Top Five St. Nicks Birthday Sticks

December 18, 2019

Top 5 Cigars for Nick's Birthday 2021

When December rings in, you instantly know the Holiday season is upon us. But before we get to Christmas we have a little detour on the way. There’s a special birthday we need to celebrate. Without this person, our cigar knowledge would simply not exist. His eccentric style of cigar reviewing or talking cigars on the Long Ash Podcast get us through life each and every week. Here is a special Happy Birthday to our very own, Nicholas Libretti!

What is a special birthday celebration without some delicious smokes to enjoy throughout the day! So, let’s dive into some of Nick’s favorite cigars he will be enjoying on his birthday this year.

Don’t forget to check out the limited-time sampler below to enjoy some of Nick’s Top Birthday Sticks of 2021.

Padron Family Reserve

First up on Nick’s Top 5 Birthday smokes is the Padron Family Reserve, specifically the No. 50 Maduro. The Family Reserve cigar line from Padron celebrates milestones and achievements throughout the company. With every birthday approaching, it gives us a chance to celebrate and enjoy another year around the sun.

What makes the Padron Family Reserve cigar line so special is that it’s taken “Cigar of the Year” four times since it first hit the scene in 2009. Nick prefers to enjoy this cigar at the end of his birthday evening. After a full day of glorious food and bourbon consumption, he will have the No. 50 Maduro with a nightcap beverage.

This medium-bodied Nicaraguan puro comes in four different sizes, that come in boxes of 10. So if you feel like celebrating in style like Nick, then get yourself a box of the Padron Family Reserve at our online store today.

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Arturo Fuente Hemingway

Next up on Nick’s Top 5 Birthday Cigars is a staple in Nick’s humidor. He has stated that it is not a real birthday celebration if there isn’t an Arturo Fuente in your hand. The specific Fuente Nick goes for is the luscious Arturo Fuente Hemingway.

This 7 x 48 medium-bodied smoke is drenched in Nick’s favorite leaf, the Connecticut Broadleaf. All while being bound and filled with tobaccos that hail from Chateau Fuente in the Dominican Republic. Arriving in a parejo shape, the Fuente family made the “perfecto” shape extremely popular throughout time.

Some delicious flavor notes you’ll detect while smoking the Hemingway are raisin, chocolate, earth, and espresso on the backend. Over a dozen different sizes than the one in this pack, the Arturo Fuente Hemingway arrives in a pack of 5 or a cedar chest of 25. Any cigar you pick from the Arturo Fuente catalog won’t do you wrong, however, when it comes to the Arturo Fuente Hemingway, your palate is in for a treat with each and every puff.

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Illusione OneOff

Landing in at number three on Nick’s Top 5 Birthday Cigar is a cigar Nick tries to enjoy throughout the year. The Illusione OneOff is one of Illusione’s top-notch cigar lines throughout the company.

This 5.37 x 46 medium-bodied smoke was created in 2002 when Illusione’s founder Dion Giolito created them in limited amounts of quantity. After they were all sold out and in high demand from the consumer, Dion made the OneOff a full-time production line shortly after the outpour for this beloved Nicaraguan puro.

Flavor notes you’ll detect while smoking the OneOff are sweet cedar, white pepper, and toasted almonds that delivers a delicious balance throughout your taste buds.

Arriving in eight different sizes, that come in a box of 10, you can get this premium cigar for an affordable price today, on JR Cigars.

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Crowned Heads Mil Dias

Next up on Nick’s Top Birthday cigars for 2021 is a cigar Nick hasn’t been able to put down since its release last year. The Crowned Heads Mil Dias always seems to make it on our top lists every few months and for good reason; it’s tasty as hell! Jon Huber of Crowned Heads teamed up with Don Eradio Pichardo of Tabacalera Pichardo and Luciano Meirelles of Ace Prime Cigars a few years ago to start the process of this gem.

After 1,000 days working on this project, they released the Mil Dias in four different sizes last year, as well as a special size that came out in September of this year. Cloaked in an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, with a Nicaraguan binder, and filler tobaccos from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the Mil Dias Corona Gorda comes in a manageable 6.38 x 50 size.

This medium to full-bodied cigar has delicious flavor notes of pepper, earth, spice, and dark roast coffee on the backend. Arriving in a box of 20, you can now grab the delectable and scrumptious Crowned Heads Mil Dias, online or in-store, today!


Drew Estate NightShade

The last cigar featured on Nick’s Top Birthday Cigars of 2021 is a cigar that blew all of us here at JR and Drew Estate away. The NightShade by Drew Estate was a creation from master blender Willy Herrera.

Blended and hand-rolled at the famous La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate factory in Nicaragua, Willy used a delicious Connecticut Habano leaf for the wrapper. When it came to the binder, he used Indonesian tobacco and for the filler, Willy gathered tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to round out this medium to full-bodied gem.

Flavor notes you may detect while smoking the NightShade are chocolate, dried fruit hay, and black pepper throughout. Available in four different sizes, that come in a pack of 5, pack of 10, or box of 20, you can get one of Nick’s all-time favorites online or if you stop by JR Cigars today!

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Top Five St. Nicks Birthday Sticks of 2020


H. Upmann 175th Anniversary

To celebrate H. Upmann’s 175 years in the business, AUSA decided to collaborate with A.J. Fernandez to create a special, limited-release blend. The H. Upmann 175th is a Nicaraguan puro that uses Medio Tiempo leaves throughout the smoke. Aged up to three years, the H. Upmann 175th is a brilliant, nuanced blend has a phenomenal balance in both flavor and intensity.

Some flavor notes you’ll detect while smoking the 175th are cream, caramel, cashews, vanilla, and white pepper. The H. Upmann 175th was created solely for celebrating the companies success since 1844. So it’s only right that Nick has this apart of his list in which he is celebrating another year around the sun!

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Foundation Wise Man Maduro

Manufactured by Nick Meillilo in Nicaragua, The Wise Man Maduro by Foundation Cigars has built monumental success over the last few years by combining old traditions with a modern-day twist. With a Mexican San Andres wrapper, bound by Nicaraguan Corojo 99 tobaccos, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, this medium to full-bodied smoke has an effortless draw that welcomes luscious flavor notes. Some notes you’ll detect while smoking the Wise Man Maduro are leather, espresso, chocolate, cashews, honey, and a creamy finish. Nick has such fond respect for Foundation Cigars and owner Nick Meillio, so smoking a Foundation cigar on his birthday would be a real treat!

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Crowned Heads CHC Reserve XVIII

The Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII is a limited edition smoke from the beautiful minds over at Crowned Heads. This specific brand pays homage to the loyal fans that have followed Crowned Heads since the very beginning. Over the years, Crowned Heads fans have quietly and respectfully referred to as “Court”, hence the name of this limited edition gem.

The Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda has a Mexica San Andres wrapper, with a binder from Ecuador, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. This medium to full-bodied smoke has an abundance of rich flavors such as pepper, earth, toasted almonds, and coffee, that compliments any beverage you’ll pair alongside it. With Nick and Jon Huber from Crowned Heads becoming one another’s biggest fan, it’s only right for Nick to enjoy a Crowned Heads cigar on his day of celebration and life!

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Davidoff Small Batch #3

One year ago, Davidoff announced that they would be releasing nine new limited edition cigars, each one being more unique than the next. Each small batch comes in a brown kraft paper five-pack and/or ten pack, with the price point between thirty-five to forty dollars. Today we are going to chat about Small Batch No. 3 from Davidoff.

The limited-edition number 3 uses an Ecuadorian wrapper, that’s cloaked over a Mexican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic. This medium to full-bodied smoke is smooth yet very flavorful smoke. Some notes you’ll detect while smoking Small Batch #3 are cinnamon, cashew, cream, and white pepper. The Small Batch #3 is elevated and on another level than any premium Davidoff Blend.

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Don Carlos Personal Reserve

In 2015, Carlos Fuente Sr. released a private blend, Personal Reserve, to celebrate his 80th birthday. Manufactured at Tabacalera Fuente, is a modified version of the original Don Carlos blend. This 5 x 50 gem is cloaked in a Cameroon wrapper, with binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic. The Don Carlos Personal Reserve is a medium to full-bodied smoke that has delicious flavor notes of cocoa, nut, cedar, spice, and savory-sweet tobaccos. The  Personal Reserve is considered to be one of the best blends under the esteemed Arturo Fuente portfolio, and that’s putting it mildly. The Personal Reserve by Don Carlos is the perfect smoke for Nick to wrap up his birthday celebration due to the fact that this cigar was made for such a milestone of a birthday!

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Top Five St. Nicks Birthday Sticks of 2019

Is it a coincidence that my birthday and Christmas are right next to each other? I certainly think not.  While I am not a huge fan of celebrating my birthday, especially as this year is the dreaded 3-0, I decided to put together a list of special cigars for my big day.

There are very few criteria for this list, other than that these are amazing cigars that are among my personal favorites that I think would be a fantastic birthday cigar.  Without further ado, let’s check out my Top Five Birthday Cigars.

Crowned Heads Tennessee Waltz

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Crowned Heads.  The brands blends are on point, their packaging is always unique and interesting and Jon Huber is among my favorite people in the industry.  The company has had some big releases, high ratings and limited editions that could all be considered a favorite.

However, the first time I was able to enjoy a Tennessee Waltz, I knew I found something special.  This limited release, usually only available in Jon’s home state of Tennessee, is as close to my perfect cigar as you can get.

It uses finely aged tobacco, a Broadleaf wrapper, and is that perfect mixture of bold, rich and smooth.  Its perfect construction and wonderfully complex profile makes this cigar an ideal contender to celebrate my big day.

Foundation Tabernacle

Here is another cigar I can’t stop talking about.  I considered Nick Melillo another dear friend and someone who has represents the future of the cigar industry.  I have yet to smoke one of his cigars that isn’t anything less than amazing.

While the Gueguense and Wise Man Maduro will always have a special place in my heart, the Tabernacle is the cigar that really hit home for me.  Its combination of rich, flavorful tobaccos along with stunning presentation make this a very special cigar.

It has a history element to it and uses my favorite wrapper, so of course, this would be a spot on choice for me.

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La Flor Dominicana Coronado

There are several choices from La Flor Dominican that would make perfect cigars to celebrate with.  However, I always find myself going back to the Coronado.  Yes, I love the Double Ligero Chisel, and who doesn’t get excited for the Andalusian Bull, but in terms of complexity and consistency, the Coronado reigns supreme.

Its aged Dominican filler and binder tobaccos give it a nutty and smooth center, while the Nicaraguan Habano wrapper adds in a touch of spice, leather, and wood with a slightly creamy finish.

The Coronado has been a mainstay of the La Flor portfolio for 15 years and I still get giddy every time I light one up.  This is an extraordinary cigar from one of the world’s best manufacturers.

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Liga Privada No. 9 Corona Viva

Liga Privada No. 9 was a game-changing cigar for me.  It was the cigar that made me fall in love with not just Drew Estate, but with that chocolate, dark wrapper known as Connecticut Broadleaf.  Since my first time smoking it, it has had a very special place in my heart.

Out of the several sizes the Liga 9 is offered in, I believe that none smoke better than the corona viva.  Its thinner ring gauge makes for optimal flavor, while also smoothing out the blend just a tad to give you the perfect combination of smoothness and complexity.

The Liga Privada No. 9 is an iconic smoke and with this special size, I’d say my birthday is going to be quite the occasion.

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Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration God’s Whisper

Each year on my birthday, I make sure to save one exceptional cigar.  With the amount of top-notch smokes available today, the decision can be quite difficult, but I will say more often than not, I land with some version of the legendary Fuente OpusX.  Whether it’s the original, or the Angels Share or the Destino, there is some aura surrounding the OpusX that just makes it extra special.

This year, I went with the God’s Whisper size of the newer OpusX 20 Years.  An unusual shape for me, but I have to say it was everything I wanted and more.  It offers a combination of slightly spicy and slightly sweet flavors, it burns even all the way through, and has an amazing draw. All of these aspects came together to give me the ultimate birthday present.

If you are looking for a truly special cigar to celebrate any special occasion, it’s a safe bet that an OpusX will deliver each and every time.


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