The holidays are here at last and its once again time for a bevy of eggnog, presents, and of course, a good cigar. The cigar industry is in a boom right now, meaning there are endless options of great brands to choose from this holiday season. With this in mind, I’ve decided to narrow it down to 12, just for the sake of simplicity. Let us now look at 12 cigar brands you should try this Christmas.
AUSA is one of the largest manufacturers of premium cigars in the world. The company is the maker of some of the most well-known brands in the industry. If you’ve ever had a Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, or H. Upmann, then you have had a cigar from AUSA.
This year saw two cigars from AUSA reach the Top 10 cigars of the year. They were the H. Upmann 175th, and the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua, which was graced with the number one spot. AUSA cigars are always a solid choice for your holiday smoking.
Right up there with AUSA in terms of size is General Cigars. The company’s list of brands may be even more extensive, including some famed cigars, such as Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey, CAO, and Macanudo. These brands are among the most versatile companies in the industry, being able to effectively use tobaccos in highly rated blends from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic.
Brands such as Punch and CAO have received incredible praise in recent years, even gracing the Top 25 Cigars of the Year list on more than one occasion.
I think of Drew Estate as the biggest boutique brand in the business. Even though it is one of the largest manufacturers, and has one of the biggest factories in Nicaragua, the company still acts like a small bath boutique company, and I love that.
Storied brands such as Herrera Esteli and Undercrown are among the company’s portfolio, but it is the Acid line and Liga Privada series that you should really be on the look out for this Christmas.
Nick Perdomo epitomizes the American Dream. He is of Cuban Heritage, has served in the military, and built his business up from nothing to become one of the leading premium cigar makers in the world. In the heart of Estelí, Nicaragua, Nick and the Perdomo family work tirelessly to make top notch blends that showcase their quality and versatility.
The Perdomo Champagne Noir has always been a favorite of mine, but I think the Lot 23 is the Perdomo I would recommend for this holiday season.
Oliva ranks as one of the leading Nicaraguan manufacturers and has what seems to be and endless portfolio of blends. From the original Oliva lines, to the Nubs and Cains, the brand offers a full spectrum of high-quality cigars.
While the Nubs are most likely their best-selling products, I believe the Oliva Serie V is the best. I am not alone in my opinion, as it has been named in the Top 25 list for a record of nine times.
Padron is among the most rewarded brands in the history of the cigar industry. Each one of its releases over the last 20 years has received critical acclaim, and several have been considered to be among the finest cigars ever made.
Even just this year, the Padron 1926 was named as the third best cigar of the year, well over a decade after it first came out. That is quality and consistency of the highest order.
Davidoff is the epitome of class and luxury. The company is the Patek Philippe of the cigar industry, with standards far above most other manufacturers. The brand even offers a concierge service for elite cigar smokers that offers not only cigar related special privileges but access to sporting events and concerts etc.
The brand’s cigars are bar none, being crafted from the finest tobaccos available. When smoking a Davidoff, you know that you are enjoying something special. This would be a special treat for your holiday.
When I think boutique cigars, I think of two companies: Tatuaje and Crowned Heads. Jon Huber has done a fantastic job over the past decade in creating one of the most interesting, unique, and innovative companies in the business.
Not only does Crowned Heads put together some high-end blends, but the marketing and artwork make it all the more eye-catching and intriguing.
When I think of Christmas, my mind immediately goes to Arturo Fuente. Even my time back in the retail store, Christmas was always the time for Fuente. This is usually when the company releases its highly coveted cigars, including the Opus X and Anejo lines.
Even though we no longer sell the Opus X online, the Fuente family is still one of our best-sellers, including cigars such as… the best seller.
Erik Espinosa is like the Santa Claus of the cigar industry. He is always happy, jolly, and generous. He is also one of the most talented blenders to come out of Nicaragua. From his original Espinosa line to the 601 and La Bomba series, he makes incredibly powerful and flavorful cigars.
Of course, we cannot forget his greatest achievement, at least in my eyes. The Espinosa Laranja Reserva is one of my favorite cigars of all time, and the new Escurio version is also definitely in the running.
No one has had a bigger decade then AJ Fernandez. He went from a decently known blender, to a rising star, then to superstar, and now he is a legend. It is not just his own brands, like San Lotano or Ramon Allones, that have helped him evolve, but his work on other brands as well.
Just this year, two of the Top 10 cigars of the year were blended by AJ Fernandez. Any of his cigars would be a wise choice for your holiday.
The list of favorite blends made by My Father is too long to have here. Don Pepin and his family have been at the forefront of the industry for almost a decade, and they show no signs of slowing down.
The My Father lines are perfect for a classical, traditional experience, while their work with Tatuaje provides a more modern, boutique-style, showing the versatility of the family.