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.4.
CUBA: PARTAGAS SALOMONES
Introduced into the Cuban production in 2008, it was initially a La Casa del Habano exclusive cigar. Today it is fairly widespread and not difficult to find. The size is majestic and it easily surpasses a two hour smoking time. The 2017 production is better performing then those of the past years.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). The cigar starts out with notes of cedar wood and spices, which are outlined in white pepper. Leather and hazelnut reach then the palate. The spicy component decreases slightly in the middle section, but returns to the forefront in the finale, together with earth and spices.
A cigar with a great aromatic intensity, capable to deliver a very prolonged persistency. The harmony is excellent and the balance noteworthy. Giant in size and goodness: a big and excellent Salomone.
HONDURAS: J. FUEGO SANGRE DE TORO TORO
The cigar shows an excellent manufacture: it is dressed up in an oily Colorado Maduro shaded wrapper, with imperceptible veins; to the touch, it is silky smooth. The filling is uniform.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). The aromatic palette makes its way on a sweet base: leather and wood are complemented by herbs and hints of pepper. Progressing, cocoa and roasted coffee notes are outlined. The smoke stays sweet and the finale adds a rich hazelnut aroma.
Intense and satisfying, it gives rise to a very creamy smoke, based on a sweet base lasting from the first down to the last puff. The aromatic palette is ample and the aromas keep on alternating during the whole smoke, making the Sangre de Toro a multifaceted and structured smoke.
NICARAGUA: PLASENCIA ALMA FUERTE NESTOR IV
The new design introduced by Plasenica shows a triple band and the Alma Fuerte is no exception. The 10 count box is made with a lid that doubles as an ashtray. The cigars are opulent and dressed up in a very oily Maduro wrapper.
Strength is medium – full (4,5/5). It delivers rich aromas of black pepper, cocoa and a mix of nuts, outlined in walnut and peanuts. The base is sapid. The aromatic palette is then enriched by notes of earth and wood, reaching the palate halfway though the smoke. In some puffs, an interesting mineral vein is perceivable as well.
Strong and equipped with an ample aromatic palette. The intensity reaches the highest levels and each single puff is an explosion of flavors. Exceptionally satisfying, exhibiting a very long persistency.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: BALMORAL ANEJO XO GRAN MAGNIFICO LE2017
The shape of the cigar is particular and it seems like it was drawn on paper: this Figurado increases in diameter towards the band, by then tapering again for the conical closure of the head. Opulent and majestic.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). It starts out with a mix of nuts, earth and vegetal hints. The aftertaste exhibits nuances of white pepper and piquant peaks. It is then the time of underwood and dried mushrooms. In the last part, the cocoa reaches the palate, followed by cappuccino and, in the finale, mint.
The use of aged tobacco leaves in the blend is well perceptible: the aromatic palette is amalgamated and harmonious, paired with a significant complexity. Great balance.
REST OF THE WORLD: BYRON SERIE SIGLO XIX PETIT POEMAS
Although being the smallest cigar out of the line, it shows an excellent care in its manufacture, that doesn’t have to hide behind its “big brothers”: the colorado shade wrapper is particularly oily and devoid of veins.
Strength is slightly over medium (3,5/5). The first puffs delineate a very creamy smoke, which makes its way on a sweet and acidulous base: nuts and cappuccino reach the palate, followed by a peppery vein. The second half turns to seasoned wood and walnut. The finale is vegetal, with roasted nuances.
It features a discrete complexity, which is definitely not common in such a small size. It is even capable of giving rise to a small evolution. Harmonious and very satisfying, it is a perfect smoke to have in a short period of time.