Comprehensive Cigar Reviews
Drew Estate Announces the Drew Estate Lounge at BB&T Center and the “Year of the Rat” Commemorative Cigar
Drew Estate announced today that a Drew Estate Lounge will open at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., home of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers. This new Drew Estate Lounge is a major milestone in the company’s Lounge Program, officially placing Drew Estate in a professional sports arena for the first time. “This new lounge brings the Rebirth of Cigars to a broad new audience of hockey fans at the BB&T Center
Drew Estate also announced a new cigar called the “Year of the Rat”. The new cigar will be joining the ultra-premium Liga Privada Unico Serie line and is a commemorative cigar celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Florida Panthers 1996 Stanley Cup team. This cigar will launch April 1st and will only be available for sale at this Drew Estate Lounge.The new “Year of the Rat” cigars presented in a 5-1/2 x 46 vitola featuring the iconic fan tail featured on many Unico Serie cigars. The cigar will feature a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a Brazilian binder and Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. I'm sure this will be yet another good Liga Privada cigar.
Drew Estate has many events and seems to be one of the most progressive cigar companies out there...
If anyone gets their hands on the Year Of The Rat, we would be happy to review it, hint hint :)
Get the real deal
Due to the change in the embargo restrictions there are more "Cuban" cigars in the market. There seems to the a rise in fakes and your attention to detail is paramount. A few tips to keep in mind is to look for the correct box seal, make sure the box has a factory code and date stamp, and make sure the printing of the bands and seal are of high quality. Other things to note based on the cigar is raised printing on bands vs. flat on the fakes, etc.
You should always take the extra step and check your box bar code on the Habanos authenticity site. This is easy to do and works very well. If you are at a store somewhere and are unsure, pull out your phone and check them before you buy them!
Top 5 Cigars of 2016
1. Cohiba Robusto – 99
(Smoked August 2016) – Box Code = ETP Sep 2015
This rating came from a night I smoked this cigar off of camera. (From the same box that we reviewed though) This box offered ratings from 94-99 which is a wide range but they are still very young. They rate so high it is hard not to smoke them. (Although ten are being put aside) The flavors of lemon grass, hay, and tons of honey mixing with that Cuban tobacco flavor with a nice twang created a basically perfect cigar. Lasted about 70 minutes, burned perfect, and it made me forget I was playing poker. I have to say, to the last draw, this was one of the best cigars I have ever smoked. Sweet Cuban flavors noted above to the very end…Truly amazing.
2. Bolivar Belicoso Fino - 97
(Smoked Jan - 2016) - Box Code = ULA Oct 2014
A great cigar that I still remember like it was yesterday. Musty earth, cocoa, cream, walnut, cinnamon, & white pepper. Smooth, well balanced, and construction that was great. I didn’t think it would be this good…but is simply was.
3. Montecristo Edmundo – 96
(Smoked Feb – 2016) – Box Code = ARG Jul 2014
Walnut, creamy coffee, and milk chocolate is throughout this cigar. I well balanced cigar that has become one of my favorite cigars that won’t kill your wallet. Cream notes help keep this a smooth smoke throughout and black and white pepper notes with an ever so slight charcoal flavor from time to time make this a special smoke.
4. Liga Privada Ratzilla – 96
(Smoked Jan 2016)
I remember the first time I smoked this cigar and I thought it would be much like a Liga 9, I was wrong. (No disrespect to the No 9) The flavors are plentiful providing woody earth notes, cream, cherry, vanilla, cedar, herbal flavors, mint and black pepper. All of these hints pop out like it was blended by a true master. I would suggest this cigar to anyone fairly new because the flavors are very pronounced, deliberate, and all without much nicotine.
5. Liga Privada L40 – 96
(Smoked Feb – 2016)
Black pepper and dark earth flavors hit you off the bat but settle to a nice well blended tangy earth. Flavors of earth, black pepper, creamy leather, white pepper, maple syrup, and some cocoa. The end of this cigar is my favorite part as the flavors turn to steak with salt and pepper…yup, steak! These cigars never disappoint and you can’t go wrong with these.
Honorable Mention List - All great cigars
Ramon Allones Superiors – 96
Padron 1926 – 95
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial - 95
Romeo Y Julieta Exb No 4 – 94
Sobremesa – 94
Worst cigar of 2016
I started this stick for a review and had to really hunt for the flavors and the day mouth was severe. By the end of the first third bitterness took over and never went away. In fact if I was not reviewing the cigar it would have gone in the trash can. A few weeks later I thought I would give it a second chance since I had another one…it was even worse! Maybe it was from a bad box but I threw it away before I got to the end of the first third. One of the worst cigars I have ever smoked unfortunately.
Cigar Audit Team - Top 5 Lists - 2016 Best Cigars
Ed – Best Cigars of 2016
Bolivar Belicoso Fino
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial
Cohiba Silgo IV
Liga Privada Papas Fritas
Worst cigar of 2016
Acid Cigarillo (What did you expect Ed? I guess it is the only thing you could find at 3am at a gas station…)
Karl – Best Cigars of 2016
Acid Kuba Kuba
Worst cigar of 2016
Jared – Best Cigars of 2016
Bolivar Royal Corona
Ramon Bueso Olancho Vintage
Worst cigar of 2016
Punch Signature (Tasted like bad meat)
Matt G – Best Cigars of 2016
Diamond Crown Maximus
Ramon Allones Superior
Graycliff Heritage Royale
Worst cigar of 2016
Gurkha Genghis Khan (Almost burned my face off and was bitter!)
Top 10 Cigars of 2017
2017 has provided the cigar world great cigars but some performed better than others. (One of the best years in a while) We put together a list of the best performers we enjoyed this year, some being fully reviewed by Cigar Audit. (The others will soon be reviewed!) We realize this type of list is very subjective but we tried hard to focus on the performances of the cigars regardless of our preferred profile. Here we go…
Some new/newer releases were fantastic and caught our eye this year in addition to some of the old standards which only added to the already tough job of narrowing our list to ten. Fairly new releases that amazed us this year were the 1926 90th from Padron, the Sobremesa from Dunbarton Tobacco, and the Highclere Castle from Foundation Cigar Company. Some of the old favorites making a strong impression this year included the Short Churchill from Romeo y Juliette (Cuban) and Cohiba Siglo IV (Cuban).
After the dust settled there was one clear top performer this year, well sort of…It’s a tie! (Kind of) Our top spot goes to the Montecristo Edmundo (Cuban) & the Montecristo Petit Edmundo (Cuban) from Habanos. These cigars are essentially the same blend (just different lengths) and are well balanced yet complex blends that offer very clear flavors with great construction! All of the recent years (box codes from 2015, 16, and 17) smoked by our team this year performed great and made the Edmundo duo the clear winner. We can only hope this level of quality continues for this line from Habanos as we love these cigars.
Enjoy our list and start to put your list together…Let the discussion and debate begin. Find our social media posts on our top ten and share your picks with us. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
1. Montecristo Edmundo (Cuban) – Habanos – Robusto 98
1. Montecristo Petit Edmundo (Cuban) – Habanos – Petit Robusto 97
Flavor Profile …Walnut opening with milk chocolate,
cocoa, creamy coffee, and mixed sweet spices
2. 1926 90th in Maduro – Padron – Robusto – 96
Flavor Profile … Toasted bread opening with cocoa, earth,
coffee, cedar, and black pepper
3. Romeo y Juliette Short Churchill (Cuban) – Habanos – Robusto 96
Flavor Profile … Toast opening with floral notes, light cedar,
rose water, musty earth, and sweet spices
4. Sobremesa – Dunbarton Tobacco - Corona 96
Flavor Profile … Leather and cream opening with earth,
espresso, leather, bell peppers and sweet spices mixed with
5. Liga Privada Unico L40 – Drew Estate – Lancero 96
Flavor Profile … Leather and black pepper opening with earth,
cocoa, floral sweetness, salty steak and sweet spices
6. Highclere Castle – Foundation Cigars – Corona 95
Flavor Profile … Opening with a creamy dark earth &
leather moving to a smooth leather, earth, cream,
citrus/tangerine, green beans, black and red pepper
7. Cohiba Siglo IV (Cuban) – Habanos – Corona 95
Flavor Profile … Opening with toast & hay moving to
lemon grass, earth, honey, pepperoncini, lemon zest
and pops of white pepper
8. Bolivar Belicoso Finos (Cuban) – Habanos – Belicoso – 95
Flavor Profile … Toasted sweet bread opening then
musty earth, cocoa, cream, cinnamon, and white pepper
9. Alpha Defuser Maduro – Alpha Cigar – Robusto 95
Flavor Profile … Starting with a well-blended toast, cocoa,
and earth then floral, herbal, earth, espresso, dark cocoa,
vegetal flavors, cream and mixed white, red, and black peppers
10. Winston Churchill – Davidoff – Robusto 94
Flavor Profile … Wood and floral opening moving to a
musty earth, woody earth, floral, leather, plum, and white pepper
Honorable Mention List - All Great Cigars
These list below are cigars that were so close and didn't make the top ten but this years was very tough competition. Can't go wrong with these!
Best Budget Cigars in 2017
These are great cigars at amazing prices that perfom so well. They may not have the complexity of the top cigars but are great value cigars that you have to try!
Cigars To Skip In 2017
You got em, let them smoke em!
We want to make sure that we thank the men and women that protect our great country in the best way possible, via cigars! There are a few good organizations that make sure cigars get to the soldiers in need and cigars for Warriors is one of the best. Be sure to check out their site to find ways to support those who support us all.
They also have a way to find store drops so you can always pick up a few extra when there and donate.