2017 saw some truly special releases from boutique brands like Foundation Cigar Co, Cornelius & Anthony, and Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, as well as established brands like H Upmann, Padron, Drew Estate and Davidoff. Even with an unrelenting pile of new federal and state regulations hitting the cigar industry recently, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for the cigar industry.
My conversations with representatives of leading cigar companies indicate that they aren’t letting up on new releases in 2018. Most plan on releasing new regular-production lines as well as limited edition lines.
You can find our running list of the most promising cigar releases of 2018 near the bottom of this page. But before we get to specific blends, here’s a list of the top cigar companies to watch in 2018. That means: if you see new or even regular-production lines by these companies online or in store, you may want to strongly consider giving them a try. We also supply a list of the top three cigars from each company to try.
Founded in 2015 and led by Nick Melillo (formerly of Drew Estate), Foundation Cigar Co. won massive awards in 2016 and 2017, including listings in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 and a number of top five and even number 1 rankings across the cigar blogosphere.
If you haven’t smoked cigars by Foundation Cigar Co., yet, I recommend starting with The Tabernacle (tasting notes: extremely smooth with dark chocolate, sea salt, white pepper, and cedar) and then moving on to El Gueguense The Wise Man Maduro, which earned Cigar Dojo’s number one cigar of 2017.
Top three cigars to try from Foundation Cigar Co.:
- The Tabernacle
- El Geuguense The Wise Man Maduro
- El Geuguense The Wise Man (original blend)
Another company founded in 2015 by Steve Saka (another former Drew Estate executive!), Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust has released a number of phenomenal brands in its relatively short period of time. Saka’s cigars are famous for their ingenious use of the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper to create extremely smooth, flavorful cigars that contain depth, richness, and complexity. Mi Querida, one of Saka’s earlier blends, ranked number nine on our Top 10 of 2017 list.
Top three cigars to try from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
- Mi Querida
- Todos Las Dias
In 2018, the only question I have for Drew Estate is, “What are you going to come up with next?” Drew Estate is the most disruptive cigar company in the industry because they never give up on trying new ways of altering the cigar production process to create new smoking experiences.
The brand, which was recently acquired by Swisher International on account of it’s booming popularity, continued to be just as disruptive in 2017, releasing two cigars that made our Top 10: Pappy Van Winkle Tradition (tasting notes: very peppery, with leather and touches of vanilla) and the Undercrown Sun Grown (tasting notes: extremely smooth, with cinnamon, cedar, and coffee).
Top three cigars to try from Drew Estate in 2018:
- Undercrown Sun Grown
- Pappy Van Winkle Tradition
- Liga Privada No. 9
Do the disruptive cigar co’s on this list have you craving an older, more traditional but still phenomenal cigar? Davidoff—though pricey—is a fool-proof place to start. In 2016 and 2017, the company released a number of new cigars that made waves among cigar enthusiasts. At the top of the list is the Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour, which is aged in ex-single malt scotch casks (tasting notes: leather, cocoa, rich earthiness, malt).
Top three cigars from Davidoff in 2018:
- Davidoff Winston Churchill The Late Hour
- Davidoff Yamasa
- Davidoff Millennium Blend
The Top Cigar Releases / Cigars to Try in 2018
As the year rolls on and new releases are shipped, this section will be updated with the most promising cigars.
Last updated 1/13/2018:
Montecristo Epic Craft Cured (Jan release): a brand once seen as dead by many cigar enthusiasts, Altadis owned Montecristo has released some great cigars recently (Montecristo Espada my top choice). The Epic Craft Cured features a specially fermented wrapper leaf that is reportedly aged 11 years.
Tatuaje The Bride (release date not announced): the next installment in Pete Johnson’s famous Tatuaje Monster Series, this cigar will likely sell out immediately as it will be produced in extremely limited quantities.
Muestra de Saka Unicorn (release date not announced): truth be told, we still aren’t even sure if the Unicorn will be released. But DTT founder Steve Saka teased the cigar on social media. It purportedly uses Saka’s rarest and most expensive tobacco leaves (clocking in at a whopping $100 per cigar). On Facebook, Saka said “The cost per cigar on these is beyond stupid, but I feel satisfied in having created something worthy of the name Unicorn.” (Update 1/9: confirmed!)
- Viaje Super Shots / Jalapeño (Jan/Feb Limited release): Viaje is one of the harder brands to find at brick and mortars, especially those that prioritize stocking cigars from large companies like General Cigar or Altadis. The quirky brand also has one of the biggest cult social media followings because their cigars are awesome. Keep your eyes out for these cigars!
Do you know of a cigar being released in 2018 that you think should make this list? Drop us a comment!