Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 23 November 2007

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top 25 overlooked cigars
The top 25 overlooked cigars in the world as the editor of Top25Cigar sees it.

Most familiar to the cigar industry understand the role marketing plays in getting a cigar lover to buy that cigar on the tobacconist’s shelf. I fall for it as well…add a second band, slap the word “Anniversary” on it, and my eyes seem to gravitate like Pam Anderson to bad husbands. But where are those good cigars that aren’t getting the “hype” or “buzz”?

Personally enjoying cigars, editing Top25Cigar and its database of almost 40,000 public cigar reviews, along with moderating and participating in Club Stogie have given me a unique perspective of the publics’ view of cigars. So while Top25Cigar is primarily about the public’s view of cigars, we’ll stray from that for this article and sprinkle in my completely irrelevant opinions. Since this is the 10 year anniversary of Top25Cigar and Club Stogie, below is a list of 25 cigars I find consistent, enjoyable, reasonably priced and most importantly…flying under the radar.

Cigars I ruled out: Remember this list is not just about great cigars; it’s about great cigars that are not getting the buzz of some of the more common or heavily marketed brands. Obviously the previous sentence precludes many popular cigars, and from a “hype” perspective…most Cubans.

If for some reason you find yourself violently disagreeing with this list to the point that you feel you must take some action, please click here first!

Paul Shoberg – Editor Top25Cigar

Cigars 15 through 6

15. Gran Habano Corojo Blend Robusto

This is an amazingly constructed cigar.  Created from Nicaraguan and Costa Rican tobacco, the spiciness of this cigar is something to behold.  Gran Habano makes many good smokes, I think this is the cream of their crop.

14. Illusione 88

This all Nicaraguan robusto was made with the goal of recreating Nicaraguan cigar flavor profiles from years past.  I can't say if they have accomplished that, but they have made a darn good cigar.

13. Cuesta Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Robusto No. 7

In theory a heavier bodied cigar, I have never found it that way. I have though found it to be quite enjoyable. Ecuadorian sun grown wrapper and Dominican filler and binder combine to provide a consistent medium bodied spicy cigar.  Also a candidate for worlds longest cigar name.

12. Nicarao Series 2006 Piramide

I had the chance to meet Didier Houvenagel of Nicarao at the 2007 RTDA.  Didier was sharing the Nicarao story from the Rocky Patel booth, so he's hanging in in good company.  His cigars seem to be as well.  A very creamy all Nicaraguan smoke, the Nicarao Piramide is as good as Didier's enthusiasm for his product...and that's saying a lot.

11. H. Upmann Signature Magnum 50 Maduro

Virtually unknown and lost among the myriad of H. Upmann brands, the signature series is the blending creation of Michael Argenti.  The maduros have a Mexican wrap, and are stronger than the milder Nicaraguan wrapped natural line.  Both are good, and virtually unheard of.  The H. Upmann Signature line is an example of how important skilled blending is.

10. Don Lino Africa Duma

A full bodied smoke that uses aged tobacco.  You could have picked any of this line for inclusion in our list.  The Duma is a Robusto sized cigar.  As a side note, the artwork on the boxes of the Don Lino Africa line is amazing.

9. Montecristo Petit Edmundo

When the Montecristo Petit Edmundo first came out it was slightly overshadowed by the less than spectacular results from the introduction of its big brother the Edmundo.  It’s nice to see the Edmundo has improved, while the Petit Edmundo never needed to.  Spectacular in its flavor profile for such a short cigar, this is the personification of a quick enjoyable smoking experience.  Hard to call a Cuban overlooked, but you really should not miss this cigar.

8. Leon Jimenes 2001 No. 300 Robusto

The first Leon Jimenes to use a Cameroon wrapper in a decade.  Maybe it's the extra 300 days of ageing that the cigar derives it's name from, or perhaps the extra attention of a commemorative cigar, either way, this is the best Leon Jimenes smoke out there.  A toasty, balanced smoke that will deliver an abundance of flavor without being obnoxious.

7. Punch Rare Corojo Pita

This little box pressed cigar packs a wallop.  Wrapped in a spicy Ecuadorian tobacco blanket, this is a cigar you can taste.  A secret smoke even those Cuban cigar advocates sneak from time to time.

6. Excalibur by Hoyo de Monterrey No. 1 Maduro

I questioned putting this in here, as it's still fairly popular.  I still can’t help but think underrated when I see this cigar.  The Excalibur is not nearly as popular as it used to be, primarily due to the publics shift to stronger flavor profile cigars.  Wrapped in traditional Connecticut Shade, these guys should be staples in many humidors.

Next Sunday - I'll post the Top 5.  Thanks for reading. - T25C

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