Cigars in the AWARDS have been selected during the whole year 2017: the best products from the blind tastings, the reviews and the smokes from the last 12 months have been tested once again, in a blind tasting. Only the best made it into the AWARDS.
As usual, our attention is focused on every single terroir: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and countries from the Rest of the World. For each one of them, we picked the best 5 cigars, that registered the highest scores. Following are the cigars, listed in alphabetical order by country, in place no.2.
CUBA: HOYO DE MONTERREY EPICURE NO.2
From the Cuban Revolution to nowadays, the Epicure No. 2 has been the Robusto of the Hoyo de Monterrey factory. Without any band at first, then with one and now with two, it is distinguishes itself from the the suave flavors of the brand, oriented towards a more masculine smoke.
Strength is slightly over the medium (3,5/5). The smoke is sweet and starts out with notes of cedar and white pepper, followed by earth and piquant hints. Continuing, coffee beans get delivered, while the finale turns towards cocoa and chili spices, with herbs in the background, completing the aromatic bouquet.
A smoke of great aromatic intensity and equipped with a pronounced evolution, to which a well structured bouquet is added. It exhibits an exceptional persistency and harmony. Creamy and elegant. Satisfying.
HONDURAS: S.T.K. BLACK DAHLIA CORONA GORDA
The massive looking black varnished box contains beautifully crafted cigars, laid on four rows. Underneath the intricate band is an oily Colorado colored wrapper, that is smooth to the touch.
Strength is slightly over the medium (3,5/5). It opens up with roasted coffee notes and a very creamy smoke. Afterwards, aromas of wood and spices, outlined in black pepper, reach the palate. There is a pleasant bitterness present throughout. Hazelnut and herbs complete the aromatic get delivered in the finale, completing its aromatic palette.
A creamy and smooth cigar, that is topped with an excellent and harmonious aromatic palette. Flavors are intense from start to to finish.
NICARAGUA: CAO AMAZON ANACONDA
Packaged in a fiery red box with golden lettering, once opened it reveals perfectly constructed cigars. The colors are inverted on the bands and underneath them it shines a Colorado Claro shade wrapper.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). The smoke is creamy from the first puff on. Herbs and vegetal notes reach the palate, that quickly change to rich roasted cappuccino aromas, alongside white pepper, that culminate in piquant peaks. It is then the turn of seasoned wood, followed by walnut. The finale is minty.
It delivers a very ample aromatic palette. It is a complex smoke with an exceptional harmony. The characteristic that distinguishes it the most is a creaminess without par.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: LA INSTRUCTORA PERFECTION ROYAL CORONA
The band design is reminiscing of a Jackson Pollock painting. An oily and reddish wrapper makes this cigar even more appealing to smoke.
Strength is slightly over the medium (3,5/5). Refined spices and white pepper start off the smoke, followed by roasted notes of coffee and walnut. Then a mix of chestnut honey and vanilla, paired with entwined notes of walnut and cashews, come to the palate. The aromatic palette is completed with vegetal and piquant aromas, which dominate the finale.
A meditation cigar, capable to deliver an excellent complexity, pervading throughout the whole smoke. Creamy from the first puff on, it exhibits an aromatic palette of great harmony.
REST OF THE WORLD: CASA TURENT 1880
This cigar oozes Mexico from every pore. The toothy Maduro Oscuro shade San Andres Negro wrapper makes this cigar almost look like a chocolate bar.
Strength is full (4,5/5). It reveals an intense aroma of cocoa beans, followed by earth, black pepper and hot spices. The base is sweet. During the smoke, coffee beans and balsamic herbs are added, completing the aromatic palette and becoming the dominant flavor in the finale.
An intense and strong smoke, equipped with a deep and well structured aromatic palette. The persistency is incredibly long and the balance is at the highest levels.