Best Non-Cuban Cigars of 2013

Over the course of the year I try to keep careful notes on all the cigars I’ve smoked. Oftentimes I have to try any given stogie several times to decide what I really think of it, and it’s only after the year is over and I go over my notes that I figure out what my very favorite smokes were. I’d like to share the top 5 cigars of 2013 with you. Please keep in mind this list is 100% subjective, and in no particular order!

1. Illusione "R" Rothschildes

Illusione Rothschildes

I am a big fan of Illusione cigars. The Illusione Rothchildes is arguably not just one of my favorite cigars for 2013, but one of my favorite Illusione cigars ever. This cigar features Nicaraguan tobacco inside a rustic maduro wrapper. The construction is amazing, and the cigar produces a lot of thick smoke. Flavors are earthy with lots of cocoa and some floral notes lending a unique edge to the entire profile. There’s a lot of complexity, but it’s all very subtly nuanced. It’s very affordable too, which is a huge plus!

2. My Father No. 1 Robusto

My Father No. 1 Robusto

My Father is a classic brand that has brought us some incredible stogies. This year the No. 1 Robusto makes my list of top picks. It sells for around $10, and has a triple cap, and a beautifully smooth oily Ecuadorian wrapper around Nicaraguan filler and binder leaves. The flavors include coffee and chocolate together with cedar and spices. The aroma is as great as the flavors, and the smoke has a delightful creamy consistency. This is a full-strength cigar with a powerful kick.

3. Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

I’ve seen this cigar on a number of other best-of lists for this year, and for good reason. At a $6 price point, you really can’t go wrong. This short cigar features a Honduran binder around a Nicaraguan filler inside an Ecuadorian wrapper, and is the result of a collaboration between Drew Estate and Willie Herrera. The flavors are beautifully balanced with a delicious smoothness. There’s plenty of spice on the retrohale. This became one of my favorite everyday smokes, and I have a feeling it’s going to stay high on my list for a long time to come. I love how affordable this stogie is; you can just stock up on these!

4. Aging Room Quattro F55

Aging Room Quattro F55

Aging Room is a brand that’s been increasingly on my radar. The Quattro F55 small batch cigars are a blend of Dominican Republic tobaccos in aged Sumatra wrappers. Sumatra wrappers aren’t something you run into every day, and they make a great accompaniment to the flavors in the Dominican tobaccos. Notes are on the earthy side with a touch of cedar and leather. This cigar is smoky and flavorful, and a unique and delightful experience. Available for about $10 each.

5. Leccia Black 552 Robusto

Leccia Black 552 Robusto

This cigar includes a complex filler of Brazilian Viso, Dominican Ligero, Nicaraguan, and Dark Fired Cured Tobacco leaves. The binder is Nicaraguan and the wrapper is Habano. The flavor profile is incredibly unique thanks to the amazing blend of tobaccos, including those special fire cured leaves! There is plenty of spice, leather, coffee, and meaty notes. In fact, the meaty notes quite literally taste (and smell) like meat. This cigar reminds me of beef jerky. It’s unusual, but if you like it, you’ll probably love it. Review / compare prices.

Thanks for checking out my list, and I hope you enjoyed it! What were your favorite cigars in 2013? Share with us in the comments below!

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