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Cuba's Stars

The island's oldest and most venerable smokes have been superseded by the new kids on the block
James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Cuba, May/June 2007

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Cohiba Esplendido -- 98
The Cohiba Esplendido is perfectly named. This is truly a splendid cigar to smoke. It has great richness and full tobacco flavors yet it retains great class and finesse on the palate. A Churchill-sized cigar measuring 7 inches long by 47 ring gauge thick, it is called a Julieta in factories by the workers and remains one of the favorite smokes of the rollers.

Cohiba Robusto -- 96
What more can we say about the cigar that put this size on the map? The Cohiba Robusto is mouth-filling with rich, coffee and spicy flavors and a impressively long finish. No other cigar offers such a burst of flavor in such a relatively small size. The Cohiba Robusto is one of the hottest-selling Cuban cigars.

Montecristo No. 2 -- 94
There is nothing quite like it. The Montecristo No. 2, sometimes called a torpedo or a piramide, represents the best in Cuban craftsmanship. It takes years to master producing this tapered cigar, called a piramide by the rollers themselves. Whatever you call it, it is a bombshell of a smoke, packed with spicy rich flavors that go on and on with each puff.

Punch Punch -- 94
Punch Punch is Cuba's cigar for the connoisseur. It offers plenty of captivating, creamy, coffee character yet maintains a harmony in aroma and flavor that leaves you spellbound. The thick format gives the cigar richness, but the length makes it easy to enjoy in less time than a full-fledged Churchill.

Photo by John Curry

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