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.5.
CUBA: TRINIDAD REYES
The Reyes is the smallest sized cigar currently produced under the Trinidad brand. It boasts an enviable consistency in the Cuban production. Dressed in a silky Colorado shaded wrapper, it shows the classical Pig Tail finish, common to every Trinidad cigar made in Cuba.
Strength is medium (3/5). The rich nutty flavor, which is outlined in hazelnuts, is the cornerstone of the aromatic palette of this little big cigar; during the smoke, it alternates between roasted cappuccino notes, followed in some puffs by a vegetal aroma, which stays in the aftertaste.
Equipped with an excellent harmony, it results masterfully balanced from the first to the last puff. This small Reyes is capable to deliver a pronounced “Trinidad profile”, enclosed in a smoke lasting just over half an hour.
HONDURAS: FLOR DE SELVA MADURO ROBUSTO
Box pressed and dressed up in a white band with golden lettering, which makes a captivating contrast with the Maduro shaded wrapper. To the touch, the cigar results very well constructed, showing no defects at all.
Medium strength (3/5). The first puffs reveal woody and spicy notes, very close to white pepper. Going through the smoke, the cigar turns to cocoa and earth aromas, followed by a mix of nuts and almonds, together with a rich roasted note of cappuccino. The finale is slighltly spicy.
The cigar shows a great balance and the smoke is incredibly creamy and refined, very smooth. The evolution is perceivable and well defined in the three thirds. The aromatic palette is well structured and harmonious.
NICARAGUA: JOYA DE NICARAGUA ANTAÑO GRAN RESERVA ROBUSTO GRANDE
Box pressed and dressed up with two bands, to underlinpae that this is a Reserva, rolled with more aged and selected tobacco leaves. The Colorado Maduro shade wrapper is oily and smooth to the touch. A captivating cigar.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). It starts out with seasoned wood, earth and hints of licorice, the latter replaced by herbs and coming in forefront before the midway. The spices are suave at the beginning, but get more intense towards the end of the smoke, culminating in chili spices in the finale.
Excellent smoke, from both a constructive and a mechanical point of view. A cigar capable of delivering a remarkable intensity, exhibiting a well structured and a balanced aromatic palette. A tribute, with all the trimmings, to the Antaño brand.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: ASHTON VSG ROBUSTO
Perfectly box pressed and square, it is dressed in a Maduro shade wrapper, oily and smooth to the touch. The Virgin Sun Grown line is not a recent release from the brand, but it confirms to be excellent year after year.
Medium – full in strength (4/5). The base of the aromatic palette is made up of earth, cocoa and black pepper. Hints of piquant spices and nuances of incense appear half way through the smoke, where the cigar turns sweet. The bouquet is then topped with ripe fruits, which get delivered in the final third, together with chili spices.
Equipped with an ample and well structured aromatic palette, it delivers a structured and complex smoke. Not to underestimate is the evolutionary aspect, remarkable despite the contained lenght of the format.
REST OF THE WORLD: BRUN DEL RE CULEBRAS
Commercialized in the most classical of ways for Culebras: three cigars are intertwined and hold together with two ribbons, one on the head and one the foot end. The cherry on top? A pig tail finished head.
Medium strength (3/5). It immediately reveals an ample and harmonious aromatic palette: a mix of spices, wood and leather reach the palate, followed by roasted notes of coffee and cocoa. In the second half, the cocoa moves to the front, followed by walnuts. The finale is an aromatic mix of wood, earth and spices.
Despite the format, this Culebras is easy to enjoy, thanks to an excellent balance and to a strength level always under control, evenly matched with the aromatic palette of the cigar. This Culebra is made in Costa Rica.