Cigar Buying Guides

2020 CA Report: 10 Top Rated Robusto Cigars

Reading Time: 7 minutes

10 Top Customer-Rated Robusto Cigars 

Updated February 2020

The Robusto – that pudgy little delight of a cigar! It’s among the most popular cigar shapes, mostly affordable, and perfectly sized for a good 35 to 45 minutes of smoking pleasure. In this report we take a look at 10 Robustos, all of which have received an aggregate 4½ to 5-stars by at least 25 customers and more. By my logic, that many cigar smokers can’t all be wrong. (Note that most of the individual reviews were 5 stars.) Additionally, it makes this list more accurate in terms of perceived quality and flavor. But as we always say – your mileage may vary.

What size is a Robusto cigar?

The typical, or standard Robusto is rolled to 5-inch by 50-ring dimensions. But depending on the manufacturer, Robustos can range from 4½-inches to 5½-inches in length, and 48 to 54 in ring gauge. For example, all of Rocky Patel’s “Robustos” are rolled to 5½-inches in length.

Top Rated robusto cigars what is the size of a robusto cigar

Over the years, as wide ring cigars became more popular, Robustos began to widen-up as well. Several of the cigars in this list are rolled to a 52 ring, while the CAO Brazilia Gol! comes in at a whopping 5″ x 56.

When did the Robusto first appear?

In a 2007 Aficionado article by James Suckling, “The Robusto Generation,” the author references Simon Chase, Cuban cigar agent for London’s famed Hunters & Frankau tobacconists: “[W]hen Chase entered the cigar trade back in the late 1970s, he says ‘the word robusto did not exist. In fact, it did not make its first public appearance until 1989.'”

Suckling also points out that the highly popular, Cuban Partagas Serie D No.4 (4 7/8 x 50), entered the market during the 1930s, while “other popular robustos such as Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2, Bolivar Royal Corona and Ramon Allones Specially Selected date back to the 1950s and 1960s.” However, these cigars were usually reserved for the connoisseur class, mostly in Great Britain.

It was the Cuban Cohiba “Robusto,” released in 1989 as one of the brand’s three new sizes that year, which, according to Chase, “caught everyone’s imagination.” And Suckling adds, “[Cohiba] never realized at the time that they were about to revolutionize the cigar industry with the robusto.”

How did the Robusto cigar get its name?

The name Robusto, was originally coined by the factory rollers in Cuba who used it to describe the cigar’s shape. Not only did the name naturally align itself with the cigar’s short and stout dimensions, the Robusto was one of the first times a cigar named by the factory workers became an international hit in the retail market.

 

601 Blue Label – 28 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: 5¼ x 52, box-pressed
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Dark Nicaraguan Habano

Top Rated robusto cigars 601 Blue Label cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

One of the most flavorful and complex cigars in the Robusto category, the 601 Blue Label series was released in 2007 and was originally made by Don Pepin Garcia. Today, Erik Espinosa continues to make these puros at his La Zona factory in Estelí, and they haven’t skipped a beat.  This box-pressed Robusto runs like a well-tuned Harley offering a payload of dense, creamy smoke that teems with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, Nicaraguan spice, and more.

 

CAO Brazilia – 127 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: Gol! (5 x 56)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca

Top Rated robusto cigars CAO Brazilia cigars Gol at Famous Smoke Shop

I’m not surprised this modern classic got such a high rating from so many customers. Ever since the CAO Brazilia line was released in 2001 the Gol! has become a stock favorite for full-bodied cigar lovers. Draped in a dark Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, this portly beast turns on the charm with dense, chewy smoke chock-full of coffee, cocoa, sweet wood, and a satisfying helping of spice. It’s not unusual to find at least one CAO Brazilia Gol! in many of the most experienced cigar smokers’ humidors.

 

Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur – 25 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: Epicure (5¼ x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Shade

Top Rated robusto cigars Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur cigars Epicure at Famous Smoke Shop

A cigar that’s maintained its prized status since the Cigar Boom 90s, the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Epicure is what I call a wonderful kick-back and relax cigar. Blended with a Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan filler core bound in a Connecticut broadleaf, the smoke is medium-bodied, and perfectly-balanced with a creamy finish. Notes of sweet tobacco, cedar, roasted nuts, and a smidgen of spice make this Robusto downright heavenly any time of day.

 

JAVA by Drew Estate – 42 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: 5½ x 50, box-pressed
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina

Top Rated robusto cigars Java by Drew Estate cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

By far, one of, if not the best coffee infused cigars on the planet. Even cigar smokers who smoke traditional blends 99.9% of the time reach for a JAVA when they get the urge to try something out of the ordinary. Pressed in a silky, Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, the all-Nicaraguan core actually does offer an adequate amount of natural tobacco flavor. But for the most part, the JAVA Robusto is lusciously sweet and creamy throughout with a rich flavor profile, and a mocha-java aroma to die for.

 

Oliva Serie V Melanio – 25 Customers: 5 Stars

Size: 5 x 52
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Top Rated robusto cigars Oliva Serie V Melanio cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

If you’re a fan of Oliva Serie V cigars, the Serie V Melanio Robusto is their magnum opus. (It also took the #8 slot for Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of the Year in 2016 with a “94.”) Packed with Jalapa-grown Habano ligero that’s been fermented and aged to perfection, the cigar is full-boded, yet extra smooth, offering well-defined notes of leather, coffee, and caramel, underscored by a ribbon of dark chocolate. A simply exquisite cigar that must be smoked to truly appreciate.

 

Padrón 2000 Maduro – 47 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: 5 x 50, box-pressed
Strength: Med-Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro

Top Rated robusto cigars Padron cigars 2000 Maduro at Famous Smoke Shop

This Robusto from Padrón’s main line, “Thousands” series is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to this iconic brand’s legendary “cocoa and coffee” character. Padrón cigars always draw effortlessly, and the oily Maduro wrapper on this puro lends a little more sweetness to the mix. Earthiness and cedar set the table for a full-flavored smoke studded with notes of cocoa, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, and a trace of raisins with a shot of pepper on the finish.

 

Perdomo Lot 23 (Natural) – 31 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: 5 x 50
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Habano

Top Rated robusto cigars Perdomo Lot 23 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

In 2000, Nick Perdomo and his late father, Nicholas Sr., discovered a field in Nicaragua (later named “Lot 23”) that was so fertile they needed to do little more than plant the tobacco seeds and water them. Using Cuban-seed Corojo & Criollo ’98 tobaccos bale-aged five years, this Robusto (one of three Lot 23 blends) is capped by a plush, natural sun grown Habano wrapper. Deafening applause and rave reviews ensued due to this cigar’s rich, creamy flavors of earth, cedar, and nuts on a respectably spicy finish.

 

Plasencia Reserva Original – 60 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: 4¾ x 52
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Organically-grown Nicaraguan (aged 3 years)

Top Rated robusto cigars Plasencia Reserva Original cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Someone had to be the first to successfully grow tobacco organically in Nicaragua, and the credit goes to Nestor Andrés Plasencia. This Plasencia Original Reserva Robusto is an excellent example of one of the purest tasting cigars you’ll ever press to your lips. A puro through-and-through, the tobaccos are aged over three years offering a smooth, medium-bodied smoke with a rich, natural tobacco flavor. The flavor profile is well-balanced and primarily cedary underscored by notes of leather, coffee, and sweet tobacco.

 

Rocky Patel Rosado – 43 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: 5½ x 50
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Sumatra (aged 5 years)

Top Rated robusto cigars Rocky Patel Rosado cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

I’ve lost count of how many cigar smokers have told me how much they love the Rocky Patel Rosado cigars. Capped with an extra-long-aged Ecuador sun-grown Sumatra wrapper, the Robusto issues primary flavors of leather, cedar, and nuts with a peppery finish. A welcome hint of chocolate enters and exits the scene at times, but to put it simply – the Rocky Patel Rosado Robusto offers a smooth, medium-bodied tapestry of sweetness and spice.

 

Romeo y Julieta 1875 – 64 Customers: 4 1/2 Stars

Size: Bully (5 x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Indonesian Java (Shade grown)

Top Rated robusto cigars Romeo y Julieta 1875 cigars Bully at Famous Smoke Shop

A tried-and-true classic in the Robusto universe, the Romeo y Julieta 1875 Bully is one of the best selling Dominican cigars of all time. For (1) it has always been affordable, (2) as recommendations go, it’s one of the best cigars for beginners, and (3) it’s amazingly consistent. Built on a medium-bodied Piloto Cubano core, the key note is cedary, underscored by a chorus of leather, toasted nuts, sweet spice, and a ¼-teaspoon of coffee. Great anytime of day, and a welcome break from the heartier, spicier fare.

13 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gary Hoover
5 years ago

La Aroma de Cuba robusto is rated 89 by 12 reviewers(add me to that list), and should be on the list.

John Barker
5 years ago

Basically a popularity contest, not a real taste test. Valid, but it’s like saying Chevy and Ford win Best Cars. If you really want to explore some interesting and impeccable robustos, try Neanderthal, Eiroa, Sobramessa, My Father, Liga Privada, and La Gueguense.

Concord Staff
5 years ago

Absolutely agree John – the Padron 1964 Maduro Diplimatico is my personal favorite, one in which all others are measured (for me) – however Eiroa First 20, My Father #1, Espinosa Laranja, Crowned Heads Imperiosa, Tatuaje Black Label (corona) amongst many others should also be tried. Often the boutique brands are overlooked due to the marketing of the big names which includes Padron (not to say that the more well known brands aren’t good) Although they all don’t produce the traditional robusto dimensions they each have one that’s close in size and should be smoked.

Michael Claus
5 years ago

Different strokes for different folks, I know, but here are a few of my faves: La Boheme, Perdomo Lot 23, Ambos Mundos from Tatuaje and Caldwell Blind Man’s Bluff.

Leonel Lopes
5 years ago

Gentlemans and Ladies, you’re miissing on a Great cigar: Leo’s Choice by Cabana. Try them and you wan’t go back to Padron

Jack Bliesath
5 years ago

I like to see listings like this. While I don’t care for some on the list, I’m full bodied smoker, I read all the reviews on this site. I agree completely. Some people may smoke none of these sticks, but it’s good to see the range of smokes people enjoy.

Rather than seeing all the other sites touting $15 to $50 cigars and promotional dollars paid, I believe these are honest reviews representing many smokers. Most of my favorites are in the $5 to $7 range. I rarely smoke high end cigars.

Again thanks for the good work!

Douglas Barrow
5 years ago

I’m a relatively new cigar smoker trying to make some quality cigar selections and lists like this help quite a bit. As it happens all my selections will be Robustos, I like the size.

I’m also staying in the mild to medium range of strength and in the $5 to $8 range in price.

Donna Gorman Newell
5 years ago

I was shocked that no Pepin, Pete Johnson or Ligas where on the list. A real quick search found:

My Father #1 Robusto – rated 92 by 8 customers
Liga 9 Robusto – rated 94 by 12 customers
T-52 Robusto – rated 93 by 3 customers
Undercrown Robusto – rated 96 by 15 customers
Pepin Blue Robusto – rated 92 by 7 customers

FYI

Jim Rector
5 years ago

Good list and I scored a couple of them to try for myself. The Romeo Y Julieta was a great smoke for me. I would also suggest the Camacho Connecticut. Similar cigars.

Rory butler
2 years ago

My got is cromagnon aquitaine

Chuck Lazar, Long Beach, IN
2 years ago

Smoked everyone on the list and it’s hard to disagree with any of your choices. A new favorite of mine is the CAO Pilon. Medium smoke, burns wonderfully, lots of flavor. Smoke on, Brothers of the Burn!

Mike Reed
2 years ago

Can’t fault the article, but does everyone else really smoke their robustos down to the nub in 40-45 minutes? I like to smoke a cigar, not use it as a breathing tube. 😂

James Marciano
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Reed

I agree with Mike, 40 – 45 minutes? I don’t smoke a robusto that fast. I guess some do. I like to make it an experience by taking in the changes of notes in each third.
As far as the list, I agree with most of them and that’s what’s so great about cigars…different strokes for different folks.
Keep the lists coming!!

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com 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.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles
cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review h. upmann nicaragua aj fernandez heritage cigar review - cover

#NowSmoking: H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage

Reading Time: 4 minutes In this latest H. Upmann collaboration between AJ Fernandez & Rafael Nodal, Gary gives the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Robusto a spin. Rolled with a triple fermented Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper over rare, AJ-grown Nicaraguan fillers, see how well this cigar performed now.

Read More
cigar advisor top new cigars 11/8/2021 cover

CA REPORT: TOP NEW CIGARS (NOVEMBER 8 2021)

Reading Time: 3 minutes We’re in full fall mode with plenty of celebration cigars like these new arrivals from CAO, All Saints, and Crowned Heads!

Read More
cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review don lino maduro cover

#NowSmoking: Don Lino Maduro

Reading Time: 4 minutes One of two new Don Lino cigar selections released in late 2021 (Connecticut and Maduro), the Don Lino Maduro Robusto is reviewed for this #NowSmoking episode. Well-made and priced affordably, Gary feels this cigar has a split personality. Watch now to learn why.

Read More
CACover Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc Cigar Review Video

Cigar Advisor Panel: Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc Cigar Review – Video

We try Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc cigars, the first addition to their lineup in 5 years. Get our notes & see if the wait for this Oliva was worth it!
Read More