With the warmer weather moving in and quarantine moving out, the time couldn’t be better to smoke a great cigar (or two, or more). We compiled a list of some of the best smokes that we’ve recently rated, all from the February issue of Cigar Aficionado. These 12 smokes all hail from different producers in different countries throughout the cigar world, bringing their own unique style and creativity to the table. So grab your cutter and your lighter, pick one up and enjoy.
Fuente Fuente Opusx Petit Lancero (94 Points, Dominican Republic): The belicoso head atop this long cigar gives it the appearance of an arrow. Long and thin, the medium- to full-bodied cigar is a puro, with all its tobacco grown at Chateau de la Fuente, the family-owned farm in the Dominican Republic that provides distinct tobacco for the entire Fuente Fuente OpusX line. Leather, cocoa, dried fruit and spice hit the palate on every puff. See full tasting note.
Cohiba Siglo VI (93 Points, Cuba): When this size came to market in 2002, it was the thickest Cohiba in the entire Línea 1492, also known as the Cohiba Siglo Series. Called a cañonazo in Cuban cigar factories, it was an instant hit and continues to be a very popular size, offering a bold base of coffee bean and dark chocolate that lead to precise notes of cashew and almond, with a bit of spice that brightens it up. See full tasting note.
Herrera Esteli Habano Lonsdale Deluxe (93 Points, Nicaragua): A nod to traditional Cuban construction, with its three-seam cap and Ecuador Havana wrapper, this long corona is packed with flavor. Sweetness and spice combine for a rich experience filled with ginger molasses cookie, leather and walnut, with a touch of cocoa on the finish. It’s one of many impressive Drew Estate cigars from master blender Willy Herrera. See full tasting note.
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 (93 Points, Cuba): Hoyo de Monterrey has been a major Cuban name since its birth in 1865 and the Epicure No. 2 appeals to beginners for its light body and experienced smokers for its nuance and complexity. A go-to for many smokers, this robusto-sized cigar keeps the Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey name relevant and interesting with complex layers of coffee, graham cracker, molasses and peanut upon a floral core. See full tasting note.
Micallef Herencia Maduro Toro (92 Points, Nicaragua): The Micallef brand is owned and named after entrepreneur Al Micallef, a longtime cigar smoker who has a hand in many business ventures, but make no mistake: cigars for him are not an afterthought. His dedication to quality is evidenced in this dark, toothy, well-made toro that features bright notes of orange peel, sweet toast and rich walnut with a leathery finish. See full tasting note.
Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill (Tubo) (92 Points, Cuba): For many, a classic Cuban Churchill is a long cigar that measures 7 inches by 47 ring gauge. But over time, there have been some variations on this theme with Wide Churchills, Petit Churchills and the Short Churchill here. Regardless of what you call it, this short, oily robusto has a lush draw full of leather, graham cracker, coffee and a satisfying salt-and-pepper finish. See full tasting note.
VegaFina 1998 VF 52 (92 Points, Dominican Republic): A Dominican robusto that’s been around the world and back, the 1998 VF 52 showcases tobaccos from Ecuador, Indonesia, Colombia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The result is a zesty, tangy smoke with rich cappuccino and nutty flavors alongside notes of apple, cinnamon and maple syrup. A tasty and interesting smoke. See full tasting note.
Cloud Hopper No. 53 (92 Points, Nicaragua): Blended by brand owner Kyle Gellis of Warped Cigars, this complex corona draws its character from the Nicaraguan tobacco grown by Aganorsa, including the Corojo ’99 wrapper. Cloud Hopper’s defining qualities are driven by a gingerbread sweetness and rich, fudgey core, but it also shows the warm qualities of baking spices before the big nutty finish. See full tasting note.
Nat Cicco Casino Real Double Toro (92 Points, Nicaragua): Nat Cicco has been making a name for itself as a high-quality brand with wallet-friendly prices. With a suggested retail price tag of only $5.79, this plump grande continues the trend with an excellent draw, near-even burn and hearty notes of black cherry, leather, coffee bean and toast. See full tasting note.
San Cristobal Monumento (91 Points, Nicaragua): The slightly tapered, 109-style belicoso head and richly hued wrapper from Ecuador hints at the tasty smoking experience that’s to come. First puffs reveal a nutty, leathery smoke with tones of cinnamon, vanilla, citrus and clove. Like all San Cristobal cigars, it’s made at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua for Ashton Distributors Inc. See full tasting note.
Padrón 6000 (91 Points, Nicaragua): One of the more budget-friendly Padróns, the 6000 comes slightly pressed with a long, pointed head. Cocoa and leather are prominent on the palate, with accents of raisin, coffee and cedar adding intrigue to a well-rounded cigar. At $8.70, you can light it up on any day or for a special occasion. See full tasting note.
Quesada Selección España Corona (91 Points, Dominican Republic): The Quesada family has been in the tobacco business since 1974, but it wasn’t until 2009 that the family’s cigars bore the Quesada name. Originally for the Spanish market, the Selección España is now available in the U.S., and the corona is a slim, medium-bodied cigar. Initial chocolate notes pave the way for a steady procession of wood and mint with hints of walnut and cedar. At only $7.70, it’s another great bang for your buck. See full tasting note.