Cigar Buying Guides

7 Top Vintage Cigars You Should Be Smoking

Reading Time: 5 minutes

7 Best Vintage Cigars Worth Smoking   

Updated February 2023 by Gary Korb

Vintage. Usually, it just means old.  

Like that 15-year-old beater you drive to work…some would consider that a vintage car.

“(O)f old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance, or quality: CLASSIC.” So says Merriam-Webster.

Maybe you wear a vintage watch, or sit in a vintage chair. Then there’s the stuff that isn’t even old, like a vintage t-shirt – which embodies a style, not actually anything having to do with old threads.  

But vintage still has value.  

vintage cigars wine vintage year on wine label and what it means

Consider wines: it refers to the yield of wine or grapes from a particular vineyard or district of origin, or during one specific season, or the year or place in which a wine was bottled.  

The tobacco biz has borrowed plenty from wine and other past times over the years. But for cigars, vintage really does have a few established meanings – depending on exactly what the cigar maker is trying to tell you about his cigars 

 

What is a Vintage Cigar? 

Admittedly, this started out as a casual list of cigars that just happened to have “Vintage” in the name. But take a look at each blend, and you’ll see what we saw: a kind of shorthand for the tobaccos being used.  

aged tobacco best vintage cigars

Probably the most common use of vintage cigar” is to communicate to you the idea that a particular tobacco within the blend has been well-aged. Sure, blenders could just say “well-aged, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same way as vintage.All tobacco is aged, and no one really agrees on how many years it takes a tobacco to get to vintage status – but we can say it’s more than just a couple.  

best vintage cigars hands of aged tobacco years

The other way is to apply “vintage” the same way the wine folk do, like we discussed above. Ithe cigar is rolled with tobaccos (wrapper, binder, filler) grown and harvested in the same year, it could be considered a vintage cigarSo the same way you might see a Vintage 2012 Cabernet or 2014 Rioja Reserva, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to smoke a Vintage 2016 Habano. And it would probably be a pretty top shelf smoke, because old tobacco is expensive tobacco. 

 

Our Picks 

Since there’s more than one way to apply the vintage tag to a smoke, we’ll start with sticks who have it in their name. All are excellent smokes, with several garnering high ratings and glowing accolades. And with each we’ll talk a little about what makes it a vintage cigar.

 

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003

cigar advisor top vintage cigars - rocky patel vintage cameroon 2003 at famous smoke shop

Deftly rolled in an eight-year-aged Cameroon wrapper, the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 issues a lusciously creamy, medium-bodied smoke. Notes of cedar, dark chocolate, and espresso may be found within its complex confines making the Vintage 2003 an opulent journey worth experiencing. The 2003 series is one of five top-rated Rocky Patel Vintage cigars that include the mellow Vintage Connecticut 1999, lusciously creamy Vintage 1992, ultra-rich Vintage 1990 maduro, and full-flavored Vintage 2006 with its 11-yr-aged Mexican San Andrés wrapper

 

Romeo y Julieta Vintage

cigar advisor top vintage cigars - romeo y julieta vintage at famous smoke shop

Gold trim on the band sets the RyJ Vintage apart from the 1875 line; so does the silky, golden Ecuador Connecticut wrapper. A refined step up from your run of the mill Connecticut, this Romeo features aged Dominican Olor long fillers. These help add a cedary sweetness to the coffee and graham cracker nuances in the profile. Still an excellent candidate for a first cigar, as RyJ has refused to update the blend for the past 20 years. It’s just that reliable.

 

H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon 

cigar advisor top vintage cigars - h. upmann vintage cameroon at famous smoke shop

A prominent resident of the mellow side of the spectrum (though there are now a few more full-flavored relatives in the stable), Vintage Cameroon has been the standout in the H. Upmann line. It’s the throwback jersey version of vintage: back in the day, the non-Cuban Upmanns featured a Cameroon wrapper. But by the mid-90’s, the African leaf was in very short supply; the company responded to the shortage by switching to Indonesian tobacco. And once a stable supply of Cameroon leaf was reestablished, H. Upmann returned to this toasty and aromatic vintage-style blend. The taste of nostalgia is completed by a mix of Nicaraguan, Dominican and Peruvian tobaccos, burning in unison with woodsy and cocoa flavors. 

 

Plasencia Cosecha 146 

cigar advisor top vintage cigars - cosecha 149 at famous smoke shop

In 2014, Cosecha 149 must have been one helluva harvest. Not only is it Plasencia’s first all-Honduran cigar, it’s one of the best Honduran puros—period. Seamlessly rolled in a dark Olancho Criollo wrapper that harbours a core of Olancho, Jamastran, and Talanga tobaccos, the medium-full smoke is delectably creamy revealing a woody, lightly spicy, and naturally sweet experience. Offered in three shapes, Cosecha 149 is similar to the Alma Fuerte but it’s lighter in both strength and price.

 

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown 

cigar advisor top vintage cigars - perdomo 20th anniversary at famous smoke shop

Age ain’t nothing but a number…unless it’s tobacco, and you‘re Nick PerdomoFor his vintage entry, Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown holds back some of the higher quality tobacco leaves grown on his fincas in Nicaragua, then ages them extensively after fermentationFor our purposes, I chose the reddish-brown sun grown Habano wrapper version. Not just because it falls in between the Connecticut and Maduro, but because it strikes the right balance of flavor, complexity and strength, emitting pepperspice, along with wonderful notes of coffee bean and wood. 

 

Macanudo Vintage 2010

cigar advisor top vintage cigars - macanudo vintage 2010 at famous smoke shop

The star of the Macanudo Vintage 2010 is its super silky Connecticut Shade wrapper grown under perfect weather conditions that year. Piloto Cubano 94, five-yr.-aged Honduran, and three-yr.-aged Nicaraguan complete the recipe. Now add 10 years of finished cigars aging. The result is a medium-bodied smoke with notes of cedar, vanilla, light spice, and a hint of cocoa. Also, rather than the massive 3-D ring used on the Macanudo Vintage 1997 Maduro and Macanudo Vintage 2006, the 2010 dons a cedar sleeve and an elegant red and gold band.

 

Montecristo Epic Vintage 12

cigar advisor top vintage cigars - montecristo epic vintage 12 at famous smoke shop

Blended by the prolific Grupo de Maestros, the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 portion of the name points to the Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers harvested from a 2012 crop that comes only once in a blue moon—hence, the blue color scheme. The dark, leathery Ecuador Sumatra wrapper is also outstanding. Medium to full in body, the smoke issues well-balanced notes of orange peel, coffee, oak, and a sweet-spicy finish. One of the Maestros’ finest achievements and worthy of taking a much closer look by more experienced palates.

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Lance Farrer
5 years ago

Great article all look to be top notch brsnds

Dan
4 years ago
Reply to  Lance Farrer

Id say smoke what you want when you want, life is too trivial to deprive your self the simplest of pleasures like a good smoke and a relaxing moment.

Sid
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Right on my friend I like the way you’re thinking.
Life is short and unpredictable, so just smoke em!
God bless

Don
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Agree, my motto I learned is “Smoke what you like, and Like what you Smoke”

LilyAnn
1 year ago
Reply to  Don

I bought my ex male friend about 4
Macanudo cigars before we broke up. Now I will have to smoke them myself.
It’s a tough life.

LilyAnn

Editor
Gary Korb
1 year ago
Reply to  LilyAnn

Sure is. Thanks for the comment.

Bob Langmaid
5 years ago

Great article. I have always felt that the term vintage in premium cigars should indicate that the tobacco was very well aged!

Editor
Gary Korb
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Langmaid

Thank you.

Jonathan Snyder
5 years ago

When you refer to vintage, are you speaking to the original release versions of the cigars, or the reproductions?

Editor
Gary Korb
1 year ago

For the purposes of this feature, we are referring to how they were named. That said, all are made with long or longer-aged tobaccos. Additionally, we are talking NON-Cuban cigars if that’s what you mean by “original release.” Thank you and hope that helps.

Bobby Knox
5 years ago

Great read. In your opinion, are “vintage “ cigars “special occasion “ cigars?

Last edited 1 year ago by Gary Korb
Editor
Gary Korb
1 year ago
Reply to  Bobby Knox

Although you could make a case for that, not necessarily. Usually, the smoker, You, decide what the occasion requires.

James Morrissette
5 years ago

Very happy with the Rocky Patel vintage!

Doug E. Stefan
5 years ago

I am now on my second box of RP Vintage 1990’s

John Pullo

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does he even have a beard. A solid 'B' student and occasional low-fi musician, John is a medley of cynicism and sarcasm crammed into a wrinkled Oxford shirt who makes it nearly intolerable to watch reality television with him in the same room. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones.

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