The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2005
Juan Lopez Epicure No. 1
Altadis U.S.A. Inc. makes dozens of premium cigar brands, all of which until recently were made in the Dominican Republic and Honduras. Believing that it needed a Nicaraguan cigar, the company turned to Nicaragua American Tobaccos, a busy Estelí factory best known as the source of many low-cost brands for retailer JR Cigars. This frenzied, fast-paced factory showed that it could also craft a serious premium cigar by turning out the Juan Lopez Epicure No. 1. This fairly inexpensive smoke is a powerful and very dark Nicaraguan puro. The wrapper leaf practically drips with oils, and the 6 by 54 cigar is dark enough to be called a maduro.