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2015 CA Report: Five Top Barrel Aged Cigars

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5 of My Favorite Barrel Aged Cigars

By Tommy Zman Zarzecki

Cigar making, just like any other industry, experiences its trends. Recently big ring gauges became all the rage. American grown tobaccos and fire cured leaf have become sought after. Then there’s Barrel Aged cigars, which have actually been around for quite some time – but they’re recently becoming the “in” thing and making quite a stir.

So what exactly is a barrel aged cigar? Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Plain oak barrels or whiskey and beer barrels are used, as either tobacco leaf or completely finished rolled cigars are placed in the barrels and aged for a certain period of time which totally varies by the cigar.

I’ve got five Barrel Aged beauties that I personally love and I figured I’d tell you a little bit about them. They’re all very different from one another, and in my most humble opinion, they’re all worth a try.

Camacho American barrel aged cigars on saleCamacho American Barrel Aged

This cigar is making a hell of a name for itself since its introduction early in the summer. While Camacho makes outstanding premiums (with the Triple Maduro being a longtime fave), their new Barrel Aged cigars now take the crown as my favorite in the line. Handcrafted with US grown tobaccos and a corojo filler that’s been aged for six years gives it some real pop. Then the dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper turns it up a bunch of notches as the leaf is aged in charred Kentucky bourbon barrels for 5 months. While it’s full bodied and bold like Camachos are known to be, this one renders a smooth and oh-so-tasty natural sweetness from that gorgeous wrapper. If you love ‘em full flavored, then this is the one you have got to try.

dragon's milk barrel aged cigars on saleAsylum Dragon’s Milk

Now here’s an incredibly unique stick from Asylum in conjunction with New Holland Brewery that took me by surprise. To set the record straight, Dragon’s Milk is not a flavored cigar; it is more in the line of an infused cigar, but in no way is it overpowering with added flavors – so let me do some explaining. The cigar is made with all choice aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. The finished rolled cigars are then lowered into barrels that once held Dragon’s Milk Stout, which before that housed aging bourbon. After much experimentation, the perfect amount of time in the barrels is two full days for the cigars to absorb just the right amount of flavor and aroma. And that’s the beauty of it all as the cigar possesses an intoxicating scent with a wonderful hint of that stout on the palate. As I said, it’s just the right amount of flavor to make this an amazing and unique cigar smoking experience. It’s made in very limited production but so much worth a try.

 

Perdomo double aged barrel aged cigars on salePerdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Sun Grown

While Nick Perdomo introduces one delicious cigar after another, the man in Miami knocked it clear over the center field wall with this one. So he starts with the highest grade Nicaraguan fillers and Sun Grown outer wrapper leaf… but then he goes a tad over the edge. The tobacco is aged in bales for ten years, that’s what I said, ten full years. But as they say in the infomercials, “but wait, there’s more”! The leaf is then place in charred oak barrels that were used for aging bourbon, for an additional two more years. The results are true long-term barrel aged cigars with smooth and extraordinary flavor, aroma and color. This one falls between medium and full bodied and as you might imagine, gives off an oakiness that is derived from the barrels they are aged in. Seriously cigar lovers… it’s time to go for it!

Arturo Fuente Anejo barrel aged cigars on saleArturo Fuente Anejo

This, my friends, is a premium hand rolled cigar that displays some serious “wow” factor. The filler and binder is the same exact blend shared by the immortal Opus X. You see, when a hurricane ripped thru the Chateau Fuente farms in 1998 where Opus X wrapper leaf was grown…well, there was no more Opus X wrapper leaf. So, turning tragedy into triumph, the Fuente’s chose a magnificent, five-year aged Connecticut Broadleaf maduro leaf aged in cognac barrels to surround the Opus blend, and guys, the rest is sweet history. While it is truly a full bodied beast, it’s also as smooth as silk with notes of dark chocolate and black cherry. This is a sublime smoking experience and you’ll want to try it at least once in your life… or maybe a thousand times!

partagas 1845 extra oscuro barrel aged cigars on salePartagas 1845 Extra Oscuro

The Partagas name has been synonymous with outstanding premium cigars for over a century and a half. And while many may have a certain opinion of this established icon of the industry, a new blend has arisen and people are talking because the complexity of flavors is simply off the charts. The filler tobaccos, hailing from Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic are aged in rum barrels, giving them a distinct yet subtle sweetness. And the wrapper, a wickedly dark and oily Connecticut Habano Oscuro leaf, gives this stick some serious full bodied flavor without being too strong. If you love a full flavored maduro, then this is your next tobacco candidate.

That’s it, people… five awesome sticks that’ll surely have your taste buds over a barrel. Let us know in the comments below which ones you’ve tried or maybe some other barrel aged cigars and tobaccos we didn’t mention.

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George Glover
7 years ago

Tommy I’ve smoked all the cigars in your article many times and I’m probably going to have to agree with you but I think that the Fuente Anjeo is the best that’s why is was picked for #77 my cigar. But the Dragon’s Milk is excellent anytime. Partagas is extremely consistent. The Perdomo Gordo stout from their craft series is a winner and General’s Camacho barrel aged is quite good but the Perdomo 12 yrs is exquisite!

Leonard Mozley
7 years ago

I have smoked the Fuente Anjeo and I loved it but then again I’M a Arturo Fuente man. Now after reading your review I have to try the others you’ve mentioned. Thanks

Albert Montalvo
7 years ago

You’re the man Zman,see you if you will still be on at 09:30 tonight

Matthew Facas
7 years ago

One down. Four more to try out.

Brian Zwetzig
7 years ago

I have had the Asylum Dragons Milk and the Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro and have more of them in my Humidors. They are excellent. Wanting to try the Camacho as I already love the Tripple Maduro.

Larry Upton
7 years ago

And no mention of Drew Estates Pappy Van Winkle Reserve? Your list, gentlemen, while remarkable, needs one addition.

Vance Johnson
7 years ago

Availability of the Camacho ABA has been problematic until this week…seems like they have suddenly become available across the board.

Dan Colley
7 years ago

I’ve had the Partagas, the Camacho and the Arturo Fuente. All three of them are excellent. I hope to be able to locate some of the “dragon’s milk”. I’m not usually one to purchase infused or flavored cigars, but this one sounds like it would be a keeper. Thanks for a good review.

Jim Fain
7 years ago

I am 5 for 5 and think they are all excellent. Have a few of each in my humi’s.

Trenton Robinson
7 years ago

The AF Anejo is an absolute joy! The Partagas Oscuro is equally pleasing. I’ll have to try the others.

Mike Newbern
7 years ago

I’ve had the Camacho and find it enjoyable. I’m going to have to try the rest in this selection as well. Thanks for the tip.

Erik Molnar
7 years ago

Nice article Zman…I love the Camacho. I also love that Partagas and didn’t know it was a barrel aged cigar.

Mike Holbrook
6 years ago

Have not had the Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Sun Growns.I will now,Good article

Aaron Taubman
6 years ago

Nothing about La Aurora Barrel Aged? That right there is another really good smoke and at a great price!

Tad Ishihara
5 years ago

Do any of these cigars need to be stored separately like some of the flavor infused Acid cigars?

Thomas Wesley
3 years ago

I like Partagas Black Label!

Wendell Elam
2 years ago

Have you tried the Karl Malone La Aurora 32 Barrel Aged? If so what are your thoughts? Thanks

Editor
Gary Korb
2 years ago
Reply to  Wendell Elam

Hi Wendell,
Not I have not, but I have heard very good things about it so far.
If I get my hands on one, I’ll let you know. G-~

Tommy Zman Zarzecki

Tommy Zman Zarzecki

Editor-at-Large

Tommy Zman, is an obsessive enjoyer of life’s leafy pleasures. Growing up in the bowels of northern New Jersey, parented by an eccentric Polish father and a neurotic Italian mother, what else could this man possibly be other than a humorist? ZMan’s a real throwback to a time when men were kings of the castle and smoking a cigar in public didn’t label you an outcast and a pariah. He’s an old–school down to earth guy - but when it comes to p.c. tyranny and nanny-state legislature, he’ll draw his sword and swing for the fences. Tommy gathered a faithful following as a longtime feature writer at Cigar Magazine, and his testosterone laden FaceBook community, CROMAG NATION™ is truly the last great bastion for Men’s Men.

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