The Top 25 Cigars Archive


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Currently viewing: 2016
Rank Cigar Country Score Price
25
El Güegüense Corona Gorda
Nicaragua 92 $10
Based on Nicaraguan folklore, El Güegüense translates to "the wise man," and is the debut brand from Foundation Cigar Co., a company launched in mid-2015 by cigarmaker Nicholas Melillo. He was perhaps best known in the industry for running production at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua, but Melillo has developed a fast and loyal following with this cigar line since he branched out on his own. This Nicaraguan puro has a Corojo '99 wrapper, Corojo '99 binder and fillers composed of Corojo '99 and Criollo '98 from Jalapa and Estelí. Melillo says that the filler leaves were harvested in 2011 and 2012. The combination of different varietals from different regions make this an interesting, tasty mélange of Nicaraguan tobacco. Thankfully, the El Güegüense Corona Gorda is a lot easier to smoke than it is to pronounce. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

24
Illusione mk
Nicaragua 92 $8
It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. And also a bit of fun. Many of Illusione cigars have hidden meanings encoded in the packaging and in the names. The "mk" printed on the black-and-white Illusione band, for example, stands for "mind kontrol." Brand owner Dion Giolito believes that the corona size, such as this one, serves as the best blending format when creating a cigar due to its proportions and ratios of tobacco. He who produces the best corona, his thinking goes, is the one who "kontrols" the market. If you're not one to mix riddles with your cigars, the data on this smoke is pretty straightforward. It's made in Nicaragua at the TABSA factory and is full of fantastic Nicaraguan tobacco. Substantial flavors of coffee and spice lead to a sweet note on the palate. For such a little cigar, the Illusione mk imparts big character. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Corona

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

23
Casa Cuba Doble Cinco
Dominican Republic 92 $12
Carlos "Carlito" Fuente is not only the president of A. Fuente y Cia., but also does most of the blending. For the Casa Cuba, he turned the blending over to his father, Carlos Fuente Sr., who died in August 2016. The blend, released in 2013, was the first cigar that the company patriarch had put together in decades. Fuente Sr. blended Casa Cuba using Ecuador Havana wrappers and a mix of Cuban-seed Dominican filler and binder. With this brand, Fuente Sr. aimed to recreate a taste of his early days in the cigar business when Cuban leaf was legally imported into the U.S. "I blended this cigar the way I used to blend Cuban tobacco," he said. The name Doble Cinco, is a reference to the game of dominos. Though fairly mild, this blend is full of life and character, and, more importantly could be regarded as a window to another era in cigar making. Read more

Country: Dominican Republic

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

22
Henry Clay Stalk Cut Toro
Dominican Republic 92 $9
Altadis U.S.A. has revitalized this once sleepy cigar line, bestowing new packaging and a great blend on the heritage line. It started when Altadis collaborated with Tatuaje to make a one-off project called Henry Clay Tattoo. This sparked new interest in Henry Clay and Altadis took advantage of the buzz by creating the Henry Clay Stalk Cut. The name refers to the harvesting method for the aged broadleaf wrapper found on this cigar. Stalk cutting is the process in which the entire broadleaf tobacco plant is chopped at the base and hung by its stalk to cure in a barn. Altadis says that the wrapper is from a 2012 harvest and has vintage dated all the tobacco in the blend. The Dominican components are from 2012, the Nicaraguan tobacco from 2013. Each rich, ripe cigar is box pressed and rustically finished with an uncut foot. Read more

Country: Dominican Republic

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

21
Villiger San'Doro Colorado Robusto
Nicaragua 92 $8
Villiger is a company with a long tobacco history that dates back to the 1800s. The company's history in the premium sector, however, isn't quite as long—closer to 10 years. The company is based in Switzerland, and its premium products are distributed through Villiger Cigars North America, with the U.S. as its primary market. Efforts to infiltrate the high-end sector have resulted in an entire portfolio, and the most memorable is the Villiger San'Doro Colorado. The name pays homage to tobacco lore. According to Villiger, when Christopher Columbus brought tobacco back to Europe, it was referred to as the holy or sacred plant of India, also called San'Doro. The Ecuadoran and Nicaraguan tobaccos in this blend pair beautifully, and the San'Doro is a fine addition to the premium cigar world—even if it took Villiger more than a century to get there. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

20
Enclave Churchill
Nicaragua 92 $7
Though A.J. Fernandez is a familiar name among cigar smokers, few realize that A.J. is part of a father-and-son team. He relies on his father, Ismael, to help run his huge operation, and Ismael is often instrumental in the blending process. Enclave is a cigar brand that Ismael created, so it's no surprise that the cigar is a little more old-fashioned, focusing less on strength, and more on flavor. Heavy-handed power is a modern trait of the premium market, but Ismael toned it down for the Enclave. The cigar is impeccably constructed, as are most cigars that come out of the busy A.J. Fernandez factory in Nicaragua. The pristine wrapper is beautiful to behold and the combustion is flawless. So is the draw. Each puff is a clear reminder that this cigar favors finesse over force. The classic Churchill format is an additional nod to tradition. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Churchill

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

19
Cohiba Siglo VI (Tubo)
Cuba 93 £35
There are a lot of "firsts" surrounding the Cohiba Siglo VI. It was the first addition to the Linea 1492 (or Siglo Series) since the brand was released. It was the first Cohiba in a tube. It was the first tube with the two-part, pull-cap design to come out of Cuba. It was the first Cohiba to exceed a ring gauge of 50. And it was also the first Cohiba to be on Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 list, making its inaugural appearance for the best cigars of 2004. Despite the long list of firsts, the Siglo VI is also a fantastic cigar. Many are made at El Laguito, which is Cohiba's mother factory, and even though the ring gauge is fairly heavy, Siglo VI cigars only have half a leaf of ligero tobacco in the blend, so the smoke has body, but isn't too powerful. Balance in blending is a difficult act, but necessary, especially with Cohiba—probably the most famous cigar name in the world. Read more

Country: Cuba

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

18
Alec Bradley Coyol Petit Lancero
Honduras 93 $7
In honor of a particularly fertile farm in Honduras, the Alec Bradley Coyol is named after a plantation of the same name. Brand owner Alan Rubin believes that the Coyol farm produces tobacco of distinction and found a way to incorporate its leaves into a tasty, dynamic blend that stays interesting with every puff. There are elements of Coyol tobacco in each part of the cigar. The wrapper is from Coyol, as is one of the binders and part of the filler. It makes sense that the Petit Lancero performed so well. The slim dimensions naturally emphasize the wrapper and give the smoker more of an estate tobacco experience, as opposed to merely a regional one. It's a great combination of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco, and scored 93 points for delivering an exquisite smoke. It's also the ideal cigar for those left who still enjoy slim sizes. Read more

Country: Honduras

Cigar Size: Lonsdale

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

17
Brick House Corona Larga
Nicaragua 93 $6
A reminder of the last economic recession, the Brick House brand was brought to market during the tough financial times when a value-priced cigar was most welcome. But there's history to the brand. Brick House was an old cigar named after the brick house in Hungary where company founder Julius Caeser Newman lived as a child. He eventually started his own cigar company in Cleveland, Ohio in 1895 and launched Brick House in 1937. The line was retired for decades, but resurrected in 2009. A few things have changed. Firstly, the economy has improved and secondly, it's now made in J.C. Newman's own Nicaragua factory. What hasn't changed is the value—Brick House is still a great bargain. The Corona Larga scored 93 points and retails for only $5.55. Think of it as a recession special—even in a positive economy. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

16
El Centurion H-2K-CT Toro Box Pressed
Nicaragua 93 $8
It isn't quite as dark as Connecticut broadleaf, and it isn't quite as light as Connecticut shade. Lying somewhere in the middle is the El Centurion H-2K-CT Toro, an intensely flavorful cigar with an unusual hybrid wrapper. You can ask the Garcia family exactly who it is that grows the Cuban-seed wrapper on the El Centurion H-2K-CT, but they're not likely to say. We know it comes from somewhere in Connecticut, we know it's a Havana 2000 seed hybrid and we know the wrappers are sungrown. Outside of that, the Garcias aren't talking. El Centurion started as a limited-edition release, but last year it hit the market as a full-fledged spinoff brand from the original with a different blend. The box-pressed H-2K-CT cigars are medium to full bodied and beautifully constructed at the My Father Cigars S.A. factory. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

15
CroMagnon Anthropology
Nicaragua 93 $8
This marks the first time that a CroMagnon cigar has made it to the Top 25 list. Don't let the name fool you. The brand, owned by Skip Martin and produced in Nicaragua under the company RoMa Craft Tobac, does not make primitive cigars. Martin has paired a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper with a Nicaraguan filler blend. That, in and of itself, is not very uncommon in the premium world. But he's also incorporated a Cameroon binder, which isn't as orthodox. The result is a fairly bold smoke with earthy aspects of dark cocoa and nutty qualities that play off each other effectively. Perhaps the earth is the underlying theme here, between the character of the smoke and the anthropological motif. Named Anthropology, the relatively slim, 46 ring gauge cigar scored 93 points—a civilized smoke that evokes Cro-Magnon man. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

14
Aging Room Small Batch M356ii Mezzo
Dominican Republic 93 $9
To understand the Aging Room Small Batch M356ii Mezzo, one must first look at the company's concept. Boutique Blends Cigars does not use the term "small batch" lightly. When brand owner Rafael Nodal finds a particular batch of tobacco, he creates only a finite amount of cigars. After the tobacco is finished, it's finished. No tobacco substitutions will be made over time to sustain the brand, no matter what the demand. Nor does he change the blend in hopes that no one will notice. The M356 was one of his first Small Batch releases, but the tobacco ran out, so Nodal created a similar blend called M356ii. This way, consumers know they're smoking something slightly different without being mislead. The Small Batch M356ii is a beautiful extension of the first blend, and the Mezzo scored 93 points for its savory, spicy qualities. Read more

Country: Dominican Republic

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

13
La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Belicoso
Nicaragua 93 $8
The La Aroma de Cuba brand was put on the market by Ashton Distributors Inc. in late 2002. At the time, the cigars were made in Honduras. A few years later, production halted and the brand was in a temporary transitional phase. Today, La Aroma de Cubas are produced in Nicaragua at My Father Cigars. The brand is still owned by Ashton, but the company has expanded the La Aroma line by many degrees. Of all its different versions and extensions, Mi Amor has been a perennial high-performer within the pages of this magazine. The combination of dark, Mexican San Andrés wrapper with Nicaraguan filler has made it a go-to for fans of Nicaraguan cigars. The price is also attractive. Since the beginning, La Aroma de Cuba has promised to deliver the premium experience at a very reasonable price. This was Ashton's vision for the brand, and the company has kept its word. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Figurado

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

12
Casa Turrent Serie 1901 Robusto
Mexico 93 $9
The top growers of Mexican San Andrés wrapper leaf also produce an outstanding cigar—the Casa Turrent Serie 1901. It's named after the Turrent family, prolific producers of Mexican tobacco and creators of the Te-Amo brand, a value-cigar. Previous attempts by the Turrents to break into the upper echelons of the premium sector weren't terribly successful. That's changed. The Casa Turrent Serie 1901 launched on the international market in 2013, but didn't arrive in the U.S. until August 2015. Casa Turrent is the only cigar brand that carries the Turrent name in its title (in 2014, brand owner Alejandro Turrent discontinued all his other Turrent-branded lines). He aims to position Casa Turrent as his company's flagship premium brand. Judging by the performance of the Casa Turrent 1901 Robusto, he seems well on his way. Read more

Country: Mexico

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

11
Casa Fernandez Miami Aganorsa Leaf Maduro Robusto Extra
U.S.A. 93 $9
For many years, the name Aganorsa was known only to those in the tobacco industry. Aganorsa is an agricultural conglomerate and one of the largest growers and suppliers of Nicaraguan tobacco for the premium industry. The company is owned by Eduardo Fernández who started the Casa Fernandez and Casa Fernandez Miami brands. When it first came to market, Casa Fernandez was produced in Honduras. Years later, production was moved to Miami. The Casa Fernandez Miami Aganorsa Leaf brand was born in 2012. Fernández is able to supply the tobacco from his own company directly to these cigars, which are box-pressed and covered in a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, the only component that Fernández doesn't grow. Many companies use Aganorsa tobacco, but in this brand, and particularly this Robusto Extra size, the tobacco shows its own distinct style. Read more

Country: U.S.A.

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

10
Punch Gran Puro Santa Rita
Honduras 93 $5
Consider the Punch Gran Puro Santa Rita a love letter to Honduras. It is composed of Honduran tobacco, made in Honduras and serves as a good example of how vibrant Honduran smokes can be. General Cigar Co. which manufactures this brand at its STG Danlí factory, grows a proprietary tobacco in the San Agustín area of Honduras near the Guatemala border, so this blend is a very quaint expression of a region-specific terroir. And with a suggested retail price of $5.29 (before local taxes), it's also a phenomenal bargain. Punch is a heritage cigar that's been in General's possession since 1997. While it parallels Cuba's Punch brand, these non-Cuban versions are only sold in the United States. This isn't the first time that the Punch Gran Puro Santa Rita has been on the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 list—it made an appearance back in 2012. Over the last four years, the price increases have been minimal yet the quality has remained quite high. The brand debuted in 2003 when the demand for strong, full-bodied cigars had yet to reach its potential. Perhaps it was ahead of its time. It's certainly the most powerful of the Punches in General's portfolio. Read more

Country: Honduras

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

9
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2
Cuba 93 £17
If there is a quintessential Cuban robusto, the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 probably holds that title. The size has been around for decades and is a favorite among fans of Cuban cigars for its delicate nuance, complexity and aroma. Not that this is a mild cigar. Subtlety and mild body aren't exactly the same thing, and the Epicure No. 2 is a case study in how a cigar can deliver layers of flavor while preserving delicacy and sophistication. The samples we smoked were from a February 2016 production date. Traditionalists should be happy that not too much has changed in terms of presentation over the years. The Hoyo Epicure No. 2 cigars still come packaged in wooden slide-lid cabinets, which are ideal for air-flow during long-term aging. They still come bundled with a ribbon, and the cigars are even offered in 50-count cabinets as an option to standard boxes of 25. The only major change has been the bands. Up until about 10 years ago, many cigars in wooden cabinets were packaged nude. Habanos S.A. changed that by putting bands on all cigars, cabinet or otherwise. Those who wish to pay homage to the past can simply remove the labels with ease. Read more

Country: Cuba

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

8
Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto
Nicaragua 94 $10
Many will remember that the Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado was named Cigar of the Year in 2014. The brand continues its trajectory of excellence with the Robusto. It's a far more compact format, and perhaps more approachable, as not everyone is inclined to light up a large double figurado as their everyday smoke. The blend is centered around a Sumatra-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador paired with Nicaraguan tobacco. This combination isn't terribly common in the premium cigar world, but the Oliva Cigar Co. seems to understand the tobaccos and how they fit together for harmony and balance. Earlier in 2016, Oliva Cigar Co. was acquired by J. Cortez Cigars N.V., a Belgian tobacco company that wanted a premium cigar operation in its portfolio. Now they have one. Assurances have been made that nothing will change under the new ownership, and that J. Cortes will maintain Oliva's high standards. We certainly hope so. With the Oliva Serie V Melanio, they now have an extraordinary cigar blend on their hands. The smoke is silky, sweet and, at times intense with toast and cedar. The brand name commemorates Melanio Oliva, who first grew tobacco in Cuba in the 1800s. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

7
Norteño Robusto Grande
Nicaragua 94 $12
The packaging of this brand is not only attractive, but a foreshadowing of the cigars inside—dark, flat and compact. That's a fair way to describe the appearance of the Norteño Robusto Grande. What the packaging doesn't tell you is that each cigar in the box has a lush, substantial draw that layers the palate with copious amounts of dense smoke. The combustion and performance are exemplary. Norteños come off the tables of La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and from the mind of Willy Herrera, Drew Estate's master blender. He took a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Honduran binder and integrated the two with a filler blend of well-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. Great construction, however, is not the only hallmark of this cigar. It's also rich with notes of raw cocoa bean, refined milk chocolate and nougat, yet maintains its earthy qualities without becoming too sweet. The name, which translates to "northerner" in Spanish refers to those in Estelí, which is located in the northern part of Nicaragua and where the Drew Estate factory resides. It's also a nod to Herrera himself, who is from Miami. He may be considered from the south in the United States, but in Nicaragua, he's a northerner. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

6
Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum R Vitola "Forty-Four"
Dominican Republic 94 $8
The name is certainly long, but it tells you almost everything you need to know about this Fuente cigar. Rosado Sungrown indicates the color and growing conditions of the wrapper leaf. And Magnum refers to the sizes of the cigars in the line. When the brand was first released, all the cigars were fairly thick. But more importantly, this cigar also ran contrary to the industry trend. At the time, many manufacturers in the premium sector were releasing strong, full-bodied cigars. Carlos "Carlito" Fuente Jr. decided to go in the opposite direction and made a cigar that was medium bodied in strength, but still registered as full-flavored on the palate—not an easy task. He accomplished this by creating a particular blend of Dominican tobaccos and pairing it with a wrapper leaf from Ecuador that, according to Fuente, has almost a decade of age. You might assume the cigar is called Vitola "Forty-Four" for its ring gauge, but the "Forty-Four" denotes the number of cigars packaged per box. This cigar is still fairly slim at 47 ring, but it's a great size, and each puff compels the next with unrelenting layers of spicy cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts and maple. Read more

Country: Dominican Republic

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

5
Padrón Serie 1926 No. 90
Nicaragua 94 $20
Whether it be an anniversary or an important benchmark, it seems that the Padrón family is always celebrating something. And when they do, smokers end up with a great new cigar. The Padrón Serie 1926 No. 90 is a perfect example. It celebrates the life of company patriarch José Orlando Padrón, who turned 90 in June and is still active in the company he founded. The cigar is Padrón in almost every way—it's dark (even this natural version), it's rich and it leaves the familiar bold impressions of cocoa, earth and coffee on the palate in the way that only a Padrón cigar can. But it's unlike other Padróns due to its shape. All other cigars in the Padrón Serie 1926 line are squarely pressed, giving the line its signature look. Not true of the No. 90. This one is in the round. It also comes packaged in a glossy tubo—another first for the company. If you're unfamiliar with José Orlando Padrón's history, you should know this: the man has paid his dues. Over his storied career, he's had his offices in Miami bombed, his factory in Nicaragua burned to the ground and even a tobacco warehouse set ablaze. Despite this, he persevered and created some of the best cigars the world has ever seen. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

4
E.P. Carrillo Selección Oscuro Dinamicos
Dominican Republic 94 $8
As a cigarmaker who has pretty much done it all, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has little to prove. He started as a true boutique operation in Little Havana, then became nationally recognized, before eventually selling his operation to one of the biggest cigar companies in the world. After that, he started all over again. So what can someone like Perez-Carrillo give the cigar world that he hasn't already? The answer is the E.P. Carrillo Selección Oscuro Piramides Royal. It's dark and imposing, but don't let that scare you. The blend isn't as aggressive as one might think. While it's certainly full of assertive character, it's nuanced as well. This effect is produced by the creative blending of Mexican wrapper, Ecuadoran binder and Nicaraguan filler. Perez-Carrillo is always playing with different tobaccos and experimenting with blends, and he has the means to do so. He owns the Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic and is very involved in the sourcing and blending of his tobacco. This cigar is not only full of dried-fruit notes and a chocolate-covered raisin sweetness, but is an exercise in restraint and balance. Perez-Carrillo has redesigned the band, which you see here, but there are still cigars in the market with the original band. Read more

Country: Dominican Republic

Cigar Size: Churchill

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

3
Partagás Serie E No. 2
Cuba 94 £27
The fattest Partagás in the regular-production Cuban portfolio is also the best Partagás that Cigar Aficionado smoked this year. At 54 ring gauge, it's clearly part of Cuba's recent initiative to make its cigars larger and fatter in general. Traditionalists might scoff at the beefed-up parameters, but it would be a mistake as Habanos has loaded this cigar with plenty of fine, complex tobacco. The Partagás Alphabet Series dates back to the 1930s, when the brand first appeared on the British market. When it debuted, the line included Series A through D with four sizes assigned to each letter, for a total of 16 sizes. The brand was discontinued in the 1960s but brought back incrementally in subsequent years. All cigars in the letter series are dressed in a distinctive red-and-gold band that separates them from the core Cuban Partagás cigar line. For years, fans of the Partagás letter series only had the Serie D No. 4 to enjoy, but Habanos has taken a new interest in the Partagás sub-brand and added a number of new sizes over the last few years. The Serie E No. 2 was released in 2011, but the samples with a box date of August 2016 mark the most impressive Cuban of the year. Read more

Country: Cuba

Cigar Size: Corona Gorda

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

2
Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Robusto
Nicaragua 95 $9
More than 10 years ago Rocky Patel put out a line called the Rocky Patel Sun Grown. Since then, it's become one of his staple brands, but it wasn't until last year that he decided to create a maduro version. Unlike the original line, which is still made in Honduras, the new version is made in Nicaragua at Patel's TaviCusa factory. It's also rolled in a dark, Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. This new interpretation was dubbed the Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro, and the Robusto is a great representation of the full-bodied blends coming out of Nicaragua today. The first Sun Grown was a dark cigar to begin with, but this more modern version has surpassed the original in every respect—it's darker, it's stronger and it's more complex. The cigars are also trunk-pressed, giving them an attractive appearance that hints at the bold blend of Nicaraguan tobacco under the broadleaf wrapper—and they harmonize beautifully, imparting earthy, nutty notes and bittersweet chocolate with the sweeter properties of the wrapper. Astute observers will notice the new packaging as well. Both band and box have their own unique design to adequately give these cigars their own identity. Read more

Country: Nicaragua

Cigar Size: Robusto

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

1
La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull
Dominican Republic 96 $15
Here is an unusual, perhaps unfamiliar cigar that gleams with distinction but doesn't have much market history, as it only came out last summer. The wrapper is a striking hue somewhere between red and brown and the beautiful shape is all curves and tapers. Salomones, as they're known in cigar factories, are far from an easy cigar to craft. Look closely at the band, which is a shade of emerald green, and you see the letters "LFD": La Flor Dominicana. The cigar is called the Andalusian Bull, and nothing about it is typical. But nothing about its creator, Litto Gomez is typical either. With Gomez, you'll find few of the tropes and stories typically associated with men in the tobacco business. No family history in tobacco. No Cuban lineage. No passed-down tobacco traditions. Born in Spain, but raised in Uruguay, Gomez came into the cigar industry in 1994 after a stint in the jewelry business went sour. His initial cigars were mild, but Gomez started getting the attention of premium smokers when he began producing stronger blends rolled in unusual shapes. Some will remember the El Jocko Perfecto No. 1 and all should know the wedge-shaped Chisel. Such odd shapes have become mainstays in the cigar world. Among serious smokers, the Chisel is now synonymous with La Flor Dominicana—which brings us to the Bull. The La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull is a truly new concept within La Flor's portfolio of fine cigars. The size is based on that of an old cigar mold that Gomez found in Belgium. Naming it after Andalusia was a nod to Spain, the country where Gomez was born. And the silhouette of a matador on the band represents the celebrated history of the sport of bullfighting in Andalusia. That eye-catching shade of green is similar to that found on the Andalusian flag. But there's more to decode. The font on the band is based on Pablo Picasso's handwriting—he loved to paint bulls—and the scrollwork reflects patterns found on a bullfighter's uniform. Fittingly, with this combination of heavy-handed and subtle symbolism comes a blend that is both bold and refined (like a bull and a matador). Gomez and his son Tony collaborated on the cigar and spent a fair amount of time fine-tuning the blend. The result was a cigar as intriguing in flavor as it is in appearance. It's a combination of Corojo-seed Ecuador Habano wrapper on a blend that consists primarily of Dominican Criollo '98 tobacco, a hybrid and a bit of Pelo d'Oro too. First impressions are bold and savory with strong notes of hickory and leather. But it continues to take on a complex spiciness of saffron and cumin as well as a slight tangy note that brings the strength and spice together quite gracefully—and it only gets better with every puff. Gomez owns the brand and company with his wife, Ines Lorenzo-Gomez. This marks the first time that La Flor Dominicana has been awarded No. 1 Cigar of the Year. Read more

Country: Dominican Republic

Cigar Size: Figurado

Issue Date: 2017-01-01

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