Top 10 Lists
Top 10 Cigars of 2021 – Tony Casas Edition
Let the top 10 lists flow! It’s out turn. Each year I post my top 10 cigars from the previous year. The rules are simple here really, it just has to be a cigar that we reviewed or even smoked this year. We don’t have ratings so it’s just something that I personally track throughout the year and in most cases towards the end of the year I’ll go back through and smoke a handful of the contenders just to make sure my assessment is still accurate. That being said, it’s time to get into it!
#10 – Arcana CAO Mortal Coil
The CAO Arcana Mortal Coil was certainly an enjoyable cigar, but that didn’t come without it’s issues. The draw on 3 of the cigars I smoked were all a bit on the tight side. Not anything that killed the experience but it did require some extra effort. Outside of that, I enjoyed the flavor profile, and the pricing seems perfect if the cigar performed without the issues. The flavor profile was particularly exceptional. I have a handful more of these that I will probably let rest a while and see how they perform in a few months but it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a CAO as much as I have this year.
#9 Drew Estate Liga Privada Undercrown 10
There is so much hype around each one of Drew Estate’s releases, and in most cases, they deliver which is the case for the Undercrown 10. This cigar has all the flavors from the classic Undercrown maduro line that I love, with added body and a ton of new flavors. The cigar reminded me so much of Abuelita hot chocolate for those familiar. The cigar is balanced, complex, and nailed my personal profile for what I look for in a cigar. The burn performance was great, and the cigar as a whole offered a fantastic experience. These are a bit pricy as they are almost pushing the bounds for the normal Liga Privada lines, but the cigar does deliver.
#8 Davidoff Winston Churchill Limited Edition 2021
hen Davidoff hits it out of the park, its all the way out of the park and the Davidoff Winston Churchill Limited Edition 2021 landed in a different time zone. The big, bold and unique flavors kept me on my toes from start to finish. The construction is flawless, and this cigar is astonishingly still available. The price tag probably has a lot to do with it, and is my only gripe here. But you get what you pay for and in this case, you get a hell of an experience.
#7 Tatuaje The Frank Redux 1
While the original Frank is so far in my rear view mirror that I can’t remember much of that experience outside of my written words, I do remember how special of a cigar that was. The Frank Redux 1 delivered the same experience. It’s just an all around fantastic cigar. The flavor profile is incredible and really marries up well with my I personally look for in a cigar. The blend is complex, yet balanced, the price is perfect, and the fact that it’s much easier to find this time around is just awesome. I’ve always been a huge fan of the monster series and I for one am more than happy with it’s resurrection.
#6 Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka
The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka is an exceptional cigar. The profile is incredibly nuanced and complex. Anyone who knows Saka knows just how picky he is when it comes to his blends and I can’t imagine the work that was involved getting this one right where it is. Outside of the flavors the experience as a whole were flawless. No burn issues, no heat or sap. Just all around a great experience. While this cigar was excellent, the cost still feels a little steep for me. I know you can’t achieve the same experience without the high-level of production and selectivity, something that Steve Saka is known for, I just don’t know if I’d grab a full box of these. This is something I’d probably keep a few around for though when I am craving such a complex experience. Now if you’re a big Sin Compromiso fan and don’t mind paying a bit of extra coin for a next level version of the cigar I think you’ll be all over this one!
#5 Black Label Trading Co. Last Rites Viaticum
Giving credit where credit is due, this is easily one of the best cigars I’ve smoked all year. The construction and burn were fantastic while the unique blend and flavor profile really appealed to my personal palate. And when I say it “really appealed”, I meant that I loved it. There are few drawbacks, but most are expected. It’s a bit pricey, however I feel the price is justified as I don’t mind paying $15 for the experience it delivered. It’s very limited. Well, that’s a given. And it burns very quickly. None were big enough miffs to keep me from purchasing quite a few more.
#4 Tatuaje T110 2021
That Tatuaje 110 is everything I remember it being. A complex cigar that will kick your butt if you aren’t ready for it. The flavor profile was great, the burn was awesome after the slight stumble at the start, and the price is on point. If only these weren’t so limited. If for some reason you happen to stumble across any, buy them. All of them. You won’t regret it.
#3 Black Works Studio Hyena
The Black Works Studio line is unique, and the Hyena is a perfect example of that. Cameroon is a tobacco that I don’t often smoke, and every time I do I wonder why I don’t smoke more of it. The tobacco is just so flavorful which is on full display in this African version, which is the first time I have ever tried. The cigar is packed with very deep, rich, and complex flavors that will keep you on your toes but more importantly, are all extremely pleasant and appealing. This was probably one of the better cigars I’ve smoked all year and something that I will definitely keep on hand going forward.
#2 Illusione Jeremy Piven Collection PIV Robusto
I’d be curious to know just who Jeremy Piven met with before ultimately deciding to do this collaboration with Illusione. Why he chose Illusione, well that’s pretty obvious. As my boy Drew would say, “Cause he is the king of Corojo!”. The PIV Robusto carries some great, deep, yet very balanced flavors. While a few of the cigars we reviewed recently by Illusione tend to be a bit of a departure from his normal style, the PIV Robusto is a great representation on just how well Dion knows his way around Corojo. This is a perfect afternoon smoke when you are craving something with a good amount of flavor that won’t overwhelm your palate yet still deliver.
#1 Black Label Trading Co. Bishop’s Blend 2021
The team over at Oveja Negra is making it really hard for me not to include every one of their releases in my top 10 cigars for 2021. I always thought the bishop’s blend releases were special cigars, but this year there was something extra special with the blend or tobacco. The flavor profile is absolutely incredible from start to finish. The cigar burned perfectly, and the price is actually lower than I’d expect for a cigar like this. The limited production is a bit daunting, but they have released a new run each year which evens it out. The only complaint here is the amount of sap this cigar produces. There is quite a bit and while slowing down my smoking pace greatly reduces it, I was unable to make it through any of the cigars I smoked without some slipping out. I’m sure some more rest would easily clean that up.