Given the news of the removal of some restrictions that limited bringing Cuban cigars into the United States, we looked at our most recent cigar reviews to create this list of Cuban cigars that are smoking beautifully right now. Each of these cigars was rated by a panel of senior tasters from Cigar Aficionado magazine, and each smoke was rated blind, without the taster knowing price, brand, country of origin or any other detail about the cigar.
Bolivar Corona Gigante (93 points): Cuba's Bolivar brand is not for the faint of palate, as this smallish brand is known for some of Cuba's stronger cigars. The Corona Gigante is one of few Churchill-sized smokes still rolled in Cuba. See full tasting note.
Partagás Corona Gorda Añejados (91 points): When Cuba's cigar gurus looked at how connoisseurs age cigars, they figured why not do the aging for them? That's the idea behind the Añejado program, where cigars are rolled and left to age in the box before being released. The time certainly works on this Partagás, which is medium bodied and rich. See full tasting note.
Punch Punch (91 points): One of the longtime go-to sizes in the Cuban cigar world, the Punch Punch is true to its namesake, with a medium to full body and notes of leather and butterscotch. It's an old size, and one that has long been prized by cigar smokers in the know. See full tasting note.
H. Upmann Petit Corona (91 points): Living up to the big things come in small packages saying, this little H. Upmann, a mere 5 1/8 inches long by 42 ring gauge, is pleasantly sweet, with a medium body. Ideal for cigar smokers with only a half hour or so to spare for a fine cigar. See full tasting note.
Cohiba Siglo I (90 points): Another small smoke, and one with a considerably powerful character. The Siglo I is only 4-inches long, but packs a kick, brimming with notes of walnut and chocolate. See full tasting note.
Juan Lopez Selección No. 1 (90 points): The casual cigar smoker may have never heard of Juan Lopez, as it's one of Cuba's smaller cigar brands. The Selección No. 1, a medium- to full-bodied corona gorda, is often superb, having earned multiple scores of 90 points or more in our publications. See full tasting note.
Montecristo Petit No. 2 (90 points): One of Cuba's newer cigars is also one of its best. A shortened version of the superb and legendary Montecristo No. 2, this short figurado is medium bodied, bold and earthy, packing quite a bit of flavor into less than 5 inches of cigar. See full tasting note.
Partagás Salomon (90 points): If you have a long, long time to enjoy a cigar, this intricately shaped figurado is for you. Curvy and voluptuous, measuring more than 7-inches long, it's consistently rich and superb, never scoring lower than 90 points in our blind tastings. See full tasting note.
For even more ratings on Cuban cigars, see the October issue of Cigar Aficionado, featuring Ray Lewis, on newsstands everywhere.