Reading Time: 3 minutes Inside: Diners Drive-Ins and Draws: Guy Fieri and Espinosa release a fresh Knuckle Sandwich, plus new cigars from West Tampa Tobacco and a sequel to an award-winning Montecristo…see it all inside this edition of Top New Cigars!
2021 Top Ratings Roundup: Best of the Best – The Top Rated Cigars by Size
2021 Top Rated: The Best Cigars By Size
The ongoing ‘Top-Rated’ series focuses on customer ratings because we know that our word isn’t gospel. In fact, there’s no better barometer for a brand’s success than the people who smoke them for pleasure. Plus, large data pools don’t lie. We’ve done everything from Top-Rated Robustos, to guides as specific as Top-Rated Honduran Cigars under $10, and a litany more in between. Every time, we find no shortage of opinions – you clearly love making your voices heard. And we thank you for that, because it makes our jobs easier.
With that in mind, we’re taking our Top-Rated format a step further with ‘Top Ratings Roundup’. It’s an elegantly simple formula. Instead of listing 10 cigars that are the best of their brethren, we’ve narrowed it down to one best-in-class smoke in each category.
For our first Roundup, we’re talking about cigar sizes. There are tons of them. Robusto, Toro, Churchill, etc. But we’ve gone ahead and cut the fat to pick the most popular vitolas while adding your choices for the highest-rated cigar among them.
How we pick the ‘Top-Rated’ cigars:
To qualify as ‘Top-Rated,’ a blend must meet the following requirements:
- Be available at Famous Smoke Shop
- Earn at least 10 customer reviews*
- Average 4.5 stars or higher
*Though Big-Ring cigars continue to grow in popularity, there aren’t as many ratings on them as found with classic sizes. We’ve gone with the highest rating we could find on a box, and that’s why this category was allowed with only 5 reviews.
Before we move on to the list, we invite you to review your favorite – or least favorite – cigar on famous-smoke.com. Bonus points if it’s funny. We always get a kick out of those. But seriously…your feedback helps us write our articles and lets cigarmakers know where they stand. The good, the bad, and the “holy $&*#!” (within reason) are all accepted and posted.
Caption: Like I said…we really love the funny ones!
The Best Corona Cigar:
Isla del Sol – 38 Customers: 4.5 Stars
Size: Corona (5″ x 44)
Coronas are the go-to size for anyone who’s in a hurry, but not such a hurry that they’ll settle on a cigarillo. Drew Estate takes the crown in this category with the only flavored cigar to make the list: Isla del Sol, and its beloved light Sumatra coffee infusion. Not as forward as something like Tabak Especial, but more on tap than standard mellow fare – right in the comfort zone. To me, the flavor leans toward mocha with some chocolate hints, caramel, and of course…coffee. It’s sweet tipped so it’ll have you licking your lips long after your last puff.
The Best Robusto Cigar:
CAO Brazilia – 138 Customers: 4.5 Stars
Size: Gol! (5 x 56)
It doesn’t matter what category we’re looking at…Maduro, Robusto, Full-Bodied, Nicaragua…CAO Brazilia Gol! reigns supreme 20 years running. Its potluck of flavors teems with coffee, cocoa, sweet wood, and some life-affirming pepper on the finish. But its strength is overshadowed by a sweet, dense smoke that’s so chewy, you could probably cut it with a knife. I always have a few of these on hand because they’re insanely consistent and reasonably priced. To be honest, if I had to crown a best cigar of all time – simply on the merits of consumer satisfaction – it’d be a shoo-in for the winner.
The Best Toro Cigar:
Baccarat – 54 Customers: 4.5 Stars
Size: Toro (6″ x 50)
Unlike the full-bore Brazilia above, Baccarat takes the top Toro spot by gladhanding virtually everyone – regardless of experience level. Its quintessentially Connecticut profile has all the familiar faces you’d expect: silky notes of cedar, earth, and toast…hold the pepper. Whether you’re starting your day, or just biding your time on the lawnmower, Baccarat colors inside the lines. It won’t dazzle your palate because it’s not supposed to. What it does is smoke easy and clean – and if we’re honest, sometimes that’s all we want.
The Best Churchill Cigar:
Perdomo Lot 23 – 17 Customers: 4.5 Stars
Size: Churchill (7″ x 50)
If you’ve been smoking for any appreciable length of time and haven’t heard of Perdomo Lot 23, allow me to lift the rock you’re under. You could almost call the cigar ‘perfectly balanced.’ The Connecticut wrapper is aged 4-5 years and then rolled around some punchy Nicaraguan tobaccos. In a nutshell, the fillers bolden the Connecticut while the Connecticut tames them in return. The result is a best-in-class Churchill that smokes with smooth notes of cedar, nuts, and cream with a bit of extra pepper. If you can’t decide between medium or full-bodied, Perdomo Lot 23 is a winner every time.
The Best Torpedo Cigar:
Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro – 15 Customers: 5 Stars
Size: Torpedo (6″ x 52)
Could Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro be the most popular Torpedo ever? It’s possible. The size gets a bad rap, but most of the issues people have with them are caused by user error. Chances are if you’re shelling out for a 1964, you’ve been around the cigar shop block a few times and know what you’re doing. If not, this guide will help. On tap…as always…is Padron’s signature coffee and cocoa profile. They never seem overly heavy on the pepper. Always well balanced. Always delicious. And always smooth. Lots of cigars get too much hype. Padron 1964 Anniversary is one of the few that deserve it.
The Best Big-Ring (Gordo & Above) Cigar:
Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder Fresh Pack – 5 Customers: 5 Stars
Size: Gordo (6 1/2″ x 60)
If you love big-ring, full-bodied cigars, this Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder takes it to the next level. Like, needing to pull over and get your head straight before proceeding (true story) next level. Requirements: a good – and preferably large – meal. What you’ll get: Coffee, cocoa, lots of pepper and spice, and a rich, earthy profile. The Gordo smokes a bit more reserved than its smaller-gauged siblings, but it’s still not for the faint of heart. If you’ve got some patina on your palate, this is a cigar that will take your taste buds hostage for a delicious two-hour ride. Plus, the Boveda-loaded resealable pack keeps ‘em fresh almost indefinitely outside your humidor.
The Best Panatela Cigar:
Hav-A-Tampa Jewels – 11 Customers: 5 Stars
Size: Panatela (4 7/8″ x 29)
Hugely popular? Yep. Machine made. Yep. How’s that work? Simple. Hav-A-Tampa comes from the JC Newman factory, the oldest still in operation in the U.S. They focused on making a consistently mellow and sweet cigar that hits the spot every time. Add to that a no-brainer price ($49.99 for 50) and the convenience of not needing humidification, and I’m not surprised. Machine-made cigars are more popular than any fan of premium cigars really wants to admit, but Hav-A-Tampa is a lesson in not trying to fix something that isn’t broken. If you’re still on the fence about this or other cigars like it – we get it…we know how you feel – just check out the factory tour that changed how we looked at machine made cigars forever.