Top 25 Cigars of 2018

Top 25 Cigars of 2018 (1-5)

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 represents the top of the heap, with the number one spot being occupied by a boutique cigar brand that performed undeniably in our blind tastings.

Let us know your thoughts on this ranking 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.

1. Sin Compromiso

 
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Manufacturer: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Ecuador; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: No. 5 Parejo; Physical size: 6 x 54
MSRP: $17.45
Rating: 94

When Steve Saka launched Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust in 2015, anybody who knew him and his history understood it was only a matter of time before his boutique cigar brand forced its way into the Top 25 conversation. Even knowing how credible and capable Steve is, though, nobody could have predicted a cigar like Sin Compromiso.

We smoked and we smoked and we smoked some more. Not because we had to settle differences on this ranking, but because we aren’t used to total unanimity. Never has the consensus been so strong on a pick for Cigar Snob’s Cigar of the Year. Sin Compromiso — with its deep, dark flavors, rich aromas, impeccable construction, complexity and unwavering excellence from the first time we tried it in July until our most recent tastings this month — was the universal pick among our tasters for this No. 1 spot.

2. Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera Oliva (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 52
MSRP: $10.22
Rating: 93

The Melanio name — which is a tribute to Melanio Oliva, who started the Oliva family’s tobacco tradition — is a familiar one to anybody who follows our Top 25 lists. In fact, when we rated the Melanio Maduro a year ago, its natural counterpart was listed in that same January 2018 issue as the No. 6 cigar of 2017. The Mexican-wrapped Maduro has wowed us all year with its bold flavors, consistently flawless construction, and the beautiful aromas that can only come from extremely well aged tobaccos. We can’t get enough.

3. Vegas del Purial Gran Reserva

 
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Manufacturer: El Galán Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Lancero; Physical size: 7 x 38
MSRP: $9.80
Rating: 93

Last year, we put El Galán Cigars’ Doña Nieves Sentimiento Ternura (6 x 54) in the No. 19 spot on our list. This time around, Félix Mesa’s brand takes a giant leap forward to No. 3 with Vegas del Purial, an elegant cigar that brings a new level of balance and complexity to the El Galán portfolio. That leap forward is most pronounced in this Lancero format, which also highlights the craftsmanship Félix and his team are capable of delivering.

4. Padrón 50 Years Maduro

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacos Cubanica (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 54
MSRP: $25.50
Rating: 93

When you light a Padrón, you know what you’re in for. And yet, even with a reputation built on a foundation of legendary consistency, the Padrón experience never gets any less exciting. The Padrón family delivered a milestone cigar for a milestone anniversary.

5. A. Fuente Don Carlos

 
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Manufacturer: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Cameroon; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: No. 2; Physical size: 6 x 55
MSRP: $12.60
Rating: 93

It’s hard to imagine any discussion of the cigar world’s cream of the crop that doesn’t include Arturo Fuente Cigars. The celebrated Dominican cigar maker is a giant in the industry, and for good reason. While some other Fuente cigars are the objects of more hype and fanfare, the Don Carlos — named for the late Fuente patriarch Carlos Fuente, Sr. — was the one that stood out to us this year. Its full flavor and consistency keep us coming back again and again.


Check out the rest of our 2018 list

Listen to our Top 25 Podcast

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