Best Cuban Cigars of 2013

It's true, we're seriously late with this year's lists. In the beginning, when we realized we missed the schedule, we were planning to just skip 2013 best of's and start afresh in 2014. But given the number of emails we received asking us to publish the top 5, we had to reconsider our position. So here it is, our selection of best Cuban cigars of 2013.

The list is composed of cigars that we smoked in 2013 (the box codes are mostly recent, 2012-2013, with one exception). Most of them are not recent releases and we picked the cigars that showed the highest consistency throughout the year. The Montecristo No. 4, for example, didn't make it to the list because it seriously lacked consistency both in terms of flavor and construction.

1. Hoyo de Monterrey Grand Epicure 2013 Limited Edition

Hoyo De Monterrey Grand Epicure 2013 Edición Limitada

This Hoyo de Monterrey seems to be a very successful edicion limitada. 2013 was a good vintage for LE's, as I hear the Punch Serie d'Oro No. 2 also smokes very good at the moment (review coming soon). This is how DrFever describes the Hoyo Grand Epicure LE 2013:

It is a lush, rich, creamy and extremely flavorful smoke. Every puff offered something different. It was extremely complex and had incredible depth to the flavors. The blend was always changing featuring chocolate, coffee, sweet cedar, leather, caramel, vanilla and mild pepper with hints of orange peel and dried fruit.

2. Partagas Serie P No. 2

Partagas Serie P No. 2

Partagas Serie P No. 2 is the Cuban torpedo that had the highest grades in 2013. The competition is rude in this segment, since both H. Upmann No. 2 and Montecristo No. 2 received really good praise too.

3. Trinidad Robusto T

Trinidad Robusto T

I've smoked 6 of Trinidad Robusto T's throughout 2013 and they have been very good: perfect balance, great complexity and no harshness at all. I still can't understand why in the world would Habanos SA discontinue such a wonderful smoke. I also noticed that, surprisingly, the ones that I smoked this summer seemed somewhat less complex to me, perhaps there's no use to age them further? I'm afraid it's the last time they make it to the top 5.

4. Bolivar Coronas Gigantes

I've had multiple opportunities in 2013 to dedicate 100 minutes to this impressive churchill. A friend gifted me a box of these in 2009 and thankfully there were no construction issues so far. It's a very special cigar to me because it was the very first cigar review on this blog, back in 2007. I guess it's time to update it, stay tuned.

5. Ramon Allones Specially Selected

Ramon Allones Specially Selected

Well, I'm really sorry for being somewhat predictable but the RASS remains (at least for us) the most consistent regular production cigar. It's the cigar I turn to, for the past 7 years, when I need something good and reliable.

What were the best Cuban cigars that you smoked in 2013? It's probably not that easy to answer this question in July 2014, but still, give it a try in the comments area below.

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11 Comments on “Best Cuban Cigars of 2013”

  1. Interesting. The PSP2 was the biggest letdown of the year for me and the Monte 4 was the surprise for excellence.
    RASS quality was uneven but stellar at times as was Monte 2.
    PSD4 and Parti Shorts always fabulous.
    Trini Rob T is def on the short list to try.

  2. Where did HUP Royal Robusto rate with you?

  3. @Ogus
    That’s the “magic” of Cuban cigars. Partagas Shorts is still one of my go-to smokes, always have a stock of these. As for the Royal Robusto, I only smoked one in 2013 and although it was very good I didn’t feel confident enough to include it in the list.

  4. I agree PSP2 is not as good as a Mont #2. Totally different cigar. Each has it’s merits but #2 wins in my book. Just bought a box of Bolivar G’s wanting to see how they are on my humble scale.

  5. Inspector, how much aging do you find RASS needs? I have boxes that go through various phases of meh to wow.

  6. @Ogus
    Well I don’t have a very scientific/precise approach, I just leave them for 3-6 month in the humidor, then start smoking :) Indeed, they do get better with more age of them but I haven’t had the patience to age them for more than 3 years. What’s your “wow” sweet spot?

  7. First few months the got a blah taste after a year they were powerful and rich.

  8. Thanks for the reviews!

  9. My experience with RASS was after 4 weeks just so – so. I left tjem for a year and WOW! Date code TUB ABR 13.

  10. Nice list; thanks for not omitting 2013.
    Would add: El Rey de Mundo Asia Pacific Regional Edition for 2013. I understand these may not be readily available in North America, but if you can still find one in your travels to the Far East, I highly recommend them. Creamy, cocoa, a medium to full cigar.
    I also believe the Partagas Series E to be better – more balanced – than the Series P.
    Thanks again for the list!

  11. Shawn Watson says:

    Nice list! I never smoked the Hoyo. Hoyo is not generally my cup of tea.

    RASS is a great cigar. With 2 years now they open up nicely.

    I agree the Trinidad T doesn’t seem to have alot of legs I’ll have to try another. But I’m a CORO Fan and that is the cigar that killed off the Trinidad T. Imo due to pricing of the Trinidad, I think.

    I also like the E2 over the P2 a richer and more complex cigar to me.

    Boli Corona Gigante, an aficionados dream cigar, lovely with some age on it as you stated. I look forward to your next list. Thanks!

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