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Top 25 Cigars of 2020 (16-25)

Top 25 Cigars

We made it through the tough ride that was 2020 in great shape to proudly deliver to you our ninth annual Top 25 list. 

Every 12 months, we compile a list of all the cigars that have scored 91 or better in the calendar year’s ratings sections. Those smokes are then re-evaluated, and our panel of experts collectively decides on the best of the best.

Getting the cigars to our esteemed tasters was more difficult since our direct contact was limited. But we managed and managed well: You can have full faith in this collection.

Remember that we consider the newness of a cigar among other factors, and we also do not include limited-edition runs. You check the list, and ideally, you can get the smoke you want.

You’ll likely notice that the majority of our Top 25 comes from Nicaragua or uses Nicaraguan tobacco and for good reason: The country continues to keep its quality high.

We expect that as 2021 unfolds, some of you who smoked more frequently last year will develop into more avid fans of premium cigars. The Top 25 list is here to help. 

So 2020: Just because a 100-year virus struck the world doesn’t mean you have to stop smoking. In fact, many retailers saw record business last year, which will be documented as the Year of the ‘Rona. Locked down, some of us full of media-driven fear and rightfully cautious, we ventured to the local tobacconist for some relief. 

That thirst for lighting up during lockdowns allowed the Dominican Republic to post a 6 percent increase in tobacco exports to $1 billion. While some cigars were harder to find, other brands were able to overcome obstacles and grow. 

There were more trials in 2020, when back-to-back hurricanes in Central America hit Honduras and Nicaragua in November, the tobacco fields were largely spared and the cigar industry stepped up with relief efforts to help those affected. 

It showed a cohesiveness that the cigar industry fosters, the same kind of bonding we crave as people, to help, to talk, to engage. We’re going to start meeting more frequently again in 2021, as the virus ebbs and we get back to where we belong: together. 

Our mailbag swells after we publish the Top 25, and we’re glad of it. Let us know your thoughts by writing to us at [email protected] and let’s talk.


16. Tatuaje Reserva Miami

Top 25 Cigars

Manufacturer: My Father Cigars (Miami)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Reserva J21; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $12.00
Rating: 92

This beautifully constructed robusto is made at the Miami factory of My Father Cigars. Its surprisingly strong profile has made the Tatuaje Reserva Miami a post-lunch favorite at Cigar Snob HQ. To be clear: While we love them both, this Top 25 spot was given to the Tatuaje Reserva Miami, not the Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf.

17. Plasencia Alma Fuerte

Manufacturer: Plasencia Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua 
Vitola: Generacion V; Physical size: 7 x 58 
MSRP: $22.00
Rating: 92

Another No. 1 from the past returns to the list in the form of a perfecto! The Davidoff Nicaragua, especially in this figurado size, enchants us with its flavors, aromas, and complexity as much today as it did back in 2013, when it took the top spot in a robusto format.

18. Davidoff Nicaragua

Manufacturer: Davidoff Cigars (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua 
Vitola: Diadema; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 50
MSRP: $20.20
Rating: 92

Another No. 1 from the past returns to the list in the form of a perfecto! The Davidoff Nicaragua, especially in this figurado size, enchants us with its flavors, aromas, and complexity as much today as it did back in 2013, when it took the top spot in a robusto format.

19. Aladino Maduro Box-Pressed

Manufacturer: Fabrica de Puros Aladino (Honduras)
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras 
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 50
MSRP: $10.50
Rating: 92

Late in 2020, in the midst of this pandemic, the Eiroas’ warehouse was burglarized and sadly, the bandits made off with the entire inventory. We’d be remiss if we didn’t reiterate that you should seek out this fantastic flavor bomb of a cigar, but you should do so only from an authorized reseller.

20. Viva La Vida

Manufacturer: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua 
Vitola: Torpedo; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 54
MSRP: $13.00
Rating: 92

Brothers Billy and Gus Fakih put their years of retail experience serving New York City cigar lovers to good use in their Viva La Vida brand. It is strong, flavorful, and meticulously made at AJ Fernandez’s factory in Nicaragua. This is Viva La Vida’s debut on our Top 25 list, but we predict you’ll see much more of this growing brand.

21. San Cristobal Revelation

Manufacturer: My Father Cigars (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Legend; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $8.50
Rating: 92

The original San Cristobal brand was launched in 2007. The Revelation came in 2013 and like all other San Cristobal lines is made at Don Pepín García’s My Father Cigars factory in Estelí. This soft-pressed toro is creamy and smooth while simultaneously bringing plenty of power to the party.

22. La Aurora 107 Nicaragua

Manufacturer: La Aurora (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 50 
MSRP: $8.50
Rating: 92

La Aurora has always been known for being super-Dominican. They even released a cigar in 2017 asserting their Dominican DNA. Last year the factory embarked upon a journey to find the best tobaccos from all over the globe in a collection they call Tobaccos of the World. The 107 Nicaragua is the first installment of this set.

23. Gurkha Nicaragua Series

Manufacturer: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua 
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 54 
MSRP: $9.95
Rating: 92

The Gurkha Nicaragua Series scored a 92 in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue making it the highest rated Gurkha in Cigar Snob history. The cigars are made for Gurkha by Aganorsa at their Tabacos Valle de Jalapa factory. The factory is no stranger to this list; it has produced cigars that make our Top 25 every year since we began doing it.

24. Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro

Manufacturer: Tabacalera Perdomo (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua 
Vitola: Epicure; Physical size: 6 x 56
MSRP: $9.50
Rating: 92

This is the 2nd time that the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro makes our Top 25 list, the first being 2018 when it came in at #18. What makes this particular blend so special is that Perdomo finishes this wrapper an additional 14 months in ex-bourbon barrels after its initial 8 years of aging.

25. Diamond Crown Black Diamond

Manufacturer: Tabacalera A. Fuente (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: USA/Connecticut; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Marquis; Physical size: 5 1/4 x 56
MSRP: $19.00
Rating: 92

The original Diamond Crown was launched by JC Newman in 1996 to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary. Twenty years later the Diamond Crown Black Diamond made its debut and our panel has been loving its dark, oily wrapper and flavorful profile ever since.


Categories: Top 25

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