Davidoff

Top 25 Cigars of 2018 (6-15)

After tasting, re-tasting and tasting some more, we’re ready to share our list of the Top 25 Cigars of 2018. We went back into our ratings for the entire calendar year and isolated all the cigars that scored 91 or higher in 2018. Then our panel smoked and smoked until, finally, we arrived at this list of the best, most exciting cigars of the year.

This group of 10 cigars landed spots 6-10 of our rankings. The group includes a couple of brands that are newcomers to the Top 25 list. We were also struck by how many of these cigars feature deep, dark wrappers.

More of our Top 25 list will be released January 9. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on this group by writing us at feedback@cigarsnobmag.com; we might just publish your letter in an upcoming issue of the print magazine or read it on the Cigar Snob Podcast.

6. AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes Maduro

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Fernandez (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Brazil; Binder: Mexico; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 54
MSRP: $10.00
Rating: 93

7. Tatuaje Black Label Private Reserve

 
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Manufacturer: My Father Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Corona Gorda; Physical size: 5 5/8 x 46
MSRP: $10.00
Rating: 93

8. The Wise Man

 
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Manufacturer: Aganorsa (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Corona Gorda; Physical size: 5 5/8 x 46
MSRP: $9.90
Rating: 93

9. La Flor de las Antillas TAA Exclusive 2018

 
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Manufacturer: My Father Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: TAA Lancero; Physical size: 7 1/2 x 38
MSRP: $9.50
Rating: 92

10. Rocky Patel Decade

 
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Manufacturer: El Paraíso (Honduras)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 52
MSRP: $11.70
Rating: 92

11. Davidoff Yamasa

 
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Manufacturer: Cigars Davidoff (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Dominican Republic; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Vitola: Piramides; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 52
MSRP: $23.00
Rating: 92

12. Mombacho Liga Maestro

 
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Manufacturer: Casa Favilli (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Hermoso; Physical size: 6 x 46
MSRP: $9.96
Rating: 92

13. Liga Privada T52

 
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Manufacturer: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: USA/Connecticut; Binder: Brazil; Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 54
MSRP: $13.10
Rating: 92

14. Illusione Haut 10

 
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Manufacturer: Aganorsa (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Haut 10; Physical size: 5 1/2 x 52
MSRP: $15.95
Rating: 92

15. Balmoral Serie Signaturas Dueto

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera La Alianza (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Brazil, Nicaragua
Vitola: Gran Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $10.50
Rating: 92


Check out the rest of our 2018 list

Listen to our Top 25 podcast

Top 25 Cigars of 2018 (16-25)

After tasting, re-tasting and tasting some more, we’re ready to share our list of the Top 25 Cigars of 2018. We went back into our ratings for the entire calendar year and isolated all the cigars that scored 91 or higher in 2018. Then our panel smoked and smoked until, finally, we arrived at this list of the best, most exciting cigars of the year.

In this first chunk of our list, you’ll find the cigars that landed spots 16-25. Among this group are four cigars manufactured in Honduras, including two products from a factory that is making its first ever appearance on our Top 25 list.

In addition, you’ll find two cigars by made by a Nicaraguan factory that has extended its run as arguably the hottest manufacturer in premium cigars.

More of our Top 25 list will be released January 8. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on this group by writing us at feedback@cigarsnobmag.com; we might just publish your letter in an upcoming issue of the print magazine or read it on the Cigar Snob Podcast.

Scroll to the bottom of this list for links to the rest of our Top 25 rankings.

16. Camacho Ecuador

 
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Manufacturer: Diadema Cigars de Honduras (Honduras)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Brazil; Filler: Honduras, Dominican Republic
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $8.50
Rating: 92

17. Leaf by Oscar Sumatra

 
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Manufacturer: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. (Honduras)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $9.50
Rating: 92

18. Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Perdomo (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Epicure; Physical size: 6 x 56
MSRP: $9.00
Rating: 92

19. Caldwell The T

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Fernandez (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro Grande; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 56
MSRP: $12.00
Rating: 92

20. Espinosa Habano

 
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Manufacturer: La Zona Cigar Factory (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: No. 5; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $7.25
Rating: 91

21. 2012 by Oscar Valladares Maduro

 
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Manufacturer: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. (Honduras)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $8.50
Rating: 91

22. Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua

 
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Manufacturer: Plasencia (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $7.10
Rating: 91

23. La Galera Maduro

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Palma (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Cortador; Physical size: 6 1/4 x 52
MSRP: $6.50
Rating: 91

24. Aladino

 
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Manufacturer: Fabrica de Puros Aladino (Honduras)
Wrapper: Honduras; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras
Vitola: Elegante; Physical size: 7 x 38
MSRP: $7.00
Rating: 91

25. Joya Silver

 
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Manufacturer: Joya de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Mexico; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $7.80
Rating: 91


Check out the rest of our 2018 list

Listen to our Top 25 podcast

The Top 25 Cigars of 2017 (6-15)

It's the time again! At the start of each year, Cigar Snob puts out its ranking of the best 25 cigars we've rated over the previous year. Below, you'll find the cigars that landed spots 6-15. This chunk of the list is dominated by Nicaraguan-made products. Of the two cigars in this group that were not made in Nicaragua, one is a Nicaraguan puro and the other features tobaccos aged in Nicaraguan rum barrels. This reflects the fact that cigar makers are still responding, innovating and making great products to meet smokers' continuing fascination with Nicaragua.

So how is the list created? We reviewed all the cigars we rated 91 or higher in the 2017 calendar year, then had our panel smoke and rate them all over again. We used that feedback to create the list you see below.

Let us know your thoughts by writing us at feedback@cigarsnobmag.com; we might just publish your letter in an upcoming issue of the print magazine.

Scroll to the bottom of this list for links to the rest of our Top 25 rankings.

6. Oliva Serie V Melanio

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Oliva S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Double Toro; Physical size: 6 x 60
MSRP: $15.06
Rating: 93

7. Herrera Esteli

 
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Manufacturer: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Lonsdale Deluxe; Physical size: 6 x 44
MSRP: $9.28
Rating: 93

8. Padrón 1926 Serie

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacos Cubanica S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: No. 47; Physical size: 5 1/2 x 50
MSRP: $18.00
Rating: 93

9. Villiger San'Doro Colorado

 
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Manufacturer: Joya de Nicaragua S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $8.00
Rating: 92

10. My Father The Judge

 
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Manufacturer: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: 560; Physical size: 5 x 60
MSRP: $12.40
Rating: 92

11. Hamlet 25th Year

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: USA; Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 1/2 x 50
MSRP: $8.75
Rating: 92

12. Camacho Nicaragua Barrel-Aged

 
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Manufacturer: Diadema Cigars de Honduras S.A. (Honduras)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Mexico; Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $10.00
Rating: 92

13. Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Fernandez S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 55
MSRP: $11.00
Rating: 92

14. Sindicato Miami Edition

 
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Manufacturer: Casa Fernández Factory (Miami)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Perfecto; Physical size: 6 7/8 x 52
MSRP: $12.95
Rating: 92

15. San Isidro by HVC

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Geniales; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $10.80
Rating: 92


Check out the rest of our 2016 list

Listen to the team talk 2017's Top 25 on the podcast

 
 

The Top 25 Cigars of 2017 (16-25)

It's the time again! At the start of each year, Cigar Snob puts out its ranking of the best 25 cigars we've rated over the previous year. Below, you'll find the cigars that landed spots 16-25. Nine out of the 10 products in this section are making their first ever appearances on our list.

So how is the list created? We reviewed all the cigars we rated 91 or higher in the 2017 calendar year, then had our panel smoke and rate them all over again. We used that feedback to create the list you see below.

Let us know your thoughts by writing us at feedback@cigarsnobmag.com; we might just publish your letter in an upcoming issue of the print magazine.

Scroll to the bottom of this list for links to the rest of our Top 25 rankings.

16. CAO Amazon Anaconda

 
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Manufacturer: STG Estelí (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Brazil; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Brazil, Colombia & Dominican Republic
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $10.49
Rating: 92

17. Murcielago

 
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Manufacturer: La Zona Cigar Factory (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Noir; Physical size: 5 x 52
MSRP: $8.50
Rating: 92

18. La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera La Flor S.A. (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: DL-600; Physical size: 5 1/4 x 52
MSRP: $8.10
Rating: 92

19. Doña Nieves Sentimiento

 
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Manufacturer: El Galan Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Ternura; Physical size: 6 x 54
MSRP: $7.00
Rating: 92

20. Winston Churchill The Late Hour

 
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Manufacturer: Davidoff Cigars (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Mexico; Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 52
MSRP: $17.50
Rating: 92

21. Sobremesa

 
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Manufacturer: Joya de Nicaragua S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Mexico; Filler: USA & Nicaragua
Vitola: Cervantes Fino; Physical size: 6 1/4 x 46
MSRP: $11.25
Rating: 92

22. Undercrown Sun Grown

 
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Manufacturer: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Gran Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $9.02
Rating: 92

23. La Galera 1936 Box-Pressed

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Palma (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Chaveta; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $5.48
Rating: 92

24. La Aurora Preferidos Broadleaf

 
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Manufacturer: La Aurora Cigar Factory (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: USA; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Brazil, Cameroon & Dominican Republic
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $9.00
Rating: 92

25. Cornelius & Anthony - Cornelius

 
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Manufacturer: El Titan de Bronze (Miami)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Ecuador; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Corona Gorda; Physical size: 5 1/2 x 46
MSRP: $12.00
Rating: 92


Check out the rest of our 2016 list

Listen to the team talk 2017's Top 25 on the podcast

 
 

The Top 25 Cigars of 2016 (1-5)

Every January, Cigar Snob releases its rankings of the previous year's 25 best smokes. This year's list comes on the heels of a rollercoaster year for the cigar industry, as the consequences of looming FDA regulation converged with the uncertainty of a tight presidential election to make waves through all 12 months of 2016. There were acquisitions, product releases and all sorts of shakeups at cigar brands big and small.

So how do we put this list together? It starts with a review of all the cigar ratings we released during 2016. Any cigar that scored 91 or higher was smoked one more time by our tasting panel. We used this feedback to create the list you see below.

Let us know your thoughts by writing us at feedback@cigarsnobmag.com; we might just publish your letter in an upcoming issue of the print magazine.

Scroll to the bottom of this list for links to the rest of our Top 25 rankings.

1. La Mission L'Atelier

Manufacturer: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: 1959; Physical size: 4 3/4 x 52
MSRP: $8.00
Rating: 95

Cigar Snob readers know we’re big fans of wine around here. So when La Mission L’atelier was announced, it piqued our interest. When we got around to tasting it, we knew we had a winner on our hands. Pete Johnson’s love of wine is no secret, so it makes perfect sense that this cigar — inspired by Bordeaux wines — would come from his team.

It’s a cigar that’s huge on flavor, starting out with intense pepper before transitioning to a more leather- and chocolate-forward smoke. It’s also got an undeniable My Father influence, which is owed in part to some of the García family’s Nicaraguan Sancti Spíritus tobacco in the filler. Don't let the 4 3/4-inch length fool you: this cigar is built flawlessly and burns nice and slow; this vitola will last you an hour or more. It’s a different take on the San Andrés-wrapped cigar that appeals to a broad swath of smokers while retaining a distinct identity you'll go back to again and again.

2. A. Fuente Don Carlos Personal Reserve

Manufacturer: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia. (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Cameroon; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Personal Reserve; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $13.00
Rating: 94

No matter how much change other cigar companies felt in 2016, none took a hit quite like Fuente did when family and company patriarch Carlos Fuente, Sr. died. He was a giant whose shoes can’t be filled, whose absence marks the end of one era and the start of another.

Among the many ways in which his legacy endures: the cigars that bear his name. The Don Carlos Personal Reserve — characterized by sweet cedar, nuts and caramel with balancing elements of pepper and savory spice — gives you the opportunity to smoke the same blend that Don Carlos himself did. You’ll never get a stronger endorsement than that.

3. AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata

Manufacturer: O.K. Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Mexico; Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $9.40
Rating: 93

Released just a year after the Avo Syncro Nicaragua, the Fogata expanded on an AVO brand that had recently gotten a visual makeover. Featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a  Mexican San Andrés binder, this cigar brings a quality smoking experience to match its good looks.

Fogata is the Spanish word for campfire. It’s a name that’s inspired by Avo Uvezian’s preferred smoking setting. Wherever you light yours, the Fogata promises loads of flavor and great balance with a sweet finish.

4. Padrón 1926 Serie Natural

Manufacturer:  Tabacos Cubanica S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: No. 1; Physical size: 6 3/4 x 54
MSRP: $21.70
Rating: 93

Perhaps no cigar company has staked a more solid claim to a reputation for consistency than Padrón. In 2015, the big news from Padrón was the introduction of a Connecticut wrapper. In 2016, people went nuts when news broke that one of the company’s products would be round … and in tubes! TUBES!

Padrón doesn’t have to be exciting. They don’t have to be edgy. They thrive on their perfection and the rich flavor that keeps loyalists (Padrón’s are some of the most unshakable fans around) coming back for more. The 1926 Serie Natural brings that irresistible Padrón signature of pepper, coffee, and chocolate, while balancing it with creamy undertones.

5. AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes

Manufacturer:  Tabacalera Fernandez S.A. (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto Extra; Physical size: 5 1/2 x 52
MSRP: $8.75
Rating: 93

Over the last few years, AJ Fernandez has been consistently releasing excellent new brands at accessible price points. Bellas Artes  — with its flawless construction and picture-perfect wrapper — is just the latest in the company’s string of top-notch Nicaraguan cigars.

2016 was a big year for AJ Fernandez. The company started the year with a brand new distribution facility in Miami and, to meet increased demand, ended the year by adding a new Nicaraguan factory to its arsenal (this in addition to the already massive and relatively new factory from which AJ has been working). Bellas Artes is further proof that the future is bright for AJ Fernandez.


Check out the rest of our 2016 list

The Top 25 Cigars of 2015 (6-10)

It's that time of year again! Every January, Cigar Snob releases its rankings of the previous year's 25 best smokes. This year's list includes a variety of products on every front: format, profile, country of origin, and price to name a few.

How do we arrive at this list? It starts with a review of all the cigar ratings we released during 2015. Any cigar that scored 91 or higher was smoked one more time by our tasting panel. We used this fresh feedback on the crème de la crème to produce the list you see below.

Scroll to the bottom of this list for links to the rest of our Top 25 rankings.

10. Camacho American Barrel-Aged

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Manufacture: Dominican Republic (O.K. Cigars)
Wrapper: Connecticut; Binder: Connecticut; Filler: Connecticut
Vitola: Gordo; Physical size: 6 x 60
MSRP: $12.00
Rating: 92

9. La Boheme Encantador

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Manufacture: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera Palma)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Fenice; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $11.80
Rating: 93

8. Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro

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Manufacture: Nicaragua (TAVICUSA)
Wrapper: Connecticut; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 52
MSRP: $8.80
Rating: 93

7. Warped Flor del Valle

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Manufacture: Nicaragua (TABSA)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Cristales; Physical size: 6 x 42
MSRP: $8.95
Rating: 93

6. Davidoff Colorado Claro

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Manufacture: Dominican Republic (Tabadom Holding, Inc.)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Aniversario No. 3; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $20.70
Rating: 93


Check out the rest of our 2015 list