Top 10 90+ Rated Cigars in 2018
About two years ago, I released one of our original Top videos. It was a list of some of my favorite cigars that received a 90 rating or above from major publications. I thought it would be great to expand on that in the written word, as well as providing some insight to the new cigar smokers out there.
Now, remember, this list is two years old. Hundreds of cigars have been released since then, with many garnering high ratings. At some point I might turn this into a yearly list, but for now, here is the original.
Montecristo Epic Craft Cured
This cigar is still one of my favorite Montecristo’s, although the new Cincuenta might give it a run for its money. Handcrafted by the Plasencia family, the Epic Craft Cured is incredibly flavorful as well as remarkably well balanced.
This was one of the first non-Cuban Montecristo’s to receive a 90 rating from HalfWheel, which is a big deal. It is a true work of art from one of the most legendary tobacco families and the most legendary brand.
Dunbarton Tobacco Sobremesa
Since this video was first released, Steve Saka has released slue of highly-rated cigars including the Triqui Traca and Sin Compromiso. However, it all started right here with this solid, medium-bodied smoke.
The Sobremesa was the original offering from Dunbarton and set the bar pretty high. It uses Nicaraguan and Pennsylvania fillers, a Mexican binder for some rich sweetness and a stunning Ecuadorian wrapper for a burst of zesty flavor.
RoMa Craft CroMagnon
There is no such thing as a bad RoMa Craft. Each release from these fellas seems to instantly connect with the customer and become fan favorites overnight. While today you have several highly rated options from Mike and Skip, in my mind it all started with the CroMagnon.
This bold and beautiful cigar set the stage for all releases to follow. Its stunning broadleaf wrapper is rich and flavorful, while its construction is simply pristine. The CroMagnon has remained heavy in my rotation for years.
Foundation El Gueguense
Here we have another first release from a manufacturer, although this time it comes from the now legendary Nick Melillo. After years being the mastermind behind Drew Estate’s finest blends, Nick ventured out on his own and founded Foundation Cigars and launched his first solo release, El Gueguense.
While most people expected his first cigar to be a broadleaf, Nick shocked the world by releasing his superb Nicaraguan puro. Crafted as a homage to his love of Nicaragua, El Gueguense has become his signature brand and offers up tremendous flavor and top-notch construction.
Caldwell & Drew Estate All Out Kings
This might be one of the most hyped-up releases of all time. When it was first announced that Caldwell and Drew were collaborating on a project, the whole industry went insane, myself included. After months of teasers, this bold, high-end cigar was released to much fanfare.
The All Out Kings combines elements of both companies top cigars, including the Connecticut Habano wrapper found on the Liga Privada T52. Its combination of zesty bold flavors, with a smooth, creamy center, makes this a home run for both companies.
Alec Bradley Prensado
Even all this time later, this still ranks as one of my all-time favorite Honduran cigars. Although Camacho and Oscar Valladares have been making top-notch smokes, in my mind the original Prensado will always reign supreme. This cigar even took the #1 cigar of the year spot back in 2012.
Handcrafted in Danli, Honduras, this masterpiece from Alec Bradley uses a finely aged blend of premium tobaccos. It starts out with aged Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, a jalapa binder, and then a stunning Honduran Corojo wrapper. Notes of earth, leather and raisins combine for a bold, yet smooth and luxurious smoke.
Oliva Serie V Melanio
Here we have yet another #1 cigar of the year, and one of the best-selling premium smokes of the past decade. The Oliva Serie V is the most rewarded cigar in the history of the Top 25 list, with nine sperate entries. Among them, the Melanio serves as the top-shelf choice.
The Oliva Serie V Melanio is a box-pressed version of the original, named after the founder of Oliva Cigars. It uses an aged blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos from the finest growing regions, including Jalapa. The big difference between the Melanio and the original is the addition of a smooth and nutty Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour
After years of hoping and waiting, Davidoff finally delivered on a full-throttle, full flavored smoke. The brand had made some big waves in terms of fuller-bodied smokes, such as the original Winston Churchill and the Davidoff Nicaragua. With the Late Hour, however, they entered the realm of bold, strong and yet still with that signature Davidoff smoothness.
This cigar uses a blend of aged tobaccos from three different nations, including a stunning and dark Ecuadorian wrapper. The tobaccos have been aged in scotch barrels, giving it a signature profile with notes of whiskey, oak and a touch of smoke.
Padron 1926 Series
Does this cigar really need explaining? For decades, Padron has produced the highest-rated and most lauded high-end cigars out of Nicaragua. While the Family Reserve line is considered Padron’s ultra-premium, that description would also most certainly fit the 1926 Series.
This Nicaraguan smoke uses tobaccos aged for more than four years. The result is a flavorful yet elegant smoke. Its nuanced and balanced profile continues to change with each puff. My favorite aspect of the 1926 is the consistency. For the decade that I’ve been smoking this cigar, it has remained unchanged and never gave me a bad experience.
Arturo Fuente Magnum Rosado
Alas, this is the one cigar on the list that we no longer carry. However, the Magnum Rosado is still available in stores, including the Casa de Montecristo locations. Besides Opus X and Anejo, the Magnum is among the highest-rated and most talked-about cigars from Arturo Fuente.
The big draw with this smoke, was that it was using a similar wrapper to the Opus X. Dominican wrappers are hard to come by, but none carry the legacy and prestige of the Rosado wrapper from Fuente. Its use of the blend really shows the versatility of the tobacco, as well as the talents of the Fuente family.