Staff Stand Outs Vol.3

Nate Simonds

Staff Standouts Vol.3 Title Image 1

Top rated cigars, underrated limited releases and a couple surprise regular production choices... This week's staff stand outs are all about value, with all choices coming in under $13. If you are looking for a new premium cigar to try without breaking the bank, grab one of the suggestions below! 


My cigar pick of the last week is the La Galera Connecticut. Jochy Blanco not only delivers an extremely flavorful Connecticut with loads of flavor, but does it at a tremendous value. He does this by being vertically integrated (growing tobacco, manufacturing and distributing) his own product. It’s a medium strength Connecticut delivering tasting notes of almonds, aged tobacco, coffee and a bit of leather.


So I don’t always try new, limited, or hard to get cigars because I really want others to enjoy such special cigars… but this one really caught my attention. The man behind the cigar, William Ventura, has outdone himself with the blend for the El Maestro Maduro! I got notes of cocoa, espresso, and a mild black pepper with a hint of sweetness on the tongue. Extremely balanced with many subtle nuances throughout. Construction and burn are near perfection from start to finish...As always with me, pair with your favorite coffee!


I owe a big thank you to one of our customers (Anson) for reminding me about the Renegade NDA Series: Butter Pecan. I had forgotten that I stashed several of these packs away when we were setting up the humidor for a Drew Estate sales event after this release. As many of you know I took a last minute trip to Michigan this past weekend and this cigar was a hit with several of my friends who don't normally smoke cigars. This wood forward, medium strength cigar offered just the right amount of buttery richness without overwhelming ones pallet. It does have a distinct transition in the middle third where some spice becomes present, but soon fades away. This was a top 3 NDA release for me, and the most underrated NDA release to date.


This week I tried the EP Carrillo Encore for the first time and it’s fantastic! I don’t usually pay too much attention to the large cigar publication rankings, mostly because there’s just so many awesome cigars on the market and in our humidor, but I smoked the Encore earlier this week and I’m hooked. I can now see why it’s so highly rated... In short I’ll say this is a great creamy and smooth cigar with great chocolate notes. There’s hardly any spice or pepper flavors but is still full bodied and full of flavor. Definitely one of my new go-to smokes being full bodied and stout but not harsh or spicy at all. One of the many perks of working at Renegade is getting great cigar recommendations from coworkers and I owe Nate a big thank you for this one!


My stand out cigar for this week is the Undercrown Maduro. Dark and heavy smoke, paired with a brown ale for the first half and finished with a bourbon. This cigar felt just right with the overcast sky, nice mellow mood. Rich cocoa, a touch of black pepper spice and plenty of cream notes made this a very enjoyable cigar! 



The Black Works Killer Bee surprised my taste buds when smoking. A dark & rich profile with a sting in the beginning of pepper. As you get past the first 1/4 of the cigar, the pepper significantly calms down and brings a rich cocoa and woody flavor. The pepper is still there and is noticiable but isnt overwhelming at all. I wouldn't consider this to be my every day go to cigar but a cigar to enjoy every once in a while.
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1 comment

Got my butter pecan order and it’s a great cigar..medium body with plenty of smoke and subtle taste with a nice wrapper. Stays lit all the way down to the nub! 😎

Terry White

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