The Managers Choice
I consider myself to be a very lucky man. I mean I have a job that I love doing and I get to meet lots of very interesting people in and outside of the cigar trade. I also, occasionally, get to visit the countries where these wonderful pieces of art are made. It's a tough job folks, but it is one that I wouldn't swap not for all the tea in China.
Over the years I have had the pleasure to smoke and enjoy many cigars. Some have been better than others (a few have been awful), but thankfully a fair percentage have been truly spectacular. I have created this list for those spectacular cigars! I will add to this list every so often as when I try something which I consider to be worthy - which will hopefully be quite often.
Eann Wallace - Manager and Cigar Buyer - Gauntleys Of Nottingham
Quality comes with age, and after 60 beautiful years of life, Rocky Patel’s passion for premium cigars has never been more refined. To celebrate his unbridled love for signature cigars, and in honour of this momentous occasion, here is The Rocky Patel Sixty.
Using tobaccos aged 6 years prior to construction and then a further two years after being rolled, the Sixty is really special. The construction is superb and the flavours just leap out of the cigar and dance around the palate. There is a lot happening from the first draw and it just gets better from there. Smooth and elegant with notes of leather, coffee, nuts and straw which are all backed up by a wonderful, dark earthiness.
LEAF by Oscar cigars represents perhaps one of the most exciting developments in premium cigar smoking to come along in quite a while. Developed by Oscar Valladares at his boutique factory in Danli, Honduras, each LEAF cigar represents a deep connection between the land on which the tobaccos were grown and all of the people who contributed to its production. Even the bands are made by a company local to the factory using organic agave to craft the paper. Instead of cellophane, the Torcedors have laid each stick inside of a leaf of tobacco for ageing and protection.
These are medium to full-bodied with great intensity. Deep and earthy with notes of dark bitter chocolate, coffee and some gentle spice on the finish. Sublime!
Crafted from the finest tobacco in Nicaragua, showcasing a signature Mexican San Andrés wrapper, this exquisite composition has come together to create a medium to full-bodied profile filled with smooth notes of wood, earth, and a subtle hint of pepper.
In all of our years creating world-class cigars, we’ve never produced anything that more rigorously adheres to our high standards and dedication to quality. We call it: The Disciple, and it’s anything but a follower.
Tried July 2021
If you are looking for something that won't blow your socks off and is exceedingly good, then look no further, this is your stick. This is light to medium in body and has some delicious nutty characteristics about it. It starts off creamy yet has a very gentle, slightly spicy edge that doesn't intrude. This is a very pleasant afternoon smoke and one that can be enjoyed without the need for food.
9 / 10
Eann - Manager of Gauntleys
Tried February 2019 + April 2021
One of the most consistent Cuban brands in terms of build quality and smokeability. Dating back to 1837, which makes it one of the oldest cigar brands on the planet, Ramon Allones is a heavenly smoke. These start off-dry with an almost floral, grassy note before the flavour intensity starts to kick in - I found this to be a gradual experience. These are quite bold and well developed with a gorgeous, long, earthy finish. Takes me back to drinking Cuba Libra in the grounds of the Hotel Nacional in Havana. Awesome.
Eann Wallace 9.3/10
A very powerful cigar, with a complex range of flavours throughout. It begins with roasted and slightly woody and leathery undertones with floral hints, leading into a slightly sweet cocoa & coffee ending. Not for the beginner but ideal for the experienced smoker after a heavy meal.
Tasted June 2021
This is one of those cigars which really is the real deal. Medium to full-bodied, it starts initially with a burst of sweet leather, spice and nuts and progressively moves towards coffee and earth as you smoke down the stick. There is good intensity in the flavours which persist until the last draw. I love the shape and the fact that it is box-pressed too - it just ticks all my boxes!
9.4 / 10 Eann
Size isn't everything, but the Goliath is out to impress and impress it does. This is gorgeously rich in terms of the flavours and is quite deep and earthy. This is definitely a cigar that you have to donate time to, somewhere in the region of three hours, however, it will be the best three hours of your day!
From the relatively new Blackbird cigar company - the Crow Robusto is a moderately full flavoured cigar displaying notes of leather, coffee and nuts. There is a touch of spice in there too, but it is very gentle.
The star performer at our recent 'non-cigar event' back in April. This awesome cigar really did pack in some amazingly rich, earthy, chocolatey flavours showing superb balance. This is quite full-bodied but is also elegant too. This will satisfy even the hardest to please cigar smoker, guaranteed!
''We savoured the Rocky Patel Aged Limited and Rare Robusta and La Galera Anemoi Notus with a Pinot Noir from the Pays D'Oc and agree they are a very satisfying combo. I also like to enjoy a Ghirardelli dark chocolate sea salt caramel square which enhances my experience even more - however, this may just be a woman's thing!!!''
Annice from Oxfordshire
The Royal Coronas showcase powerful complexity and offer a full flavoured smoking experience. These are leathery and earthy and develop intensity as the smoke progresses, along with notes of chocolate and spicy liqourice. Awesome.