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.
2018 CA Report: Top 10 Torpedo Cigars – Our “Must Smoke” Figurados
When Torpedo Cigars Attack – 10 “Must Smoke” Figurados
By Tommy Zman Zarzecki
Watching a torcedor roll torpedo cigars is a beautiful thing to witness; truly, it’s a form of art. There’s a little more effort that goes into the creation of these tobacco bombs, as opposed to a regular shaped parejo, and you’ll find that this size always costs just a little bit more, but I think it’s worth it. I not only love the look of a nice torpedo, but I like the mouth-feel as well, as you can comfortably smoke a larger ring gauge without your jaw getting a major workout. Now, I’ve heard that some believe torpedoes smoke a little hotter as you get further down the cigar because there’s less size in the taper, but I’ve never really experienced that for myself.
All torpedoes are considered figurados, but not all figurados are torpedoes. There are belicosos, pyramids, perfectos and torpedo cigars that fall under the term figurado. But it seems that in today’s cigar making world, pyramids and torpedoes have basically become the same thing, with more taper than a belicoso, along with its classic pointed head (much like some cigar nerds I happen to know).
I think the reason I wanted to write this article is that I’ve noticed that over the past few years, manufacturers seem to have backed away from adding this beloved size to their newer brand offerings, opting to go with the trendier 6 x 60. But, I am an old-school son-of-a-bitch, and I love the look of a row of gleaming torpedoes lined up in their cedar housing. (For the record, I am called way worse than that, pretty much on a daily basis, but I’m sure you knew that already.)
Find below a list of 10 torpedo cigars that I have enjoyed on many an occasion. Sure, you guys can tell me about another 50 that I left off the list, but I often like to point out cigars that you may not have tried or have overlooked for one reason or another. There are some good ones here, and of course I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli
Country: Nicaragua Size: 6 1/2 x 52 Strength: Full Wrapper: Nicaragua Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras
Flavor Profile: Cocoa, leather, dark coffee, spice
This newer offering from the boys at Alec Bradley has become a real favorite of mine since it hit the shelves late last year. It’s bold, but not strong, and spicy but not overpowering. But what it is, is robust in the flavor department. It’s not an overly complex smoke, but displaying more straightforward flavors that come through loud and clear. A real triumph for Alec Bradley and I am really digging this one…a lot.
Country: Nicaragua Size: 7 x 54 Strength: Medium Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Filler: Nicaragua
Flavor Profile: Creamy, coffee, toasted almonds, wood
This has always been the epitome of a delicious creamy smoke, and one I will recommend to newer gar-guys, but even the experienced cigar man will enjoy the hell out of it. It’s impeccably rolled, letting off a whole lot of smoke upon every puff. I often recommend the Champagne for those who are having cigars at a wedding – I mean, just look at that flavor profile and you know there’s gonna be a high-approval rating from just about anyone who puts it up to their lips.
My Father Le Bijou 1922
Country: Nicaragua Size: 6 1/8 x 52 Strength: Full Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano Filler: Nicaragua
Flavor Profile: Dark chocolate, leather, dark plums, slightly sweet
Le Bijou means “the Jewel” in French, and this magnificent gem was made by the master, Don Pepin in honor of his own father, who was born in 1922. This dark and oily jewel is full flavored and complex with a nice bit of sweetness from that gorgeous Nic Habano wrapper. It’s a true luxury smoke, and one to enjoy when you have some time to relax and do nothing at all, which is something I tend to excel in.
Country: Dominican Republic Size: 4 1/2 x 52 Strength: Full Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Filler: Dominican Republic & Peru
Flavor Profile: Creamy, sweet, cedar, earthy, nutty
This is one of those torpedo cigars I mentioned in the opening that you may have overlooked, but just take a gander at the fan reviews on the Famous site and you’ll see that this is one hell of a delicious smoke. While it’s definitely a full-bodied stick, this diminutive “short torpedo” (4 ½ inches) is creamy as well with some really nice complexity. I honestly do think this one is in the “must try” department.
Carlos Torano Signature
Country: Nicaragua Size: 6 x 52 Strength: Full Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Flavor Profile: Sweet, woody, spicy
Here we have again another stick that may not be a household name for cigar lovers, but the Signature is a well-loved Maduro, and the customer reviews on the Famous website are almost as high as you can get. With spicy ligero on the inside and sweet, dark and oily Brazilian on the outside, it displays some nice complexity, and if you check out the price, it’s some serious torpedo bang for the buck.
La Flor de Ynclan
Country: Dominican Republic Size: 6 x 52 Strength: Medium Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Flavor Profile: Cedar, citrus, nuttiness with some pleasant floral components.
Here we have a newer offering from Villiger that has earned the cigar maker some well-deserved praise from just about every reviewer out there, including being named the #10 stick of 2017. It is wickedly complex, offering up some wonderful floral notes, usually only found in higher-end Cuban made cigars. I paired this with dark rum one night and strong coffee on another, and I didn’t want to put it down. Yeah, it’s pricey, but it’s incredibly delicious. Go for it, I say.
Romeo 505 Nicaragua
Country: Nicaragua Size: 6 1/2 x 54 Strength: Full Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano Filler: Nicaragua
Flavor Profile: Earth, dried fruit, sweet cedar, leather, dark chocolate
The 505 is one hell of a kick-ash cigar, making it the spiciest, boldest, and most full-bodied smoke this line has ever offered. Box-pressed, oily, and just damned gorgeous to look at, this raging Romeo is not for the newbie or novice. It delivers thick white smoke with every draw and burns with a razor-sharp ash. Pair this one with a high-end bourbon or Scotch and it will be the perfect-post dinner dessert.
Omar Ortez Original Maduro
Country: Nicaragua Size: 6 1/8 x 52 Strength: Full Wrapper: Nicaragua Broadleaf Filler: Nicaragua
Flavor Profile: Cocoa, woody, earthy, nutty leather
It’s strong, it’s bold, it’s loaded with full-flavor and it just might make your taste buds say “uncle”! Now THIS is a cigar I know is not on the tip of every leaf-lovers tongue, but dammit, brutha, it should be. I have smoked the Omar for years and have turned a whole lot of happy people onto it. No, it’s not overly complex, but the flavors jump out onto your palate and it is oh-so satisfying. Light one up with a Cuban coffee to sip on and the problems of the world will fade away in a puff of sweet blue smoke.
Country: Dominican Republic Size: 6 1/8 x 52 Strength: Medium Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Filler: Nicaragua & Brazilian Mata Fina
Flavor Profile: Nutty, woody, creamy, cocoa
Yes, believe it or not, there are those times that you want a cigar with a lot of flavor, but not so it lights your tongue on fire. The Relentless No. 2 (Monte’s name for their torpedo cigars) is a medium-bodied cigar that is a mellow smoke, but gives you a lot of feedback in the taste department. Now, it’s a Montecristo, so you know it is extremely well-made and smokes like a dream. What I particularly like is that it’s very toasty in both flavor and aroma, and a good cup of coffee is the perfect partner for this Dominican-made torpedo.
Rocky Patel Rosado
Country: Nicaragua Size: 6 ¼ x 52 Strength: Medium Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Flavor Profile: Sweet cocoa, spice, woody, slight citrus
Now HERE we have, in my opinion, an extremely underrated cigar. Why, pray tell? Because it’s a damned delicious cigar. I have no doubt that many of you have never given this Rosado treat a try, and man, you are missing out. First off, that gorgeous reddish wrapper is 5-year aged bringing a wonderful sweetness to this Rocky. This makes for a very smooth smoke with a nice little bit of complexity, and I am putting it on the line that this one will surprise you. But… it didn’t surprise Famous customers who give it a 90 rating. Come on now, you know what to do.
So, let’s hear what torpedo cigars you’ve smoked on the list and what you would add to it.