Top 10 Cigars of 2019

 

Dear Readers,

The Fine Tobacco NYC team is excited to finally release our third annual Top 10 Cigars of the Year list!

Quick background on the rankings. Our cigar ratings are based on a number of factors, chief of which are complexity, balance, harmony of flavors, and overall enjoyability. Ultimately, we’re looking for cigars that tell a discernibledelightful, and surprising story.  That means that where cigars have the same numeric rating, we’ve broken the tie based on overall enjoyability. 

For each cigar that made the list this year, we’ve provided a brief description of our impressions, along with a link to our full review.

On behalf of our entire team, congratulations to all our 2019 Top 10 winners. 

#1 Cigar of 2019 Plasencia Alma del Fuego Flama

Plasencia Alma Del Fuego Flama

 

With a 94 rating, the Plasencia Alma del Fuego Flama is our 2019 Cigar of the Year.

After the brand’s recent success with blends like the Alma Fuerte which took home the number three spot on our Top 10 of 2017, our expectations were high for the Alma del Fuego.

And it delivered. 

The Alma del Fuego tells a story fitting for a cigar whose name translates to “soul of fire.” We found this especially true in the panatela (6.5″ x 38) size. The volcanic Ometepe tobaccos in the binder and filler are instantly evident on the palate, producing robust pepper, smoked meats, charred wood and vegetal notes that are then balanced by the sweetness of the cigar’s Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper. Throughout the smoke, new flavors are added or emphasized, creating a riveting experience.

As noted in our September review, this is a cigar to savor and we recommend smoking it alone so you can give it your full attention. 

Strength: ■■■■□
Rating: 94
Read the full review here
Purchase Alma del Fuego from Famous Smoke Shop

Top Cigars of 2019: 2 - 10

2
Highclere Castle Victorian

A delightful surprise to anyone who thought the sequel to the original Highclere Castle from Foundation Cigars would be just a maduro spin-off.  The Highclere Castle Victorian is anything but, producing a captivating, endlessly varrying array of savory, spicy, and sweet flavor combinations.

Strength: ■■■■□
Rating: 93
Read the full review here

3
Viva La Vida from Artesano Del Tobacco

A collaboration between AJ Fernandez and the Fakih brothers paid off in the form of Viva La Vida, a Nicaraguan puro featuring an oily Habano Oscuro wrapper. Chocolate, wood, and nuts form the core flavors, but it’s the expertly balanced pepper and spice beneath that makes this cigar truly special. 

Strength: ■■■■□
Rating: 93
Read the full review here

3
Rock-A-Feller Cigars Dominican Blue

The Dominican Blue from Vintage Rockafeller Cigar Group delivers big on flavor and finesse. We were wowed by the smoke’s silky textured and loved the flavors of fine cocoa powder, baking spices, charred wood and salty potato chip.

Strength: ■■□□□
Rating: 93
Read the full review here

5
Davidoff Small Batch No. 7

One of Davidoff’s many 2019 releases, and arguably its best. Once lit, the Small Batch No. 7 is unmistakably Davidoff, but it does manage to offer something new, notably a delicious combo of oak, cafe au lait, powdered sugar, and a nutty finish.

Strength: ■■■□□
Rating: 92
Read the full review here

6
Protocol Sir Robert Peel Natural

Hailing from the La Zona factory in Nicaragua and sporting an Ecuadorian Rosado wrapper, the Sir Robert Peel Natural from Protocol fires on all cylinders, presenting a bright, richly aromatic experience with notes of cedar, nougat, chili powder, and Mexican chocolate. 

Strength: ■■■■□
Rating: 92
Read the full review here

7
Micallef Migdalia

A delicious new size of an already excellent blend, the Micallef Migdalia Corona Extra comes in at number 7 in our Top 10 of 2019. The Migdalia puts forward an admirably complex, fully balanced mix of savory spices, oak, nuts, cream, and much more.

Strength: ■■■□□
Rating: 92
Read the full review here

7
My Father La Promesa

Named after the promise José “Pepín” García made to his family to prove himself in the cigar industry, La Promesa takes the number 8 spot on our Top 10 of 2019. Fans of Pepin’s opening “pepper blast” won’t find it here. Instead, we found a relatively mild profile that balances sweet flavors of toasted bread, cake dough, powdered sugar, cedar, and floral notes. 

Strength: ■■■□□
Rating: 91
Read the full review here

8
Montecristo Espada Oscuro

Any follow-up to the original Montecristo Espada needed to be good or risk disappointment from fans. Fortunately, the Espada Oscuro was the right sequel. Harnessing Plasencia family tobacco, the Oscuro eclipses the strength of the original Espada and delivers a spice-forward profile with notes of black coffee, cedar, floral, and black pepper. 

Strength: ■■■■□
Rating: 91
Read the full review here

10
San Lotano Dominicano

Is it any surprise that a cigar with both AJ Fernandez and José “Jochy” Blanco’s names on it would make our Top 10 list? Immaculately presented and impeccably constructed, the San Lotano Dominicano delivers a truly unique flavor profile of toasted nuts, floral, cocoa, pepper, and an enjoyable creamy finish.

Strength: ■■■□□
Fine Tobacco NYC Rating: 91
Read the full review here

For more information on our ratings, check out our scoring system

Want to be considered for our 2020 ratings? Contact us here

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