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2021 CA Report: 7 Top Vintage Cigars You Should Be Smoking

Reading Time: 5 minutes

7 Best Vintage Cigars You Should Be Smoking   

Updated May 2021 

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 1990 

Best Vintage cigars Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Looks good, tastes good, smells good. This smooth n’ rich premium got its vintage label when the original blend debuted around ’02 with a Honduran Broadleaf Maduro that had been aged over 10 years. The Nicaraguan and Dominican ligeros werent much younger – together, they burn with layers of spice, creamy coffee, cedar and nuts. Just one of 5 highly rated Rocky Vintage cigars in total, including the mellow Vintage Connecticut 1999, the full-flavored Vintage 1992 and Vintage 2006, as well as the elegant and complex Vintage 2003 Cameroon. 

 

Romeo y Julieta Vintage

Best Vintage Cigars Romeo y Julieta Vintage Cigars 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 

Best Vintage Cigars H Upmann Vintage Cameroon cigars 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 

Best Vintage Cigars Plasencia Cosecha 146 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Vintage is nowhere in the name. But Plasencia Cosecha 146 is the epitome of the “old school” definition: every single one of the tobaccos in the cigar were taken during their 146th harvest, which occurred in 2011. Extra aging has given the Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos a mellow-medium bodyand the Honduran Habano wrapper helps earn it’s 5 stars for flavor. A rare chance to taste one of the top crops from the first family of cigars, and probably a lot less than you might think. 

 

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown 

Best Vintage cigars Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage sun grown cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Age ain’t nothing but a number…unless it’s tobacco, and you‘re Nick PerdomoFor his vintage entry, Perdomo 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 2006 

Best Vintage cigars Macanudo Vintage 2006 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

For fans of genuine Connecticut, it turns out 2006 was an extraordinary year; the farmers in the Northeast were blessed with ideal growing condition, and they brought in a fantastic crop of true Shade wrappers. Macanudo celebrated; corks were popped, samples were smokedand the leaf was added to a mix of finely aged tobaccos. My favorite Macanudo, I’ve found it to have a toasty, mellow profile – but there’s more than enough cedar, nut and coffee nuances to keep and hold my interest. 

 

Montecristo Vintage White Series 

Best Vintage Cigars Montecristo White Vintage cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

The story of the Montecristo White Vintage is like that of a fine winetobacco gets better and better with age. While Dominican, Peruvian, and Nicaraguan long fillers make for flavorful layers and textures, the wrapper – an exquisite 2008 US Connecticut Shade – adds nuttytoasty warmth. Refined enough for your next celebration, easygoing enough for any time of day – either way, you’ll find this Monte memorable. 

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Lance Farrer
3 years ago

Great article all look to be top notch brsnds

Dan
2 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
1 year 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
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan

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

Bobby Knox
3 years ago

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

Bob Langmaid
3 years ago

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

Jonathan Snyder
3 years ago

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

James Morrissette
3 years ago

Very happy with the Rocky Patel vintage!

Doug E. Stefan
3 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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