Features Top Cigars List

Our Favorite Cigars of 2014

Twelve Months of Tobacco
Joshua Child
Written by Joshua Child

The following list is composed of our favorite cigars of 2014. The way it works is the same as last year, except we’ve got more contributors. Each contributor nominated a few of their favorite cigars of the year. Many of us nominated the same cigar and a few of us were the only ones to nominate a particular cigar. Much like last year I’m also going to provide a disclaimer so the reader knows where we stand.

Disclaimer: There are a few things to recognize as you go through our list. Every cigar nominated was available at some point this year, even if they were limited release or difficult to attain. This list is not composed of cigars only released within the year of 2014. We at CM didn’t get a chance to smoke every cigar on the market, so if you feel our list is missing a notable release, it probably is. You’ll notice the cigars are not ranked and everything is ordered alphabetically. Price was not considered a part of our criteria for inclusion. Not every cigar on the list was reviewed on the site.

This year was a good one for My Father and the writers here at CM as 6 of the 11 on the list were rolled at My Father Cigars S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua.

THE LIST

  • Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard – The Silk Road
  • Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014
  • Espada by Montecristo
  • La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse
  • La Colmena Unico Especial by Warped Cigars
  • L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER13
  • LEAF by Oscar Corojo
  • Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Torpedo
  • Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013
  • Tatuaje TAA 2014
  • Undercrown Flying Pig by Drew Estate

Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard – The Silk Road

Caldwell Eastern Standard Bundle

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: Tabacalera Ventura
Country of Manufacture: Dominican Republic
Size: 7×40 Lancero
MSRP: $12
Wrapper: Connecticut Hybrid Ecuadorian
Binder: Habano Dominican
Filler: Criollo ’98 Viso, Corojo Ligero Dominican, Habano Seco Nicaraguan
Class: Beach Comber
Nominated By: Joshua Child

“The Eastern Standard debuted with launch Caldwell Cigar Co. alongside the company’s two other launch releases—Long Live the King and The King is Dead. It took me some time to wrap my head around The Eastern Standard’s subtle complexity’s and unique flavor profile but it’s a cigar that pushed its way onto this list with each successive smoke. Initially, I gravitated towards the Cream Crush (Churchill) as I found it had the most flavor intensity. That is until they released a the limited edition Silk Road (Lancero). The Silk Road captures everything I love about the blend: the creamy/cedary/nutty/salty profile, the the mild white pepper on the nose, and the excellent balance. The major difference is the smaller ring gauge allowed me to taste the dark hybrid Connecticut wrapper even more and provided the most intensity of flavor in the entire line. A truly captivating cigar, especially for the lovers of the lancero.” – Joshua Child

Read our review of the Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard Euro Express (Pre-Release) a different vitola in the line.

Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014

Las-Calaveras-01

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: My Father Cigars S.A.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 5×50 LC550, 6×52 LC652, 7×54 LC754
MSRP: $9
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Class: Regal
Nominated By: David Carroll & Kyle Freeman

“Inspired by art depicting a female skeleton that has become iconic to the Mexican Day of the Dead, the Las Calaveras makes you feel anything but deceased. This cigar can start off sublte but builds in strength with its offering of woody notes, pepper, soft cocoa and earthy tobacco flavors. Jon Huber said the Las Calaveras is a tribute to those who have touched our lives and shared their love, and in the end he has created a cigar worthy of being a tribute. I excitedly look forward to where this annual limited release will go.” – David Carroll

Watch Kyle’s review of the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 from earlier in the year before he joined the CM team.

Espada by Montecristo – Gaurd

Espada by Montecristo 01

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: Placsencia Cigars S.A.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 5×50 LC550, 6×52 LC652, 7×54 LC754
MSRP: $11.25 to $12.50
Wrapper: Habano Jalapa Vintage 2010
Binder: Habano Jalapa Vintage 2009
Filler: Habano Jalapa seco, Habano Ometepe viso and Habano ligero Condega
Class: Regal
Nominated By: Louis A. Rodriguez

“On the heels of Romeo y Julieta’s well received ROMEO, Montecristo’s MONTE arrived with more fanfare than the Espada. It certainly would not be the first time the mainstream product was outdone by the curated work. A superior combination of Dominican blending by the label’s own Grupo de Maestros and Nicaraguan tobacco from Nestor Plasencia’s expansive tobacco reserves that will please devotees of both styles. More so than others that have attempted to thread the needle, the Espada strikes the balance beween smooth and flavorful. It has a natural taste with the tobacco leaves clear and clean on the finish. The character is remarkably consistent throughout wit the classic wood and leather as a base with notes of nutmeg, pepper and dark coffee. The Habano wrapper has an immediately enticing soft sheen and is appointed with a trio of bands that would normally be overkill, but this cigar earns over the course of an hour.” – Louis A. Rodriguez

La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse

La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse 01

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: My Father Cigars S.A.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 6.5×52
MSRP: $16
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo & Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Class: Marquee
Nominated By: Matt Masters & Joshua Child

“A complete surprise, the La Aroma De Cuba Noblesse was my favorite new cigar of the year. La Aroma De Cuba has always released cigars that are good, but just right beneath the “super premium” threshold. This has changed with the introduction of the Noblesse. The Noblesse will take you on a journey of decadent flavors. A predominantly nutty, chocolaty and coffee ridden profile will grab your attention, but the more unique notes and subtle flavor shifts will captivate you. The Noblesse isn’t a cheap cigar, it’ll cost you around $16-$18 depending where live, but it’s well worth trying. After smoking you’ll be forced to contemplate spending over $300 for a box. You’ve been warned.” – Matt Masters

La Colmena Unico Especial by Warped Cigars

La Colmena Unico Especial by Warped Cigars 01

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: El Titan de Bronze
Country of Manufacture: U.S.A. (Miami, FL)
Size: 5×48 Belicoso
MSRP: $15 (Jars of 10, $150)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian DesFlorada
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Class: Marquee
Nominated By: Joshua ChildDavid Carroll

Warped Cigars has made an impact in the botique cigar arena in short order. Their excellent branding combined with the perfect construction from the rollers at El Titan De Bronze is a deadly combination and there is no better representation of that than the limited edition Unico Especial. The Unico will be difficult to attain for many smokers but if you find one of these gorgeous tins of 10, you’re in for a treat. Here’s an excerpt from my review of the Unico Especial that sums up the cigar:

“The La Colmena Unico Especial is unique, classic, varied, balanced and complex with exceptional construction. It stays smooth to the very nub and entertains throughout. There was an odd moment in the first third where everything went a little haywire but it dissipated almost as quickly as it arrived. I’ve also smoked the 5.5×44 Amado No. 44, and while it’s a nice cigar, I feel that the Unico Especial provides the superior experience—an experience that every connoisseur should seek.” – Joshua Child

L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER13

L'Atelier Extension de la Racine ER13

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: My Father Cigars S.A.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 5×50 LC550, 6×52 LC652, 7×54 LC754
MSRP: $9
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Class: Regal
Nominated By: David Carroll

“Extension de la Racine is French for Extension of the Root and this Nicaraguan puro is a great extension to the L’Atelier lineup. It offers tremendous complexity in a subtle and smooth manner. Bringing out flavors of cedar, pepper, graham cracker, coffee, caramel, notes of floral, and all in a creamy medium-full package. Offered annually, in a single vitola to attendees of IPCPR, the debut release ER13 started out as an excellent smoke and with a year of age has blossomed into an even better category.” – David Carroll

LEAF by Oscar Corojo

Leaf by Oscar Corojo Full

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Company
Country of Manufacture: Honduras
Size: 6×50 Toro
MSRP: $10
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran
Class: Marquee
Nominated By: Matt Masters & Joshua Child

An excerpt from Matt’s review of the LEAF by Oscar Corojo:

“I was absolutely enamored by this cigar. From the moment I removed the protective outer leaf, I knew it was going to be good. What I couldn’t know was that it was going to be this good. While smoking, I continually forgot to pour myself a cup of coffee from the pot I had just brewed because I was enjoying it so much. The amount of flavors, how balanced they are, how much they “crescendo” while smoking, along with the great construction make this a complete and impeccable cigar. If you’re a fan of corojo leaf then this will easily be a top-tier experience for you.” – Matt Masters

Oliva V Melanio Maduro Torpedo

Oliva V Melanio Maduro Torpedo Full

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: TABOLISA
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 6.5x 52 Box-Pressed Torpedo
MSRP: $13
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Class: Coal Miner
Nominated By: Joshua Child

“The Melanio Maduro follows Oliva’s tradition of releasing a Limited Edition Maduro of their Oliva V every year. I have smoked my fair share of the Oliva V Melanio, wrapped with a Ecuadorian Sumatra, but I always feel it’s lacking flavor. The situation was rectified when Oliva enveloped the blend with a Mexican San Andrés Maduro for this limited run. The San Andrés has the effect of adding more depth of flavor and works wonderfully with the aromatic Nicaraguan fillers from Jalapa. Notes of black pepper tickle the sinuses while flavors of meaty leather, earth, coffee, cocoa and a balanced molasses sweetness entertain the palate. The torpedo’s do have a tendency to have a somewhat tight draw but it never seems to detract from the seamless experience. There have been many new San Andrés releases in the last year and a half but none have captured my attention like the Oliva V Melanio Maduro.” – Joshua Child

Matt Masters reviewed the Melanio Maduro Torpedo earlier this year and gave it a III. Satisfying on our Quality scale.

Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013

Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013 01

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: My Father Cigars S.A.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 5.625×46 Corona Gorda
MSRP: $10
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo Estelí
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Class: Regal
Nominated By: Kyle Freeman, Joshua Child, Matt MastersDavid Carroll & Louis A. Rodriguez

“All of us at CM agreed that the Tatuaje Black Label CG 2013 was a top cigar of the year. It was officially released at the end of 2013, but it wasn’t until early 2014 that we had the chance to try it. The original Black Label Corona Gorda debuted in 2007 with about 20,000 cigars. This year’s release bumped it all the way up to the highest Black Label release with nearly 200,000 cigars. Presented in melamine jars of 19, these Nicaraguan puros are one of the best releases to date. Pete Johnson really delivers a memorable experience with complex flavors of leather, earth, sweetness, and pepper that keeps any smokers attention.” – Kyle Freeman

Watch Kyle’s review of the Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013 from earlier in the year before he joined the CM team.

Tatuaje TAA 2014

Tatuaje TAA 2014 03

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: My Father Cigars S.A.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 6×52 Box-Press
MSRP: $11
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Class: Coal Miner
Nominated By: Kyle Freeman & David Carroll

“This is the 4th annual release from Tatuaje for the retailers that are members of the Tobacconists Association of America (TAA). This year’s release was a beautiful 6×52 using a very dark brown Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over a mix of Nicaraguan filler. With a release of 56,000 cigars, this was also the largest Tatuaje TAA release to date. Bold flavors of earth, floral sweetness, spice and pepper make for a delicious and memorable experience. What makes this cigar so special was the smooth balance of flavors that were finished on an oily palate with plenty of strength and body to match the rich experience.” – Kyle Freeman

Watch Kyle’s review of the Tatuaje TAA 2014

Undercrown Flying Pig by Drew Estate

Undercrown Flying Pig by Drew Estate - 01

THE RUNDOWN
Rolled: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Size: 4.125×60 Double Perfecto
MSRP: $12
Wrapper: Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte wrapper
Binder: T52 Connecticut Stalk Cut & Cured Habano binder
Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban seed
Class: Regal
Nominated By: Kyle Freeman & David Carroll

“Drew Estate finally released one of their most famous vitolas, the “Flying Pig” in of their most popular lines, the Undercrown. This will be a regular production cigar, but it’s on a limited basis due to the fact that only one person roll’s this size at their factory. When Drew Estate makes this Flying Pig vitola, they are known for tweaking the blend of the original line, but it isn’t sure if that was done with this cigar. Most likely the cigar is wrapped with a Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte wrapper, T52 Connecticut Stalk Cut & Cured Habano binder, and filled with Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban seed tobacco. This vitola hits it out of the park with flawless construction and unbeatable rich flavors of pepper, spice, earth, leather, and sweetness that last for the entire smoking experience.” – Kyle Freeman

Watch/Read Kyle’s review of the Undercrown Flying Pig by Drew Estate

Update (Jan. 6, 2014) — Kyle has made a nice little video running through the complete list for those who’d rather watch than read.

About the author

Joshua Child

Joshua Child

Just an impostor in the cigar game who's only goal is to provide an unpretentious outlet for smokers. Other than cigars he enjoys people of substance, dogs, pugilism, and barrel aged spirits.