High scores abounded in the August tasting of Cigar Aficionado, with nearly 30 percent of the cigars tasted scoring 91 points or more, outstanding on our 100-point scale. In the issue, our panel of editors rated 81 cigars in six categories: Churchills, corona gordas, double coronas, figurados, panetelas and robustos.
While all of the major cigar-producing countries were represented, Nicaragua and Cuba established themselves as the leaders. Nine cigars from the Central American country and seven cigars rolled in the island nation scored 91 points or higher.
Every cigar rated by Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider is smoked blind by our panel of editors. This means each cigar is stripped of its original band and assigned a numeric code for the rating process. The editors have no idea what cigar they are smoking during the tasting, so price, country of origin and cigar manufacturer are not considered when a final rating is delivered.
See below for the two dozen top cigars from the August tasting, and click here to peruse all the ratings from the issue.
Oliva Serie V Lancero (Nicaragua, 94 points) Rolled with a high-priming wrapper, this thin, long smoke is loaded with nutty flavors and a nougat finish.
Casa Fernandez Miami Lancero (U.S.A., 93 points) Rolled with an attractive Corojo wrapper, this slim smoke shows hickory, cocoa and dried cherry.
Cohiba Siglo IV (Cuba, 93 points) This popular Cuban favorite that was first released in 1992 offers notes of leather and earth along with sweeter nuances of raisin and gingerbread.
Enclave Broadleaf Churchill (Nicaragua, 93 points) When this cigar debuted two years ago, it was Nicaraguan cigarmaker A.J. Fernandez’s first broadleaf-wrapped smoke.
Espinosa Habano No. 4 (Nicaragua, 93 points) Four years ago, brand owner Erik Espinosa tweaked this blend to incorporate an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler.
Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona (Dom. Rep., 93 points) A former Cigar of the Year, this famous blend still delivers, offering a delectable combination of complex flavors and strength.
Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Diplomatico (Nicaragua, 93 points) This box-pressed smoke, wrapped in natural leaf, is named after the year that the famous Nicaraguan cigar company was founded.
Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V (Nicaragua, 93 points) Rolled entirely with Nicaraguan tobaccos, this striking Salomon delivers coffee bean, cocoa and citrus notes, among others.
Punch Duke Exclusivo México (Cuba, 93 points) Measuring 5 1/2 inches by 54 ring gauge, the Punch Duke marks the fourth Cuban Regional Edition cigar for Mexico.
Aging Room Solera Sun Grown Festivo (Dom. Rep., 92 points) This Dominican puro uses tobaccos that have been aged in a fashion that compared to the Solera method that Spain’s traditional winemakers use.
La Aroma de Cuba Double Corona (Nicaragua, 92 points) This long, thick cigar made by the Garcia family is covered in a gorgeous Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Chisel (Dom. Rep., 92 points) This uniquely-shaped smoke is rolled with tobaccos from brand owner Litto Gomez's farm in the Dominican Republic, including some piloto Cubano, Sumatra seed and Corojo.
Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill (Tubo) (Cuba, 92 points) The smoke from this cigar, which is the thickest regular-production Cuban Romeo, layers the palate with notes of gingersnap cookie and dark chocolate.
Tatuaje 15th Anniversary Rosado Oscuro Belicoso Fino (U.S.A., 92 points) Created to celebrate Tatuaje’s 15 years in business, this smoke uses an Ecuador Habano wrapper over binder and filler grown by the Garcia family in Nicaragua.
Timeless Prestige Especiales (Dom. Rep., 92 points) This brand was previously known as Timeless Dominican, and its panetela size is fortified with notes of coffee bean and chocolate.
Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona (Cuba, 91 points) One of the most popular Cuban double coronas, this smoke offers chocolate biscotti and leather before a floral, nutty finish.
Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Décadas Diadema (Nicaragua, 91 points) This long perfecto, launched last year to celebrate Joya’s 50th anniversary, shows a touches of carob chip, wood and minerals.
L'Atelier Selection Spéciale LAT 38 Special (Nicaragua, 91 points) Measuring 7 1/2 inches by 38 ring gauge, the smoke shows a hearty palate of coffee bean, black pepper and ground cocoa.
Montecristo No. 2 (Cuba, 91 points) This king of torpedoes projects precise notes of walnut, chocolate and leather.
Padrón Panetela Maduro (Nicaragua, 91 points) Oak, ground red pepper and roasted coffee bean fortify this thin cigar that’s part of the company’s core line.
Ramon Allones Gigantes (Cuba, 91 points) This double corona, the longest cigar in the brand, gives off notes of chestnut, cocoa powder and black pepper.
Regius Black Label Lord Madsen (Nicaragua, 91 points) A Nicaraguan puro made by the Plasencias, this smoke white pepper and cumin bridged by intermittent notes of cinnamon and herbs.
The Edge Corojo Double Corona (Honduras, 91 points) Heavy notes of hickory wood and molasses are spiced up with an intermingling of marjoram in this smoke.