2018 Cigars of the Year
Not to be overshadowed at the #2 spot on the 2018 Cigars of the Year rankings, the My Father La Opulencia blend from José “Don Pepin” Garcia captured the hearts and humidors of many cigar lovers. While the core was Nicaraguan tobacco, the dark Mexican Oscuro leaf used for the wrapper made this a special stogie from My Father. It was a fully satisfying blend to smoke, and one that really never gets old.
El Güegüense “The Wise Man” earned #3 honors with a 95-point Maduro from Nick Mellilo of Foundation Cigars (and Aganorsa Leaf). Full-bodied and potent without going overboard and being disgusting, this cigar skirted the boundary at the heavier end of the cigar blend spectrum. It also sent us to the Wikipedia page for the name and taught us a little bit about Nicaraguan culture to ponder while we puff.
Is it any surprise to see Padrón on the 2018 Cigars of the Year list? Of course not! The Family Reserve is a Nicaraguan puro that scored a 95-point rating and ensured yet another year of consistent excellence from Padrón. The outstanding coffee, chocolate, and nut flavors we’ve come to expect were all there, and are a big part of why we would smoke anything this company creates without asking a single question before lighting up.
While we stock H. Upmann cigars, we don’t have the #5 blend on the 2018 Cigars of the Year rankings – the Sir Winston is only sold from Cuba! Fortunately, we DO have the #6 cigar from Arturo Fuente. The Hemingway Work of Art was another Cameroon-wrapped delicacy packed with rich Dominican tobacco. The exotic flavors of genuine Cameroon tobacco offer a taste, unlike anything you’ll experience with leaf from western soil. It may not be for everyone, but for those who enjoy it, this is one of the best blends around.
Aganorsa Leaf’s JFR Lunatic is the kind of cigar that sets expectations from the second you hear the name. Because it actually exceeded those expectations, it wound up the #7 stogie on the 2018 Cigars of the Year list. The Cigar Aficionado judges cited the short Robusto for the list, which is reasonable, but if you want the real experience, grab the 80 ring gauge version and try to hang in with one of the industry’s monster smokes.
At #8 was the Oliva Serie V Melanio – yet again! This smoke just puts a smile on your face as soon as you get it lit. It’s a world-class blend year in, and year out, and there’s no doubt about it. We’d smoke this cigar any day of the week twice on Sunday.
Alec Bradley made the 2018 Cigars of the Year rankings with the Black Market Estelí. Yet another company riding Nicaraguan tobacco all the way to the top, Alec Bradley struck just the right notes with this blend. It’s a chocolate-covered raisin smoke, just like some of the best My Father and Padrón blends, and it has the richness of Honduran tobacco to keep things interesting.
Finishing the top ten set out was the Montecristo Nicaragua Series. As a collaboration between Rafael Nodal and A.J. Fernandez, this one was destined for greatness, and the flavors are all there. The 2018 blends offered so many great Nicaraguan cigars that you might not know where to turn first. The good news is, that there are no wrong answers on this test, so just relax and throw a dart at your screen. You’ll hit a great blend.
Please browse our selection of the 2018 Cigars of the Year at your leisure.