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Top 25 Cigars of 2023 (6-15)

Top 25

The recap of the 25 best cigars of 2023 rolls on with numbers 6 to 15. This group is dominated by maduro-wrapped offerings and includes some powerhouse brands that are always vying for the top tier of every year-end list. Also making the grade are some new releases that muscled their way up to this lofty perch.

At this point, it’s your turn to go out and try some of these and let us know what we got right and where you think we missed the boat.

6. Padrón 1964 Anniversary Maduro


Manufacturer: Tabacos Cubanica in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Torpedo; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $19.05
Rating: 93

Certain brands need no introduction in annual lists. Year after year, the Padrón family produces the Padrón 1964 Anniversary line with astounding consistency. The line commemorates the year that the late José Orlando Padrón started Padrón Cigars and delivers a balanced blend of dark chocolate, smooth pepper, cedar, and a touch of espresso.

7. Plasencia Alma Fuerte


Manufacturer: Plasencia Cigars in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Sixto II Hexagon; Physical size: 6 x 60
MSRP: $21.63
Rating: 93

The Cigar of the Year from 2017 returns to the Top 25 list in this most unique of shapes, the Sixto II Hexagon. The hexagon shaped, box-pressed vitola was initially introduced in the natural version of the Alma Fuerte in 2020 but it was the maduro version that blew our panel away in the May/June 2023 issue and qualified it for Top 25 consideration.

8. La Aroma de Cuba Reserva


Manufacturer: My Father Cigars in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Divino; Physical size: 6 1/4 x 52
MSRP: $11.85
Rating: 93

Fans of the brand won’t be surprised by this ranking but they may not recognize it. The cigar was previously known as the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva but a 2022 rebranding dropped the “Mi Amor.” It’s now known as La Aroma de Cuba Reserva. No matter what it’s called, it is a fantastic blend worthy of the number eight position.

9. Ramon Allones by AJ Fernandez


Manufacturer: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Churchill; Physical size: 7 x 50
MSRP: $14.00
Rating: 93

AJ Fernandez’s dominance in the cigar world continues this year with no less than five of his creations making the cut. But while the others on this list are new brands, the Ramón Allones is a veteran of this list. The toro took the number four spot in the 2019 rankings. This year it was the Churchill that smoked like a dream every time our panel tasted it.

10. My Father Le Bijou 1922


Manufacturer: My Father Cigars in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Grand Robusto; Physical size: 5 5/8 x 55
MSRP: $11.90
Rating: 92

The ultra-flavorful My Father Le Bijou 1922 was an instant hit when it was released in 2009. The toro scored a 92 that year, a rating that would have qualified it for Top 25 consideration but sadly we were not compiling a list back then. This year, its 92 score in the July/August 2023 issue brings this masterpiece some well-deserved recognition.

11. Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo


Manufacturer: AJ Fernandez San Lotano Factory in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Brazil; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Corona Gorda; Physical size: 6 x 46
MSRP: $11.00
Rating: 92

Espinosa’s stock was on the rise long before the Laranja Reserva Escuro was awarded Cigar of the Year for 2020, but taking the top spot certainly opened some eyes. The Azulejo, released on the heels of that award, didn’t initially live up to its predecessor, but has since begun to gain fans nationwide, including our panel.

12. Aladino Sumatra


Manufacturer: Fábrica de Puros Aladino in Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $16
Rating: 92

Honduran tobacco’s living legend Julio Eiroa has been growing Sumatra-seed tobacco on his farms near Danlí for the better part of a decade, but it wasn’t until 2023 that his company released the Aladino Sumatra. The cigar immediately grabbed the attention of our panel, and its lofty rating and spot on this list are well-deserved.

13. Rocky Patel DBS


Manufacturer: Tabacalera Villa Cuba (TAVICUSA) in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Nicaragua & USA; Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 1/2 x 50
MSRP: $20.00
Rating: 92

Rocky Patel increased the level of difficulty in this blend by employing a double broadleaf binder. Broadleaf tends to be a thicker, heartier tobacco that can cause burn problems if not selected carefully, and doubling down makes it even harder. The upshot, however, is a cigar jam-packed with flavor from start to finish and a #13 ranking.

14. EP Carrillo Allegiance


Manufacturer: TABILOSA Factory in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Confidant; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $13.10
Rating: 92

La Alianza, the Ernesto Perez-Carrillo-led factory, is known as one of the cigar world’s most esteemed manufacturing facilities, but for this release, EPC enlisted Oliva’s TABOLISA factory to produce their latest release, the EPC Allegiance. The blend consistently produces a beautifully balanced, medium-bodied smoke.

15. Blackened M81 by Drew Estate


Manufacturer: La Gran Fábrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: USA/Connecticut; Filler: Nicaragua & USA
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $9.85
Rating: 92

When regular folks get together to enjoy whiskey and cigars, they fantasize about launching their own brand. But when Metallica’s James Hetfield and Blackened Whiskey’s master distiller Rob Dietrich did it, they partner with Drew Estate to produce a flavorful and balanced maduro that took the #15 spot.

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Top 25
Categories: Cigars, Top 25



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