Well, friends, it’s time yet again for us here at Cigars.com to share some of the amazing smokes we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying this week. While the list is ever-changing and evolving, it will always feature our honest opinions so that you guys have all possible information when making a purchase. Why should you care what we smoke? Are we full of ourselves? Hey, probably, but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong. Let us know what you think!



Southern Draw Kudzu Robusto



There are many reasons I’ve always loved the South, particularly steak, BBQ, and bourbon. In recent years, my adoration of the South has grown because of this cigar. Southern Draw was always one of those smokes I wished I could get regularly. Now that I can, I haven’t stopped smoking them.

Named after a viney plant that is rampant below the Mason–Dixon, Kudzu is handrolled with aged Nicaraguan tobacco and finished with a stunning oscuro wrapper. Notes of spice and wood in the blend mix beautifully with the rich chocolate qualities of the wrapper to create a well-rounded, medium-to-full-bodied gem that smokes brilliantly from start to finish. The South will rise again thanks to Robert Holt and Southern Draw.



Padron 1926 No. 2 Belicoso Maduro



This cigar will always be an enigma to me. I have always been a maduro fan and have leaned toward broadleaf for almost my entire smoking career…except for this delicious Belicoso. I mean, on the surface it’s everything I usually stay away from—it’s a box-pressed with no cellophane and no broadleaf wrapper? Regardless, I can’t seem to stop smoking it.

A Nicaraguan puro, this Padrón 1926 maduro is one of the highest-rated regular-production cigars of all time. Its tobaccos are aged for over five years, creating a silky-smooth yet rich and bold aroma. Each puff delivers a complex profile consisting of notes of cocoa, dark chocolate, and a subtle yet apparent spice.

I don’t have many more words on this because, honestly, every time I smoke a 1926 I’m left speechless. Smoke one and you’ll see why.



Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto



This line has gotten a lot of attention due being included in Cigar Aficionado’s top-25 list two years in a row. Well, that’s great but I was smoking this long before I was told to smoke one. (Did you see the Mathew McConaughey impression I just did?) The Melanio is an outstanding smoke and I’ve always been partial to the Robusto size.

This box-pressed cigar is handrolled with finely aged Nicaraguan tobacco cloaked in a light-brown Ecuadorian wrapper. It has some great cedar notes along with a dash of pepper and a hint of sweetness that sneaks through every other puff. I smoked it until I literally burnt my fingers, it was that good.

The Oliva V Series has always been a fan favorite (and a personal favorite), and the Melanio is the more luxurious version, the Johnny Walker Blue label of Oliva, and from a whiskey fan, that’s saying a lot.



New World by A.J. Fernandez Gobernador Toro



I’ll admit, sometimes I do judge a book by its cover; on occasion, I’ll see a cigar and look at the band or the artwork and think it’s not for me. If I was a noob, I would have walked past the New World—it honestly looks like just another brand; it doesn’t stand out. Well, that’s the point: When A.J. Fernandez creates a blend, he could wrap it in old newspaper and it would still be one of the best cigars you’d ever have.

This cigar’s theme is the discovery of the New World by Spanish conquistadors. Box-pressed and handrolled with some of A.J.s finest aged tobacco, it’s finished with a stunning dark-brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper that adds great notes of earth, leather, and cocoa, which combine with the spice of the fillers and binder to create an immense complexity.

This Toro has always treated me right, so it’s the one I smoke continuously. Besides the blend, the next appealing thing about the New World is its price. For two years in a row the New World was named one of the best cigars for your buck, which is especially impressive in this industry; getting an amazing cigar for a low price is a rarity that showcases the talents of its creator.



Kentucky Fire Cured Chunky



The KFC will always hold a special place in my heart. When I first began my journey into the industry (outside of retail, that is), I was asked to the first ever Kentucky Barn Smoker courtesy of Jonathan Drew. We sat in the barn and talked about cigars for hours on end while puffing on more of these cigars than I can remember. It was a truly amazing experience.

If I had to choose three words to describe this cigar they would be delicious, intriguing, and unique. It doesn’t taste like any other cigar you will try and is in fact more similar to pipe tobacco—rich, zesty, and sweet with a very distinctive smoky quality. After that trip, my bag didn’t smell like cigars; it smelled like a fire made with maple wood chips. Sometimes at night in bed, I dream of that smell; the next day I light up another KFC and it takes me back.