7 Fall Cigars Ready to Float Down Into Your Humidor

As fall comes again, we’re readying for a good season of smoking. Dealing with the falling leaves in our yards is the price we pay to harvest and enjoy the upward-growing tobacco leaf in our cigars. The trees get ready to let go and we can’t help but wonder: why can’t I gather up all these friggin oak and maple leaves, put them in an aging pile, and have my own stock of smokables? Why did the Lord see fit to give us no use for these massive piles of leaves every year?

There’s no answer. The cool air is blowing in and we’re heading to the humi to get a companion for the change in weather. Like all seasons, fall is excellent for smoking cigars (winter’s a toughie in the northern regions, but we know you guys still find a way to soldier on and get your cigar time in. What would you do otherwise – sit inside for long stretches of time with your family?

That’s a nightmare we don’t want to experience.

In this post full of fall cigars, we cover one for each leaf color. That way, no matter what your preference is, we’ve got a cigar for you to spark up. Bring some logs to the firepit boys, we’re headed out to watch the leaves and ashes fall together.

Yellow – Romeo y Julieta 1875 Connecticut Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Connecticut? What were they smoking?

Well, that’s obvious. And you should be smoking it, too. Our “yellow” leaf is a fine cigar indeed.

So if you’ve been into Connecticuts, you’ve probably sampled wrappers grown in the USA (that’s where the name comes from, after all) and Ecuador, where natural cloud cover lends itself to high quality Connecticut shade tobacco cultivation. This cigar contains one of the very first attempts at bringing a premium cigar to market with Connecticut-seed tobacco grown in Nicaragua.

Now, if you’re growing Nicaraguan tobacco, you need to go to a farmer who knows the soil and conditions of the nation really well. Your short list of people who have deep roots in Nicaragua would undoubtedly have the Plasencias on it. They’ve been working the dirt there for generations, and have a great handle on how to make the ground give up the good stuff.

Then you need a blender. How about a creator of a Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year winner? Yeah, that should do pretty nicely. If you’re Romeo y Julieta, you call up Rafael Nodal (the palate behind the Aging Room Quattro blend) and ask him to make sure that Nicaragua’s Connecticut wrapper experiment goes well.

Surprise, surprise, this one’s fantastic!
The Romeo y Julieta 1875 Connecticut Nicaragua is a Nicaraguan puro, using all tobacco from that nation for the filler, binder, and wrapper. The end product is a 90-point mild-medium smoke that’s lush and creamy. There’s a bit of toasty sugar cookie character to it, along with a subtle touch of citrus spice to accompany the core flavors. We’re liking the direction this is going, and are looking forward to seeing other growers and blenders make use of this interesting cross-planting.

The first leaf has hit the grass. Now let’s go grab a “red.”

Red – Tatuaje 15th Anniversary Rosado Oscuro Belicoso Fino

15 years ago, he wasn’t even really in the game. Now look at him – Pete Johnson is managing one of the country’s favorite cigar companies. What else is there to do but celebrate by making another highly-rated blend?

Our red leaf earned its place on the list thanks to an Ecuadorian habano rosado oscuro wrapper (this blend also comes in a non-oscuro claro version, if you don’t like dark, fermented tobacco). It’s a gorgeous shade of dark walnut touched with red tones, and the flavor is out of this world. 92 points lets you know that this one is a premium smoke, and the earthy and leathery core flavors just sink right into your brain. Then the complex layers of mocha and red pepper put this one into the category of cigars that will have you floating away because a stick is living up to the hype.

The tobacco inside is a blend of Nicaraguan criollo and corojo, and the strength definitely comes in at full. In nature, things that are red don’t play around, and the Tatuaje 15th Anny smoke is no different. For a blender that used to be a metal musician like Pete Johnson, we’d expect nothing less. It’s not a sophisticated, mild-mannered smoke. This is the kind of cigar to pull from your leathers after a fun weekend ride on your motorcycle so you can puff away and contemplate your next tat.

The price, though. This cigar demands what it’s worth, darn it. It’s unfortunate when a cigar knows that it’s really rare and made with a fine combination of tobaccos. We’d much prefer that a cigar be exquisite and not know it so that we could offer smash deals all over the place. Sadly, this fall cigar won’t go for a penny less than it should. If you’re on a budget, you’ll have to skip this one unless you’ve got some well-heeled friends who like to share.

If you don’t, put this on your to do list: Get a Rich (and Generous) Friend.

Everyone should have one of those, right?

Orange – Gran Habano Habano No. 3 Lunch Break

Our orange leaf is a beautiful bright habano from Gran Habano. We’re also kind of suckers for a cigar named after the almighty “lunch break,” which has many times saved our workdays and made them survivable. It’s unfortunate for many employers that these standard breaks are usually followed by 35-minute “browse the Internet while we digest and get sleepy” breaks. The only way to come back from that is with a coffee break, of course, which then usually turns into a bathroom break.

After those 4 breaks, though – we’re all systems go!

This period of productivity usually lasts somewhere from 2:25-3:35, when it starts looking like the 4 o’clock hour is coming around and it’s time to shut down for the day.

Anyway, Gran Habano put together a nice fall cigar here, and it’s got Cigar Aficionado’s 90-point seal of approval. This is a medium-full strength smoke with a pigtail cap that you can peel off and toss in your leaf pile in the event your cutter goes missing. The flavors are perfect for cooling weather, too. The Habano No. 3 is built around a cedary core that’s joined by the flavor of honey-roasted street nuts – you know, the ones that give you that little moment of enjoyment when a midtown street in NYC goes from smelling like humid summer trash to smelling like something tasty for just one brief, shining second?

It’s part of the magic of the city, folks.

The Habano No. 3 Lunch Break features a diverse array of filler tobaccos, including Costa Rican, Mexican, and Nicaraguan leaf. Around that is a Nicaraguan binder and cover leaf to complete the blend. If you’re looking for a little upgrade to your Saturday morning yard cleaning cigar, this should definitely make the trip out to your ride-on mower with you.

Who said fall cigars have to be cheap yard ‘gars?

Okay, let’s get a brown one for our next leaf.

Brown – Macanudo Café

Macanudos have long been one of the most popular cigar brands in the states, having accompanied our fathers and grandfathers on many a weekend raking day in the fall. The blend we chose for the brown leaf on this year’s fall cigar list is the Macanudo Café. It’s not an infused or flavored cigar like many coffee-themed sticks you’ll find on the market. Instead, this one gets its coffee note the old fashioned way:

From tobacco.

The Macanudo Café is a 90-point Connecticut shade-wrapped cigar with a nice mild-medium strength to it. It’s not as gentle as you might expect given that information, mostly because of the Mexican tobacco used in the filler blend and for the binder as well. You get that little hint of spice that’s unmistakable in there. The main flavors are nutty and woody, with a sugar-kissed espresso flavor that makes this one really nice on a crisp fall morning. If you’ve got a hot coffee to pair with it, you’ll be having a very nice time, whether you’re cleaning up tree mess or you’ve decided to enslave some local kids and just have a rock on the porch in your chair while someone else does the hard work for a change.

Sooner or later, most of the leaves you see will be making their final color change to brown. The Macanudo Café is ready to meet them there with tobacco that left green behind a long time ago. Bag ‘em up or push em to the street for the town to handle, and then we’ll get a little funky with our last cigars.

In fact, let’s get some flavor going! Here comes purple.

Purple – Drew Estate ACID Plush

Drew Estate, man. Those guys look at cigars a different way, and we’re all about it. For years, they’ve given us fresh smoking experiences and have become a best-selling brand in the process. The ACID line is part of what makes the company so special, and for this list of fall cigars, we’re suggesting the purple-banded Drew Estate ACID Plush.

This is a nice hearty smoke at 5.5 x 50, and it brings all the luxurious aromas and flavors that the line is so well known for. We still don’t know exactly how they do things, although the company has reported that they’re not injecting or dipping cigars to get the signature ACID flavor going. Instead, they refer to the process as an “infusion” with over 150 possible herbs, spices, botanicals, and essences. The result is a cigar that smells like no other. It’s a totally intoxicating aroma that just pulls you in and demands to be smoked. If that sounds a little bit too unlike a cigar for you, keep in mind that the flavor doesn’t always bring these aromas intensely into the smoke itself.

It’s toned down, balanced, and totally enjoyable.

The Drew Estate ACID Plush draws filler leaf from the company’s extensive Nicaraguan tobacco portfolio. Then the wrapper is a shiny broadleaf maduro. For those familiar with ACIDs, the blue label Kuba and the Blondie are probably the most well-known, but Drew Estate refers to the Plush as the “quiet second champion in the ACID Collection.” The ACID line can be overwhelming when it comes to all the possible choices, but from a wealth of fun cigars a few have emerged as a bit better than the rest, and our purple leaf Plush is one of them.

Now let’s do the “leafiest” of all the fall cigars: the green!

Green – Asylum 13 Ogre

The original Asylum 13 was a dark beast with incredible earthy flavors. Now, this flashy barber-pole cigar updates the blend to serve as our green leaf. Instead of a straightforward dark tobacco leaf wrapper, you’ll get a striped mix of habano maduro and candela tobacco that brings a crazy flavor to your smoking experience.

The rating isn’t as high as the other fall cigars on our list. Poor Shrek here only rated an 88, which is still more than good enough to light up and enjoy, but won’t win it any awards anytime soon. We couldn’t care less, and are content to get a monstrous cigar like this just in time for Halloween.

The core of the Asylum 13 Ogre is still earthy, but this version is more toasty, with a bit of vanilla and citrus – light flavors coming in thanks to the still green candela tobacco used as part of the wrapper. While most of the dark leaf you’re familiar with was air cured and then fermented into oblivion, candela leaf is rapidly fire-cured in hot barns, which prevents the loss of chlorophyll (shout out to spell check for helping us get that word down correctly). Thus, the leaf we have here still looks like something you might find in a farmer’s green fields.

This is a Nicaraguan puro, so you’re getting a pretty focused blend even though it looks a bit crazy. It’s ultimately a product of the man behind Camacho, Christian Eiroa. We’re glad we don’t have to deal with the tons of leaves that he’s overseeing each year – our yards are enough to give us back pain through to Thanksgiving.

As the night of winter looms in the horizon, we turn our attention to our black leaf.

Black – 601 Blue Label Maduro

Once upon a time in 2009, this was Cigar Aficionado’s #6 blend, earning 93 points. Today, the cigar is still going strong, earning a 90 rating for the torpedo vitola. If you’re not recognizing the 601 name, we don’t blame you. We’re a little off the beaten path calling out this one with all the competition in the modern cigar game. This is still worthy of a purchase, though with a classic earthy coffee and dark beer profile that even finishes somewhere in licorice land.

For lovers of dark flavors, this should be on your list, even if it’s not one of your fall cigars.

The maduro wrapper is a Connecticut broadleaf that’s glistening with oil and that smells divine right off the bat. Inside the cigar you get rich Nicaraguan tobacco for the filler and binder. And you’ll be pleased to get a nice punch from this one – it’s a full strength cigar that will have you up and moving if you need a little pick-me-up to finally tackle that yard work. We agree with Cigar Aficionado that the box-pressed torpedo is a great way to experience the blend. The draw is nice and lush, giving you plenty of smoke to chew on.

This is a dark cigar that will sink you deep into the earth, if you’re into that sort of thing.

So, in closing: the seasons have changed and fall is here. We don’t have a damn clue what this insane year of 2020 has in store for us as we reach the end, but we know we’ll be needing more cigars before all this is through. In fact, we’ll be stocking up on the off chance that we manage to unleash the Apocalypse somehow.

This year, we can’t rule anything out.