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Twelve High-Scoring Cigars To Smoke This Labor Day Weekend

Sep 2, 2022 | By Thomas Pappalardo
Twelve High-Scoring Cigars To Smoke This Labor Day Weekend

Summer might be waning, but Labor Day weekend, one of the last hurrahs of the season, is upon us so it’s imperative to stock up on the essentials: food, drinks and, of course, cigars. We at Cigar Aficionado have combed through the ratings of the May/June issue to provide our readers with a list of exceptional smokes that we believe are the best choices for this weekend’s festivities, whether stationed by the grill or catching some late-summer sun by the pool. Many of these have even placed in our Top 25 lists over the years.

Alec Bradley Black Market Churchill (93 points, $10.25)
Made in Danlí, Honduras, by the Plasencias, this Churchill consists of a dark, reddish Nicaraguan wrapper, an Ecuador Sumatra binder and a filler blend of Honduran and Panamanian leaves, the latter a less common tobacco in the cigar world. Its a rich, nutty smoke with just the right amount of spice. See full tasting note.

Partagás Serie E No. 2 (93 points, £37)
A beefed-up version of the popular Serie D No. 4, the Cuban E No. 2 is the fattest cigar in Partagás’ regular-production portfolio and suggests that the rest of the world might like thick cigars as much as cigar smokers in the United States. This 5 1/2-by-54 toro is a sweet and salty mix of flavors that include almond, sea salt, crushed peanut and butterscotch. See full tasting note.

Romeo y Julieta Línea de Oro Nobles

Romeo y Julieta Línea de Oro Nobles (93 points, £32.60)
At the very top of the Cuban Romeo line, the Línea de Oro series was introduced at the 2020 Habanos Festival and created to celebrate the brand’s 145th anniversary. It’s positioned as a super-premium brand, much like Cohiba Behike and Montecristo Línea 1935, but it’s also marketed as being stronger than regular Romeos. The Nobles is a distinct, medium-to-full-bodied belicoso with an oaky finish redolent of a rum cask. See full tasting note.

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Masterpiece

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Masterpiece (92 points, $17.40)
At 9 inches long, this massive, tapering diadema is a true commitment, but is the perfect choice for the cigar lover who got up early to go cut the grass and still needs plenty of cigar left when guests start to arrive for the weekend barbecue. It’s an all-Dominican save for the Cameroon leaf, which is prized for its flavor and toothy appearance. See full tasting note.

Padrón Serie 1926 No. 9

Padrón Serie 1926 No. 9 (92 points, $21.75)
The Serie 1926 is a line of box-pressed Nicaraguan puros named for the birth year of company founder, the late José Orlando Padrón. Cigars from this series are known for a consistent balance of strength and complexity, and the No. 9 size is a prime example, the Cigar of the Year in 2007. See full tasting note.

Plasencia Cosecha 149 Santa Fe (92 points, $12)
Short and squat in appearance, this cigar is a prime showcase for how good Honduran tobacco can be when the right seeds are planted in the right fields and are given the right amount of age. The Cosecha 149 line commemorates Plasencia’s 149th harvest, which took place in 2014 (cosecha means “harvest” in Spanish). It’s a bold smoke that calls to mind some nostalgic notes of baking spices, hickory and licorice. See full tasting note.

E.P. Carrillo Dusk Solidos (91 points, $10.50)
Introduced in 2016, the Dusk line pays tribute to two things. Firstly, to cigar industry veteran Silvio Perez, a tobacco grower and broker who once headed A.S.P. Enterprises Inc. It also pays tribute to dusk, the preferred smoking time for brand owner Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. Named the No. 18 Cigar of 2017, the chunky Solidos is as full-bodied as its dark, Connecticut broadleaf wrapper suggests with toasty notes of leather and macadamia with plenty of red pepper spice on the finish. See full tasting note.

El Güegüense Corojo Torpedo

El Güegüense Corojo Torpedo (91 points, $12.20)
Pronounced El-Wah-WHEN-Say, El Güegüense was the debut brand of Foundation Cigar Co. and named after a traditional dance that is a part of Nicaragua’s annual Festival of San Sebastián. In English, it translates to “the wise man,” in reference to a Nicaraguan folk tale. Most of this 109-style belicoso is made with Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 tobacco, but there’s some Criollo ’98 in the filler as well. It all comes together to show big notes of pistachio and almond with hints of white pepper. See full tasting note.

Montecristo Nicaragua Series Robusto (91 points, $9.36)
The Montecristo name has been used on cigars since 1935, and while this robusto is not from Havana, its Nicaraguan tobacco is full of flavor, loading the palate with the sweet qualities of hickory and maple. It’s made in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez for Altadis U.S.A., and was the No. 10 Cigar of 2018. See full tasting note.

My Father No. 2

My Father No. 2 (91 points, $12)
This oily belicoso is a member of the core My Father line which was created in secret by Jaime Garcia to honor his father and company founder José “Pepin” Garcia. It’s also the first cigar line to feature tobaccos grown by the Garcias and the No. 2 (formerly No. 2 Belicoso) made the Top 25 of 2010. More than a decade later, the rich and satisfying cigar still holds up. See full tasting note.

Rocky Patel Disciple Robusto

Rocky Patel Disciple Robusto (91 points, $11.05)
Rocky Patel Disciple is made in Nicaragua at Patel’s TaviCusa factory with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper atop Nicaraguan binder and filler. Released last year, the robusto bursts with a spicy core of black pepper and is tempered with nutty notes of almond paste and sweeter, cinnamon-inflected tones of baked apple. See full tasting note.

VegaFina Churchill

VegaFina Churchill (91 points, $7.44)
Quite popular in Europe, VegaFina from Altadis is sold at a competitive price-point and the Churchill is a perfect example of value and quality. With dimensions of 7 1/2 by 50 and a retail price less than $8, this double corona is both one of the largest smokes on this list and the greatest bang for your buck. As the pale wrapper suggests, it’s an easygoing smoke but the perfect choice for fans of milder tobacco with plenty of time to enjoy the duration of the cigar. See full tasting note.

Read Next: Twelve Outstanding Cigars To Smoke This Summer

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