Four Nicaraguan cigars among the top 5 cigars of 2023, according to Cigar Aficionado's Top 25-2023

Nicaragua has become the leader in the premium cigar market in the United States. Since 2016, when it displaced the Dominican Republic from the top spot as the exporter of premium cigars to the United States, Nicaragua has exported more premium cigars to this market than any other country.

Beyond its excellence in premium cigar manufacturing, Nicaragua's current leadership position is attributed to the abundant range of tobacco flavors produced there, derived from a unique geography that showcases a wide variety of regions with extremely fertile soils, particularly suitable for producing strong tobacco. As Rocky Patel, the renowned manufacturer of the eponymous cigar brand, told Cigar Aficionado magazine in a 2021 interview, "Nicaragua has become the number one exporter of cigars because the palates of cigar consumers have leaned towards smoking richer and fuller-bodied cigars”.[1]  These diverse flavors are so clearly associated with Nicaragua that they are recognizable even when used in other blends.

Nicaragua now produces more cigars than any other country. The importance of this industry is such that the Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce estimates it employs around 110,000 Nicaraguan citizens. And despite the continuous increase in production figures, the workforce continues to maintain a consistently high level of quality. A valuable testament to this is that during the almost 20 years that Cigar Aficionado has been designating a Cigar of the Year, more than half of them have come from Nicaragua.

If one year has been particularly outstanding, it was the one that just ended, as four of the top five cigars identified in the Top 25-2023[2] were manufactured in Nicaraguan soil. Let's take a look at some interesting facts about the winners made in this country.

In second place, with a score of 97 points, was the Padrón Serie 1926 No. 48 Maduro. This cigar, crafted by Padrón Cigars Inc., and like all Padrón tobaccos, grown under the full sun and properly aged, is strong and full of flavor.

Measuring at 5 1/2" by 60 ring gauge and with its rich smoke of cocoa, almond, honey, and cinnamon, this cigar has a full body and notes of chocolate, coffee, spices, and leather. The flavor is powerful and deep, with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, black pepper, cinnamon, and leather. It's an elegant cigar with a solid construction and even burn. It's made with a Nicaraguan wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan filler.

It's an excellent choice for smokers looking for a cigar with a powerful and deep flavor.

The third place went to the Oliva Serie V Melanio Toro. This cigar, crafted by Tabacalera Oliva S.A. (Tabolisa), scored 96 points in the ranking. Measuring at 6" by 52 ring gauge, this high-end cigar was launched in 2015 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Oliva brand's founding.

It's made with an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan filler and represents Oliva's undeniable commitment to quality and the high level achieved by Oliva's acclaimed group of masters.

It's a medium to full-bodied cigar with notes of coffee, chocolate, spices, and earth. It has a rich and complex flavor, with notes of espresso coffee, dark chocolate, black pepper, cinnamon, and earth. It's an excellent choice for smokers looking for a cigar with a rich and complex flavor.

The fourth place went to Rocky Patel A.L.R. Second Edition Toro, a cigar crafted in Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (Tavicusa), which scored 96 points. This cigar, with a solid construction and even burn, is made with a San Andrés Mexican wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan filler.

It has a medium to full body and notes of chocolate, coffee, spices, and coconut. Its flavor is rich and complex, with notes of dark chocolate, espresso coffee, black pepper, cinnamon, and coconut.

The fifth place in the ranking was for the E.P. Carrillo Allegiance Confidant, manufactured at the facilities of Tabacalera Oliva S.A. (Tabolisa). With 95 points, this cigar from the renowned manufacturer E.P. Carrillo is part of the Allegiance Series that celebrates the lasting bonds formed between people and companies in the tobacco industry.

Its tasty Colorado wrapper of Ecuadorian Sumatra seed covers Nicaraguan binder and filler. It's a medium-bodied cigar with notes of nuts, spices, earth, and coffee, and a pleasant floral aroma.


SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema and May Complicate Pregnancy.
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