The February issue of Cigar Aficionado was another great edition of stellar smokes, all representing different blending styles and tobacco types. Some are multi-nation compositions while others are made with tobaccos from only one country. Creativity abounds as we see what different cigarmakers can produce with similar varietals. The selections below highlight the top scores of the February tasting, and are cigars that every smoker should be seeking out. Age them if you want, but these are performing beautifully right off the shelf.
Brick House Churchill (Nicaragua, 92 Points): A cigar company as old as J.C. Newman often has a big book of old trademarks it can resurrect, and Brick House is one of them. While it’s positioned as a value brand, it certainly doesn’t smoke like one. The cigar speaks of autumn with its notes of apple, baking spices and cedar—a Churchill that truly goes above its paygrade. See the full tasting note.
Cohiba Robusto (Cuba, 93 Points): Once described as the ultimate power-lunch cigar, the Cohiba Robusto envelopes the palate with a perceptibly creamy smoke. Its contrasting impressions not only resonate with finesse, but remind us why Cohiba is Cuba’s flagship brand. Read more about this cigar.
E.P. Carrillo La Historia Senador (Dominican Republic, 93 Points): Part One in what was to become an epic trilogy of cigar brands, La Historia is made by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. It’s driven by a Mexican wrapper and backed up by Nicaraguan filler for a smoke that’s full of dark chocolate, black licorice and coffee. Click for the full review.
Montecristo Edmundo (Cuba, 93 Points): For the longest time, the iconic Montecristo No. 2 was the only size in the Monty line to have a 52 ring gauge. Then the Montecristo Edmundo came onto the cigar scene in 2004 and to this day remains one of the thicker sizes within the brand. It’s rich and nutty with intriguing accents that are both sweet and spicy. See the full tasting note.
Padrón Dámaso No. 12 (Nicaragua, 92 Points): The Dámaso line was Padrón’s entry into the world of milder smokes and the robusto-sized No. 12 shows how a company known for stronger cigars can show restraint when it wants to. Medium-bodied and full of flavor, this is the perfect choice for someone who wants to go milder without sacrificing character. Read more about this cigar.
Partagás Serie D No. 5 (Cuba, 94 Points): A shorter version of the immensely popular Cuban Partagás Serie D No. 4, the D No. 5 gives the smoker a condensed experience that immerses the palate in many layers of complexity starting with notes of toast, tea and orange peel before sweeter embellishments of honey and cocoa unfold upon a woody core. It’s a D4 at a fraction of the time. For the full review, click here.
Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V (Nicaragua, 92 Points): A big Salomon shape like this can be intimidating, but don’t let the appearance scare you. In reality, it’s a bold and brilliant assortment of aged Criollo ’98 tobacco from four of Nicaragua’s growing regions—Jalapa, Condega, Estelí and Ometepe. See the full tasting note.
Rocky Patel Sixty Sixty (Nicaragua, 93 Points): Birthdays and anniversaries are taken very seriously in the cigar industry, and Rocky Patel decided that his 60th birthday needed a special smoke. According to Patel, cigars from his Sixty line were made two years before release, and this chunky grande is leathery and woody with hints of nuts, spice and coffee bean. Read more about this cigar.