While I might get most of the screen time for the JR Cigar content team, it is truly a collaborative effort. Greg and Secret Chris are wizards when it comes to video and editing and they are the main reason I look so good. When creating the samplers for all our Top Five videos, I work with a member of our product merchant team named Brendan.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to industry knowledge, Brendan is one of the few people even I could learn something from. He has tremendous knowledge and great taste when it comes to his cigar preferences. So, we decided to give him his very own Top Five list, and I have to say, it’s an absolute banger.
Tatuaje Fausto 166
Tatuaje is a favorite among many of the JR Cigar team, myself included. While we give a lot of screen time to such popular releases as the Monster Series or Cojonu, they have several gems that, unfortunately, might fly under the radar. This includes one of my favorite cigars they ever created, the Fausto series.
Named after the German folklore tale about selling your soul to the Devil, the Fausto is just about the strongest cigar Tatuaje has ever released. It uses aged Nicaraguan tobaccos for the filler and binder, along with a fiery Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. It offers notes of heavy pepper, sweet spice, and leather, combined for a fierce and flavorful smoke.
When Brendan emailed me his list of cigars, I couldn’t have been happier that he included one of my old favorites and a cigar I feel needs some time in the limelight.
The Wise Man Maduro Corona Gorda
Well, of course, I was going to approve this being on the list. The Wise Man Maduro was just named as our #3 cigar of the year, and I haven’t stopped talking about it since 2017. Obviously, Brendan knows the way to my heart.
The Wise Man Maduro is one of the best examples of a San Andres wrapped cigar out there. It has all the flavor one would look for, including deep notes of chocolate and coffee. On top of this, it is smooth, creamy and it has one of the best burn lines I’ve ever seen. Bravo Brendan, for another outstanding choice.
La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Beso
Here we have another outstanding cigar, but one I’d like to call a deep cut. A deep cut, for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, is a song from a popular singer or band that doesn’t get the airplay or recognition as a top 20 hit. It’s a song only the true fans know and appreciate. That’s what you get with the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor.
This rich and stunning cigar is made by My Father for Ashton and really helps round out the brand’s portfolio. This box-pressed gem uses a dark Mexican wrapper for rich and heavy flavors, while its box-pressed vitola offers up a unique and high-quality smoking experience.
Sobremesa Corona Grande
Another solid choice from Brendan. Here we have the first cigar released by Steve Saka under the Dunbarton banner. While many fans were leaning towards his first cigar being some form of Maduro, Steve shocked the world by releasing this outstanding, complex, and flavorful cigar.
The Sobremesa is blended by Steve and crafted at the legendary Joya de Nicaragua factory. It uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Mexican binder and a blend of Nicaraguan filler tobaccos with just a dash of Pennsylvania broadleaf for a little added strength and flavor.
The result is a solid, medium-full bodied smoke with notes of pepper, coffee, leather, and the slightest touch of sweetness to round out the blend.
Illusione Fume D'Amour Clementes
Another deep cut that will have many true cigar fans very excited. Illusione is one of the leading boutique manufacturers, but Dion Giolito likes to focus more on the blends than a lot of fanfare. That is why the average onlooker or casual smoker may not recognize how incredibly good the brand’s cigars are, including this hitter.
The Fume D’Amour is one of the core lines of Illusione and in my mind, it’s one of Illusione’s best. It uses aged Nicaraguan tobacco for the filler, binder, and wrapper and really showcases the blending prowess of Dion Giolito. Its combination of rich, slightly spicy, and creamy profile displays a mastery of tobacco and is considered a true work of art by many seasoned cigar smokers.