Ministry of Cigars Top 25 for 2019. In 2019, 105 cigars were reviewed on Ministry of Cigars. One cigar from Costa Rica and six cigars from Cuba. Twenty-four reviewed cigars came from the Dominican Republic. Honduras had twelve cigars reviewed. We reviewed three cigars from Mexico and one from Indonesia. The remaining fifty-eight cigars came from Nicaragua. And now it’s time to reveal our top 25, which cigars did we like best?
Numbers 25 – 21
25 – Orchant Selección by Drew Estate Heavyweight. This 5¼x46 Corona is a collaboration between Mitchell Orchant from C.Gars Ltd and Drew Estate. This limited edition is only available in the United Kingdom through the website and retail outlets of C.Gars Ltd.
24 – Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Maduro Robusto. The re-release of a once very popular line from Rocky Patel. The blend was a little tweaked, but this 5½x54 robusto still made the top 25.
23 – Liga Privada Unico Feral Flying Pig. A classic, maybe even a legendary cigar by now. This 5⅜x60 Perfecto is one of the smash hits from Drew Estate. We rated it with a 92, good enough for spot 23.
22 – Neya F8 Gringo Ligero Typhoon. A cigar by Roberto P. Duran. An unknown brand, made in Nicaragua. But if it was up to us, Neya would be better known all around the world. This cigar scored 93 and reached the 22nd position on our list.
21 – Alec Bradley Fine & Rare RS10=(86). This is the 2018 release of Alec Bradley’s annual flagship release. The Fine & Rare is blended with no less than 10 different, and rare, tobaccos from around the globe. And it was good enough to end up at number 21.
20 – RoMaCraft Wunder|lust Petit Belicoso. The first cigar ever to be reviewed on Ministry of Cigars. This RoMaCraft release is not available in the United States, much to the dislike of the American RoMaCraft fans. But they can drool over our review.
19 – Orchant Selección by Drew Estate Lightweight. The little brother of the #25 on our list. This 3½x46 Half Corona may be called lightweight, but it packs a punch. Strong, flavorful and good enough to end up in the 19th position.
18 – Dalay Limited Edition 2019 Robusto Extra. This Dominican cigar is exclusively available at Dalay Zigarren, a German retailer. This cigar was blended for his shop only with rare, vintage tobaccos that are hardly ever used in modern-day cigars.
17 – Arturo Fuente Lonsdale. But not just a regular one, a vintage Lonsdale from 2001. A whole pallet of Arturo Fuente cigars was misplaced in one of the large warehouses of the Fuente distributor. It resurfaced when a new facility was opened and everything had to be moved. The stock was sold in The Netherlands and we managed to smoke a few.
16 – Alec Bradley Magic Toast Robusto. This is one of the cigars that hit the spot. From the first chocolate-filled puff till the last one, this cigar delivered. We ordered a box and light a Magic Toast regularly to wind down after a long day of writing.
Numbers 15 – 10
15 – Illusione Rothchildes. This short robusto was a very pleasant surprise. We smoked several Illusione cigars before but had always ignored this little bugger. We corrected that error and how. This cigar is so nice prices, that we shared these at our NYE party.
14 – Oliva Baptiste Toro. A cigar that we never heard of, because it’s a store exclusive blend for an American webshop. But it was an instant love affair. The cigar is dirt cheap but tastes like a cigar double the price. It will come back at our ‘bang for the buck’ list which we will publish tomorrow.
13 – Iron Shirt Robusto. If you never heard of this cigar, that’s fine. It’s a small batch cigar made for Schuster Cigars. Schuster Cigars is a German cigar manufacturer and distributor. They found rare tobaccos, created this limited edition which was sold in a few European countries.
12 – Indian Motorcycles Maduro Toro. Part of the Debonaire House portfolio and made by De Los Reyes in the Dominican Republic. We enjoyed this cigar very much.
11 – Saga Short Tales Tomo VI. Another cigar from the De Los Reyes factory in the Dominican Republic. The Short Tales series tell a story about tobacco. And Saga is the story of the Reyes family and their 5 generations in tobacco
The top 10
10 – Undercrown Sun Grown Flying Pig – The second Flying Pig in the top 25. But we preferred this smaller version over the Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig. And from the three Undercrown Flying Pigs we smoked this year, this was the winner.
9 – My Father La Opulencia Robusto. La Opulencia is an old Cuban brand, resurrected by My Father Cigars with the old artwork but with a brand new blend. And it hails from Nicaragua. With a 93 score, it made the top 10.
8 – Tobacco Lords Speirs. Another quite unknown brand, exclusive to the United Kingdom. This cigar is made by Joya de Nicaragua for the Scottish retailer Robert Graham 1874. And for the name, it dives into the history of Glasgow. A few tobacco traders, called the tobacco lords, controlled almost all tobacco trade in Europe. Alexander Speirs was one of them. Little did he know that a few centuries later, his name would be on the 8th spot of our top 25.
7 – Balmoral Paso Doble Brindis. This is the second installment of the Balmoral Series Signaturas, a series of collaborations with other manufacturers. The Paso Doble is a collaboration with La Flor Dominicana. And this is a darn fine cigar, coming in at number 7 with a 94 score.
6 – Partagas Salomones. The only Cuban cigar in the top 25. This is a vintage Partagas, almost 20 years old but still full of flavor. And who doesn’t like the beautiful shape of a Salomones? We wish all Cuban cigars were as good at this one
The top 5
5 – Arturo Fuente Opus X 20th anniversary Father & Son. The most expensive cigar on the list. But that is not enough to become the #1, although it says something about the quality. This fantastic Dominican cigar scored a 94.
4 – Henk Maori Haka. The second most expensive cigar in the list is the Henk Maori Haka. But it’s worth every penny, although it won’t be an everyday smoke because of the price tag. It’s a great cigar for a special occasion. Well balanced with character, a must-try.
3 – Sin Compromiso Intrepido. One of the two different Sin Compromiso sizes that were reviewed, with the Cigaragua exclusive El Amsterdammer as the second one. But we liked this blend better in a thinner ring gauge, 46 over 60.
2 – Dondurma Toro. Another Steve Saka blend in the top 3. A rare one only sold in limited batches due to the limited availability of Comstock tobacco from Winsconsin. Yes, you read that, tobacco from Wisconsin. But the cigar is amazing, full flavor yet smooth enough to retrohale.
1 – Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas Diadema. One of the two cigars that scored a 95. And the best cigar we smoked this year. And with this winner, we can only conclude that Joya de Nicaragua is at the top of their game. The complete top three consists of cigars made at the Joya de Nicaragua factory.