Cigar Buying Guides

Top New Cigars (August 21, 2023)


There’s an exploratory element to smoking a new cigar that doesn’t exist with your regular sticks. The things that seem to be negatives, like not knowing what to expect, what flavors and intensity you’ll encounter—they make every premium smoke an adventure that, for better or worse, will help you refine your palate and discover new favorite blends along the way.

This week, Top New Cigars is featuring fresh blends from Montecristo, West Tampa Tobacco, and a mellow addition to Espinosa and Guy Fieri’s popular Knuckle Sandwich lineup. Check out my reviews and see if this trio will woo your taste buds.

Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Edición Diamante

Wrapper: Nicaragua Jalapa
Binder: Nicaragua Ometepe Criollo
Filler: Nicaragua Esteli

With an English translation of Diamond Edition, 1935 Anniversary Edición Diamante is Montecristo’s fully-loaded, luxury-class answer to one of the brand’s most successful releases (hitting #2 Cigar of the Year in 2021) in recent memory. It even made our mid-year Top 10 Cigars of 2021 cigars list! The blend is billed as bolder than the original 1935 Anniversary and boasts a continued collaboration between Montecristo’s Rafael Nodal and A.J. Fernandez. With a little more specificity as to which tobaccos make up its blend, Diamante exudes notes of cinnamon, oak, and intertwining layers of earth and sweetness—topped by a finish of pepper and dark fruit. Is this sequel poised to repeat history? We’ll just have to see. Let me know if it’s one for the books to your palate in the comments below!

Espinosa & Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut

Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Admittedly, when I first heard of Knuckle Sandwich, I figured it was going to be yet another celebrity signing his name to a cigar and cashing checks. But seeing Guy Fieri’s personal investment of time turn the blend into a brand has forever changed that opinion. I’m happy to be wrong. The addition of the Connecticut lead subtracts some of the punchier octane the original blends were known for. And that’s happy news for mellower cigar fans. Palate-wise, Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut reminds me of a spicier Espinosa Crema—already one of my favorite mellow handmades. Expect vanilla, leather, cedar, and mild roast coffee flavors with a finish that gets moderately spicy at times. Looks like your taste buds get to be the Mayor of Flavortown today!

West Tampa Tobacco Company Red

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua Condega
Filler: Nicaragua Esteli Viso & Ligero

Seems like just yesterday, Rick Rodriguez was retiring from CAO. But now, he’s already on to his fourth release from his Miami-based startup, West Tampa Tobacco Company. The new blend, dubbed Red, falls back to the color series of White and Black, from which Attic had deviated. One thing Rick has not deviated from, however, is his penchant for producing powerful premiums. Red is formidably bold with servings of coffee, red pepper, baking chocolates, earth, and spicy floral notes on the finish. Those attributes will be a welcomed companion to cooler evenings as summer’s end draws closer. The only question left: What’s the over/under action on the next one being Green?