You see the word “vintage” in a cigar’s name – but what does that actually mean? Go beyond the marketing-speak and get our close-up look at the tobaccos used for premium cigars, what constitutes a true “vintage cigar” and our 10 top “vintage” picks.
2017 CA Report: Ten Top Rated Big Cigars – 6 x 60
The Gordo Report: Ten Top-Rated Big Cigars
The Highest Rated 6 x 60 RG Smokes That’ll Last a Good Long Time
By Tommy Zman Zarzecki
It was really only about 5 years ago or so that several of the cigar manufacturers had introduced the big-ash, six inch by sixty ring gauge size to the public; it was four years ago when I attended IPCPR, the yearly granddaddy cigar show in Vegas, where a boatload of cigar brands were now offering the 6 x 60’s into their lineups. Many of the industry people I had talked to were convinced that this new jaw-breaker size was only a fad – and as we know, they were wrong about that.
Today, these 6 x 60 ring cigars are a very popular size with so many lovers of the leaf. You’ll even notice that a good amount of newer blends being introduced no longer offer a torpedo or Churchill, as these big cigars have taken their place.
So, after scouring the Famous Smoke Shop website to find the highest rated smokes in this wide size, (rated by you guys, the cigar smoking public) I have concocted a list of 10 wickedly delicious big cigars that are indeed worthy of their high praise. And being the trooper that I am, I forced myself to smoke every single one of these tasty tobacco billy-clubs, all so I could report my findings to you. I give and I give…because that’s just the cigar loving guy that I am.
So, here you go – the Top Rated Big Cigars list…
CAO Flathead V660 Carb
CAO’s Rick Rodriguez loves vintage cars and the Flathead line is his tribute to the old-school American made muscle machines. And it’s muscle that drives these big old, full-bodied beasts. This big-boy size is square-pressed like a brick, loaded with hearty Nicaraguan filler and an Ecuadorian Habano CT binder that makes it both smooth and spicy. Then there’s that thick, dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that gives it a delectable sweetness with a nice long finish. And the packaging is just stunning as each hand-crafted box resembles the old Flathead engines. Highly rated for a damned good reason.
Cohiba Black Gigante
On General Cigar’s website, they claim that the Black edition of Cohiba cigars is a “must-have” for the seasoned enthusiast, and I’ll tell you right now that I couldn’t agree more. While the Gigante is medium to full in body and rich in full-flavor, these big cigars are smooth as silk, displaying a complexity that the experienced smoker will more than appreciate. The filler is a combo of Dominican for smoothness and Mexican for spice, aged for three full years in bundled palm leaves. The finishing touch is its gorgeous US Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper which is aged longer on the plant to create a darker, rich and sweeter taste. An elite smoke.
La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 6
This longtime celebrated favorite is one hell of a big fat-ash stick with a whole lot of intense taste to boot. This is a very full-bodied stick that unleashes its reign of flavor on your tobacco-loving palate, that’s earthy and woody with a nice natural sweetness. The inner blend features spicy Nicaraguan ligero and rich Dominican Olor, and the natural wrapper is a beautiful Ecuadorian Sumatra. Impeccably rolled, the Serie R produces a flawless draw with a sweet and enticing aroma that lingers on the senses. I had the pleasure of visiting the General Factory in the DR and watched these bombs being created, and was lucky enough to bring several home, direct from the roller’s table. Sucks to be me… not.
AVO Synchro Nicaragua Special Toro
Complexity is the word when you speak of this smooth and luxurious cigar. When you skillfully blend aged, high-grade tobaccos from four different countries and compress it into one stick, the results speak for themselves. So about that multi-nation blend, we start with peppery Nicaraguan from Ometepe, an island nestled in Lake Nicaragua formed by two volcanos. There’s some Peruvian for spice and a few different Dominican leaves for a creamy smoothness. But it’s the dark, golden brown Ecuadorian Connecticut Colorado wrapper that gives it a sweet, cedary taste. Box pressed and both smooth looking and tasting, this AVO raises the complexity bar for big cigars.
Liga Undercrown Gordito
This is a stick that’s not overly complex, but has a ton of straight-up full flavor that you’ll enjoy for quite some time. The Undercrown wasn’t originally blended by some noted master tobacco guru, but rather, the cigar was created by the Drew Estate factory rollers to smoke for themselves while at work. When Jon Drew got wind of it and tried it for himself, he knew right then and there it was going to become a staple in the DE lineup. Inside is an interesting mix of Nicaraguan long fillers and a Brazilian Mata Fina that gives it some kick. There’s a T52 stalk cut binder, and the wrapper is a Mexican Otapan Negro Último Corte whose harvesting is delayed an extra 4 weeks to bring out the leaf’s natural sugar content. Rich, full flavored and earthy, it’s a tried and true flavor bomb, especially in this beefy size.
Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro Gordo
Nick Perdomo has a knack for listening to what cigar smokers want, and the 20th Anniversary is a testament to his keen cigar making senses. There are a lot of delicious cigars in the Perdomo repertoire; I personally think that this one is the elite stick in his line-up. Full bodied and very full-flavored, the 20th is a complex smoke with delicious notes of espresso, dark chocolate, leather and spice. And while it is indeed a full-bodied smoke, it actually starts out more medium, and then the flavor starts to build – a third of the way in you begin to realize you’re in for one hell of a tasty ride. The inner tobacco is a blend from various regions of Nicaragua, and that gorgeous wrapper is a dark, high-priming Nicaraguan Maduro leaf. Freakin yum.
Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Classic Black Toro Gordo
Don Pepin Garcia – it’s just one of those names that you know if it’s printed on a cigar label, that cigar is going to be damned good. Well, I’d say this Cuban Classic Black in the big-ash size is seriously extra damned good. This girthy, full-bodied beast is created in Pepin’s Nicaraguan factory and it is truly a powerhouse of flavors. The taste and aroma of sweet toasty cedar is prominent right off the bat and as the complexity starts to build, notes of coffee bean and spice appear. The first thing you’ll notice is the silky-smooth impeccable Rosado Habano wrapper, I mean just gorgeous. Inside is a mix of different Nicaraguan filler tobaccos and a Nic binder as well. As big ring gauge cigars go, just an excellent smoking experience.
Oliva Serie V Melanio Double Toro
So, I’m not going out on a limb by saying that THIS cigar is one of the most outstanding smokes in the market today. Hey, don’t take my word for it – the Serie V is not only a top mover at Famous Smoke Shop, but it has been carrying a 99 customer rating on the Famous site as well. One look at this box-pressed, big ring masterpiece and you’ll be taken aback by the flawless and shimmering Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper leaf. The inner blend is an interesting mix of tobaccos from the various growing regions of Nicaragua. Now while this is full-bodied and full-flavored, it’s not strong whatsoever, just absolutely smooth, creamy and satisfying. Notes of toasty wood, creamy coffee, cocoa and a hint of black pepper lace this complex beauty. Yeah, go for it.
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Six by Sixty
Complex with deep, rich flavors, thse big cigars from Rocky are rated incredibly high by Famous Smoke Shop customers, and for very good reasons. First off, the tobaccos used in this blend are aged to perfection – the fillers are 5-year aged Dominican and Nicaraguan ligero and the wrapper is a simply beautiful, chocolate-brown Honduran Broadleaf Maduro. While the 1990 is a medium bodied stick, it is over-the-top in the full-flavor department. You’ll find notes of dark chocolate, coffee and black cherry, as it is also earthy and nutty with a nice natural sweetness. And the draw is full with a whole lot of smoke that billows out with each puff. Seriously… this big dude is awesome.
Punch Rare Corojo El Doble
Hand crafted in Honduras, this big, fat box-pressed brick of a cigar is a huge favorite with customers – it’s not just the paid palates who are giving these big cigars high marks, but more than ever it’s customers who are consistently rating this Punch in the high 90’s. The wrapper is a reddish, Ecuadorian Sumatran Corojo that is so inviting, I mean you just look at this big daddy and you want to immediately pick it up and start smoking. And when you do start, you don’t want to put it down. The inner blend is a well-balanced mix of Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers with a very rich Connecticut Broadleaf binder that gives it some real oomph on your deserving palate. Just another outstanding cigar and that’s why it made the list.
So, let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below on the 60 ring gauge cigars in this piece – as well as what you love, and would like to see on the list.