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2021 CA Report: 10 Most Aromatic Cigars You Don’t Want to Miss

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CA Recommends: 10 Most Aromatic Cigars

Because it’s not just about taste…

Updated April 2021

Aaah…aroma.  There’s nothing like the scent of a fine cigar. It’s the secret ingredient found in many of the best cigars. As I wrote before, “Great aroma doesn’t just come from the wrapper, but ALL of the tobaccos in the blend…The best blenders will seek the ideal mix of all the tobaccos they use in their blends to produce a great flavor and a redolent aroma.” A lot of cigar reviews seldom say much about the aroma, but aroma plays an important part for a lot of smokers when choosing a cigar.

The Cigar Aroma Factor 

For me, it’s one of the best parts of enjoying premium cigars. You may often see a reference to a cigar’s aroma in some magazine ads. Flavor and strength tend to have more weight when choosing a cigar, but many cigar smokers say that aroma is a key factor in the enjoyment of their cigars 

The first cigars I smoked, back in the early 1980s, I bought specifically because they smelled great. They were long, wiry dry-cured cigars and pretty mellow, too, but I just couldn’t get enough of their aroma. Eventually, I discovered premium handmades and found plenty that smelled pretty good, too. Not unlike aroma therapy, a cigar that smells great can help you relax. And for some cigar lovers, a good cigar just isn’t complete without a satisfying scent. 

cigar aroma the smoke rising off the cigar and glass of whiskey

The first time I got a direct compliment on the aroma of my cigar it came from a bartender. That was back when you could actually smoke in bar. The cigar was a Davidoff Grand Cru RobustoAnd since aroma has always been a key factor in Davidoff’s blending regimenI wasn’t all that surprised.

As for specific aromas you find in cigar, they can be as subjective as the flavors in the cigar itself. And because smell and taste are connected to our memories, many of the flavors we taste in cigars often come from their aroma.  

How aroma is connected to memory 

I’m not going to get too deep into the weeds, but it’s good to know a little about the connection between aroma and memory. According to a June 2020 article in Scientific American, the connection has to do with the part of our brain called the “olfactory bulb.” When we come into contact with odors the neurons in our olfactory receptor cells send a signal to our olfactory bulb. The bulb, in turn, interprets those signals into what we perceive as smells. 

aroma of cigar tobaccos leaves hanging inside a curing barn

The olfactory bulb has direct connections to the areas of the brain linked to memory and emotion. Therefore, our sense of smell may explain why our brain learns to associate smells with certain emotional memories. Moreover, the research shows that many of those odor-driven memories may be connected to our childhood since that’s when we have our first experiences with most odors 

Using The Best Tobaccos Make the Most Scents 

What we smell and taste in a premium cigar also has a lot to do with the origin and quality of the tobaccos. If you’ve ever seen master blender stick his face deep into a hand of tobacco and take a deep sniff, the aroma tells him whether or not the leaf is suitable for blending. Obviously, this skill comes with many years of experience. If you ever get the chance to visit a cigar factory, they may even let you take good whiff of fresh tobacco so you can smell for yourself. It’s quite an experience. 

smelling tobacco at a cigar factory aroma

For now, the closest you may get to that is by sniffing the foot of your cigar before lighting it. (You may have seen some cigar smokers do this.)  Remember, that in addition to the aromas from the cigar’s smoke, the aroma from the tobaccos at its foot can also tell you a little about what to expect. Plus, the wrapper itself will hint at a certain ripeness, often in the form of what we call that “barnyard” aroma.  


As it is with flavors, aromas are also subjective, and sometimes they can be pretty remarkableAnd sometimes the most aromatic cigars are not necessarily the best-smelling. Presented here are cigars which not only offer some of the best flavor profiles, they also issue some of most provocative aromas.  


CLE Azabache Toro  

Size: 6”x54, trunk pressed 
WrapperMexican San Andrés Morron 
FillerNicaragua, Honduras, Peru 

Most Aromatic cigars CLE Azabache cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Whenever I have the chance to plug these Christian Eiroa gems, I jump on it. (Speaking of “gems,” Azabache is a very deep blacgemstone regarded as a good luck charm in Honduras.) These practically flat-pressed beautieboast a jet-black leather jacket that’s almost as dark as the stone. Medium-bodied and super smooth, the smoke is rich, nutty, spicy, and sweet as Tupelo honey. (Hey, that could be a song.)  The aroma plays a big part in the action heretoo. Spicy with an essence of coffee grounds, and a subtle hint of charred wood. The CLE Azabache is a real pleasure trove of a smoke. 


Cohiba Royale Robusto Royale 

Size: 5 ½”x54
WrapperNicaraguan Jalapa Broadleaf 
BinderPiloto Cubano 
FillerDominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras

Most Aromatic cigars Cohiba Royale cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

When you look at the dark, oily Jalapa wrapper that gleams off of this Cohiba Royale Robusto you can practically imagine how good they smell once you light them up. On top of that, you’ve got these perfectly-aged tobaccos from four different countries that just love each other to death. All combined, it’s a full-bodied banquet of leather, earth, cedar, molasses and peppery spices that hide-and-seek along the journey. The aroma is a peppery mix of sharp cinnamon and burnt oak. It actually happens to complement the flavors pretty nicely. Definitely one of the top Cohibas that’s worth the investment.  


Crowned Heads Mil Dias Edmundo 

Strength: Medium-Full  
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano  
Binder: Nicaragua 
Filler: Nicaragua, Peru, Costa Rica 

Most Aromatic cigars Crowned Heads Mil Dias cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Crowned Heads’ Mil Dias is another top tier selection with a mouthwatering appeal and the Edmundo is a real showstopperMil dias, which means “one thousand days” in Spanish, is the time it took Tabacalera Pichardo to bring this cigar to life. Starting with an Ecuador Habano wrapper that bears rich, leathery, copper-colored patinathe Edmundo conceals some of the most fully-aged Nicaraguan, Peruvian, and Costa Rican fillersMedium-full in body, the smoke oozes sweet spices, wood, earth, and citrusy caramel to the palate, while providing a bold, woodsy and spicy aroma with the most subtle sweetness.   


Davidoff Nicaragua Toro Box Press 

Size: 6”x52 
WrapperNicaraguan Habano Oscuro  
BinderNicaraguan Jalapa Habano 
FillerNicaraguan Estelí Ligero & Viso, Condega Ligero, Ometepe Viso 

Most Aromatic cigars Davidoff Nicaragua cigars box press at Famous Smoke Shop

Davidoff is known for making cigars that stimulate all the senses and the Davidoff Nicaragua selection is no exception. The 10-year project has really paid-off for them, tooThe tobaccos are astounding, especially the Habano Oscuro wrapper used only on the box-pressed sizes. Dark, oily, and elegant, this perfectly pressed Toro is Nicaraguan from head to toe. Running medium to full in bodyits luxuriant smoke lends flavors of cedar, citrus, baking spice, and brown sugar, while the aroma is redolently sweet and woodsy. When it comes to the limits to which you can take Nicaraguan tobacco, this cigar is one of the finest examples. 


Drew Estate Liga Undercrown Sun Grown Gran Toro

Size: 6”x52 
WrapperSun Grown Sumatra seed (Ecuador) 
BinderConnecticut River Valley (stalk cut) 
FillerNicaragua, including long-aged Nueva Segovia Ligero 

Most Aromatic Cigars Liga Undercrown Sun Grown cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

I remember my first Drew Estate Liga Undercrown Sun Grown almost as well as I remember my first kiss. Captained by Willy Herrera for this pleasure cruise, the Toro makes great use of some of Drew Estate’s most precious tobaccos. Connecticut River Valley stalk cut tobaccofully-aged ligero from Nicaragua’s Nueva Segovia region, among others, all seamlessly rolled in an exceptional sun grown Sumatra seed wrapperThe smoke is creamy-smooth, medium in body and reveals a well-balanced mix of sweet tobacco, baking spices, and graham cracker, where the aroma leaves a calming floral fragrance in its wake. Just a wonderful cigar that hits all the right notes.  


EP Carrillo Pledge Prequel 

Size: 5”x50, box-pressed 
Strength: Medium-Full 
Wrapper: Connecticut Havana seed wrapper 

Most Aromatic cigars EP Carrillo Pledge Prequel #1 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is another blending master who knows what it takes to stimulate all the senses. Loaded with chewy flavors, the EPC Pledge Prequel has a fullness and balance that only comes from using the most perfectly aged tobaccos. Starting with the rare, dark and oily Connecticut Havana seed wrapper the full-bodied smoke lobs a well-rounded serving of woodsy flavors, semi-sweet treats, peppery spices and the occasional dark cherry-like note. As for the aroma, it’s sharp and spicy with a slight drift of burnt toast. It’s not surprising that the EP Carrillo Pledge Prequel landed 2020’s #1 Cigar of the Year, which is even more reason to smoke it.   


Romeo y Julieta House of Romeo Toro  

Size: 6”x52 
Wrapper:Ecuador Habano   
Binder:Honduran Connecticut seed 
Filler:Honduras, Dominican Republic 

Most Aromatic cigars Romeo y Julieta House of Romeo cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

There are a lot of Romeo y Julieta cigars out there. Each line has its own special little feature that distinguishes it from the rest of the pack. Blended by the talented Grupo de Maestros, the Romeo y Julieta House of Romeo selection is a monster. The Ecuador Habano wrapper on the Toro is dark and oily with a ripe, leathery scentMedium to full in body, the Honduran-forward filler core contributes to a chewy, well-balanced set of cedar, peppery spices, leather, and brown sugar. The aroma is floral, sweet and woody with a hint of light hay, and contributes greatly to the overall experienceIndeed, one of the most distinctive blends in the entire Romeo y Julieta corral. 


Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua Toro 

Size: 6”x54, box-pressed 
WrapperNicaraguan Habano 
Binder & FillerNicaragua 

Most Aromatic cigars Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

There once was an expression that went, “Everything old is new again.” That sort of describes the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua Toro. Rafael Nodal, with AJ Fernandez and the Grupo de Maestros set out to accomplish an insurmountable feat – create a cigar that reflects the classic characteristics, construction, and balance of the original 1935 Cuban Montecristo –  and do it with Nicaraguan tobaccos. The result is a full-bodied cigar graced by a dark, shimmering Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. Flavors of earth, nuts, sweet and peppery spices, oak and black coffee are complemented by a sweet-spicy aroma. A hearty masterpiece with a no quit attitude.  


Padrón 1964 Anniversary Maduro Exclusivo 

Size: 5½”x50, boxpressed 
WrapperNicaraguan Habano Maduro (aged 4 years) 
Binder & FillerNicaragua Estate Grown (aged 4 years) 

Most Aromatic cigars Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

If cigars were chocolate bars, the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Maduro Exclusivo would be in every vending machine from coast-to-coast. This line’s limited production and rich, full-bodied flavor have taken it to the nth degree of Nicaraguan cigar glory. Much richer and sweeter than the 1964 Anniversary “Natural line, the ripe scent off the unlit wrapper is especially enticing. Light-up and a tapestry of earthy aromas of spice, coffee and cocoa surround you like a pack of crazed paparazzi. Once you’ve experienced the Maduro Exclusivo, you get a full understanding of why Padrón remain among the world’s most distinguished and often imitated cigars.  


Rocky Patel Sun Grown Sixty 

Size: 6”x60 
WrapperEcuador Sun Grown Sumatra Rosado (aged 5 years) 
Binder: Nicaragua 
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua 

Most aromatic cigars Rocky Patel Sun Grown cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

The Rocky Patel Sun Grown selection is the Rocky Patel blend that keeps on giving. A well-balanced, Nicaraguan-Dominican core meets one of the most aromatic and flavorful sun grown Rosado wrappers ever to step out of Ecuador. I smoked Sun Grown Sixty many years ago before their release and I never forgot it. It’s one of the few 660’s I continue to smoke, too. Medium-plus in body, the flavors are mostly sweet, spicy, and cedary with a tangy finish. The aroma is also spicy, woodsy and occasionally reveals a floral noteThe nicest part is that you can smoke this big boy any time of day and still get a ton of satisfaction from it.  


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William Marshall
7 years ago

I’d only make fun of you for wearing a Phillies jersey!

Mark Lantieri
7 years ago

How about a Java from Drew Estates? You don’t even have to light this cigar to experience coffee and cocoa smells !

Freddy Kyle Sox Sr
7 years ago

How about ACID cigars! Best on the MARKET!

Joe Mroz
4 years ago

All of three replies, and nobody tried your suggestions, and these guys seem to know you. I for one would like to know just how good is the aroma from your picks.

Stan Walker
2 years ago

I’ve actually smoked four of the above, but I never get a lot off the foot when I’m smoking. For me the most recognizable aromatic is the Tabak Dulce. Great smell and unmistakable. I wished I got more from the foot, but the Tabak always comes through. Thanks for the update.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. 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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