Ready to step up to 10 cigars that’ll kick your ash from here ‘til Tuesday? Here’s our picks for the top strong cigars that you need to smoke at least once – bonus points, if you can finish all 10.
2016 CA Report: Top 10 Churchill Cigars
The Ten Top Churchill Cigars You’ve GOT to Smoke
by Tommy Zman
After visiting Havana, Cuba in 1946, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill became so smitten with the Romeo y Julieta brand that the factory named the size in his honor. Now the classic size of Churchill cigars has typically been seven inches long by a 47 ring gauge, but over the years manufacturers have created slightly different sizes under the Churchill moniker.
The Churchill is an old-school size that is meant to be savored for a good hour and a half. I consider it a kind of a throwback as many of the manufacturers have chosen to offer the popular big-ring 6 x 60 size for their newer blends instead of having the Churchill as a part of their repertoire. But to me, there’s nothing more relaxing on a beautiful day than sitting on the back patio with a nice long cigar as the troubles of the world melt away with a big blue puff of smoke.
So, I’ve come up with an eclectic list of ten top Churchill sized smokes that I not only personally enjoy, but I think old Winnie might have enjoyed, himself.
Padron Serie 1926 Maduro No. 1 – Churchill (6 3/4 x 54)
Nothing like starting a list of Churchill cigars with an atomic bomb drop. This righteous stick was created in honor of Jose Padron’s 75th birthday so you knew it was going to be ultra-special. It’s all Nicaraguan leaf that has a magnificent flavor profile of dark chocolate, espresso beans and black cherry. With tobaccos aged a minimum of five years, this one is flavor personified, incredibly complex, and everything a lover of the leaf enjoys about the art of cigar smoking.
La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 7 Maduro – Churchill (7 x 58)
The Serie R is a bold and full-flavored offering by the masterminds of La Gloria. It’s an interesting four-nation blend of Nicaraguan, Dominican, Mexican and Brazilian leaves that gives it that spicy character. And the wrapper is a thick, dark and oily Connecticut Maduro Broadleaf giving it a nice touch of natural sweetness. I love pairing this stick, in a Churchill size, with a rich craft beer or a bourbon or a scotch – and it goes great with bold foods like BBQ and steak. Sold yet? I thought so.
Arturo Fuente Sun Grown Royal Salute – Churchill (7 5/8 x 54)
Okay, sure…this medium bodied cigar tastes great; I mean, that blend of aged Dominican leaf with that dark, Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is just delicious as it laces the palate with toasty notes of coffee and cedar. But the one thing I love about Fuente’s Royal Salute is the unforgettable aroma. When this stick is burning beautifully I almost always get complimented on how nice it smells. It’s one of those great cigars that doesn’t have to be strong to be super flavorful.
Laranja Reserva Caixa – Churchill (6 ½ x 48)
Let’s cut to the chase… the Caixa is so smooth, so flavorful and so good that I can’t stop smoking them. Eric Espinosa’s La Zona Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua has been producing some fantastic smokes, with his original Laranja line receiving some wickedly high marks from reviewers. With its all-Nicaraguan inside, and supple, orange tinged Brazilian wrapper outside, it’s full bodied, peppery, and spicy with an actual hint of citrus notes. Don’t let me forget to mention how good this blend is, especially when rolled to the specs of Churchill cigars…
Inferno 3rd Degree – Churchill (7 x 50)
It’s a fact and everyone in the cigar world knows that Oliva grows some of the world’s finest tobacco, which in turn makes for some of the world’s absolute tastiest cigars. So, I don’t have to keep you guessing any longer that I really enjoy these medium to full bodied Churchills. While the blend uses a healthy dose of potent ligero leaves, the tobaccos are triple fermented to give these cigars an incredibly smooth flavor profile.
Perdomo Craft Series Amber Sun Grown – Churchill (7 x 54)
Just when you thought that Nick Perdomo has created all kinds of tasty creations, he comes out with the Craft Series – three cigars that have been specifically blended to pair with different styles of craft beers. The Amber Sun Grown is a medium to full bodied offering that is so deliciously smooth and made to go with lagers and heavier pilsners. It’s a medium to full bodied all Nicaraguan smoke covered in a silky Nic Sun Grown wrapper leaf. While you don’t have to have a beer to enjoy it, it sure doesn’t hurt.
Camacho Connecticut – Churchill (7 x 48)
I have honestly loved this cigar from the very first day it was introduced. It’s funny because people see the word “Connecticut” and they immediately assume that it’s a mild cigar, but au contraire my fellow smoke hounds, don’t let the yellow wrapper fool you. Let’s remember, this is a Camacho, and the name translates into BOLD. What we have is the classic Camacho full bodied inner tobaccos draped in an Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf, producing a medium bodied smoke with a ton of rich flavor. I can smoke this every damned day!
Oliva Serie V – Churchill Extra (7 x 52)
World Class – yeah, you not only heard me, but if you’ve had the pleasure of smoking this cigar, you definitely agree with me. You really have to be a lover of ligero laced, full bodied kick-ash cigars to enjoy this one, and if you do – oh man, get ready for a treat you won’t forget. Wickedly complex, and as smooth as a Rat Pack performance, the V has distinct notes of dark chocolate and deep, rich espresso along with a ton of thick white smoke that billows with every draw. This is excellence in every sense of the word.
Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet – Churchill (7 x 50)
Once again we have a cigar that sports an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper that is anything but mild and light on flavor. While it is impeccably rolled, this medium bodied Capulet features Nicaraguan and Honduran aged tobaccos on the inside, creating a blend that produces so much satisfying flavor. Toasty, creamy with notes of wood, coffee and a nuttiness on the palate, it’s the perfect early to mid-day cigar for me and I’ve smoked an awful lot of them.
Don Pepin Garcia Blue – Delicias (7 x 50)
When you utter the name “Don Pepin Garcia” you instantly know that it’s attached to an unforgettable smoking experience. Classic in every way, Pepin’s Blue blend – as Churchill cigars – have long been known for a luscious full flavor and well-rounded complexity, and been a fan favorite for a very long time. It’s a full-flavored, true Nicaraguan puro utilizing a dark, Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper leaf that gives this cigar some awesome oomph on your awaiting palate. A little spicy and a little peppery, it’s incredibly well balanced and sometimes you just can’t put the damned thing down.
So that’s the gist on 10 top Churchill cigars that I personally enjoy. I’d love you to post your comments below to hear your thoughts on my picks as well as some Churchills that you love that didn’t make my list.