The cigars found atop Cigar Aficionado’s August 2017 tasting, which is now available to view on our website, showcase an eclectic group of premium smokes, varying in strength, size and country of origin.
Eight of the 16 cigars that scored 91 points or higher were produced in Nicaragua—one of the leading importers of premium cigars to the United States. The remaining top cigars represent a strong variety from the rest of the cigar-making world, with cigars produced in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Cuba and the U.S.
Whether you’re looking for medium-bodied cigars or something stronger, uniquely-shaped figurados or traditional parejos, there’s something here to fit the palate of any smoker.
In total, 80 cigars were tasted by our panel of editors, who consider four different categories as they determine a cigar's rating: Appearance and structure counts for a maximum of 15 points; flavor and smoking characteristics (quality of draw, texture of smoke, etc.) count for 25 points each; and the remaining 35 points are allotted to the overall impression, or level of enjoyment, of the cigar.
These are the 16 cigars that achieved the highest ratings in our August tasting:
Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Toro (Nicaragua, 94 points) The Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series first launched in 1994 to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. The Toro size, a remarkably consistent cigar, has never received a rating below 90 points in Cigar Aficionado. See full tasting note.
Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark (Dominican Republic, 94 points) Released in 2015, the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark was the private blend of late company patriarch Carlos Fuente. In its debut tasting, the attractive torpedo delivered big notes of cedar, nuts and leather with a finish that smacks of cider. See full tasting note.
Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 (Nicaragua, 94 points) If you haven’t noticed by now, the Padróns like to celebrate family milestones by doing what they do best: blending world-class cigars. The 1926 brand was first released in 2002 to commemorate the 75th birthday of company patriarch José Orlando Padrón. Each leaf has been aged for a minimum of five years. See full tasting note.
Archetype Axis Mundi Toro (Nicaragua, 93 points) Axis Mundi is produced by Drew Estate for Ventura Cigars. It’s part of the company’s Archetype line, a series of intellectually probing smokes that were inspired by the works of Dr. Carl Jung and mythographer Joseph Campbell. See full tasting note.
Alec Bradley Post Embargo Lancero (Honduras, 92 points) Alec Bradley Post Embargo was released in 2015 to celebrate the United States’ improved diplomacy with Cuba. The Lancero, a long-and-thin cigar that gleams with oil, offers savory notes of leather and a sweet finish redolent of chocolate-covered raisins. See full tasting note.
Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Torpedo (U.S.A., 92 points) The Casa Fernandez Miami Aganorsa Leaf brand was born in 2012. Brand owner Eduardo Fernández supplies the tobacco for Casa Fernandez through his Nicaraguan agricultural conglomerate called Aganorsa. The cigars are covered in a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, the only component that Fernández doesn’t grow. See full tasting note.
Eiroa The First 20 Years 54 x 6 Prensado (Honduras, 92 points) The Eiroa brand is produced by Christian Eiroa’s CLE Cigar Co. The cigars are made at El Aladino, Eiroa’s factory in Danlí, Honduras. The dark maduro delivers a chewy, concentrated smoke fortified with notes of nougat, cloves and sweet star anise. See full tasting note.
Rocky Patel Special Edition Robusto (Nicaragua, 92 points) Rocky Patel Special Edition is a brick-and-mortar exclusive that wears an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper. The dark, box-pressed cigars debuted at the IPCPR trade show in 2016, so they’re a relatively new addition to Patel’s vast portfolio of premium cigars. See full tasting note.
Enclave Figurado (Nicaragua, 92 points) An enclave is defined as a portion of territory within or surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct. According to cigarmaker A.J. Fernandez, American Indians represent one of the original tobacco enclaves and he’s dedicated this brand in their honor. See full tasting note.
Regius Exclusivo U.S.A. Pressed Perfecto (Nicaragua, 92 points) Regius Cigars’ Exclusivo U.S.A. aims to incorporate traditional flavors with the modern and inventive sizes that the American market demands. The pressed perfecto is an interesting, box-pressed vitola whose even, open draw offers plenty of earthy cocoa notes balanced by pistachio nuttiness. See full tasting note.
Illusione Haut 10 Robusto Extra (Nicaragua, 91 points) Made at the TABSA factory in Nicaragua, Illusione’s Haut 10 is a Nicaraguan puro crafted with a fantail cap. The Robusto Extra vitola shows notes of almond, hickory wood and vanilla bean before a long, cinnamon and almond paste finish. See full tasting note.
Por Larrañaga Petit Corona (Cuba, 91 points) The Por Larrañaga brand dates back to 1834 and consists primarily of small, slender vitolas, like this Petit Corona. The medium-bodied cigar has a salty, nutty quality with hints of walnut shell that lead to an oaky finish. See full tasting note.
Rocky Patel Dark Dominican Supremo (Dominican Republic, 91 points) Rocky Patel Dark Dominican is the first Rocky Patel cigar rolled in the Dominican Republic. The brand debuted in 2016. Upon first tasting, the Supremo size, a corona gorda, stood out for exhibiting a rich, earthy character and caramel sweetness with underlying toastiness. See full tasting note.
Cohiba Medio Siglo (Cuba, 91 points) The Medio Siglo is a short and stubby robusto with a substantial draw and even burn. Measuring just four inches with a hefty price tag of £26.60, the cigar earns its keep with its complex array of flavors that range from spicy to sweet and savory. See full tasting note.
Alec Bradley Mundial No. 5 (Honduras, 91 points) Alec Bradley Mundial launched in 2013. Each size in the line is rolled with an abruptly pointed foot and a traditional parejo head, which gives the cigars an interesting lance- or dagger-like appearance. The No. 5 vitola shows bold notes of semisweet chocolate, sweet wood and nuts. See full tasting note.
Romeo 505 Nicaragua by Romeo y Julieta Churchill (Nicaragua, 91 points) This Plasencia-made Nicaraguan puro first arrived at cigar shops earlier this year. Romeo 505 Nicaragua is the third offshoot of the Romeo line, following Romeo Añejo and Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room. See full tasting note.