writing poetry
STRENGTH:Mild to medium

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

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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