Club Macanudo cigars
Club Macanudo cigars
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Every now and then, I look back over this column and my social media posts on cigars to see what cigars I was enjoying a few years ago. And while I tend to shift away from and towards different cigar brands and ranges within the brand, there are certain cigars that I find myself returning to regularly. 

I realise that I have been exploring the world of cigars consistently for just over a decade. I still have my first ever humidor which only houses about six or seven cigars. It was a gift at the beginning of my journey. I generally don’t keep a lot of cigars at home because I would probably start earlier in the day.

My favourite cigar is in the morning after breakfast with a cup of coffee. The last time I started the day with a cigar, I would be getting through at least four a day. And, my “cigar local”, Pedro Portia, where I spend at least three days a week, is not too far from home and serves as a change of work scenery. 

Looking back over the last 10 years, there have been cigars that I started with, like the Partagas Serie D No 4, Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2, and the Montecristo Open Eagle. 

I gradually drifted away from those when I started discovering New World cigars like the 5” by 54 Oliva Serie V Double Robusto which continues to be a regular favourite although I have gone from at least one a week to one every couple of weeks. It was Cigar Aficionado’s best cigar of 2008, it’s always well-constructed with a Nicaraguan sun grown wrapper, and Nicaraguan binder and filler. I just love how it always smokes the same. 

With Rocky Patel cigars, while I was introduced to the brand via the Decade Robusto which I talk about often, it is the LB1 Robusto that I keep returning to, especially when I am not looking for a full-bodied cigar. Walking around a humidor that I visit several times a week, whenever I can’t decide what to pick, I inevitably end up with the LB1 Robusto. 

While it is medium-bodied, I do enjoy the character and flavours of the LB1. It is a balanced smoke with an easy draw and a lovely filler blend of tobacco from Honduras’s Jamastran Valley and Nicaragua’s Condega and Esteli. The binder is Nicaraguan while the wrapper is Ecuadorean Habano. 

And then there is Oscar Valladares’s Leaf By Oscar Robusto Maduro. I have had the Corojo Robusto and the 60 by 152mm Sixty (Corojo and Maduro), but it is the Robusto Maduro that continues to be a favourite. The beautiful rich oily Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper gently engulfs a Honduran binder and filler. The Leaf has a lovely, easy draw with flavour notes that range from the sweetness of chocolate to the slight tartness of coffee, among others, all coming together perfectly. It has a ring gauge of 50 and length of 127mm but, with the draw, I do find it smokes quicker than other similar robustos, in a good way. 

Another cigar that has silently crept into my little humidor on a weekly basis is My Father’s La Opulencia Toro. While I lean towards robustos in general, and do enjoy the La Opulencia Robusto, the Toro is the sweet spot for me. I have found it to be a great companion as an evening smoke with a book, after supper during the week, as my last cigar of the day. It is box-pressed, has a ring gauge of 54 and a length of 152mm, with a maduro coloured Mexican Rosado Oscuro wrapper around a Nicaraguan binder and filler. It is full-bodied and has a range of flavour notes including pepper, coffee beans, wood, spice and leather.

When stocking up on cigars, I tend to pick up least six different cigars, rotating between these four, as well as Plasencia’s Alma Fuerte Concepcion, AJ Fernandez’s Bellas Artes Maduro Robusto, Casa1910’s Cavalry Edition As de Oro Toro, Saga’s Tomo VI, My Father’s The Judge and, more recently, Aganorsa’s Aniversario Corojo Toro. And I am always on the lookout for something new to add to the family and I welcome recommendations.

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