Connoisseur's Corner

Connoisseur's Corner: A Very Special-Edition Cuban

(From the June 2015 issue of Cigar Aficionado) In 1992 the Cuban cigar industry created an individually numbered series of cigars presented in special humidors. The packaging was unique, but the cigars inside were the real story. These 1492s, named for the year Columbus discovered the New World, were brilliant smokes, snapped up by collectors and declared classics. They have stood up to the test of time. At 23 years of age, the 1492 smoked here delivered flavor after flavor, with a finish that just wouldn’t stop. It’s proving its reputation as one of the most talked-about Cuban cigars ever made.

Cigars made outside of Cuba also age well. Here we present two: a full-bodied Fuente Fuente OpusX from the Dominican Republic and an old Topper Silverdale made in the U.S. with a mixture of American and Cuban tobacco.

99 points

1492 (1992)

This cigar is simply a fantasy of cedar, light cocoa bean and coffee bean notes, with a touch of burnt caramel. The finish is light, woody and earthy, with flavor that doesn’t stop on the palate. You want to savor every puff, and not rush it. A mouthwatering cigar. Unbelievable. This is still one of the greatest cigars that you can smoke.

— Gordon Mott
97 points

Romeo y Julieta Churchill Tubo (1994)

Straight from the tube, this long, gorgeous smoke promised to deliver with flavor, and it did. It begins with notes of rum cake with slivered almonds, and about halfway in it develops brilliant notes of roasted coffee bean. A truly delicious, rich and full-flavored cigar that’s still brimming with life.

— David Savona
97 points

Trinidad Fundadore (1998)

A cedar bomb with a light hint of anise, and espresso on the long finish. It’s a delicious cigar, but it’s nearing its peak. This cigar delights from beginning to end, which is a bit of a surprise since it comes from Cuba’s dark period.

— Gordon Mott
94 points

Davidoff Château Margaux (1989)

This five-pack of coronas was produced not long before Davidoff shifted its production from Cuba to the Dominican Republic. It has mellowed considerably, with a dusting of toasted almond, faint orange peel and a persistent floral quality. Deep into the smoke, it takes on a cappuccino note, with a pleasant if somewhat short finish.

— David Savona
93 points

Topper Silverdale (circa 1960)

This cigar is a taste of the past and (perhaps) a taste of the future, made by hand from Cuban filler and wrapped in a dark Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. There are pencil lead notes and a touch of metallic earth, with vanilla and toast and heavy notes of slate. A cigar that retailed for all of 20 cents back in the day is a true delight after 55 years.

— David Savona
92 points

Fuente Fuente OpusX Petit Lancero (1997)

Eighteen years of sleep in a humidor have done little to temper the power of this skinny cigar. It begins with a robust blast of pepper and leather over oily wood, then develops a salty walnut flavor. Quite strong.

— David Savona
Connoisseur's Corner Archives