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.
Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Sun Grown Epicure 6 * 56
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Since I recently had the privilege of visiting the Perdomo factory and farm in Nicaragua, I was honored to do a review on this Perdomo 12 year Double Aged Vintage Sungrown cigar! After experiencing everything from seeding to box making first hand, I have such a greater understanding and appreciation for the cigar manufacturers. The Perdomo Double Aged 12 year Vintage made its first appearance in 2014. There are three different blends -- Connecticut, Sungrown and Maduro. The binders and fillers have been bale aged for 10 years, then another 2 years in charred bourban barrels.Definitely makes for a very well balanced, full flavored smoke! The cigar appears flawless--hidden seams, few veins, and a gorgeous light colored wrapper. Upon first light, a very nice sweetness is upfront along with nutty and fruity notes, combined with the perfect amount of spice. A good amount of smoke output--perfect draw(I saw their big huge draw test machines in the factory that every single cigar is put through many times). Into the second third, the creaminess is amped up along with sweet and fruity notes. Very smooth even though the spiciness is still maintained which combines for a beautiful balance. At this point, construction is still spot on--great draw and razor sharp burn. Into the final third, the flavors are creamy, sweet, spicy, nutty, vanilla, and I taste a little coffee. Strength is medium-full but very, very smooth. This cigar starts off with a bang and ends in the same manner. Even when I am smoking this cigar in public(where people are usually offended) I get compliments on the aroma!!! Definitely worth the price and is a must try! It's everything you want in a premium cigar -- great construction, complexity and a perfect finish. Enjoy! Picked on 03/16/2019
Joaquin Ortiz
TASTE:Natural
HOBBIES:Diving, tennis, the beach, boating, music & computers
STRENGTH:Medium-Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
La Galera 1936 Box Pressed
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Natural
Alec Bradley Tempus
Partagas
Acid Yellow
Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real

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Crowned Heads Luminosa Toro 61/2 * 52
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Crowned Heads Luminosa was released in 2016, that’s translates from Italian to Bright in English. The cigar is the latest from Crowned Heads and is made at the Tabacalera La Alianza which is owned by Ernesto Perez Carrillo. This cigar is a dark Ecuador Connecticut wrapper with some subtle oils present and with Nicaragua Filler and Binder. When I begin to smoke the first third of the Luminosa the draw was perfect and smooth in which I taste notes of citrus and elements of peanuts and earth. There retrohale of the cigar offers pepper, but there is a sugary sweet finish to the cigar after pushing the smoke through your nostrils. In the second third, the citrus notes disappear as nuttiness becomes the primary taste. Around the halfway point the nuttiness slides into the background as some notes of coffee. In the last third of the Crowned Heads Luminosa sees nuts and coffee, but notes of pepper remains strong on the retrohale and on the aroma while a subtle sweetness remains. Overall Luminosa is a mild-to-medium bodied Connecticut Shade smokes are your thing, you really should get this cigar, I suspect you won’t be disappointed. Picked on 03/15/2019
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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PDR El Trovador Maduro Corona Gorda 6 * 46
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Not too long I smoked a cigar that had a Mexican San Andres filler, and I really enjoyed it. So when I heard that the PDR El Trovador Maduro’s wrapper was made of Mexican San Andres tobacco, I decided to give it a shot. From an appearance point of view, the El Trovador (which is Spanish for troubadour) has a dark, rugged, and veiny wrapper that made me think it might cause some problems down the road. The band is plain and unassuming. It reminded me of another famous brand. Can you guess which one? Over the years, I’ve noticed that brands that are not too flashy with their bands or packaging, tend to make the most enjoyable cigars. But, that’s just me. According to Abe Flores, founder and owner of PDR Cigars, his factory uses the Entubado method of rolling cigars. This method is a traditional Cuban and complex style of bunching the filler tobaccos, which when composed by expert hands, produces cigars that are flawless in construction. The binder and filler was composed of Nicaraguan tobacco, which for some time now has been producing some of the finest cigars in the world. The cold draw gave me a hint of this stick’s spiciness, plus it validated its excellent construction. Once lit, I could taste the sweetness coming off the maduro wrapper with an underlying spice from the filler. From the first to the last third, the El Trovador maintained an interesting interplay between sweetness and spice. As the cigar progressed, I noticed the wrapper’s veins did not affect the burn. The strength was on the medium side, which is fine by me. Overall, if you’re into cigars that are balanced and have a consistent flavor profile, then I suggest you pick up the PDR El Trovador Maduro and soon you’ll be singing its praises. Picked on 03/15/2019
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

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Gurkha Heritage Rosado TAA Toro 6 * 52
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Ghurka has finally produced a cigar just for the TAA retailer’s. The Ghurka Heritage Rosado originates from Nicaragua. The heritage has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and binder. The filler combines two different combinations, one being from Nicaragua and the other from Peru. My first impression of this beautiful cigar is the rich dark reddish brown leaf. The pre light aromas that I get are sweet earth and leather, with hints of nutmeg and raisins. Starting with the first third I noticed hints of black pepper and coffee. This cigar has a nice sharp razor burn as I approached the second third, with chocolate and spice and hints of coffee. As I approach the final third I enjoyed hints of creamy oak and honey with hints of nutmeg. This is a well rounded cigar with great flavors and aromas. It was really hard for me to put this cigar down. I enjoyed it very much. Since this is a limited release I suggest you come by and pick one up before they are all gone. Picked on 03/04/2019
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
New World
Espinosa Habano
CAO Flathead
La Flor Dominicana Limited Edition
Oliva Serie V
Asylum 13 Ogre
La Galera Habano
CLE Prieto

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Liga Undercrown Connecticut Shade Gran Toro 6 * 52
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When you think Liga, you may think of the No. 9, T52, or the infamous Flying Pigs. But, they also have this little gem called the Liga Undercrown Connecticut. At first glance, you'll likely think 'mild cigar'. I know I did. Never judge a book by its cover! This cigar surprised me. It's actually a smooth medium to medium-bodied cigar. It has a smooth Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, with a Sumatra binder and combination of a Dominican Criollo 98, Nicaraguan Corojo, and Criollo fillers that really enhance the cigar's flavor. At first light, you are introduced to some cedar notes and some earth tones. It's different from what I have smoked before. Half way through the cigar, some spice is introduced. Not enough that will want to make you stop smoking, but just enough to make the cigar still enjoyable. The cedar notes are still present approaching the final third, and the spice does not overwhelm the flavor at any point. Toward the end of the cigar, you still get that nice flavor of cedar and earth tones. This, my friends, is a truly great cigar made by Willy Herrera that I'm sure most smokers will appreciate. Pick one up today and see for yourself. Picked on 03/01/2019
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

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Archetype Axis Mundi Corona 5 * 46
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A great burn is a rare feature in cigars. Sure there are good burns but great – this is a tough find. When you do find it however, oh the joy that comes with it is something any cigar smoker will appreciate. The Archetype Axis Mundi has one of the greatest burns I have ever experienced. The Axis Mundi is a stupendous cigar with a construction that lets one sit back and relax a consistent flavor of cedar and oak that covers the tongue. While consistency may be a mark of dullness in some cigars, the Axis Mundi does not have this problem as the woody flavor is something one begs for even once the cigar is finished. Do be sure to enjoy this stick on a full stomach, as it does carry a subtle punch to be appreciated after a night of celebratory indulgence. Pairing this cigar is simple, select the drink you love to enjoy over the course of an hour or so, pour it, light this cigar up and prepare for an hour of sitting back and wasting away as a cigar that takes care of itself. Picked on 02/26/2019
Adam
AGE:39
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Music, Reading, Art, Nature, Craft Beer, Slacking
STRENGTH:All

FAVORITE BRANDS
Tatuaje Black Label
Liga Privada No. 9
Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970
Arturo Fuente

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Davidoff 702 Aniversario Special T 6 * 52
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The 702 series is a different kind of Davidoff... a little bold, a bit spicy, and thoroughly complex. Yet ultimately, this stick remains every bit as sophisticated and refined as you have come to expect from Geneva. This particular stick, the special T, is almost identical to the original blend from the early 1990's, but with the addition of a dark, reddish-brown, hybrid Ecuadorian wrapper born from three different strains of Cuban seed. This changed the profile of the cigar fairly dramatically. The stick starts off dry, with notes of cedar, earth, cocoa, wood, musty black tea and spice. As you progress, the level of sweetness begins to increase and the initial dryness transitions somewhat to a more creamy mouth feel. This progression continues until the very end of the cigar....the flavors just continue to get bigger and bolder until the very end....yet no flavor seems to completely dominate the others. As I mentioned previously...the complexity to this smoke is commendable. I nearly decided not to discuss the construction quality of this cigar due to its manufacturer, but for those not in the know.... construction is flawless, draw is perfection, and burn required zero effort or touch ups. This is a gorgeous cigar that should be on hand for special occasions of all sorts. However, do make sure to find the time to really sit down, relax, and be completely absorbed by this stick....fire up something else if you are just trying to maintain a smile while fighting traffic or sneak in a few puffs during a lunch break. Try pairing with San Pellegrino in order to keep your palate neutral so you can fully appreciate the nuances of this smoke. A Hendrick's martini would also be quite suitable. Cheers! Picked on 02/24/2019
Michael Diaz-Silveira
AGE:24
TASTE:Wood, Leather, Nut, Maple
HOBBIES:Guitar, Football, Basketball, Volleyball
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!
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Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Rothschild 41/2 * 50
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The Foundation Charter Oak is an inexpensive 45 minute - hour long smoke. With a light Connecticut wrapper, this cigar is easily smoked by anyone, both those who are well versed in the cigar world and those experimenting with their first cigar. Being priced at $4.50 a stick, it is an excellent bargain, as this cigar smokes more like a premium than budget. The Charter Oak held its ash and produced an exceeding amount of smoke. With notes of leather, oak and cinnamon, this tasty cigar has quickly become a regular in my arsenal. Picked on 02/20/2019
Luz Normand
TASTE:Earthy, Pepper
HOBBIES:Cooking, Reading, Traveling
STRENGTH:Medium

FAVORITE BRANDS
Arturo Fuente
Tatuaje Black Label
La Aurora Preferidos Cameroon Platinum
Montecristo Espada
Crowned Heads Headley Grange

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CLE Prieto Robusto 5 * 50
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Even though CLE is a relative newcomer to the market, you just can't go wrong when you choose to smoke a CLE cigar. The star this week is the CLE Prieto Robusto. The presentation of this cigar is very unique and beautiful, as the company chooses to protect their sticks with tissue paper instead of cellophane. Prieto means "dark" in Spanish, and this maduro wrapper certainly looks like dark chocolate. But this is not where the similarities end. Like good dark chocolate, the flavors of this cigar are intense and complex with a medium to full body. Notes of nuts, sweet cocoa, and espresso can be enjoyed throughout the smoke with just the slightest hint of spice. The cigar burns with the whitest ash and draws flawlessly. Keep a few of these in your rotation and thank me later! Picked on 02/09/2019
Marianela Mena
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Reading, running and smoking good cigars
STRENGTH:Medium-Full and Full

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

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Balmoral Serie Signaturas Dueto Robusto 5 * 50
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Two names with a long history and tremendously successful in the cigar world combined their experience and taste to create this beautiful stick. The band is bright red, just gorgeous. The wrapper is oily and kind of dark-reddish. Since the wrapper and binders are Nicaraguan tobacco with mata fina and Nicaraguan fillers I was not entirely surprised the way the cigar started. A blast of pepper takes up my palate followed by a very pleasant nuttiness and coffee notes. For a second I almost thought the pepper was too much but... I‘m not a quitter. The pepper started receding after a couple of puffs. The cigar is more tame and became smoother and more balanced. Some hay and earthy notes dance around the pepper with a sweetness underneath and fruity aroma. I’m loving it, my bud tastes are happy. The final third comes with an increase of the coffee/cacao notes and a tone up of the pepper, not overwhelming but almost like in the beginning. Only this time the underlying sweetness makes the combination more interesting. Draw and burn were good, the cigar was flavorful and satisfying.Pair it with rum and it was great! Picked on 02/03/2019
Rene L.
AGE:32
TASTE:Wood, Earth, Leather
HOBBIES:Guitar, Beer, Sarcasm
STRENGTH:Medium/Full

FAVORITE BRANDS
Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro
Liga Privada No. 9
Eiroa CBT Maduro
Kristoff GC Signature Series
Tatuaje Miami Seleccion del Cazador

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Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas 4 * 52
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It's no secret that Drew Estate is responsible for some of the most acclaimed and sought after premium cigars in the world, and the Liga Privada brand is not only one of them, but one of my personal all-time favorite smokes. And thus, I was extremely excited to light up the new Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas. This cone-shaped little stogie has a charmingly rustic look to it, and is part of the renowned Unico line of Drew Estate's catalog, which feature specially selected aged tobacco based largely on the vitola at hand. Eager to begin, I forgoed the cutter and simply twisted off the pigtail cap at the cigar head and started giddily torching the shaggy foot. Immediately, I was greeted with a noticeable yet manageable pepper blast that lasted for the first couple of puffs, that led way to a rich profile consisting of notes of dried earth, leather, molasses, and oak. The slick USA Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper has a beautiful oily sheen to it that hinted at the boldness this cigar was about to provide, and in no way was I disappointed. I would classify the Nasty Fritas as medium to full-bodied during the first two thirds, with it picking up strength closer to the finish line. Underlying pepper remained for the entire duration of the smoke, but expertly so as it never once became overwhelmingly spicy, but 'just right'. The pyramid form factor of the Nasty Fritas contributed to its nearly flawless burn line, and also allowed it to billow out smoke relentlessly (Don't have a chimney in your house? Now you do.) All in all, the Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas is a superb addition to the highly-respected Unico line from the mighty Drew Estate, and is perfect for when you want a short-ish smoke that doesn't sacrifice one single bit of flavor. Pair it with a quality single malt scotch to amplify the deliciousness even more! Cheers. Picked on 01/06/2019
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

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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