Today, we bring you another roundup of our favorite cigars in the world, along with some helpful information to steer you in the right direction and help you make your choice depending on what you’re looking for and what your taste preferences are.
If you’ve spent any amount of time at all around us, you know we take our anniversary cigars seriously. First introduced in 2018 to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the Renegade Cigar Lounge, the Renegade 8 represented the very first collaboration between Brandon and Henderson Ventura of ADVentura Cigars. While the original size sold out in just a few hours, the popular blend has reintroduced this cigar in a unique 46x4 version. It unitizes aged tobaccos primarily from the Dominican Republic and is a medium-strength, full-flavored smoke that’s both clean and complex. Tasting notes include wood, leather, chocolate, and cream.
Davidoff Late Hour
The Late Hour was named after the time of day Winston Churchill reputedly did his best work. While the original WSC is still a personal favorite, the slightly more robust Late Hour checks too many boxes to be ignored. It employs a dark Habano wrapper that’s beautiful to the eye and rewarding to the palette, and some of the Dominican fillers were aged in a fine single-malt whiskey cask. Not to be confused with an infused cigar, this aging process simply adds one more layer of complexity to the fantastic medium-strength blend. Tasting notes include wood, mild spice, sweet coffee, dark chocolate, and leather.
Take two of my personal favorite cigar makers and put them together, and it only makes sense that they would deliver a product this fabulous. While technically a limited release line extension to the 91-rated Long Live the King blend, I actually prefer this toned-down version. Henderson and Robert Caldwell do a great job of keeping the blend details a secret, but I can tell you that the Caldwell Savage uses a Habano wrapper and aged tobaccos from the Dominican Republic. While I would have been completely satisfied with this cigar in its original corona gorda size, there have been a few additional sizes added to the blend since it was originally released in 2016. Tasting notes include earth, mild white pepper, leather, nuts, and a touch of coffee.
The Navigator, or ADV Blue as I often refer to it, is a project between Marcel Knobel and Henderson Ventura. It has been a go-to cigar for me over the last eighteen months, even though it wasn’t made in my preferred size—but after enough formal complaints, it now officially meets all of my needs. The Navigator is a fantastic medium-strength Dominican blend that’s teeming with flavor without being too hard on the pallet or overly spicy. Tasting notes include toffee, leather, wood, coffee, and almond.
LFD La Vacada
I have to confess that I don’t regularly enjoy cigars at the strength level of the LFD La Vacada. That said, I felt it was only fair to include it for those who do. While it may be stronger than my typical recommendation, it is equally as good. Litto Gomez is known for two things: making highly rated cigars, and satisfying the needs of fans of full-bodied Dominican cigars. This small batch release can sometimes be tough to find, but that hasn’t impacted the number of rave reviews it’s received. If you enjoy a rich and robust cigar, or if you’re looking for a nice reward after a hearty steak dinner, the La Vacada deserves a try. It comes with a dark San Andrés wrapper and long-filler tobaccos from Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Tasting notes include: raisin, black peppers, espresso beans, leather, and earth.
We can’t talk Dominican cigars without mentioning the 94-rated Ashton VSG. It has been a flagship Dominican cigar and a workhorse for Ashton for years. It combines a beautiful Ecuadorian wrapper with Dominican tobaccos that are aged over four years. As far as strength goes, it tends to be on the high side of medium—but that said, the nicotine never seems to hit me too hard. You can certainly tell it uses higher-priming tobaccos, but the aging process seems to keep the flavor balanced and smooth. Tasting notes include dark chocolate, mild pepper spice, and cherry candy.