Today I am going to show you the 10 best cigars of 2017.
You might have already enjoyed my list of the top cigars from 2016. It was very popular last year and I ended up receiving tons of emails about it.
I do feel like I made one really big mistake with the 2016 list though…
Too many of the cigars weren’t easily available! What’s the point of creating this list if you can’t smoke any of the cigars? (If you would rather just look at crazy, luxurious, hard to find cigars, we have a list of those as well.)
For 2017 I picked 10 great cigars that should be easy to purchase all year long. When creating this list I never once considered price to be a factor, I simply only focused on quality. But by pure luck it also turns out that this list could probably be known as “the best cigars under $10” since all of them are reasonably priced.
So without further ado, here are my 10 best cigars of 2017 (in no particular order):
1.) Drew Estate Undercrown Shade
About Drew Estate:
Now one of the biggest brands in America, Drew Estate started out as two frat brothers selling cigars from a 16 square foot retail kiosk in NYC’s World Trade Center.
Today they manufacturer cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua in one of the most impressive 175,000 sq/ft factories you’ll ever see.
Lucky for us, Drew Estate continues to innovate year after year with new lines of cigars that keep us coming back for more.
About Drew Estate Undercrown Shade:
The story of the Undercrown is very unique. The Drew Estate factory workers all loved smoking the Liga Privada 9 while working. The only problem was that the tobaccos were very limited and they were burning through the supply. So the Undercrown was created to replicate the flavors of the Liga Privada 9 using readily available tobaccos.
The result was a hit and the Undercrown became one of the most successful cigars in America. It wasn’t until recently that Drew Estate embarked on the journey to create a lighter version of the Undercrown with a Connecticut wrapper.
An old rumor says that cigars with Connecticut wrappers don’t have a lot a flavor. This cigar puts that rumor to bed. This blend of tobaccos is very complex, balanced, and rich. Toasted nuts, wood, light spice, cream, and a sweet finish make this cigar a home run.
2.) A. Flores Serie Privada Maduro
About A. Flores:
A. Flores, or better know as Abraham Flores, is just now starting to make a name for himself in the world of premium cigars. Up until now his name has been relatively unknown since he’s been working under other brands. Some recognizable ones would be Gurkha 125th Anniversary, and the La Palina Classic.
Flores has now partnered with PDR Cigars to create the A. Flores brand. So far the results have been out of this world!
About A. Flores Serie Privada Maduro:
The awards and high ratings have already started to flow in for this cigar. Cigar Aficionado has already rated it as high as 93 points.
This is a stick that you want to look at and just admire its construction. It has a very sharp, attractive box press, maybe of the best I’ve ever seen.
Most importantly, the flavor is even better than the appearance. It has the perfect balance of both sweet and spicy. Pleasant notes of vanilla, coffee bean, and cocoa blend perfectly with the rich tobaccos from Ecuador, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
3.) Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial
About Jaime Garcia:
Jaime Garcia is actually the son of Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia, the founder of My Father cigars. So as you can probably guess, Jaime Garcia is a brand under the My Father cigars name.
What does that mean? It’s means that this cigar is another home run from the Garcia family! Jaime Garcia has always been an integral member of the family business. He has worked side by side with his father for years and it really shows in this creation.
Oh and I should probably mention that he blended this cigar completely solo. I guess you could say that he’s a natural.
About Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial:
The general public got their first taste of this cigar back in late 2009. It was served during a special event in New York City. It didn’t yet have a name, and there were only limited quantities produced.
The cigar was so well received at the event that Jaime decided that they needed to put the cigar into full production under the name “Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial”.
If you like big bold flavors then this is absolutely the cigar for you. Lots of dark chocolate and molasses paired with toasted wood. Earthy cocoa, tobacco spices, and a sweet finish help round things out. Complexity and balance make this a top rated cigar.
4.) Oliva Master Blends III
Oliva is one of the most well respected brands in the cigar world. Their cigar roots can be traced all the way back to 1886 where Melanio Oliva began growing tobacco in Cuba.
More recently, Melanio’s grandson Gilberto launched the Oliva brand in 1995, which is now based out of Miami Lakes, Florida.
The family business consistently cranks out amazing cigars, including 9 “Cigar Aficionado 25 Best Cigars of the Year” since 2007.
About Oliva Master Blends III:
When this cigar was first created it was reserved for friends and family only. This was because they weren’t able to produce enough of them since it uses only rare, super premium tobaccos.
Thanks to new and improved growing methods, they are now able to produce the Master Blends III at scale. The quantities are still limited every year but you should definitely be able to get your hands on a box.
I’ll let you know how it tastes, but I must warn you, you’re going to want to smoke this daily. Sweet smokey spice and earthy wood are dominant. Later in the cigar you start to pick up notes of black coffee, cinnamon, and rich tobacco spices.
5.) Crowned Heads Le Careme
About Crowned Heads:
Back in 2010 the cigar brand CAO was acquired by the Scandinavian Tobacco Group. This caused some of the CAO employees to leave the company. Two of those employees were Jon Huber and Mike Conder, who left to start Crowned Heads.
I’m certainly glad they did because Crowned Heads has been cranking out some really awesome cigars from day 1.
Crowned Heads states their goal is “not to be everywhere, but rather, to provide an unparalleled level of service, attention, and excellence to those that support Crowned Heads.”
So far they are doing an excellent job achieving that goal.
About Crowned Heads Le Careme:
This cigar is a tribute to Marie-Antonine Careme, who is thought to be a pioneer in French cuisine. He even popularized the soufflé back in the 1800s. So it’s no coincidence that the flavors found in this cigar are reminiscent of a rich French soufflé.
If there is a sweet spot on your palate, this cigar is sure to hit it, but not in an overwhelming way. The flavors start with strong earthy tobacco notes that give way to deep fruit, toasted nuts, and rich cocoa. Light black pepper is sprinkled in throughout the cigar to help balance everything out.
Whether you’re already a Crowned Heads fan, or you’ve never tried them before, you’re going to want to get your hands on a box of these this year.
6.) Caldwell Blind Man’s Bluff
Caldwell is a small boutique cigar brand created by a small group of friends. The founder, Robert Caldwell, teamed up with William and Henderson Ventura to create high quality, small batch cigar blends.
Caldwell preaches attention to detail and they use only rare, exotic, Grade-A tobaccos to create every cigar they put their name on.
This might be the first time you’ve ever heard of them, but trust me; they’re going to be around for a very long time.
About Caldwell Blind Man’s Bluff:
This cigar is made in the well known Honduran factory called Agroindustrias Laepe S.A. If it sounds familiar to you that’s because it’s the factory owned by Davidoff where Camacho Cigars are made.
The appearance of this cigar is certainly different. The orange band has almost no text on it. Instead there is a just a sketch of a man with a cigar in his mouth. The wrapper is a little bumpy with visible veins, which gives it a nice rustic feel.
The flavors of this cigar are also unique. You get a very complex blend of rich tobacco spice, black pepper, toasty cedar, earthy hay, and certainly coffee. There are also nuances of citrus and cream that hop in and out of the smoke.
7.) My Father Le Bijou 1922
About My Father:
As I talked about earlier, My Father was founded by Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia, who is one of the most respectable names in the cigar world. Garcia spent 30 years in Cuba learning how to roll cigars before immigrating to Nicaragua in 2001.
Garcia was named “America’s Hottest Cigar Maker” by Cigar Aficionado in 2008 and he certainly hasn’t slowed down since then.
About My Father Le Bijou 1922:
The accolades of the Le Bijou 1922 are hard to beat. In 2015 Cigar Aficionado named it the #1 cigar of the year while giving it a score of 97 points!
Appearance wise, this is one of the best looking cigars you’ll ever lay your eyes on. The shiny, smooth dark brown wrapper looks like a fine leather. The classy double band is probably my favorite cigar band of all time.
While I will provide some tasting notes, I must say that they will not do this cigar justice. The flavor profile you get from this cigar can be indescribable at times. What you truly taste is the finest tobaccos, cared for meticulously, in the most ideal of conditions.
Like many cigars from My Father, there is a good amount of black and white pepper. There is a very present chalk note that’s amazing and rare to find in a cigar. The pepper does fade into a sweet smoke that rounds the flavors out perfectly. There is a buttery presence you pickup during the cigar that I have never replicated with anything else I have ever smoked.
8.) AVO Syncro Nicaragua:
The cool thing about AVO is the uniqueness of their story. The founder, Avo Uvezian, actually found himself in the world of cigars through music.
Born in Beirut 1926, Avo became a pianist and moved to the U.S. to study composition. In the 1980s, he moved to Puerto Rico and opened a restaurant and piano bar.
Puerto Rico is where he discovered his passion for cigars and began to roll his own. By 1982 Avo met Hendrik Kelner and moved his cigar production to the Davidoff factory in the Dominican Republic. Most of his cigars are still rolled there today.
About AVO Syncro Nicaragua:
This is the first box pressed cigar that AVO has ever created. In many ways it signifies the uniqueness of this entire cigar. AVO has always been the master of the medium body blends. The Syncro differs from that and is actually a little bit on the fuller side.
The tobaccos are grown on the remote island of Ometepe, Nicaragua. It provides a very rare and unique landscape where premium tobaccos are grown in black volcanic soils.
The Syncro earned top 25 honors from Cigar Aficionado in 2015 with a score of 93 points. This is thanks to its bold, peppery tobacco spices that fade into notes of cream, wood, leather, and one of a kind minerals.
9.) Warped Flor Del Valle
Warped cigars started back in 2009 by a man named Kyle Gellis. Gellis grew to love cigars during his childhood when his father would have him assist in his cigar choosing, cutting, and lighting after work.
Their cigars are manufactured in the old traditional Cuban-style fashion in Miami, Florida.
Warped doesn’t see themselves as just a cigar brand. They actually market themselves as a lifestyle brand with a full line of clothes and accessories. Regardless of what they sell, their cigars are all awesome.
About Warped Flor Del Valle:
This is the first cigar from Warped that doesn’t actually come from their El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami. That’s because they wanted to keep this cigar 100% Nicaraguan. All tobaccos used in this cigar are from Nicaragua and it’s rolled in Nicaragua at the Casa Fernandez factory.
The appearance of this cigar is hard to beat. The band is a white, gold, and blue piece of art that you’ll find yourself wanting to save. The wrapper is a smooth golden brown that isn’t overly oily but equally beautiful.
The flavor gives off some unique earthy spices with notes of cinnamon, sugar, wood, and leather. There are very earthy notes present throughout the cigar that you won’t find in many other blends. The spices fade into a smooth creamy sweetness that’s hard to pass up.
10.) L’Atelier Surrogates Bone Crusher
There isn’t a ton of information out there about the L’Atelier brand. In fact, their website is damn near blank. The brand is actually a creation from Pete Johnson (Tauaje Cigars) and his friends. All of their cigars are handcrafted in the My Father factory. When those names are associated with a brand, you know it’s likely to be great.
They wanted to create a line of premium cigars that are “consumer price conscious”. Their goal was to raise the bar for what an affordable premium cigar should taste like. The cigars are typically in the $8-10 range and they are all very good. I would say that they always out perform their price point.
About L’Atelier Surrogates Bone Crusher:
Just like the rest of L’Atelier cigars, the Bone Crusher is blended by Pete Johnson and continues to be rolled in the My Father factory.
The Surrogates line consists of 7 different cigars that all come with a completely different and unique smoking experience. After sampling them all, I find the Bone Crusher to be the best.
You must enjoy full body flavors to enjoy this cigar. This stick billows smoke that’s loaded with espresso, earth, and spicy leather. But don’t worry; everything balances out perfectly as molasses, brown sugar, and creamy coffee make their way into the flavor profile. It’s really an awesome flavor bomb that you won’t want to stop smoking.
I don’t know what your New Year’s resolution is, but smoking all 10 of these cigars in 2017 seems like it could be a great choice.
As always, the term ‘best’ is very subjective and your tastes may differ from mine. I don’t claim this list to be the “best cigars of all time” bible by any means.
But as always, I would like to know what you think! Who did I leave off the list? What are your best cigars of 2017?
Let me know in the comments below. I read and reply to all of them!