Cigar Buying Guides

CA Report: Top New Cigars (Dec 23 2019)

The weather outside is frightful, but new cigars are so delightful…

No matter how stressful this time of year gets, it’s easy to fall back into a child-like giddiness about Christmas. There’s something magical about the trees blanketed in snow, rows of houses shimmering with twinkling lights…and the serene ambience of a warm, crackling fireplace burning in tandem with your cigar.

It’s a season of giving. And whether you’re looking for the perfect cigar gift, or giving yourself a few sticks to help you hibernate, Santa has dropped a sleigh’s worth of presents down our chimney – in the St. Nick of time. In this edition of TNC, we go deep on some of our Top 25-worthy selections from Rocky Patel and Nick Melillo, as well as Crowned Heads, Odyssey, and Lars Tetens. Without a doubt, there’s some world-class flavors here just waiting to be burned.

Join me on a tour of new sticks from Christmas Present and let us know which of them has made it under your tree this year in the comments below!


Highclere Castle Victorian

Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Maduro
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaragua

Whether you’re talking about his history with Drew Estate, or the praise he’s received from his current venture, Foundation Cigar Co., one thing is clear: Nick Melillo knows tobacco. And his new Highclere Castle Victorian…it’s all the evidence you need. Caramel, cedar, cinnamon, and leather sit beneath warm wisps of spices and a sizzling pepper finish. If you want to live the high life when the ball drops for 2020, these are worthy of puffing during the countdown!

Rocky Patel LB1

Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua Esteli, Condega and Honduras Jamastran Ligero

Picture it… It’s late Christmas Eve, the kids are tucked in bed, and the house is dead quiet for the first time in weeks. It’s time to sneak into your den and light up something special. And few cigars fit the bill better than Rocky Patel LB1. Ensure yourself a luxurious smoke before that long winter’s nap. These medium-bodied cigars are well-balanced and imbue a brew of earth, dark wood, coffee, and a sweet tobacco finish. At its fair price, you can surely score a more favorable beverage than the glass of milk the little ones left you…er…Santa.


Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua Corojo Jalapa ‘99
Filler: Nicaragua Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa

With its genesis as an event-only cigar, Menelik was once difficult to score. The name translates to Son of the Wise Man (Fans of El Gueguense, The Wise Man, will note the connection). The good news for you…it’s now available at Famous, and this Wise Man is bringing you the gift of unrivaled flavor. Hearty notes of espresso beans, cocoa, and a sweet shot of molasses underscore a rich, full-bodied earthiness from toast to nub. If you’re looking to splurge on yourself a bit for an amazing holiday smoke, this is the way to do it!

Odyssey Sweet Tip

Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua and Honduras

Your string of lights is DOA, and that means you get to check about 10 miles of twinklers to find the dead bulb. Fan-bleeping-tastic. You have two options. 1. Spend the next six hours fixing the problem. 2. Chuck ‘em in the can and smoke an Odyssey Sweet Tip instead. These no-nonsense cigars smoke smooth with natural tobacco flavors, gentle spices, and some extra sugar from the sweetened cap. And at less than $2 a stick, you can pony up for more reliable Christmas lights that weren’t, you know, manufactured during the Nixon Administration.

Lars Tetens

Wrapper: Varies
Binder: Varies
Filler: Varies

This year, industry wild child, Lars Tetens, came back from a long hiatus in a big way. So big in fact, there’s enough of his newbies to fill up a Santa-sized goodie bag with delicious premium cigars. Here’s a quick list:

Among those six, there’s eight distinct blends that range the entire gamut of flavor. All are rolled at the Jesus Fuego factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Each undergoes a secretive infusion process Tetens calls “conditioning.” With so little known about the recipes, it may seem daunting to find a favorite. The key is in the colors of the letters on the box. First, there’s blue…they’re the most mellow. White lettering signifies a medium-bodied blend. And orange…those are the fullest of the bunch. Moreover, red lettering makes up the Sweet ‘N’ Spicy line, featuring peppery tips that lend to a wildly unique experience. No matter what you love to smoke, Lars has a cigar for you.

Crowned Heads Juarez

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Ecuador Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Fans of Crowned Heads’ Jericho Hill are sure to love Juarez as it was blended to be an affordable alternative. And since your bank account is hovering near zero after slapping all those fat stacks down on presents, affordable is starting to sound really, really good right now. The blend is full-flavored and flits of exotic spices, pepper, and a steady sweetness round out this cigar’s smoke nicely. Pick up some of these and you’ll have plenty left over for a booze-filled New Year!

From the Cigar Advisor family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!