Connoisseur's Corner

Connoisseur's Corner: Two Fine Double Coronas

(From the August 2010 issue of Cigar Aficionado) What’s better than a big Cuban cigar? A big Cuban cigar from a great year with a bit of age. We rated two of Cuba’s finest double coronas, one of them from 1993, the other from 1997, and our nod went to the Punch Double Corona from 1993. The early 1990s were very good years for Cuban cigars. The cigar boom had just begun. By the mid 1990s and into the late 1990s, the Cuban cigar industry had increased production by a tremendous amount. That growth spurt gave the world far more Cuban smokes, but they weren’t always of the finest quality. The 1997 Ramon Allones Gigante was very good, but not nearly as good as that 17-year-old Punch, which scored a nearly perfect 99 points. But how long is too long to age a cigar? A 50-year-old Montecristo was a bit past its prime.

99 points

Punch Double Corona (1993)

A true classic. This cigar is completely smoothed by age, with a buttery, nutmeg quality on the palate. There is a virtually perfect construction and draw. —Marvin R. Shanken
96 points

Bolivar Belicoso Fino (1990)

This cigar shows a delicious sweetness, with a hint of cocoa on the palate. It also has all the finesse of a cigar with 20 years of box age. No sharp edges, just smooth and sweet. —MRS
94 points

Ramon Allones gigante (1997)

This cigar starts off cedary and light with dried flowers and spices. It is refined and mellow, but then it still turns on big flavors, with a lot of finesse. —James Suckling
92 points

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Depute (1994)

This isn’t a blockbuster smoke but this short, slim cigar shows gorgeous roasted coffee and pepper character. Full and powerful. It is loaded with flavor, while still remaining subtle and sexy. —JS
92 points

Montecristo Selección Suprema No. 1 (1959)

This is fully showing the effect of 50 years of box age. It is almost mild, with light, smooth and cedary flavors. Pleasant and mild. —MRS
91 points

Partagas Serie D No. 4 Reserva (2005)

This robusto is lighter than I remember, but it has beautiful cedar, tobacco and light vanilla aromas and flavors. Full and round but very mellow now. Needs to be smoked. —JS
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