Winston's Shop Picks 2016

We’ve made our personal picks. The top ten is on the way. But for now we want to highlight cigars that shine in their distinct categories. Whether you are looking for the best example of a mild cigar in the humidor or an eight dollar cigar that tastes like a twelve dollar cigar we have something for you here. These are Winston’s picks.

Winston’s Pick for Mild Cigar:

Warped La Colmena

Warped La Colmena Amado No 44

The Warped La Colmena is available in only one size: Amado No. 44 (5 ½ x 44). La Colmena was blended to be reminiscent of Cuban cigars not only in flavor but also in construction. To ensure quality, production is limited to 100 cigars a day. If there is such a thing as a full bodied mild cigar the La Colmena would be it. Low strength, high flavor might be a better way to put it. This is the mild cigar for all palettes.

More Notable Mild Cigars:

Ashton Aged Maduro

Ashton Aged Maduro No 56

This is the stealthily mild cigar from Ashton. A very dark wrapper conceals a delicious secret, sweet and creamy mild nirvana.

Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Connecticut

Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Connecticut Belicoso

Ten year aged tobacco and wrappers finished in bourbon barrels go into making this limited production cigar from Perdomo. Balanced spice smoothed out with sweetness are the result of that process.

Winston’s Pick for Medium Cigar:

Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba

Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba Doble Seis

Not just our pick for medium cigar but one of WInston’s favorite cigars of all, the Casa Cuba comes in several sizes with names derived from the game of dominoes. Casa Cuba is the penultimate blend from industry legend Carlos “Don Carlos” Fuente Sr. and it was his attempt at recreating the taste of a bygone era. Reaching back and using techniques from the days when almost every cigar was blended with Cuban tobacco Carlos Sr. gave us a window into the history of tobacco.

More Notable Medium Cigars:

Leaf by Oscar Sumatra

Leaf by Oscar Sumatra Toro

Leaf by Oscar Sumatra is a tremendous example of what you can get out of a medium cigar. An incredible balance of sweet and bitter is what makes this cigar so good.

Warped La Hacienda

Warped La Hacienda Superiores

This Nicaraguan puro from Warped is wonderfully floral and complex. The amount of flavors going on here is a true achievement in a medium strength cigar.

Winston’s Pick for Bold Cigar:

La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro

La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro

For their 2016 release, La Palina partnered with A.J. Fernandez to showcase Nicaraguan tobacco and fill out the La Palina line of cigars. The Nicaragua Oscuro is available as a gordo (6 x 58), a robusto (5 x 52), and a toro (6 x 50). This cigar starts off spicy and gets spicier the further you burn into the stick. There are other flavors going on here besides pepper but this thing is a real spice bomb. These kind of extremes are only possible in truly bold cigars.

More Notable Bold Cigars:

La Flor Dominicana Airbender

La FLor Dominicana Airbender Chisel Maduro

La Flor Dominicana is famous for producing bold and spicy cigars. When they made the Airbender LFD turned everything up to eleven.

Diamond Crown Maximus

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro No 4

J.C. Newman has something for the people that want a bold cigar that doesn’t beat you over the head with spice. Complexity, nuance, and full flavor characterize the Maximus.

Winston’s Pick for Value for Money Cigar:

Flor de las Antillas from My Father

My Father Flor de las Antillas Toro

With the robusto and toro coming in at under eight dollars the Flor de las Antillas tastes more like what you would expect from a twelve to fifteen dollar cigar. This was Cigar Aficionado’s number one cigar for 2012 and it more than lives up to that legacy. The sweetness of the sun grown wrapper is underscored by a mild but still present spiciness to create one of the most enjoyable cigars on the market. This is one that when you smoke it you have to ask yourself why you don’t smoke it more often.

More Notable Value for Money Cigars:

Arturo Fuente 858

Arturo Fuente 858 Sun Grown Maduro Natural

Coming in three different wrapper leaves the 858 ranges between seven and eight dollars. All three wrappers (sun grown, maduro, and natural) are mild-medium to medium strength and hold their own with the more expensive Fuentes like the Hemmingways or Don Carlos line.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Estelí

La Gloria Cubana Serie R EstelÍ

Coming in at just under eight dollars a stick the Serie R Estelí punches above its weight in terms of both flavor and construction. This stick is medium-full and complex yet smooth.

Winston’s Pick for Budget (under $6) Cigar:

Illusione Rothchilde

Illusione Rothchilde

This five dollar and fifty cents 4 ½ x 50 Rothchilde from Illusione is a small but mighty cigar. Medium strength and bursting with flavor the only problem with this one is that you’ll want to smoke another right after you’re finished. The good news is that the Illusione Rothchilde has a low enough price to smoke them back to back to back. Whether you are on a budget or looking for daily smoker the Illusione Rothchilde is definitely worth considering.

More Notable Budget Cigars:

Chillin Moose Too

Chillin Moose Too 6x60

Right at five dollars the Chillin Moose Too will seem like the result of a pricing error in your favor when you smoke it. Medium to Medium-full and tastes like real good tobacco.

Oliva Serie G Maduro Robusto

Oliva Serie G Maduro Robusto

Priced right under the six dollar cutoff at five dollars and ninety nine cents the Oliva Serie G Maduro Robusto brings high quality tobacco and good flavor in a cigar you might just want to buy by the box.

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