Nate's Top Cigars of 2021

Nate Simonds

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Happy new year, everyone—Nate here. In case you don’t know, I’m the “new” guy that handles the marketing and behind the scenes work for Renegade. Last year was my first full year working in the cigar industry. But because I work with some of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic people in the business, I think I’ve caught on pretty quickly. My knowledge base increased, my pallet expanded, and my appreciation for hand-crafted cigars went to a whole new level. And if you keep reading, you’ll find out what cigar releases got me the most excited in 2021, as well as what I smoked the most of.

1. CLE 25th Anniversary 

Christian Eiroa makes my favorite cigars, hands down, and this particular cigar shot quickly to the top of my list. While I don’t smoke it regularly (because some cigars you just have to save for special occasions), every time I do smoke it, I’m floored by the reminder of how incredible it is. This medium+ smoke is refined and balanced, and you can taste the significant age that this corojo has on it. Together, this is pretty much everything I want in a cigar. 

P.S - We are hosting Christian for an event on January 21st. Don't miss out! 


2. Renegade XI (SOLD OUT)

I fully admit my bias when it comes to the Renegade XI. It would be disingenuous to say otherwise. And to say that I’m extremely proud of this cigar would be an understatement. When I first tried the blend, I thought it was perfect as it was—but Brandon and Henderson made some tweaks that made it even better. I can literally smoke this cigar at any time of the day and find something to enjoy about it every time. There’s just one problem: I enjoy it so much that it’s hard not to run out of my personal supply! 


3. ADVentura Queen's Pearls Lancero

I smoke a lot of Connecticut-wrapper cigars, but to be completely honest, I don’t smoke as many ADVentura Queen's Pearls as you might think. I just find them a bit too strong for my preference in most sizes. That being said, I really enjoy this cigar in the lancero size, which I think delivers full, delicious flavor with a bit of toned-down strength. My favorite time of day to smoke this is in the morning with a good cup of coffee. 


4. Rocky Patel Sixty

If you want to know what really surprised me in 2021, it was the Rocky Patel Sixty. At first glance, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it. While I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Rocky Patel brand and what they’ve done for the industry, there really aren’t very many cigars in their offering that I find myself smoking on a regular basis. I don’t particularly enjoy a lot of Mexican San Andrés wrappers, nor do I smoke a lot of Nicaraguan tobacco. But all of that aside, this was my favorite cigar that I smoked at PCA on its release. The aging really mellows out the rough edges, resulting in a cocoa and leather bomb that’s perfect for an evening smoke with a tumbler of whiskey.


5. Liga Privada Year of the Rat (SOLD OUT)

If not for the Sixty, this would be the biggest surprise of the year for me—but coming in second in that category isn’t a bad thing at all. Liga Privada isn’t in my taste (or strength) profile, and 99 out of 100 times, I would choose a different cigar to smoke. So if you’re like me, this is the Liga Privada to smoke if you want full flavor without the strength that Liga typically provides. While the extremely limited nature of these cigars doesn’t allow me to smoke them often, I have a couple stashed away that I fully intend to enjoy on a special occasion in the future. 


Honorable Mentions 2021 Releases:


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