5 Great Cigars
Take it from an aficionado of premium smokes, these beauties should be in your humidor.
AVO HERITAGE SERIES Orlando resident Avo Uvezian’s signature brand includes a number of great smokes, with the Heritage a contender for the best of the bunch. Darker, stronger and more full-bodied than other offerings in the line, the Heritage is redolent with caramel and mocha accents over a woody main note. Well-balanced and consistent from first draw to last, it is a tasty treat, and at less than $10, a lot of cigar for the money.
PADRÓN FAMILY RESERVE NO. 45
No. 45 was the Padrón family’s reserve offering in 2009 and can be had for about $25 apiece. The original issue of this series, the Anniversary 1964, is available from $10 (for a smallish corona) to about $35 for an 8-inch A-sized offering. These are hearty, full-flavored smokes long on earthy, spicy notes with a great draw and long finish.
CARLOS TORAÑO EXODUS 1959 50 YEARS
While quality and price usually increase together, there are real bargains to be had if you know what you’re looking for. The Toraño family fled Cuba in 1959 (thus the name, “Exodus”) and has established themselves as premier blenders, often incorporating tobacco from four or five countries in a single stick. The Exodus 1959 50 Years is perhaps the family’s best cigar ever; the 5-inch robusto is rich, with lively nutty flavors that give way to a sweet berry taste. Made with leaves from Honduras, Nicaragua and Brazil, the Exodus is a value at about $7 each.
FUENTE FUENTE OPUS X
The 1992 Rare Estate Reserve is often cited as the benchmark for Opus-X production. The filler, binder and wrapper all come from the choicest plots of the famous Fuente family lands in the Cibao Valley of the Dominican Republic. Tightly rolled with a firm draw, the flavors are a complex blend of coffee, spice and wood. The smoke is creamy and this baby will hold onto the ash forever. The ’92 Reserves are still available for around $30 each, with other Opus-X variants available for $13-$15. The current limited production model is the Lost City run, about $28 each.
DIAMOND CROWN ROBUSTO NO. 1
The result of a partnership between two cigar legends—the Fuente family and the 116-year-old JC Newman Cigar Co. of Tampa—Diamond Crown was conceived by Stanford Newman as a tribute to his family’s legacy. The Robusto No. 1 features a Connecticut wrapper over hand-selected Dominican filler and binder, and it’s smooth, elegant and creamy to the finish. If you want to kick this up a notch, try the all-Dominican maduro—about $20 as a figurado or just $11 as a Robusto No. 4—and get ready for a nice ride.
You can find the above brands at Corona Cigar Co. (coronacigar.com), Harry’s Cigar & Brew (cigarandbrew.com), Cigarz at Waterford (cigarsatwaterford.com) and Ol’ Times Smoke Shop and Lounge (oltimescigars.com).