Top Five Box Pressed Cigars

November 13, 2019

One of the more unique aspects of cigars is the variety of different sizes and shapes they are available in.

Of course, there is your standard looking cigar that everyone knows, but within the community, there is a vast array of unique shapes, and each brings their benefits.

There are standard names for all of these cigars, but also, with modern marketing, several companies have taken to giving sizes their own unique name and twist.

Before talking about the various sizes and size names, you first need to start with the basic cigar shape.  This can be broken down into two distinct groups.

The first is the most common, known as Parejo.  The second, which is becoming ever more popular, is known as box-pressed.

Today we are going to learn the difference between these two styles.

What is a Box-Pressed Cigar?

In case you were wondering, it is exactly as it sounds.  A box-pressed cigar starts out as a Parejo.

However, while the cigar is still moist and fresh, it is placed into a square mold.  This results in a boxier shape as opposed to the rounded character of the Parejo.

Top 5 Box Pressed Cigars

Is a Box-Pressed Cigar Different From a Parejo Cigar?

In layman’s terms, a Parejo is your basic cigar shape.  It is a long tube that is typically rounded off at both ends; it does not have the “box pressed” shape.

While some cigar sizes, such as the torpedo or perfecto, might slightly stray from this, the essential factor that classifies a cigar as a Parejo is the cylindrical sides and foot.

Any cigars that are rounded at the sides and end is a Parejo. It is the typical size and is obviously the most recognizable.  When you picture a basic cigar in your mind, I’m willing to bet it was a Parejo.

The History of Box-Pressed Cigars

Box-Pressed cigars were actually started by accident.  When Cuba would box-fresh cigars to send overseas, many times they were tightly packed and were still fresh from the factory.

By the time they reached Europe, they had developed a more box-like look.  Today this is done on purpose, with companies like Tatuaje and AJ Fernandez making a large portion of their portfolio in the box-pressed style.

Top 5 Box Pressed Cigars

Top 5 Box-Pressed Cigars 2023

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Padron 1964 Anniversary Series

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium

Length: 5.50

Ring: 50

Smoke Time: 80 Minutes 

Introduced in 1994 to celebrate 30 years in the industry, the Padron 1964 Anniversary Series is the first cigar on our Top 5 Box-Pressed Cigars of 2023 list. Jose Padron started his cigar journey in Miami, and eventually birthed this 94-rated cigar from Cigar Aficionado into existence.

Padron didn’t just create a masterful cigar loved by all, but he created one of the flavorful and tasitest box-pressed Nicaraguan puros on the market today.

Medium-bodied in strength, this 5.50 x 50 Exclusive Maduro will have your palate salivating for more with each puff you take. Once lit, you may taste notes of wood, cashews, cocoa, espresso, and pepper.

The Padron 1964 Anniversary Series comes in a number of different sizes, but all of them stay true to the box-pressed shape Padron created for his box-press loving consumers. Arriving in a box of 20 oe 25, the Padron 1964 Anniversary Series is available on our website today!

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Ashton VSG

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Strength: Full

Ring: 5.75

Length: 46

Smoke Time: 95 Minutes

Next up on our Top 5 Box-Pressed Cigars of 2023 is another classic that belongs in your humidor if it isn’t there already! The Ashton VSG was created by Carlos Fuenete Jr. in 1999 and the line has thrived ever since its inception.

Produced in the Dominican Republic, the Ashton VSG features tobaccos from the country it hails from, all while drenched in an Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf for the wrapper. Being a full-bodied box-pressed cigar in a Corona Gorda size, the smoke output rolls out extremely smooth  right off the bat. Your taste buds are in for the ultimate rollercoaster of emotion that many Fuente produced cigar has on novice and seasoned cigar smokers alike.

Flavor notes you may detect while smoking the Ashton VSG are dried fruit, cocoa, coffee, and sweet spice on the backend. Available in over a dozen sizes, the box-press shape for each size remains the same much like the Padron 1964 Anniversary Series. Arriving in a box of 20, or a Cedar Chest of 24, you can get this classic line produced by Fuente now on JR Cigars.

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Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium – Full

Ring: 6

Length: 54

Smoke Time: 110 Minutes

Another box-pressed gem that landed in the Number 2 spot on Cigar Aficionado’s illustrious Top 25 Cigars of the Year list hails from Altadis USA. The Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua comes from the minds of Altadis USA brand ambassador Rafael Nodal, their eclectic Grupo de Maestros, and the living legend himself, AJ Fernandez. All three teamed up to make this hand-rolled premium cigar the next sought after classic under the Montecristo brand.

This 6 x 54 Nicaraguan puro is Medium to Full-Bodied in strength, but silky smooth once lit. All tobaccos that make up the wrapper, binder and filler of the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua hail from AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocotál Nicaragua.

Once you’re a few minutes into the cigar, some prominent notes you’ll detect are wood, coffee, cinnamon, earth, and white pepper. All five sizes of the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua come in the beautiful box-pressed shape and arrive in a stunning box of 10. It’s worth adding this award winning cigar to your humidor today!

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Encore by E.P. Carrillo

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium – Full

Ring: 6.12

Length: 50

Smoke Time: 100 Minutes

The next box-pressed beauty to grace our Top 5 Box-Pressed Cigars of 2023 is the Encore by E.P. Carrillo in the Celestial 6.12 x 50 size. Much like the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua, the Encore was Ranked Number 1 Cigar of the Year on Cigar Aficionado Top 25 Cigar list for 2018! There’s nothing better than having multiple award-winning box-pressed cigars on a list for all cigar smokers to enjoy.

This medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan puro is the only cigar under the E.P. Carrillo Family umbrella to feature Nicaraguan tobaccos for the wrapper, binder, and filler. The Encore by E.P. Carrillo provides copious amounts of rich flavor notes such as cocoa, cinnamon and cocoa throughout the cigar.

Available in four different sizes, the Encore by E.P. Carrillo comes in a box of 20 and is readily available on JR Cigars today!

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Avo Syncro Nicaragua

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic / Nicaragua / Peru

Strength: Medium – Full

Ring: 5

Length: 50

Smoke Time: 90 Minutes

Last but certainly not least, the Avo Syncro Nicaragua rounds out our Top 5 Box-Pressed cigars of 2023. Created by the famous jazz musician Avo Uvezian in 1987, Avo Syncro Nicaragua is the core line Uvezian wanted to blend together for cigar lovers near and far. Avo Uvezian took the approach he had from creating music and adopt it to blending cigars. The tobaccos in every blend need to compliment each other rather than just the “sum of their parts”.

Hailing from the rich tobacco fields in Ometepe, the Avo Syncro Nicaragua utilizes Ecuadorian Connecticut tobacco for the wrapper, and tobaccos from Peru, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic for the binder and the filler.

While smoking the Syncro Nicaragua from Avo, you’ll detect hints of sweet cream, cedar, roasted nuts, and leather. Available in 12 different and popular sizes that come in a pack of five or a box of 20, grab the Avo Syncro Nicaragua today at JR Cigars to enjoy another luxurious box-pressed beauty.

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JR Cigars’ Top 5 Box-Pressed Cigars 2019

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Now, let us take a look at some classic examples of top-notch box-pressed cigars.

Surrogates by L'Atelier

From the moment we decided to make a top box-pressed list, I knew something from Pete Johnson was going to be on it.

Working with the Garcia family, the Tatuaje frontman has always been a fan of the box-pressed shape and has utilized it in several of his blends.

I decided upon one of his lesser-known but personal favorite blends, the Surrogates Satin Glove from the L’Atelier brand.

This dark and rich smoke uses aged Nicaraguan tobaccos for the filler and binder, followed by a luscious Mexican San Andres wrapper.  This leaf offers up tremendous notes of earth, coffee, and a dash of spice.

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Caldwell The T.

Each new Robert Caldwell cigar is going to get a lot of press.  When Caldwell and Matt Booth started working together, you knew they were going to get even more press.

When the two of them then teamed with A.J. Fernandez for a triple collaboration, you knew it was going to be one of the biggest releases of the year.

The Caldwell The T. is a bold, medium to full-bodied smoke.  It was hand-rolled in the A.J. Fernandez factory using a blend of rare, aged Nicaraguan tobaccos.  Its dark wrapper offers up notes of dark chocolate fruits, and a nutty finish.

The T. is a great combination of the talents of the three men.  It showcases the blending talents of AJ while also showing the themes and modern motifs of Robert and Matt.

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E.P. Carrillo Encore

It took some time, but the world-renowned blender Ernesto Perez Carrillo finally achieved the number one cigar of the year.

Indeed, the man who created the La Gloria Cubana line and the fan favorite La Historia cemented his place in cigar greatness.

The Encore is quite different from your typical Carrillo cigar.  First, it uses only Nicaraguan tobaccos, which is a departure from Ernesto’s Dominican roots.

He also used a different fermentation process where the tobaccos were wrapped in tree bark and bound into tight bales.

This created a unique system in humidifying the cigars, allowing for maximum flavor and a rich aroma.

The E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic was named the Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado magazine last year, and since then it has been hard to keep them on the shelves.

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Ashton VSG

The Ashton VSG recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary.  For two decades, this cigar has been considered among the finest full-bodied smokes ever created.

It has won numerous awards and is one of the most recognized cigars in the Top 25 of the year list.

The Ashton VSG first came to the market in 1999.  It was handmade in the Dominican Republic by the Fuente family for Ashton.  It uses the finest Dominican tobaccos available for the filler and binder, all from the Fuente family farms.

The wrapper used on the VSG is still thought of as one of the best ever produced.  It is an Ecuadorian Sun grown leaf that is oily, contains hardly any blemishes, and it’s packed with a rich and spicy flavor.

Any seasoned cigar smoker will tell you; the Ashton VSG still reigns supreme and is a must-have for any full-bodied smoker.

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Padron 1926 Series

In my opinion, the only box-pressed cigar that could compete with the VSG is the Padron 1926.  It has been named to numerous “best of” lists and holds two Cigar Aficionado ratings of over 95, which is almost unheard of.

The Padron 1926 is a Nicaraguan puro that is available in both a natural sun-grown wrapper or a dark and rich Maduro.

The Maduro version has always been a fan favorite and is known for its incredible construction and signature sweet raisin taste.

The Padron 1926 is not just on the shortlist for best full-bodied cigar or even best Nicaraguan cigar.  It is considered by many to be one of the best cigars ever created and they certainly have my vote for that.

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