My Top 10 list this year makes a statement: Large, classic cigars like double coronas and torpedos remain some of the benchmarks of Cuba.
Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso
This is a cigar that will improve with age. A regional edition for Mexico released this fall.
Diplomatico No. 2
This is a consistent torpedo that always delivers a rich and layered character of tobacco, spice and coffee character.
This is indeed a fantastic smoke. Light coffee and nut flavors highlight the tobacco richness.
Partagas Serie D No. 5 Tubo
The short robusto delivers all the richness and spicy character you could hope for in a cigar.
Decadent and beautiful like the classic Double Coronas from this producer I used to smoke in the 1990s.
Partagas Corona Gorda Añejados
I really enjoy the aged tobacco character in this cigar, even though other añejados have been slightly inconsistent.
La Gloria Cubana Revolution
This La Gloria Cubana, which was made exclusively for the Asian market in 2015, is one of my contenders for Cigar of the Year 2016. I have smoked it several times in Hong Kong and I like it more and more.
Review: H. Upmann No. 2
A legendary smoke that was the talk of Wall Street in the heyday of the 1990s.
This major cigar used to be one of the legends of Cuba in the 1990s, but as we all know,...
Cigar Review: Cohiba Panetelas
I have to wonder how many people who smoke these bother to actually focus on the quality of the tiny cigar.
This is a cigar that really starts off mellow and refined with spice, chocolate and vanilla, then turns rich and powerful at the end of the smoke.
This is an amazing short and thick cigar that delivers so much character from dried spices such as cloves and nutmeg to aged tobacco and black tea.
This is a phenomenal cigar still. It was boxed the year the cigar was launched, 1998. As I wrote in the past, this cigar was originally the special gift that Fidel Castro gave away and only came in unmarked boxes of 100 sticks.
This cigar is from 1996 and shows the glory of Cuban cigars from this period.
I really enjoyed this cigar in the 1990s, but this one has nothing to do with the brand back then.
91 Points|$4.2 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Joyitas
This tiny panetella has always been a good smoke with a quick espresso, whether you are hanging in the morning in Havana or London or anywhere else.
A spicy and flavorful cigar with lots of black pepper and spice character. Hints of nuts too. Full and intense. Lovely draw.
I have been a long time fan of this long and elegant cigar. In fact, I still have a few boxes of the original release from 1998.
This was one of my go-to cigars in the 1990s as long and elegant cigars were very in fashion.
I heard a few people from Habanos S.A., the global distribution company for Cuban cigars based in Havana, say that this thick cigar is made for the U.S. market because it is so light in flavor.
This is a very mild and fresh cigar with cedar, light tobacco and dried flower character. Medium body, clean draw.
Cigar Review: Cuaba Divinos
I was surprised how much I liked this cigar even though it is so tiny. I feel like you can smoke it in five minutes.
Cigar Review: Davidoff 5000
Of course, this cigar has not been released on the market since 1991, but it remains a legend.
This is a brand that has never excited me except when it was first released in the last 1990s. But I don't think the cigars have ever been as good.
This cigar is still dominated by the dark wrapper like most limitadas when they are young.
This has always been a go-to smoke for me and it is good just about anytime, with the exception of outside in a breeze!
Great potential in this Trinidad just released at the 2016 Habanos Festival. For now the dark wrapper dominates much of the character with coffee bean and spice character.
This was a cigar developed with the world's biggest seller of Cuba cigars, Phoenician. The company had a prestigious tasting in Havana in 2015 during the Habanos festival to finalize the blend and wrapper and this is what they finally delivered.
This shows some age now with cedar, spice and sweet tobacco. Very fresh and fine. Full body and very strong for a Por Larrañaga.
This was released in 2012 and was the first ever Gran Reserva from Cohiba. It smokes wonderfully now with so much spice and richness.
96 Points|$8.2 CUC
Cigar Review: Partagas Serie P No. 2
I smoked this the afternoon I arrived in Havana from Miami for the cigar festival on March 1. What a great smoke!
92 Points|$8.3 CUC
Cigar Review: Trinidad Vigia
This is a thick and chewy smoke with lots of cedar, wet earth, nuts and coffee. Spicy. Full and so flavorful.
94 Points|$3.4 CUC
Cigar Review: Partagas Short
A long time favorite of mine, especially in cedar cabinet boxes of 50.
95 Points|$6 CUC
Cigar Review: Ramon Allones Specially Selected
This is dense and layered with an almost chocolate mousse sensation on the palate.
94 Points|$7.25 CUC
Cigar Review: Punch Punch
So fresh and smooth. I don't understand why more people are not smoking this now. it was the cigar to smoke in the 1990s.
88 Points|$4.5 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Media Corona
The only problem with this tiny smoke is that it’s so short that it burns a little hot.
94 Points|$6.3 CUC
Cigar Review: Bolivar Royal Coronas
This is like the old Bolivar style. A powerful and very rich robusto with so much coffee, bitter chocolate and powerful tobacco.
94 Points|$12.7 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Corona Especial
Very fine and fresh with cedar, nutty and tobacco character. Medium body, clean and creamy.
This special edition aged cigar delivers what it is supposed to with an aged tobacco character of almonds and cedar plus hints of subtle spicy character.
88 Points|$13.4 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Añejados
The first añejados I tried a few months ago unfortunately did not draw very well, yet a second cigar (47 ring gauge by 178 mm) showed lots of spice and wet earth character with a wet mahogany undertone and a silky texture.
95 Points|$12 CUC
Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto
Amazing richness and spiciness in this short smoke with cedar, nut and cappuccino character. Nutty and flavorful.
95 Points|$10.65 CUC
Cigar Review: Romeo y Julieta Churchill
This is a classic cigar (7 inches by 47 ring gauge) that should be in everyone's smoking portfolio. I have always liked it for outdoor smoking.
The Partagas Selección Privada Edicion Limitada 2014 came into the market this year, and I smoked one in the P&L Club in Hong Kong the other day.
A friend handed this cigar to me the other evening while I was eating outdoors on an island off the coast of Hong Kong called Lamma.
This is a phenomenal cigar released in the United Kingdom this June. It has such depth and richness like the great Ramon Allones of the 1990s.
93 Points|$11 CUC
Cigar Review: Partagas Serie D No. 6
I had a 10-minute break so I decided to smoke a Partagas Serie D No. 6 (ring gauge 50 x 90 mm long). This is a short but thick cigar.
One of the best new Cuban cigars released ...
94 Points|$8.35 CUC
Cigar Review: Partagas Maduro No. 1
This is a new cigar out on the market from Cuba, and it shows lots of spice, smoked nut and coffee bean character with dry tobacco.
87 Points|$9.95 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Open Eagle
This large cigar was not what I was hoping for, showing spicy, slightly young and uncured tobacco character that delivers a rough and powerful flavor.
95 Points|$12.95 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Siglo IV
This is a corona gorda-sized cigar that has always been a little under the radar, especially for the Linea 1492 range.
94 Points|$9.15 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Siglo II
This is one of the least popular sizes of the Cohiba Siglo range as a petit corona, yet it offers wonderful light mint, sandalwood and tea leaf, as well as green coffee bean.
95 Points|$6.5 CUC
Cigar Review: Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill
This is a cigar for every moment with cedar, light creme and tobacco character. A good cigar for those new to Cuban cigars.
96 Points|$13.6 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Robusto
One of the great benchmarks for Cuba. This robusto almost smokes itself with such a gorgeous draw and construction.
97 Points|$23 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Esplendido
This is really a classic cigar that delivers all the richness and finesse of Cohiba.
97 Points|$9.65 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo No.2
I smoked a number of these current production torpedo cigars and they were all fabulous. I forgot how great the cigar can be since I seldom buy them myself.
93 Points|$6.9 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Siglo I
I love Cohiba in the morning. This tiny cigar – four inches long by 40 ring gauge – packs a lot of flavor for its size. Great smoke. Great morning smoke.
95 Points|$6.15 CUC
Cigar Review: Partagas Serie D No. 5
I smoked this baby blockbuster Robusto during a lunch outside at a friend's winery. Temperatures were close to 100 degrees fahrenheit, even under the shade of the dinning area. So I wasn't sure it was the right time to have a smoke. But what a cigar!
90 Points|$10.5 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Open Regata
This small torpedo is a bit rough.
99 Points|$31.8 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Behike 56
This is very powerful with masses of flavor of walnuts, tobacco and cappuccino. Full and incredibly rich with so much density and length. It goes on for minutes. A cigar to age for years. What a cigar!
I loved this smoke when I first tried it...
96 Points|$18.9 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Genios Maduro 5
This dark wrapper Cohiba smells like dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. It's always a great smoke.
I was really surprised by the quality of this...
I loved the white pepper, cappuccino.
96 Points|$7.55 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Petit No. 2
A cool smoke. Great draw already. Burns really great. I like the size. You know the Montecristo No. 2 is a great smoke, but a lot of times you don't have the time.
93 Points|$8.5 CUC
Cigar Review: Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill
This was better with sandalwood, dried flowers and a delicate tobacco character.
This is a cigar showing very refined cedar.
93 Points|$4.5 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo No. 5
This little cigar delivers wonderful spice and dark chocolate character. Full body, fresh and inviting.
Five years of tobaco, five years of age...
97 Points|$15 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Lanceros
This cigar always delivers such finesse and beauty. Medium-bodied with delight and fresh tobacco character that resembles fresh flowers and cream.
95 Points|$9.7 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Double Edmundo
A round and velvety textured cigar with...
93 Points|$5.55 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo No. 4
This at one time was the biggest selling premium Cuban cigar in the world. It was synonymous with Cuban cigars in such countries as Spain.
99 Points|$29.2 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Behike 54
An incredible cigar with great depth and flavor. Peppermint, maciato, and cream. The texture is truly superb. Full and flavorful. Goes on for minutes. What a cigar!
94 Points|$24 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo A
This is a long cigar (47 ring gauge by 235mm). I haven't smoked it in years because it takes so long. But it's a rare cigar.
94 Points|$6.3 CUC
Cigar Review: Bolivar Royal Coronas
I am a big robusto smoker and this is a robusto that many seem to overlook, but it is consistently outstanding quality. The 50-ring-gauge thick by 4.8-inch long cigar delivers plenty of spicy and cappuccino like character. A beautiful smoke.
96 Points|$8.45 CUC
Cigar Review: Partagas Serie E No. 2
The thick 54-gauge smoke is a force of nature and delivers plenty of spice and intense flavors. This is the bomb.
98 Points|$21.1 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Behike 52
The smallest of the trio of Behikes, this 52 is one of the best I can remember smoking. I usually prefer it the least.
The balance to this cigar is phenomenal...
98 Points|$20.5 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Siglo VI
As I wrote already, it’s one of my all-time favorite Habanos and constantly delivers rich character of tobacco, leather, cedar, and cocoa as well as an underlying mineral or minty flavor.
I have been a little disappointed.
94 Points|$6.95 CUC
Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2
Balanced and harmonious with cedar, light coffee, cream and light spice. Long and flavorful. This never disappoints.
93 Points|$6.95 CUC
Cigar Review: Partagas Serie D No. 4
This is the most popular premium cigar sold in Cuba to visitors. A spicy smoke with cappuccino and cinnamon character shows the richness and balance I expect in a Serie D.
This was a big surprise for me.
94 Points|$21.1 CUC
Cigar Review: Cohiba Piramides Extra
This torpedo was launched in 2012. It's a gorgeous smoke with a layered, cream texture with cedar, tobacco and white tea flavor.
99 Points|$9.1 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Edmundo
This started off a tiny bit bitter but calmed down to what it should be as I smoked it own with spice, mahogany, and walnut character and some dried earth. Read more: http://www.havanainsider.com/cigar/montecristo-edmundo/
The cigar was rich and spicy...
94 Points|$4.6 CUC
Cigar Review: Trinidad Reyes
It has a lot of spicy flavors, but it is very refined. I love the floral character. It takes on this intense espresso character. I love it.
93 Points|$7 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Petit Edmundo
This is a great cigar as always.
91 Points|$4.45 CUC
Cigar Review: Montecristo Open Junior
It has a hint of acidity that old Montes...
This is a little soapy and very strong.