In the US tobacco market, very few are surprised by the quality of Nicaraguan premium cigars.
As we have commented in previous articles, the excellence of the cigars elaborated in that country, with leaves grown entirely there, has been increasing steadily in recent years. Proof of this is its extensive and permanent presence in the Top 25 of specialized publications such as Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Journal.
A brief review we made of the Top 25 Cigar Aficionado shows us, according to that prestigious magazine, Nicaragua's performance in the ten first places of this Top between 2015 and 2021.
• In the 7 years of the period under review they won 5 times, the Cigar of the Year.
• During 4 of those 7 years (2016-2018-2019-2021) they obtained the first three places.
• The year that they obtained the fewest positions was 2020, with four places achieved. The rest of the seven years analyzed they gained at least five places in the top 10 positions: five in 2021, six in 2015 and 2017, seven in 2019 and eight in 2016 and 2018.
The three best cigars of 2021:
The Cigar of the Year award went to Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo (Natural). This cigar, rated with 97 points, was made in Nicaragua by Padrón Cigars Inc., a manufacturer that is characterized by being consistently present in the annual Top 25 Cigar Aficionado rankings, an achievement that is due, without a doubt, to the excellence and attractiveness of its products.
It was the first manufacturer to be named Cigar of the Year in 2004, when that magazine began publishing its list of awards, and in that 17-year period it is the fourth time that Padron has been named Cigar of the Year, making this family business a record holder. In addition, Padron has been among the top five places a total of 16 times in these 17 years.
The Padron 1964 Aniversario Series was launched in 1994 when the company was celebrating 30 years in business, to enormous critical and commercial success, however, it is the first time that a cigar from this series has been named Cigar of the Year. The cigar, with a Torpedo format, is entirely made with leaves grown in Nicaragua.
The second position was won by Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua No. 2, the most iconic size of Montecristo. This cigar, rated 95 points, is made entirely from Nicaraguan tobacco grown on the farms of the tobacconist A.J. Fernandez. It is owned by Altadis U.S.A. and, according to Cigar Aficionado, the best non-Cuban Montecristo they have ever tasted.
It is a bold and strong cigar developed with a spicy and earthy base refined by notes of leather, coconut and malted milk.
Third place went to San Cristobal Quintessence Churchill, a cigar made by the renowned firm My Father Cigars S.A. for Ashton Distributors, owned by the Levin family. This series began in 2007 when Ashton branched out and launched their first Nicaraguan cigar, and so far, they have produced five different lines, all with different wrappers and flavor profiles.
Although Ashton has been releasing different versions of San Cristóbal ever since, according to the magazine, few are as successful, dynamic or interesting as this 95-rated cigar. In addition, they consider that much of the credit is due to the deep knowledge of Nicaraguan tobacco, the Garcia family of My Father Cigars.
Nicaragua leads the US market for premium cigars
As we said in a previous article, Nicaraguan cigars have led the purchase ranking in the US since 2016, when they displaced the Dominican Republic from that position, where they remained for more than three decades. Today it is estimated that more than half of the annual purchases of premium cigars made by the United States come from Nicaragua. Good news knowing the quality of the cigars of that country.