Cigar Buying Guides

Cigar Battle: Epic Warrior Edition

Welcome to the Battle! Still looking for those “ratings” pages full of inflated numbers, slanted cigar reviews and stupid phrases like “pleasant subset” or “humble notes”? Nope, nope, nope. Ain’t happening – we’re just here to give you the facts on each stick and leave the ratings up to the readers like you. You may now be wondering how we chose these particular cigars to duke it out…Simple: because we can, that’s why. As for the descriptions you see, those are based off of the flavor, body and strength the fillers and wrappers have, and so on…and a little bit of personal experience, too. So we pick the smokes, lay them out by category and let them fight it out – and if you like what you see, we’ve made it easy to buy and add that contender to your humidor.

This cigar battle is a test of strength: Mild, Mild-Medium, Medium-Full and Full. Four levels of intensity here – and to experience each, we think, is like doing battle with different warriors throughout history. Don’t be fooled, however – a knight of King Arthur’s Court isn’t any less savage than a full-blown Viking Berserker – he’s just a little more…refined. So it is with cigars in each of our rounds. Are you prepared to feel the honed steel of the honorable Samurai, or the viciousness of ancient Rome’s dusty Gladiators? You’ll see that, like our warriors, strength and intensity come in many forms and flavors – and each of them, unique.

To Battle!

cigar battle mild cigars ratings

Mild Strength Cigars: the Knights of Europe

Gran Habano Connecticut #1 – Edward the Black Prince

gran habano ct #1 cigars for saleJust as the Gran Habano is a delicate balance of Nicaraguan longfillers and aromatic CT wrapper, the Black Prince was a balance of ruthlessness and chivalry – while he treated the captured King John of France very well, he thought nothing of liquidating the rank and file of John’s defeated army.

Baccarat – William Marshal

baccarat cigars for saleBaccarat cigars are a sort of William Marshal, who made his bones by kicking armored ass in Middle Ages tournaments – proficient with every weapon in the arsenal. They have the mojo of an all-Honduran-grown core, but with a sweet cap found on traditional Cubans. Both are a champion of the people.

CAO Gold – El Cid, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar

cao gold cigars for saleHis nickname means ‘the master’ – and Rodrigo took it upon himself to attack whomever he pleased, whether the King of Spain liked it or not. So it is with CAO Gold; it stands out independently from the rest of the CAO sticks by virtue of milder flavor and mellower aroma.

 

cigar battle medium strength cigar ratings

Mild-Medium Strength Cigars: the Samurai

Oliva Connecticut Reserve – Date Masamune

oliva ct reserve cigars for saleMasamune and Oliva both strike fear into their opponents – as they both could be unpredictable when challenged. The Oliva is “Connecticut mellow” until it has the opportunity to strike with its Nicaraguan tobacco filler, unleashing a dash of pepper…just as Masamune did when waging war.

Perdomo Lot 23 – Oda Nobunaga

perdomo lot 23 cigars for saleThere was no samurai stronger or more cunning that Oda Nobunaga, who was responsible for introducing firearms to unleash hell on his opponents. Nick Perdomo does the same with the Lot 23, unloading a barrel-full of aged Corojo and Criollo tobaccos in one hearty puff of smoke.

Rocky Patel The Edge Lite – Toyotomi Hideyoshi

rocky patel edge cigars for saleHideyoshi & Rocky are both innovators: the samurai constructed the massive Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most recognizable landmarks; Rocky has created a rich, aged Nicaraguan & Honduran Ligero longfiller cigar wrapped in Ecuadorian CT that stands up to history.

 

cigar battle medium strength cigars ratings

Medium-Full Strength Cigars: the Gladiators

Alec Bradley Black Market – Flamma

alec bradley black market cigars for saleFlamma enjoyed a fight, just as the Black Market does today – freed from his shackles four times, Flamma chose instead to stay and battle. The AB’s Honduran Jamastran and Panamanian longfillers, Sumatra binder, and semi-sweet cured Jalapa wrapper just may be a blend you’ll fight to the death over.

Liga Undercrown – Spartacus

liga undercrown cigars for saleThe Spartacus of the bunch, Liga has thrown the cigar world into a full-blown revolt with its unique Otapan-Mata Fina-T52 CT Habano blend. Just as Spartacus defeated whole legions sent to kill him, the Undercrown has a complex fighting style that has rolled over its opponents.

Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real – Spiculus

romeo y julieta reserva real cigars for saleJust as we’ve all been longtime friends with RyJ, Spiculus was tight with the Emperor Nero. The Reserva’s Nicaraguan binders and Honduran-Nicaraguan fuller blend are good friends to have by your side…if you dare to step into the arena.

 

cigar battle full strength strong cigar ratings

Full Strength Cigars: the Vikings

Camacho Triple Maduro – Ragnar Lodbrok

camacho triple maduro cigars for saleBoth can be characterized as always on the move and always unpredictable for his enemies…Camacho rolled Maduro tobaccos into the wrapper, filler, and binder for a full-bodied experience that will inspire you to raid and plunder villages, just as Ragnar Lodbrok used his ships to devastate France.

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo – Ivar Ragnarsson

joya de nicaragua antano dark corojo cigars for saleThis version of JdN gets as full-Berserker as Ivar “the Boneless” – the embodiment of Nicaraguan power, this mature-leaf puro builds in strength just as the Viking a warrior who fought in an uncontrollable state of fury. This is a cigar that just may make you want to tear your shirt off and run around with an axe.

601 La Bomba – Leif Eriksson

601 la bomba cigars for saleLeif Eriksson just didn’t give a shit: he discovered America, and said “meh – looks boring.” This 601 Nicaraguan puro of Ligero in a Habano wrapper does much the same to your palate, with similar disregard for your safety. Like Leif, you’ll want to wear a helmet.

 

John Pullo

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does he even have a beard. A solid 'B' student and occasional low-fi musician, John is a medley of cynicism and sarcasm crammed into a wrinkled Oxford shirt who makes it nearly intolerable to watch reality television with him in the same room. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones.

Show all John Pullo's Articles
5 Cigars that Made My Career: Alan Ruben of Alec Bradley Cigars - Cigar Advisor Cover

5 Cigars That Made My Career: Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley Cigars

Watch now and learn as AB founder Alan Rubin reveals the “wow” moments that shaped Alec Bradley cigar success, from his first smoke to finding out his cigar was chosen #1. Plus: Alan’s little-known blending tricks, and great “hard work” stories about your favorite Alec Bradley cigars…

Read More
10 UNDERRATED CONNECTICUT SHADE CIGARS

2018 CA Report: Top 10 Underrated Connecticut Shade Cigars

These are top quality cigars, all made in excellent cigar manufacturing facilities. But the main reason I have referred to them as underrated is because there are many full-bodied cigar lovers who simply will not give a more subtle Connecticut Shade stick the time of day. But, newsflash for everyone reading: NOT ALL Connecticut Shade cigars are mellow and low on flavor. In fact, the cigars on my list – while they may not be dark, Maduro, ligero-laden beasts – these sticks all have profiles that boast a hell of a lot of nice, rich tobacco flavor

Read More
herrera esteli miami cigar review mwc cacover

My Weekend Cigar: Mar. 26, 2018 – Herrera Esteli Miami

One of the best that Little Havana has to offer: it's the Herrera Esteli Miami, a LIMITED EDITION size of Willy's highly regarded blend, made at El Titan de Bronze on Calle Ocho. Read my short review and get the tasting notes, so you can see why you should smoke a special cigar like this!
Read More

2017 CA Report: Top Dominican Cigar Makers – Part 1

There are many great cigars, and these 5 top Dominican cigar makers are responsible for many of them. Meet them, and their signature smokes, in our report!
Read More