Cigar Aficionado

Ah, autumn, when the leaves start to fall and the new cigars begin to appear on the shelves of your favorite shop. This year's variety will cover everyone on your gift list and allow you some fine reward smokes as well.

Several cigarmakers are celebrating anniversaries. Rocky Patel has two, including the Indian Tabac 10th Anniversary ($6.25 to $7.50), a Nicaraguan smoke with a good touch of spice. Camacho Cigars is set to introduce the Camacho Corojo 10th Anniversary, a box-pressed Honduran puro that retails for $10 to $13.

If you're looking for the unusual, consider Aurora's Corojo Oscuro Barrel Aged. All of its tobacco spends time in old rum barrels, which give the $6 to $9 Dominican smokes an earthy flavor. Litto Gomez has another rarity, a strong cigar made with Sumatra seed grown in the Dominican Republic, called La Flor Dominicana Small Batch No. 2 ($16). To see how two wrappers influence the taste of a cigar, try the easygoing C.A.O. America ($6.75 to $8.50), which is made with both Connecticut shade and broadleaf. And Felipe Gregorio has a nutty smoke called Pelo de Oro Fletcha, made with an old Cuban seed now grown in Costa Rica. The tapered cigar retails for $10.

Some cigar companies are trying to break consumers' previous views of their brands. Many think of Te-Amos as simply Mexican cigars, but the World Selection (around $5) gives the brand a more rounded flavor. Drew Estates has come out with Liga Privada ($10.95), quite a change from its infused Acid cigars. Davidoff is eschewing its traditional pale look with a dark Davidoff Limited Edition 2007 Capa Dominicana, an $18 cigar with a Dominican wrapper. And Joya de Nicaragua will now have a version made with Connecticut seed, which will retail for $4.55 to $6.75.

Other companies are dialing up the power, including Altadis U.S.A. Inc., which has a stronger Romeo y Julieta called Habana Reserve ($4.50 to $6). The Oliva Serie V is a higher-octane smoke than most of the cigarmaker's other blends. The Nicaraguan cigars are $5.50 to $8.

Alec Bradley Maxx The Vice is visually striking. The 62-ring-gauge smoke comes in a massive box of 50 and retails for $8.50 a cigar. BAT has created gorgeous tubed versions of its Dunhill Signed Range of cigars, which are elegant and medium bodied, and retail for up to $16.

For a gift that's certain to impress, the folks at General Cigar have unveiled Stradivarius de los Maestros (pictured), made with 15-year-old Connecticut-shade wrappers. The three sizes retail for up to $34 a cigar. Ashton has created a line of Nicaraguan smokes called San Cristobal, which come from the talented hands of Jose "Pepin" Garcia, known for making Tatuajes. They're sweet and rich, and sell for $8 to $12. And the most anticipated cigar of the season is the Padrón Serie 1926 80 Years, which has been talked about since its sneak peek at the 2006 Cigar Aficionado Big Smoke. The Padróns hope to have the $30 cigar on sale in November.