True cigar aficionados are always on the lookout for their next discovery. Even if they already have a complete list of time-tested favorites, there’s always room for more. That’s what the cigars below are supposed to represent – the ones that you may not have tried yet, but that you definitely should. Some of them are pretty rare, while others are readily available at well-stocked cigar shops or online stores like Renegade Cigars. Regardless of your preferences, expertise, or budget, there’s a little something for everyone below.
#1: Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour
Made as an homage to Sir Winston Churchill (and his iconic fondness for cigars), the Davidoff Late Hour is available in one size – which, as you may have already guessed, is a Churchill. It’s a complex, luxurious cigar that should be reserved for quiet evenings when you can properly appreciate its evolving flavors. Speaking of which, this cigar offers notes of cocoa, spice, caramel, charred wood, and scotch – the latter coming from the scotch-dipped Ecuadorian Habano Marron Oscuro wrapper. The binder is Mexican San Andres Negro, with fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. From the cold draw to the final puff, smoking this cigar is a sensory experience that should not be missed.
#2: EPC Short Run Retro 2022 Maduro
This smoke is the sequel to 2021’s EPC cigar of the same name. And by the way, naming this cigar “Short Run” isn’t purely a stylistic choice; its meticulous maker, Ernesto Perez-Carillo, selected tobaccos that were rare enough to make these cigars limited editions. That’s where the similarities to 2021’s Short Run Metro end, though. EPC used an entirely new blend of tobaccos for the 2022 version, with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, fillers from Mexico, Nicaragua, and Honduras, and an Ecuadorian binder. You’ll get aromas of sweet-grass and leather, ginger, cocoa, and sweet spices. Try it on its own, or have it with a smoky mezcal or a cold Irish stout.
#3: Cohiba Serie M
What can you do if you love Cuban cigars, but can’t lay your hands on any? Give these cigars a try, of course. Cohiba is a Cuban brand, but Serie M cigars are made in the Little Havana district in Miami. Every cigar is handmade by expert torcedores in the El Titan de Bronze Cigar Factory; purchase a box, and you’ll see the name of the person who rolled each cigar contained therein. Serie M cigars have a double Nicaraguan binder, Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers, and Nicaraguan Corojo wrappers, lending notes of subtle spice and freshly roasted coffee beans. 2021’s Serie M cigars were 6 x 52 Toros, but 2022’s were a 6 ½ x 48 Corona Gorda.
#4: La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro
Hybrid tobaccos have been around for years, but they still bring an air of mystery to any cigar they appear in. This is the case with the Criollo de Oro, which is made with a wrapper that was crossbred from Criollo 98 plus Pelo de Oro. It also contains a binder of Connecticut Broadleaf, and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras. The result is a medium-strength blend that’s sweet and earthy, with both cedar and citrus notes making an appearance. It's perfect for long, slow walks, or casual evening cocktails. You can choose from a Churchill or a Toro, but you’d better make the decision quickly – only 3,100 boxes (at 20 cigars per box) were made of each shape.
#5: La Aroma de Cuba Pasión
La Aroma de Cuba went for several years without releasing a new cigar – since 2015, in fact. With their Pasión cigar, though, they’ve added another worthy member to their product lineup. All the components of this cigar either come from the Namanji microclimate (the wrapper), or the family-owned farms in Estelí (binder and filler). Thanks in part to the triple fermentation, you’ll notice flavors like molasses, cedar, cashew, and leather.
#6: HVC Cigars 10th Anniversary
Made by Reinier Lorenzo, this cigar is an homage to his former neighborhood in post-revolution Cuba, as well as Havana City. A solid 6 ½ x 50 Toro, this Nicaraguan Puro is made in the Tabacos Valle de Jalapa factory; just like all other HVC cigars, it’s located in Estelí. The wrapper is an expertly aged Corojo 99, with Nicaraguan filler which incorporates another (previously experimental) leaf called Corojo 2012. The cigar is also made with Criollo 98 leaves, giving a full, rich flavor that’s the perfect celebration of the company’s 10-year anniversary.
#7: Rocky Patel White Label
Not only is the Rocky Patel White Label a fragrant and mellow smoke, but it’s also visually stunning, with a white leather box and golden-hued wrappers. They’re made using US-grown Connecticut shade leaf, Nicaraguan fillers, and an “undisclosed” leaf that adds mystery as well as complexity. As a medium-strength cigar made with decade-old tobaccos – and then aged for another two years – you’ll want to pair it with an approachable yet sophisticated bourbon for the best possible experience. It’s available in four different sizes, with the Toro (6 ½ x 52) being the most popular choice.
#8: Espada by Montecristo Signature
This is a brand that’s no stranger to lists like this one, and no wonder – this silky-smooth cigar will captivate both your attention and your palate. It’s a Nicaraguan puro made with a Nicaraguan Colorado Claro wrapper, resulting in a creaminess that lasts until the final puff. There are two other versions of the Espada cigar, but this one seems to be the superior choice. Even the size is notable, clocking in at a hefty 6 x 55 – which Montecristo has dubbed “Valiente”.
Whether you’ve been learning about cigars for years, or you’re just starting to explore their refinements for yourself, there’s no doubt that the options listed above would make worthy additions to your roster of smoking experiences. A certain level of expertise would definitely help you pick out the finer points of each one, but even a rookie would be able to tell that they’d gotten their hands on a truly fine cigar.