IPCPR 2019 brought a ton of new cigars to the cigar industry. This day and age, it seems as if there are almost limitless releases each year at the industry’s largest trade show.
Well, I got a chance to try quite a few new releases, and it’s time to rank them. Obviously, it’s impossible to try every single cigar, and many new releases are not given out as samples at the show and/or have not hit shelves for purchase. Below are my top 10 picks of what I’ve tried from the show as well as some honorable mentions.
For this list, no company can earn more than one spot, though a number are deserving. At any rate, the cigar industry should rejoice at the plethora of quality cigars being produced.
#10 – Plasencia Alma del Fuego
The Plasencia Alma del Fuego was featured in the coolest looking display I’ve ever seen at IPCPR. It’s a complex blend with rich flavor not to be missed.
#9 – Emilio AF1
A surprise for me, the 2019 Emilio AF1 blew me away. Emilio has flown under the radar for many cigar smokers, but the Black Label Trading Co. crew knows what’s up. Check it out.
#8 – H. Upmann Hispaniola
H. Upmann has come a long way over the years. The new Hispaniola is the crown jewel as far as I’m concerned.
#7 – Aganorsa Leaf Guardian of the Farm Night Watch
Aganorsa Leaf produces some of the best tobacco around. The original Guardian of the Farm was one of my favorites, but this new Night Watch exudes more strength and body bringing a bold, flavorful experience to the table.
#6 – Foundation Menelik
Foundation Cigar Co. used to only offer the Menelik at events. I never got to try it, but it’s now a regular production stick that deserves space in any humidor.
#5 – Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée
Steve Saka continues to dominate the cigar industry with masterful blends. The Sobremesa Brûlée is the company’s first Connecticut, and boy, does it deliver. Flavors are traditional yet complex and refined. And no, it doesn’t have a sweetened cap, but the blend coats the tongue with a gentle, natural sweetness.
#4 – Southern Draw Kudzu Lustrum
Southern Draw is a company that should be on any serious cigar smoker’s radar. They hit the market with a ton of new blends this year, but the star of the show is the Kudzu Lustrum which features delicious medio tiempo tobacco. Forget cake – this should be your dessert.
#3 – Jas Sum Kral Tyrannical Buc Connecticut
Jas Sum Kral – I am king in Macedonian. If you haven’t tried a JSK, you’re truly missing out. The Tyrannical Buc Connecticut is another winner from Riste Ristevski. It beats out most cigars in today’s market packing a little punch and a lot of flavor. Get you some.
#2 – RoMa Craft Neanderthal LH
We got to try the new Neanderthal LH before anyone outside of RoMa Craft Tobac over a wonderful conversation with Skip Martin at IPCPR 2019. I think he just wanted to watch us turn green with the strength, but this powerhouse blend in the new box-pressed size outshines every previous vitola. This will become a staple in my humidor, and you NEED to try it. Beware: it’s strong as hell!
#1 – A.C.E. Prime Lancero
A.C.E. Prime was a new company at IPCPR 2019. We spent hours with Luciano Meirelles in the Treasure Island bar with the Blind Man’s Puff crew discussing our passion for tobacco and trying every new blend he made. This Lancero is one of the best cigars I’ve ever smoked. Take my word for it. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny.
All of the cigars below are deserving of recognition. They’re amazing blends but either didn’t quite make the top 10 or the company already snagged a spot on the list above and are ineligible for a second. In no particular order, I give you the honorable mentions:
- Tatuaje ME (Mexican Experiment) II
- Crowned Heads La Coalicion
- Souther Draw Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone
- Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Maduro
- Trinidad Espiritu
- A.C.E. Prime Luciano
- J.R.E. Aladino Connecticut
- A.J. Fernandez Dias de Gloria
- Powstanie Wojtek
- Foundation Highclere Castle Victorian
Let us know your thoughts on all our picks. If there are any other cigars you think should have made this list, be sure to comment below.