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.1.
CUBA: COHIBA TALISMAN LIMITED EDITION 2017
The most awaited Limited edition of the year. It’s rolled up in a Colorado Maduro shaded wrapper, silky to the touch. The head shows a small pig tail finish.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). It starts out with fine wood, a touch of vanilla and hints of white pepper. It then exhibits cocoa and, halfway through, a rich aroma of ripe fruits. A slightly acidulous vein come in and harmonize perfectly the sweet base. The spices gets intensier, following every single puff. Coffee beans, chili and a lot of cocoa give rise to a firework finale.
Refined and strong, the aromatic palette seems to be created by the union of a Silo VI and a Behike 52. Creamy and enveloping, the cigar features and excellent harmony. One of the best Limitadas ever.
HONDURAS: ALEC BRADLEY BLACK MARKET ILLICIT TORO
The classic oversized band of the Black Market line stays unchanged, except the addition of the Illicit writing, that resembles a stamp and underlines the completely different blend.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). Sweet from the first puff on, it reveals notes of herbs and hazelnut, that quickly move to earth, underwood and hints of mushrooms. Then a rich mix of black pepper and cocoa beans take over, joined by a spicy vein. The finale changes completely to balsamic and herbal notes, supported by an intense aroma of chili.
A greatly balanced smoke, paired with an excellent creaminess. I exhibits a deep and well structured aromatic palette. Evolutive and definitely rewarding.
NICARAGUA: EL GUEGUENSE MADURO CORONA GORDA
The excellent cigar manufacture keeps the El Güegüense high standards. Two years later the successful “Wise Man” official launch, the Maduro line hit the market.
Strength is full (5/5). An explosion of cocoa beans and a blast of black pepper starts out the smoke. Roasted espresso notes reach the palate, alternating with earth and seasoned wood. The last part delivers balsamic herbs and the finale turns to rich dark chocolate and cashew nuts.
After the initial explosion, the strength decreases slightly, while the aromatic intensity stays incredibly elevated throughout the whole smoke. Marked evolution and an exceptional evolution, make this a masterpiece of a cigar.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: DAVIDOFF ROYAL ROBUSTO
The colorado shade wrapper is silky and oily. Construction is very close to perfection. Even the packaging underlines the care and prestige behind this line.
Strength is medium – full (4/5). As soon as it is lit, the palate gets cuddled by a buttery smoke: notes of hazelnut, earth and vegetal hints get deliverd, supported by piquant hints. It is then the time of cappuccino and the smoke becomes sweet. A mix of fine wood, herbs and vegetal notes merge together, followed by rich chili, that become the main aroma in the finale, followed by nuances of unripe hazelnut.
A smoke of great class, paired with a unique balance and resignedness. From start to finish, it never looses its composure and features an unparalleled harmony. Buttery.
REST OF THE WORLD: HERNANDEZ & RUIZ TORO
The cigars is well made, showing no flaws. This puro from Panama is wrapped up in a colorado claro leaf, oily and silky to the touch. The golden band gives it a refined look.
Strength is light – medium (2,5/5). A mix of roasted coffe notes and nuts opens up the smoke. The background is made of a rich wet earth aroma. Very creamy, it soon turns to a rich hazelnuts and cappuccino notes, together with a slightly peppery nuances, almost imperceptible. In the last part, vegetal notes and fine wood alternates, accompanying the omnipresent coffee.
An elegant and incredibly creamy smoke. The aromatic palette is harmonious and the cigar shows a magistral balance from the first to the last puff.