Top 25 Cigars of the Year

2
3627
Tobacco Business Awards | Cigar of the Year 2019

Over 25 different cigars in four different categories were included in this year’s Tobacco Business Awards. These cigars were chosen by retailers, consumers and other manufacturers, who also cast their votes to select the best of the best. The cigars on this year’s list are some old favorites along with some newer additions. They are manufactured and produced by a wide range of manufacturers, both big and small. The cigars were ultimately ranked by how many votes they received overall in this year’s awards, with four earning special distinctions for winning their categories.

Tobacco Business Magazine Nicaraguan Cigar of the YearNo. 1 | Drew Estate Florida Sun Grown (FSG)
Manufacturer: Drew Estate
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Brazil
Binder: Honduras (Habano)
Filler: Florida Sun Grown and Nicaragua
Profile: Medium-Full

Jonathan Drew, founder and president of Drew Estate, had this to say about Florida Sun-Grown’s (FSG) big win: “This is a big honor for Drew Estate. When I think of 22 years in business and the things that we create, think for yourself for a second—take what you do in Nicaragua, be able to transcend here to the U.S. The bottom line is on the FSG, what it comes down to is that we just want to kick it at Drew Estate. We blow the brain box on what we do because we live it. With the FSG, that’s a deep extension, bringing Florida Sun Grown tobacco—when you take tobacco and grow it in the United States, you encounter many problems and many difficulties. Jeff Borysiewicz of Corona Cigar Co. has done what hasn’t been done since 1977—brought tobacco back to Florida.”

Drew Estate Florida Sun Grown

Tobacco Business Dominican Cigar of the YearNo. 2 | Davidoff 50 Years Limited Edition Diademas Finas
Manufacturer: Davidoff Cigars
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Dominican Republic (Olor)
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium

In 2018, Davidoff Cigars celebrated its 50th anniversary by bringing back a cigar that it first introduced in 2006—the Diademas Finas. From the beautiful packaging to the exemplary blend, 2018’s limited-edition Diademas Finas got cigar aficionados in the U.S. and abroad excited and feeling celebratory like the many men and women who have helped build Davidoff’s legacy over the past 50 years.

“If Davidoff had a signature, it would be written with this exceptional Diademas Finas cigar,” says Edward Simon, head of global marketing and innovation at Oettinger Davidoff AG. “It’s a celebration of our master blenders’ craftsmanship, built with 10-year-old filler tobaccos from one of our best crops in 2005. The blend has an unparalleled sense of balance and the signature Davidoff sophistication.”

Davidoff 50 Years Limited Edition Diademas Finas

Tobacco Business Magazine Boutique Cigar of the YearNo. 3 | Big Papi by David Ortiz
Manufacturer: Tabacalera El Artista
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Criollo ‘98
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full

Several professional athletes have teamed up with manufacturers over in the past several years to lend their names to a premium cigar, but few have managed to generate the interest and following that Tabacalera El Artista’s Big Papi by David Ortiz has. First announced in 2016, the cigar gets its name from David Ortiz, a professional Major League Baseball player known for his home runs. Ortiz has been hands-on with the creation of this cigar, working alongside Tabacalera El Artista’s Ram Rodriguez and his team on the blend and its marketing.

“We’ve been overwhelmed since we began selling this brand and have seen it grow exponentially,” comments Rodriguez. “Right now, it’s our best-selling brand on the brick-and-mortar side.”

Big Papi by David Ortiz

No. 4 | Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne
Manufacturer: Perdomo Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium

Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne

No. 5 | Nat Sherman Timeless Prestige
Manufacturer: Nat Sherman International
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Strength: Full

Nat Sherman Timeless Prestige

No. 6 | Diamond Crown Natural Robusto No. 3
Manufacturer: J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade (USA)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium

Diamond Crown Natural Robusto No. 3

No. 7 | Las Calaveras (2017)
Manufacturer: Crowned Heads
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador(Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full

Las Calaveras (2017) Crowned Heads

No. 8 | Farce
Manufacturer: Room 101
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Dominican Republic, U.S.A., Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full

Farce

No. 9 | Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut
Manufacturer: Royal Agio Cigars
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Ecuador (Sumatra)
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic, U.S.A.
Strength: Medium

almoral Anejo XO Connecticut

No. 10 | Cornelius
Manufacturer: Cornelius & Anthony
Origin: United States
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Strength: Medium

Cornelius

No. 11 | Bellas Artes
Manufacturer: AJ Fernandez Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: AJF Hybrid Rojita
Binder: Quilali
Filler: Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras
Strength: Medium

Bellas Artes

Cigar of the YearNo. 12 | Flor de Selva Maduro No. 15
Manufacturer: Maya Selva Cigars
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduras
Strength: Medium

This year, Maya Selva Cigars’ Flor de Selva Colección Maduro earned the distinction of Cigar of the Year. As a cigar produced in Honduras, some U.S. consumers may be unfamiliar with this particular brand, but it has earned high marks from aficionados across the globe, with the Flor de Selva Maduro No. 15 being fan favorite for many.

“I’ve been in the business for 25 years. I make cigars, I’m from Honduras, and I’m very proud to be from Honduras and to highlight the taste of the tobacco grown in the valleys of Honduras,” says Maya Selva, president and founder of Maya Selva Cigars. “A lot of you know my godfather, Nestor Plasencia. He opened the door and allowed me to select the best tobacco to make blends and offer cigars to the market. I thank all of the cigar aficionados from the United States that voted for us, and I know that a lot of Hondurans voted for us because they are very proud of Flor de Selva.”

Flor de Selva Maduro No. 15

No. 13 | Macanudo Inspirado Red
Manufacturer: General Cigar Co.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Full

Macanudo Inspirado Red

No. 14 | Romeo San Andres by Romeo y Julieta
Manufacturer: Altadis U.S.A.
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: San Andres
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Strength: Full

omeo San Andres by Romeo y Julieta

No. 15 | Micallef Reserva Limitada Privada
Manufacturer: Micallef Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: San Andres (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Peru, Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium-Full

Micallef Reserva Limitada Privada

No. 16 | Pistoff Kristoff
Manufacturer: Kristoff Cigars
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexican
San Andres Maduro
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Full

Pistoff Kristoff

No. 17 | Padron Family Reserve 50 Years
Manufacturer: Padron Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Africa, Nicaragua, Peru
Strength: Medium

Padron Family Reserve 50 Years

No. 18 | Oliva Serie V Melanio
Manufacturer: Oliva Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Full

Oliva Serie V Melanio

No. 19 | Gurkha Cellar Reserve 15 Year
Manufacturer: Gurkha Cigars
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Criollo
Binder: Dominican Republic (Olor)
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium

Gurkha Cellar Reserve 15 Year

No. 20 | Rocky Patel Sun-Grown
Manufacturer: Rocky Patel
Premium Cigars
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Strength: Full

Rocky Patel Sun-Grown

No. 21 | Arturo Fuente Don Carlos
Manufacturer: Arturo Fuente Cigars
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium-Full

rturo Fuente Don Carlos

No. 22 | My Father Le Bijou 1922
Manufacturer: My Father Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Full

My Father Le Bijou 1922

No. 23 | Alec Bradley Tempus
Manufacturer: Alec Bradley Cigars
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full

Alec Bradley Tempus

No. 24 | La Flor Dominicana Ligero Cabinet
Manufacturer: La Flor Dominicana
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium-Full

La Flor Dominicana Ligero Cabinet

No. 25 | Guardian of the Farm
Manufacturer: Warped Cigars
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Mild-Medium

Guardian of the Farm Warped Cigars

This story first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.