Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 List of 2021

Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 List of 2021
9 months ago No comments

Every year, the experts at Cigar Aficionado pull together the best of the best cigars and rank them. We have compiled that list so that you can easily compare and add each cigar to your collection.

Top 25 Cigars:


#1. Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo (Natural) - 2021 Cigar of the Year

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo (Natural) - 2021 Cigar of the Year

The Padron 1964 Anniversary cigar was introduced in 1994 as a way of commemorating the brand's 30th year in business. Today, it remains at the top of the Nicaraguan cigar category as an affordable ultra-premium for the most discriminating connoisseurs. The Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso is masterfully constructed using sun-grown Nicaraguan habano tobacco that undergoes aging for no less than 4 years, making this selection not only very full-bodied but ultra-smooth.

#2. Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua No. 2

Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua No. 2  2021 #2 Cigar of the Year

When it came time to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the world-famous Montecristo brand, the celebration cigar had to be something special, and Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua No. 2 certainly fit the bill. Released in late 2020 as a collaboration between brand ambassador Rafael Nodal, the Grupo de Maestros, and none other than the infamous AJ Fernandez, this cigar is extraordinary, to say the least. Each stick is born in the San Lotano Factory in Nicaragua and is rolled under the supervision of Fernandez himself, using 100% Nicaraguan leaves from his very own family farms—wrapper, filler, and binder. It may seem a bit ironic that the anniversary cigar for a Dominican brand is a Nicaraguan puro, but just about anyone would agree that they really did hit it out of the ballpark with this one. The folks at Cigar Aficionado certainly think so, as this blend has already earned a very respectable 95 rating!

#3. San Cristobal Quintessence Churchill

San Cristobal Quintessence Churchill

San Cristobal Quintessence is the fourth regular production cigar in the ultra-premium San Cristobal lineup from Ashton, following the original San Cristobal release, Elegancia, and Revelation. Blended by Don Pepin Garcia with more focus on flavor and balance, rather than raw strength like its predecessor, Quintessence is produced in the world-famous My Father factory in Nicaragua. The wrapper leaf is a beautiful reddish-brown Ecuadorian Habano and the filler and binder blend consists of premium Nicaraguan leaves from the Garcia family farms. Since its release in 2016, Quintessence has garnered numerous accolades including a pair of 92 ratings in Cigar aficionado and a spot on the 2018 and 2021 Top 25 lists.

#4. Partagás Serie D No. 4

 Partagás Serie D No. 4This cigar was released as part of the Partagas D series in 2011 and has quickly become one of the most popular Partagas cigars, moreover one of the most popular Cuban cigars, sought after by aficionados across the globe.This red-on-black presentation gives the brand a sleek appearance and was a smart marketing decision by Habanos. Smart packaging only goes so far. The Serie D No. 4 lives up to appearances with its explosion of flavor from the first puff, showing a palate of leather, minerals and wood, sweeter notes of orange and vanilla, as well as a lasting hazelnut finish. This Cuban cigar is not sold in the United States.

#5. Casa Cuba Doble Cuatro

Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba Doble CuatroCasa Cuba is the first new cigar brand out of the Fuente factory in the Dominican Republic since 1995, and the first blend directly made by Carlos Fuente, Sr. in decades. A cigar talked about behind closed doors for years, it finally debuted in 2013. Named after a brand Fuente purchased in 1958, the Casa Cuba is a look back at how the company blended cigars in the pre-embargo days. Cuban seed, Dominican filler, and binder tobacco are wrapped in an Ecuadorian Havana wrapper. A medium-bodied cigar much different from other limited production Fuente cigars, Casa Cuba will have older smokers thinking about those first cigars they smoked, and newer ones wondering why today's cigars are so different.

#6. Illusione Cruzado Robusto

Illusione Cruzado RobustoDion Giolito's Illusione has been one of the hottest brands in recent years. While in recent years Illusione has introduced Cruzado, Epernay, and Nosotros, the original Illusione line was what started it all and still garners high praise today. Known as the "Original Document", each one of the eleven sizes is a Nicaraguan puro with some of the best Corojo 99 wrappers on the market today. All are rolled at the Raíces Cubanas factory in Danlí, Honduras under some of the strictest supervision on the market. This precision has earned Illusione, back-to-back Top 25 Cigars of the Year honors and numerous ratings over 90.

#7. Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Churchill

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro ChurchillOliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Toro cigars are among the finest offerings from the Oliva Cigar Company in Nicaragua. Made by some of the world's most skilled torcedors and produced in a small batch fashion, Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Toro cigars combine rich potency with impeccable smoothness and unmatched complexity. Melanio Maduro cigars are constructed of unbelievable Nicaraguan Habano filler and binder tobacco and dark Mexican San Andreas maduro wrappers. This ultra-premium selection has shaken the entire cigar world, making Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Toro cigars one of the most sought-after sticks on today's market.

#8. Cohiba Siglo VI

Cohiba Siglo VI

Cohiba, Fidel Castro's preferred brand, was created in 1966 as Havanas premier brand for diplomatic purposes. The Siglo VI was introduced in 2002 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Siglo line. The Siglo VI is hand-rolled in the El Laguito factory, which is known for its precision and careful rolling. Cohiba used a mix of tobacco from across Cuba for the Siglo VI, very much creating a pleasing cigar that responds to most palates. This Cuban cigar is not sold in the United States.


#9. Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Robusto

Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Robusto

Rocky Patel Premium Cigars - the world's best hand-rolled cigars. The cigars are produced throughout Central America, from the company's factory in Nicaragua to Honduras and even the Dominican Republic. Rocky Patel has a portfolio of more than 100 lines of cigars. In 2018, Rocky Patel introduced the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve line of cigars to markets everywhere outside of the United States as a way to honor their worldwide business partnerships that have seen dramatic growth within the last 10 years. Upon release, Rocky kept most of the blend shrouded in secrecy and only released that the tobacco used in the blend is aged two years.


#10. Arturo Fuente Rare Pink Vintage 1960’s Séries Happy Ending

Arturo Fuente Rare Pink Vintage 1960’s Séries Happy Ending

Arturo Fuente Rare Pink Happy Ending is the newest Hemingway blend of shaped Perfecto cigars made with Ecuadoran wrappers, including Nicaraguan tobaccos from the Fuente farms in Estelí. Arturo Fuente Rare Pink Happy Ending is a powerful, full-bodied super-premium made with smooth 100% Fuente estate-grown tobacco from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. This new take on the Hemingway Perfectos is handcrafted in the Dominican Republic at the renowned Tabacalera Fuente. Moreover, created by the only Toymaker, Carlito Fuente, and inspired by his daughter, Liana Fuente, this exceptional cigar truly captures the strength and spirit of the next generation of Fuente. So be ready and on the lookout cause The Pinks are Coming! You are going to want to add these Rare Pink Happy Ending cigars to your humidor collection!


#11. Cloud Hopper No. 53

Cloud Hopper No. 53

Cloud Hopper is the brainchild of Devin Gellis the brother of Kyle Gellis, the owner of Warped Cigars. Kyle and Devin worked together to create a budget-friendly boutique cigar. Something rather unheard of in this industry. This Nicaraguan puro falls into the medium-bodied category. Wrapped in a Nicaraguan Corojo 99 the cigar has great spice without the harshness. Cloud Hopper No. 53 is covered in a rustic, milk chocolate brown wrapper that features a bit of tooth as well as a small amount of oil. The cigar is a bit firm when squeezed—albeit quite a ways from hard—and there are a number of prominent veins running up and down its length. The aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong oak, leather, barnyard, dark chocolate, black pepper, and sweet fondant, while the cold draw brings flavors of earth, hay, oak, cinnamon, leather, and slight spice to my tongue.


#12. Luciano The Dreamer

Luciano The Dreamer

The Luciano The Dreamer is a medium-bodied long panatela that bears the name of Luciano Meirelles, chief blender, owner, and co-founder of Tabacalera Pichardo and ACE Prime. The Dreamer sports an inviting red-hued Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper draped over an Ecuadorian Pelo de Oro binder and a filler composed of Pelo de Oro leaves from Peru and Ecuador. Pelo de Oro is a rarely used tobacco because its susceptibility to blue mold makes it difficult to grow, but it produces a very savory flavor. This is a well-balanced cigar that exudes pleasant floral notes with hints of citrus, and a smooth draw. The Luciano The Dreamer is hand crafted at the Tabacalera Pichardo in Nicaragua.


#13. Tatuaje Reserva K222

Tatuaje Reserva K222

Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf K222 is a throwback to Cuban cigars of yesteryear, but with a delicious modern twist. Let's face it, when it comes to Cuban-style flavor, few names do it better than Pete Johnson and Tatuaje. For years, the original Tatuaje Reserva has been praised as one of the finest blends to ever be produced in Don Pepin's My Father factory down in Nicaragua. In 2017, Pete Johnson and friends introduced what is essentially that same blend of Nicaraguan filler and binder tobacco, but with a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper in place of the standard Corojo leaf showcased in the original. The result is Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf, a cigar that since its introduction has more than lived up to the reputation expected from fans of Tatuaje cigars the world over.


#14. Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Concerto

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Concerto

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua cigars are a collaboration between Boutique Blends and master blender AJ Fernandez. Boutique Blends' Quattro line is their most successful project to date. Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Concerto is a box-pressed Churchill, measuring 7" x 50. A stunner of a cigar cloaked in a velvety, rich brown wrapper. The binder and filler are also Nicaraguan, but any further details about the blend are kept strictly hush-hush. What won't be a secret, however, is the ride this cigar will give your taste buds. It begins with notes of chocolate, coffee, red pepper, and earth. Mid-smoke, the pepper subsides, and the chocolate and earth notes take center stage. By the end of the smoke, the pepper returns along with a hint of sweet cedar. The fine balance of sweet, spice, and earth notes, along with an ideal burn rate and temperature, all made for a highly pleasurable and harmonious smoke.


#15. Herrera Esteli Habano Robusto Grande

Herrera Esteli Habano Robusto Grande

Herrera Esteli Habano Robusto Grande cigars follow Liga Privada and MUWAT as non-infused ultra-premium offerings from Drew Estate. In addition, Herrera Esteli Habano is the first cigar blended by Willy Herrera, the first true Cuban influence at the Drew Estate Cigar Company. The story of Herrera Esteli is actually pretty interesting. In essence, after welcoming him aboard, Jonathan Drew gave Willy Herrera a year in Nicaragua, a bench, and the key to his tobacco. Giving him no limits or boundaries, he told him to create a "great cigar." A year later and after a seemingly endless number of failed blends, Herrera ended up with what would easily waltz onto the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 of 2013. That cigar was Herrera Esteli Habano. Consisting of a Nicaraguan filler blend and Honduran binder, Herrera Esteli Habano is finished off with a beautiful Ecuadorian Habano wrapper leaf. This is a top-notch cigar and follows suit beautifully after its ultra-premium relatives. The Robusto Grande sits at 5 ½" x 54, making it a great way to enjoy the bold, complex flavor of Herrera Esteli Habano.


#16. Joya Silver Robusto

Joya Silver Robusto cigars

Joya Silver Robusto is the second of two special cigars released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Joya De Nicaragua. The first, Cinco Decadas, was an extremely limited release made in very small batches. This one, however, is here to stay, following Joya Red and Joya Black as regular production cigars. Made in Nicaragua, Joya Silver is masterfully crafted and expertly blended using high end Nicaraguan filler tobacco grown exclusively on Joya De Nicaragua's own farms. A Mexican binder comes next, followed by a dark Ecuadorian Oscuro wrapper leaf. Made for refined palates and already receiving much deserved attention, Joya Silver has racked up several 90+ ratings in Cigar Aficionado, including a pair of rock-solid 92s soon after its debut.


#17. My Father The Judge Grand Robusto

My Father The Judge Grand Robusto

Smoking a premium cigar may sometimes feel like a guilty pleasure, but there's nothing criminal about enjoying one of the new My Father The Judge Gran Robusto cigars any time you want. The heart and soul of their empire, the Garcia family's My Father brand of premium smokes, which also includes the Bijou 1922 and Connecticut, are consistently ranked among the best of the best in the court of public opinion. Taking the core My Father recipe, comprised of an array of high-quality and multi-faceted tobaccos from their three Nicaraguan farms, the Garcia's have found a way to expand the line without diminishing its stature. Through the judicious application of a sultry Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper to cover the dual Corojo and Criollo binders, the strength has been increased without losing any of the frontmarks complexity or character.


#18. Ramon Allones Gigantes

Ramon Allones Gigantes cigars

Ramon Allones brand was founded in 1845 and it was the first brand to produce for Habanos. Ramon Allones Gigantes come in a Double Corona shape, a large length and a gauge size of 49. The exterior shows premium work, displaying a rich chocolate brown and a soft touch. The strength of the cigar is medium to full. A well-made Gigante cigar will have hints of citrus, coffee, and spice. It has notes of leather, a creamy, woody flavor, and sweet, spicy undertones. Excellent aroma, with a marked taste This is one tasty, powerful cigar! This Cuban cigar is not sold in the United States.


#19. Saint Luis Rey Carenas Toro

Saint Luis Rey Carenas Toro cigar

It’s always exciting when an old brand gets a new line extension and a modern makeover, and this is precisely the case with Saint Luis Rey Carenas Toro. Altadis USA has an impressively gigantic portfolio packed with brands we have all come to know and love, some more familiar and some that have either never made it big or have fallen by the wayside. Saint Luis Rey is one of the classic brands that did in fact fall by the wayside and has for years been hidden in the shadows of the newer, more exciting brands of today’s ever-growing cigar industry. Altadis has played with the brand a bit over the past few years with some success, but they needed something bigger and better to really give new life to the name. For this reason, they turned to the famed Grupo de Maestros to craft an all-new blend, this one coming out of the Flor de Copan factory in Honduras. The blend is classic, featuring a Nicaraguan wrapper, Honduran broadleaf binder, and Honduran fillers. The flavor is classic as well, in the opinion of many mimicking that of certain Cuban cigars. Maybe that’s what they were going for, as the cigar’s name refers to the Puerto de Carenas, or Port of Havana. The blend has turned out to be a huge hit, earning a rock-solid 93 rating in Cigar Aficionado and giving new excitement to the Saint Luis Rey name.


#20. La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Chisel

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Chisel cigar

The La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Chisel is a hot new line from the famed cigar man Litto Gomez. It was named one of the Top 25 Cigars of 2010 by Cigar Aficionado Magazine coming in as the #10 cigar of the year. That certainly is one major accomplishment. The binder and filler are from the Dominican Republic and the wrapper is a Habano seed Ecuadoran leaf.

The cigar is firm all along the length with a small soft spot here and there but nothing to be concerned about. The draw on this cigar was easy, almost too easy for my liking but it did put off a good amount of smoke. There were some small thin veins but again nothing to worry about. The La Flor Dominicana Air Bender is also finished with a traditional triple-cap. This cigar does pack a pretty big pepper punch and the pepper is present for the entire length of the stick. There are some other great notes to balance out the pepper though, including salt, powdered cocoa, cedar, caramel/toffee sweetness, and lots of leather.

#21. Padilla 88 Aniversario Robusto

Padilla 88 Aniversario Robusto

The Padilla 88 Aniversario is a remembrance premium cigar that celebrates the birthday and memory of Heberto Padilla, who was a Cuban poet and political prisoner under the Castro government. He was also the father of Ernesto Padilla who is the owner and founder of Padilla Cigars. In 2020, Heberto would have been 88 years old. This special anniversary stick is part of the Padilla 1932 series. The Padilla 88 Aniversario is a medium strength and flavorful smoke that is well-balanced and has great construction with a sharp burn. This cuban cigar is not sold in the United States.


#22. Ramon Allones by AJ Fernandez Torpedo

Ramon Allones by AJ Fernandez Torpedo

Ramon Allones Torpedo by AJ Fernandez is the cigar that AJ Fernandez considers to be his crowning achievement. The Ramon Allones name has significant meaning to Fernandez, as it was one of his father’s favorite cigar brands as he was growing up in Cuba. Fast forward to modern times and Ramon Allones has come to be just another Cuban heritage brand that has fallen by the wayside and been all but wiped completely off the map. That is until AJ Fernandez stepped up to the plate! In 2017, the brand was completely taken over by AJ Fernandez and his world-famous team—production, sales, and marketing. Quite the bold move to say the least, but if there is anyone on the planet that could give new life to the Ramon Allones name, AJ Fernandez is just the man for the job. The blend is nothing short of exquisite, as the Nicaraguan-made masterpiece features an all-Nicaraguan filler and binder blend including aged exotic leaves from some of Nicaragua’s most fertile growing regions. The wrapper is a dark, oily, heavily-aged and expertly selected Habano Oscuro leaf from Ecuador. Did this recipe have what it took to bring the Ramon Allones name back to life? Well, we can let the prompt trio of 92 ratings in Cigar Aficionado do the talking. Let the connoisseurs rejoice!


#23. Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Churchill

Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Churchill

One of the best cigars on the planet, you shouldn’t consider yourself a true aficionado until you’ve experienced an Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Churchill for yourself. No matter how much we are going to gush about it right here and now, there’s just no substitute for the pleasure to be derived from puffing on one of these ultra-premium jewels. Blended and rolled by the masters at Arturo Fuente, each quality 6 3/4” X 48 handmade is comprised entirely of Sungrown tobaccos, as noted by the cigar’s name. The longleaf filler and binder hail from the Dominican Republic while the wrapper is a sultry and rich Habano from Ecuador.


#24. E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III

E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III

Ernesto Perez Carrillo is a name that is synonymous with amazing cigars. First with his astoundingly good and popular La Gloria Cubana, and his own brand once he left LGC. La Historia E-III was created to honor all those that have touched this great cigar maker and helped mold him in his craft. This is the first box-pressed cigar produced by EPC and it is a winner. From the dark and oily San Andrés Maduro wrapper to the to the Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and the aged Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, La Historia is a fantastic medium-full-bodied cigar.


#25. Alec & Bradley Kintsugi Corona Gorda

Alec & Bradley Kintsugi Corona Gorda

Kintsugi Corona Gorda is the third cigar to bear the Alec & Bradley name, this time hailing from Danli, Honduras and hitting the market with full momentum. For those who don't know, Alec & Bradley is a side project of Alec Bradley Cigars and is the brand of owner Alan Rubin's two sons. Their first two releases were nothing short of amazing, the last one even being blended by the famed Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, so it is somewhat of an understatement to say that Kintsugi had some big shoes to fill. That it did, with a delicious blend of filler tobacco from Honduras and Nicaragua, matching Honduran and Nicaraguan binder leaves, and a golden Honduran Habano wrapper leaf. This concoction ended up being so delicious that it easily earned a rock-solid 92 rating in Cigar Aficionado and a spot on the 2021 Top 25 Cigars of the Year.


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