The best cigars of 2016
AFTER MUCH DELIBERATION, WE COME UP WITH A LIST OF THE FOUR MOST IMPRESSIVE CIGARS THAT WE SAMPLED OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR
OVER THE COURSE OF 2016, we’ve sampled a wide range of fabulous cigars. Some of them have been old favourites from the likes of Cohiba and Partgas, while others have been new releases that only found their way to retail stores this year. So when it comes to whittling down our favourite smokes of 2016, we’ve been rather spoilt for choice.
However, given it is the end of the year, we thought it would be worth reflecting back on the cigars we’ve tested in order to work out which were the finest smokes of 2016. And through lengthy deliberations, the Virtuozity team eventually ended up with this list of four stand-out cigars. is a list what we perceived to be the best of the best this year. And if you disagree, we’d love you to write in and give us your own suggestions for the best cigars of the year.
Anyway, without further ado, here are our picks for the best cigars of 2016. The Magnum 56 may bear the year 2015 on its name, but it only really made its way to store shelves throughout 2016. It was the first new Magnum to be launched since 2008, and with a 56 ring gauge, it’s the
Upon lighting up, the first thing that hits you is just how strong the cigar is. It may be relatively small by today’s standards, but the Club Allones is a real rocket. What makes it so interesting, however, is that against the standard Cuban backdrop of leather and wood, you don’t get spice, but a vast array of fruit. There’s citrus, orange and an overall tanginess that’s pervasive throughout the entirety of the smoke. And every now and then, a sweet note comes through to tantalise the tastebuds.
Moving onto the second third, and the fruity notes begin to subside. There’s a tanginess, for sure, but it’s less tied to the citrus and more tied to a new pepper flavour that comes through. What’s more, that pepper begins to parlay with a newly arrived note of bitter dark chocolate, which is most prominent on the finish. There are a vast array of flavours going on by the end of the second third, and it’s hugely exciting.
By the final third, you have every single flavour described above whirling about in a tornado of taste. It’s incredibly complex but it’s so satisfying. Things get a little strong by the time you reach the end of the cigar, but by the time you’ve reached that point, you’ll It wasn’t just Cuban cigars that caught our eye over the course of the year, though. Indeed, one of our favourite non-cuban brands of 2016 ended up being Padron. And our pick of Padron cigars for the year? The Exclusivo from the 1964 Anniversary Series.
The line was introduced in 1994 to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary. It consists of 11 sizes that are all available in sun-grown natural and maduro wrappers. All tobacco used in the limited production series is aged for four years, creating a smooth and complex flavour. In honor of the age-old Cuban tradition of box-pressing cigars, the 1964 Anniversary line was introduced as a boxpressed series.
In terms of the Exclusivo, it comes with a dry, dark brown wrapper that has a little bit of give in it. It also offers a perfect burn all the way down. In terms of flavour, the first third opens strong, with a big hit of leather and spice, with some bitter cocoa thrown in for good measure. This is a full-bodied cigar.
The second third sees the strength of the cocoa increase, but without the bitterness, making the cigar turn into a relatively smooth experience. Things continue this way until the final third, where the spice makes a comeback, along with some distinctly wooden flavours. What’s more the strength is kicked up a notch again, meaning that, by the end of the cigar, you’re left reeling at its potency.