23 Cigars Smoking Exceptionally Well Right Now

23 Cigars Smoking Exceptionally Well Right Now
From left: Room101 Farce It Is A Lonsdale, Gran Habano La Conquista Gran Robusto, Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Espressivo, Joya Silver Corona and Saint Luis Rey Herfing Exclusivo Medio Oriente.

A common question we receive at Cigar Aficionado is “What cigar would you say is smoking well right now?” And now that the ratings from the June issue of Cigar Aficionado are live on this website, the question has an easy answer.

In the June tasting, our panel of editors rated 80 cigars in six categories: Churchill, corona, corona gorda, figurado, lonsdale and robusto. Simply put, it was an impressive tasting.

Of the 80 cigars we rated, 23 scored 91 points or higher, outstanding on our 100-point scale. That’s nearly 29 percent. All of the major cigar-producing countries are represented, with a whopping nine of the top cigars produced in Nicaragua. Seven are rolled in Cuba; four are made in the Dominican Republic; two hail from Honduras; with one lone smoke produced in the U.S.

Like with all Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider tastings, our panel of editors tasted the cigars for the June issue blind. This means each cigar was stripped of its original band and assigned a numeric code for the rating process. The editors had no idea what cigar they were smoking during the tasting, so price, country of origin and cigar manufacturer are not considered when a final rating is delivered.

Check below for the top cigars from the June tasting, and click here to peruse all the ratings from the issue.

Room101 Farce It Is A Lonsdale (Dom. Rep., 94 points) This long, thin smoke from brand owner Matt Booth contains tobacco from five different countries: Ecuadoran wrapper, Indonesian binder and filler tobacco from Pennsylvania, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Ecuador. See full tasting note.

Punch Diablo Scamp

Punch Diablo Scamp (Nicaragua, 93 points) This brand was created by General Cigar in collaboration with A.J. Fernandez with the mission to create the strongest Punch cigar yet, and they undoubtedly succeeded. It’s also the first Punch from General Cigar to be made outside of Honduras. The Scamp measures 6 1/4 inches by 50 ring gauge, and with a price tag of $7.19, you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal—or a more powerful Punch. See full tasting note.

Aladino Toro (Honduras, 93 points) Blended by industry veteran Julio Eiroa, this Honduran puro is rolled with tobaccos grown in the Jamastran Valley on the Eiroa family farms from seeds that the company refers to as "authentic Corojo." See full tasting note.

Gran Habano La Conquista Gran Robusto (Honduras, 93 points) Named after Christopher Columbus’s colonial journey into the Americas, this smoke sports a Nicaraguan binder with a mix of filler from three countries and is covered by a claro-colorado Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper. See full tasting note.

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Espressivo (Nicaragua, 92 points) This medium- to full-bodied cigar from Rafael Nodal is made with only Nicaraguan tobaccos, but unlike other Aging Room cigars, which are produced in the Dominican Republic, the Quattro Nicaragua is made in Nicaragua at cigarmaker A.J. Fernandez’s factory in Nicaragua. See full tasting note.

Joya Silver Corona (Nicaragua, 92 points) Wrapped in a leaf the color of rich dark chocolate, this box-pressed cigar presents a new direction for the brand in terms of complexity. The new, medium to full-bodied blend features Nicaraguan fillers, a Mexican binder and a wrapper from Ecuador. See full tasting note.

Saint Luis Rey Herfing Exclusivo Medio Oriente (Cuba, 92 points) A Regional Edition Cuban cigar made specifically for the Middle East, this cigar not only performed beautifully in our blind tastings, it made it to the top of Mt. Everest. Fat by Cuban standards, Herfing measures 5 1/2 by 54, with a limited release of 7,500 boxes. See full tasting note.

La Relatos by Warped

La Relatos The First (Nicaragua, 92 points) A reincarnation of one of Warped Cigars owner Kyle Gellis’s original blends from about 10 years ago. It’s a long, thin cigar with a mix of Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobaccos from Nicaragua, all brought together by an exquisite Ecuadoran Habano wrapper. See full tasting note.

Black Label Trading Co. Last Rites Petite Lancero (Nicaragua, 92 points) One of Black Label Trading Co.’s first cigars, this full-bodied smoke is rolled with an Ecuadoran maduro wrapper, Honduran binder and filler tobacco from Nicaragua and Honduras. See full tasting note.

Partagás Serie D No. 4 (Cuba, 92 points) Part of the popular “alphabet series” Partagás extension that also includes the Serie E and P lines, this short, stout smoke is one of Cuba’s best-selling cigars. See full tasting note.

Eastern Standard The Cyprus Room (Dom. Rep., 92 points) At 6 inches by 54 ring gauge, this cigar is longer and thicker than a traditional corona gorda. It’s rolled entirely with tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, save for a golden-brown Ecuador wrapper. See full tasting note.

Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Lonsdale (U.S.A., 92 points) An attractive smoke that’s made in Miami at the El Titan de Bronze factory. Ecuadoran binder and wrapper harmonize with a tasty filler blend from Nicaragua. See full tasting note. See full tasting note.

Punch Punch 48

Punch Punch 48 (Cuba, 92 points) Called Hermosos No. 3 in Cuban factories, this cigar measures 5 1/2 inches by 48 ring gauge and is the first cigar to wear the newly designed secondary band indicating that it's an exclusive product for both Habanos Specialists and Casas del Habano. See full tasting note.

H. Upmann Corona Major (Tubo) (Cuba, 91 points) Once you unscrew the orange cap, a gorgeous, reddish-brown corona will slide right out of the glossy tubo. As good as it looks, the Corona Major delivers loads of flavor for such a small smoke. See full tasting note.

Punch Royal Coronation (Tubo) (Cuba, 91 points) Created in the mid-1800s, Punch is one of the oldest brands in Cuba's portfolio. Punch tubos used to be silver, but within the last 10 years Habanos S.A. changed the color to dark green and switched out a screw-cap for a pull-top. See full tasting note. See full tasting note.

Montecristo Petit No. 2 (Cuba, 91 points) Consider this cigar to be just like the iconic Montecristo No. 2, only shorter. Like its larger sibling, the Petit No. 2 has the same, heavy, 52 ring gauge, but unlike the original, it's almost an inch-and-a-half shorter at 4 3/4 inches long to save you a bit of time. See full tasting note.

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 2

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 2 (Dom. Rep., 91 points) Carlos Fuente Jr. blended the cigar to honor his father, Fuente patriarch Carlos Fuente Sr., for whom the cigar is named. The cigar is wrapped in a toothy swatch of Cameroon cover leaf harvested from Western Africa, and has long been prized for its flavor and consistency. See full tasting note.

Montecristo Open Master (Cuba, 91 points) Habanos S.A. debuted the Montecristo Open brand in 2009 targeting young, affluent people who enjoy the sporting life. If you’re not into golf or sailing, the 4 7/8 by 50 robusto can just as easily be enjoyed indoors. See full tasting note.

Timeless Panamericana Epicure (Nicaragua, 91 points) There was a time you had to go to New York City and walk through the doors of the Nat Sherman Townhouse if you wanted this cigar. Now, it’s widely available and consists of an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Costa Rica and Nicaragua. See full tasting note.

La Flor Dominicana 1994 Mambo

La Flor Dominicana 1994 Mambo (Dom. Rep., 91 points) Created to honor the year that La Flor Dominicana began making cigars, the 1994 Mambo is rolled with binder and filler from brand owner Litto Gomez’s farms in the Dominican Republic, and cloaked in a dark, Mexican wrapper. See full tasting note.

601 Blue Label Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua, 91 points) Three years ago, brand owner Erik Espinosa turned over production of this brand to Nicaraguan cigarmaker A.J. Fernandez, and he’s obviously done a fine job. See full tasting note.

Viaje Exclusivo Nicaragua Leaded Robusto (Nicaragua, 91 points) Once an events-only cigar, this smoke is rolled entirely from Nicaraguan tobacco grown by Aganorsa, and features a Criollo '98 wrapper. Like the name suggests, there’s some strength behind the smoke. See full tasting note.

Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Maduro Toro (Nicaragua, 91 points) Reintroduced last year after a supply problem with the Costa Rican wrapper, this cigar is made with a Nicaraguan binder that holds together a heady blend of tobacco from Honduras and Nicaragua. See full tasting note.