Connoisseur’s Corner: The First Cigar of the Year

Padrón Serie 1926 40th Anniversary

98
Punch Churchill (1991)

Large Punch cigars age extremely well. Most that I’ve sampled have come from cabinets, but this has been resting in a dress box for 27 years. It’s rich and refined, still brimming with flavor and with plenty of power. Along with hearty notes of coffee bean and honeyed wood, there’s a bit of pencil lead and a wisp of leather. A sublime smoke that still has plenty of life remaining. —David Savona

97
Tatuaje “A” Uno (2007)

More than 10 years on, this 9-inch “A” is a powerhouse that is rounding into a perfectly balanced smoke, but with years of life left. It has a perfect draw and burn. The earthy profile is filled with coffee bean and dark chocolate flavors. The finish has a pleasant mineral overtone with a sweet, dark berry note which goes on and on. A great cigar full of vibrant tobacco that’s aging very well. —Gordon Mott

93
Romeo y Julieta Cedros de Luxe No. 2 (1993)

A solid Cuban corona in a cedar sleeve with no soft spots. Oils seep through the wrapper, which is medio-claro. The draw is substantial, and the burn is perfect—even, cool and slow. It’s dry and woody at first, but warms to show a creamy, nutty character of almonds and hazelnuts. Touches of chocolate malt sweeten the finish, but the smoke maintains its creamy mouthfeel the entire time. —Greg Mottola