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Top 25 Cigars of 2019 (6-15)

It’s 2020, which means we’re ready to release our last Top 25 list of the 2010s. We went back into our ratings for the entire calendar year and set aside every cigar (excluding limited-edition releases) that scored 91 or higher in Cigar Snob Magazine in 2019. Then our panel tasted those candidates all over again to whittle things down to this list of 25.

This portion of our rankings is the only one that includes a Honduran-made cigar or a Connecticut-wrapped cigar. It also includes brand names that you might recognize as past recipients of our Cigar of the Year distinction.

Our team went back and forth on this list, tasting, retasting, shuffling and reshuffling the rankings — especially in this section, where it was tough to compare cigars that are miles apart in style and profile. In the end, we found this ranking best reflected our consensus view … But we want to hear from you. Let us know in the comments how you might adjust this list.  

You can also write us at [email protected]; we might just publish your letter in an upcoming issue of the print magazine or read it on the Cigar Snob Podcast.

6. Fuente Fuente Opus X 20 Aniversario

Top 25 Cigars of 2019 (6-15)

Manufacturer: Arturo Fuente (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Dominican Republic; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Believe; Physical size: 5 3/4 x 52
MSRP: $30.56
Rating: 93

That an OpusX is going to be special is always a safe bet. The brand has special significance in Fuente’s history since it was the product that proved Carlito Fuente could make a Dominican puro (far less common at the time the brand debuted). It figures they’d make something impressive to celebrate two decades of OpusX.

7. My Father El Centurion H-2K-CT

Top 25 Cigars of 2019 (6-15)

Manufacturer: My Father Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: USA/Connecticut; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $8.30
Rating: 93

The H-2K-CT Toro took Cigar of the Year honors when it was first released in 2015. All these years later, we’re still enamored with this cigar, which sports a Habano 2000 wrapper grown in Connecticut, hence the name. It’s a beautifully executed cigar that can stand up to big pairings and still keep you coming back for more.

8. Don Lino Africa

Manufacturer: AJ Fernandez (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Cameroon; Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Vitola: Duma; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $9.00
Rating: 92

Miami Cigar collaborated with AJ Fernandez to revive this brand, which – appro-priately enough — features a binder from Cameroon. Nestor Miranda has always been fascinated by Africa, which made this project especially fun for him. Fun fact: these vitola names are all African words for animals. Duma is Swahili for “cheetah.”

9. Sin Compromiso

Top 25 Cigars of 2019 (6-15)

Manufacturer: Joya de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Ecuador; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Seleccion Intrepido; Physical size: 5 2/3 x 46
MSRP: $15.95
Rating: 92

The Sin Compromiso No. 5 Parejo was our 2018 Cigar of the Year, and this No. 9 pick is evidence that the Sin Compromiso lineup is rock solid. Steve Saka’s Dunbar-ton Tobacco & Trust uses its own tobacco in these cigars, which are made by Joya de Nicaragua.

10. Herrera Esteli Norteño

Top 25 Cigars of 2019 (6-15)

Manufacturer: Drew Estate (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro Especial; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $8.75
Rating: 92

There aren’t many stories in the cigar business like Willy Herrera’s. When he became Drew Estate’s master blender, the company was already a staple with well-known calling card brands. He still managed to carve out a space for himself and build his reputation with his own style, of which Norteño is a fantastic expression.

11. La Mission de L’Atelier 1955

Manufacturer: My Father Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Lonsdale; Physical size: 6 3/4 x 44
MSRP: $9.25
Rating: 92

This cigar (in the 4 ¾ x 52 vitola named 1959) took the No. 1 spot on our list of the Top 25 Cigars of 2016. Its leather- and chocolate-forward profile has endured in one of our all-time favorite cigars manufactured by My Father. Naturally, the Lonsdale burns hotter and delivers more of that Mexican San Andrés flavor than the 1959.

12. The Oscar Maduro

Manufacturer: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. (Honduras)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $12.00
Rating: 92

Oscar Valladares is one of the most interesting and exciting cigar makers to follow. In a market where the conversation is almost always about Nicaragua and the Do-minican Republic, Oscar is among the few who are keeping Honduras not only rel-evant, but cool. With this cigar, he shows he can do maduros with the best of them.

13. Davidoff Aniversario

Manufacturer: TABADOM (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: No. 3; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $25.40
Rating: 92

The limited-edition Aniversario became a regular production Davidoff cigar in 1991. Today, it’s one of the most popular cigars in Davidoff’s core “white-label” lineup. And for good reason. It delivers all the refinement of a brand that’s come to be synony-mous with luxury while delivering just a little more strength than most white labels.

14. Illusione OneOff

Top 25 Cigars 6-15

Manufacturer: TABSA (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Honduras; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 4 7/8 x 50
MSRP: $15.00
Rating: 92

When it was first launched in the early 2000s, OneOff was owned by Italian to-bacconist Andrea Molinari, who had the cigars made by Plasencia. When Illu-sione’s Dion Giolito purchased the brand in 2017 to have it made by TABSA, he hit an absolute home run.

15. Joya de Nicaragua Antaño CT

Top 25 Cigars 6-15

Manufacturer: Joya de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $9.30
Rating: 92

The core Antaño line is a powerhouse and one of the most iconic Joya cigars. When we heard they were doing an offshoot that sports an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrap-per, we were excited to try it. The cigar delivered. Great Connecticuts like this are hard to come by, and Antaño CT was the most pleasant cigar surprise of the year.

Check out the rest of our 2019 list:

Cigars 1-5

Cigars 16-25

Categories: Top 25

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