Cigar Advisor’s Best Cigars of 2008

Of course, we wish we could have sampled all of the new cigars that debuted last year, but it just wasn’t possible. So if you’re wondering why a cigar that you felt should be on our list is missing, that’s the most likely reason. Moreover, choosing a “great cigar” is so subjective we decided to list them alphabetically as a group instead of by tasting score. In the end, I think we came up with some genuine “keepers.” – G.K.

Alec Bradley Tempus Terra Novo (5″ x 50)
A creamy, full-bodied delight with a savory Honduran Criollo ’98 Viso wrapper, that hits on all cylinders. Perfectly-balanced, dark, woody flavors with a note of espresso on a long finish. A great “after-dinner” cigar that improves with every puff.

CAO LX2 Robusto (5″ x 48)
A smooth, medium to full-bodied smoke dominated by deep, woody flavors with an appealing spiciness and a note of semi-sweet cocoa in the mix. Another winner from CAO they can notch into their gun belt, proving that a  hearty Ligero blend doesn’t have to be strong to be good.

Conuco Toro (6″ x 52)
A rich-tasting, complex cigar comprised of Honduran, Costa Rican, Nicaraguan, and Panamanian tobaccos. The smoke summons up a marvelous mix of flavors that range from sweet nuances to dark, earthy tobacco flavors, to hints of nuts and spice along the journey.

Camacho Triple Maduro 11/18 (6″ x 56 Figurado)
A big, bold figurado with deep, dark flavor and profound complexity. It took years to get this all-Maduro cigar to burn correctly. For best results, smoke it between 60-65 RH. I suggest pairing it with a small-batch Bourbon.

Cubao No.1 (7 1/8″ x 49)
A full-bodied “Don Pepin”-blended cigar that starts out very spicy, then rounds out to a predominantly dark, woody smoke with a long finish. Very smooth, well-balanced and chewy. Great with a good vintage Port.

Cusano Rare Cameroon ’59 Preferido (5¾” x 58)
A wonderfully smooth, flavorful, full-bodied cigar in a great shape that blooms into a full-bodied, yet non-overpowering smoke. Sweet woody flavors prevail with notes of cedar and caramel on the finish. A “class act” all the way.

Don Lino 1989 Robusto Maduro (5″ x 50)
A marvelously creamy and complex cigar rolled in a dark, oily wrapper. Laced with sweet, chewy flavors of nuts, cedar, caramel and coffee. A full-flavored smoke that builds to a very memorable experience.

Famous Private Selection Dominican Lonsdale (6½” x 42)
With plenty of complexity and sweet spice accenting a creamy, woody base, this cigar is really only Dominican in name. The Lonsdale shape delivers a toasty medium-bodied smoke that’s perfect any time of day. A value that’s off the charts.

El Triunfador Lanceros by Pete Johnson (7½” x 38)
Seems like Pete Johnson can do no wrong. A hearty, Pepin-born Nicaraguan Lancero, El Triunfador sports a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. Rich is an understatement, as flavors of cocoa, coffee, and pepper accent its woody and nutty base. Creamy and bold, yet never overpowering, this is a must-try cigar.

G.A.R. by George Rico Rico Grande (6 x 54 Torpedo)
Bolstered by a Ecuadorian Corojo-seed wrapper, this cigar builds from a creamy medium-bodied start to a well-rounded, full-bodied third act dominated by most earthy, oak-wood flavors with some sweetness in the mix. Well packed with rich-tasting Nicaraguan longfillers, and a clean burn from end-to-end.

Jesus Fuego Gran Reserva No.1 Robusto (5″ x 52)
A top-shelf Robusto from a guy who clearly knows his stuff. Expect a tasty, medium to full-bodied smoke frontloaded with sweetness and a little spice. It quickly rounds out to reveal rich notes of leather and spice. A phenomenally constructed cigar!

Nestor Miranda Special Selection Robusto (5½ x 54)
A remarkably smooth, full-bodied cigar, handcrafted by Don Pepin, with a predominantly toasty, earthy, and spicy character. Thick, creamy smoke spreads rich, nutty flavors on the palate with dash of nutmeg and a sweet note of caramel on the finish.

Oliva Serie V Lancero (7″ x 38)
A sleek, full-bodied Nicaraguan puro that’s predominantly creamy, woody, and earthy. The cigar becomes much spicier in the second half for a rich-tasting smoke that, in many ways, exceeds the larger sizes in the line. One of Oliva’s finest masterpieces to-date.

Perdomo 10th Anniversary Cuban Criollo Robusto (6″ x 54)
Capped by a Cuban-seed Criollo wrapper, this medium-bodied, full-flavored cigar is impressively complex and very “old world Cuban” in taste. Flavors of sweet cedar and oak prevail, underpinned by  a rich, earthy character, with a trace of white pepper and almonds.

Perdomo2 Maduro Torpedo (6½ x 54)
A smooth, creamy and robust box-pressed figurado. Gobs of earthy, caramelized flavors including espresso, dark chocolate, nutmeg, aged oak, sweet cedar and more melt on the palate like butter. One of the most amazing encores the cigar industry has ever seen.

Reyes Family Premier Maduro Gordo (6″ x 60)
A hefty “herfer” loaded with earthy and woody flavors. Exceptionally creamy, somewhat dry on the finish, and not as sweet as some Maduros with an excellent balance of flavors. Medium-bodied at first, building to a much more robust smoke.

Rocky Patel Decade Short Robusto (4″x 54)
A box-pressed beauty blend offers a long, full-bodied smoke in a short cigar. Loaded with dark, earthy complex flavors, each puff is smooth, creamy, well-balanced, and finishes with a note of sweetness on th palate.

Winston Churchill Marrakesh by Davidoff (6″ x 50)
A creamy, toasty medium-bodied cigar highlighted by a pristine Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper. The smoke is dominated by a rich woody flavors, with traces of nuts and sweet spice in the mix. The final act reveals much more depth of flavor and spiciness on the finish.

Until next year, happy smokes!

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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