Top Cigars of 2022

Top 20 Cigars of 2022 at Smokingpipes.com

It's that time of year again folks: the week between Christmas and New Year's during which we digest holiday desserts, refine future resolutions, and revel in past reflections. Such a time also marks our top-cigars project here at Smokingpipes. While "pipes" may be in our name — literally — many of us also appreciate the nuance and complexity of cigars, and since 2019, we've compiled a list of our favorites from the past year — not necessarily cigars that have been released within the past year, but those we've smoked and appreciated most throughout the past 12 months. The list is a celebration of individual preferences, quality components, and talented tabacaleras, and this year's compilation may just be our best yet.

As in previous years, we compiled a list of our favorite cigars of the year and then rated each based on the following attributes:

  • Construction: quality of the roll, draw, and burn consistency
  • Flavor: our personal opinion on how enjoyable the flavor profile is overall
  • Presentation: packaging, band, and overall aesthetic appeal
  • Value: the ratio of overall quality to price

(In the case of equal scores, the Flavor ranking acted as a tie-breaker, and if needed, Value was the deciding category.)

We graded each cigar out of 10 points in each category, and our scores were consolidated and converted to a ten-point scale to determine the final rankings. Listed below are our Top Cigars of 2021 based on our personal preferences, tastes, and experiences with each cigar. Let us know in the comments if any of your favorites made the list and what other cigars we need to sample and consider for next year!

20. Black Label Trading Company: Memento Mori Lonsdale

Black Label Trading Company Memento Mori Lonsdale Cigar

Memento mori is a classic Latin admonition that literally translates to "remember death." The saying has been the focal point of many artistic and philosophical traditions throughout history, and its reminder of mortality is meant to encourage a greater appreciation of life. As a cigar, Black Label Trading Company's Memento Mori was originally a factory exclusive, available only at the brand's Oveja Negra factory in Nicaragua. This year, though, founder James Brown introduced the blend to retailers as a limited-production cigar. Comprising a dark Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, Ecuadorian Habano binder, and Nicaraguan fillers, the Memento Mori perfectly balances strength and complexity, offering a flavor profile of spice, earth, dark fruits, and cocoa and perfectly embodying Black Label's signature design aesthetic and style of cigar making.

  • Score: 7.8
  • Price: $12.00
  • Length: 6.5"
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Maduro
  • Wrapper Country: United States
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Ecuador

19. Stolen Throne: 3 Kingdoms Toro

Stolen Throne 3 Kingdoms Toro Cigar

Founded in 2019 by friends and co-workers JR Cannon and Lee Marsh, Stolen Throne has since become one of the industry's leading up-and-coming brands, with aficionados praising the company's first two releases, Crook of the Crown and Call to Arms. The 3 Kingdoms cigar is Stolen Throne's third blend, crafted in collaboration with Texas-based master blender Noel Rojas of Rojas Cigars (which also makes an appearance in this top-20 list). Featuring a Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro wrapper and undisclosed binder and filler tobaccos, the 3 Kingdoms cigar delights with notes of espresso, caramel, cedar, and pepper.

  • Score: 7.85
  • Price: $9.45
  • Length: 6"
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Habano Oscuro
  • Wrapper Country: Nicaragua
  • Filler Country: Undisclosed
  • Binder Country: Undisclosed

18. Liga Privada: H99 Toro

Liga Privada H99 Toro Cigar

An off-shoot of Drew Estate, Liga Privada focuses on small-batch releases that feature rare and unique tobaccos — with limited quantities not suited for Drew Estate's regular-production lineup. These are some of the tabacalera's most distinctive, sought-after, and premium blends, representing the best of Drew Estate's reputation. The H99 showcases a unique hybrid wrapper of Corojo leaf grown in the Connecticut Valley. Hand-rolled at La Gran Fábrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua, the H99 complements that Connecticut Corojo wrapper with a Mexican San Andrés binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Pennsylvania for a complex and nuanced smoking experience.

  • Score: 8
  • Price: $15.95
  • Length: 6"
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Connecticut Corojo
  • Wrapper Country: United States
  • Filler Country: Honduras, Nicaragua, United States
  • Binder Country: Mexico

17. Aladino: Classic Robusto

Aladino Classic Robusto Cigar

Founded by Julio R. Eiroa, who helped make Camacho a major success in the 1990s, Aladino is a family project between Julio and his son Justo. Named for the movie theater that was converted into the factory where the cigars are rolled in Danlí, Honduras, Aladino offers authentic, old-school cigars. The focus is strictly on the premium tobacco used to create each cigar, calling to mind the Habanos produced in Cuba in the mid-20th century, with each leaf grown on Julio's farm and rolled in his factory. Released in 2022, Aladino's Classic series joins the tabacalera's Cameroon, Corojo, and Corojo Reserve series as a distinctive Honduran puro. Unlike those other lines, though, which feature Cameroonian-seed and Corojo-seed wrappers, respectively, the Classic showcases a Habano wrapper grown on the Eiroas' farms in Honduras. As such, it presents a classic, medium-bodied flavor profile marked by nuance, depth, and complexity.

  • Score: 8.2
  • Price: $8.60
  • Length: 5"
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country: Honduras
  • Wrapper Type: Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Honduras
  • Filler Country: Honduras
  • Binder Country: Honduras

16. Saga: Blend No. 7 Robusto

Saga Blend No. 7 Robusto Cigar

Reinforced by six generations of the Reyes family's tobacco expertise, Saga cigars utilize the family's renowned Dominican tobaccos, tastefully complemented by other quality varietals — all hand-rolled at the De Los Reyes tabacalera in the Dominican Republic. The Blend No. 7 cigar makes use of a diverse blend, featuring a Brazilian Habano wrapper, Dominican Habano binder, and secret filler mixture of tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and several South American countries. These unique components result in a distinctive flavor profile marked by earth, nuts, cedar, and subtle spice.

  • Score: 8.25
  • Price: $7.59
  • Length: 5.5"
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper Type: Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Brazil
  • Filler Country: Dominican Republic, Undisclosed
  • Binder Country: Dominican Republic

15. Lost & Found: 22 Minutes to Midnight Habano de Oro Corona Deluxe

Lost & Found 22 Minutes to Midnight Habano de Oro Corona Deluxe Cigars

Lost & Found is a clandestine endeavor created by Robert Caldwell of Caldwell Cigar Company and Tony Bellatto of La Barba Cigars, founded on the potential of "lost" cigars forgotten in the vast warehouses of other manufacturers. These cigars are reclaimed by Caldwell and Bellatto, rebranded, and then offered to consumers. While the original manufacturers remain unknown, connoisseurs can count on Lost & Found cigars to be from some of the most reputable names in the industry and to be seasoned by years of age. This year, though, Lost & Found announced that they would also be offering cigars that have been specially commissioned from factories and intentionally aged prior to release. One of the first of these cigars was the 22 Minutes to Midnight, or 23:38, fashioned at William Ventura's El Maestro factory in the Dominican Republic and aged for two years after being rolled. The Habano de Oro version was blended by Robert, and features a Habano wrapper. Though many of the components and their origins remain secret, Lost & Found ensures that the fillers' combined age surpasses 25 years.

  • Score: 8.3
  • Price: $16.00
  • Length: 5.5"
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper Type: Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Undisclosed
  • Filler Country: Undisclosed
  • Binder Country: Undisclosed

14. Luciano: Maria Lucia Robusto

Luciano Maria Lucia Robusto Cigar

Released this year, the Maria Lucia cigar was named in honor of founder Luciano Meirelles' mother who passed away when he was only 12. He wanted to craft a cigar that embodied her kind yet bold personality. As such, the Maria Lucia cigar is a complex, intricate blend marked by bold flavors with refined nuance, and it comprises a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, double binders of Ecuadorian Sumatra and Ecuadorian Havana '92 leaf, and fillers from Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. Moreover, the box and band art was drawn by Meirelles' oldest daughter, depicting a portrait of what she imagines her grandmother to have looked like despite never having been able to meet her nor seeing a photograph of her.

  • Score: 8.35
  • Price: $12.95
  • Length: 5.25"
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Wrapper Country: United States
  • Filler Country: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru
  • Binder Country: Ecuador

13. Oliva: Serie V 135th Anniversary Edicion Limitada

Oliva Series V 135th Anniversary Edicion Limitada Cigar

Oliva's Serie V cigar consists of specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero fillers from Nicaragua and a Nicaraguan binder, all wrapped in an Ecuadorian Sun Grown Habano leaf. Highlighting this rich leaf, the Oliva Serie V offers a complex flavor profile marked by hints of dark chocolate and coffee, with a subtle spiciness to balance and deepen the nuance. This special 135th Edición Limitada version is an exclusive 5.5" x 54 Perfecto released in 2021 to commemorate 135 years since Melanio Oliva first started working in Cuba's tobacco fields in 1886.

  • Score: 8.4
  • Price: $10.00
  • Length: 5.75"
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Sun Grown Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Ecuador
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

12. Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust: StillWell Star Holiday Y2022

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 Cigar

StillWell Star cigars from Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust are the first luxury cigars to feature premium pipe tobacco, pairing the cigar-blending prowess of founder Steve Saka with the pipe-tobacco prowess of Cornell & Diehl. Though he's most prominently known throughout the cigar industry, Steve has smoked a pipe for years, and C&D blends comprise much of his cellar. StillWell Star combines this love for both cigars and pipe tobaccos, represented by four distinctive, core-line blends: Aromatic No. 1, English No. 27, Bayou No. 32, and Navy No. 1056. These cigars are all 6" x 52 Toros with Ecuadorian Habano wrappers, Mexican San Andrés binders, and fillers that include various pipe tobaccos — each hand-blended by Cornell & Diehl from recipes created by head blender Jeremy Reeves. While offering flavors and aromas that both cigar and pipe smokers will find familiar and appealing, StillWell Star cigars remain singular, something greater than the sum of their components. For this year, Dunbarton released a special, limited-edition StillWell Star Holiday cigar: It maintains the same foundational components as other StillWell Star blends but includes Cavendish, Burley, and Virginia pipe tobaccos and a subtle topping to offer an aromatic quality that's perfect for the holiday season.

  • Score: 8.4
  • Price: $15.30
  • Length: 6"
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Ecuador
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Mexico

11. Rojas: Street Tacos Carnitas Robusto

Rojas Street Tacos Carnitas Robusto Cigar

Master blender Noel Rojas has worked behind the scenes for much of his career in the cigar industry, from working on Cuban tobacco farms and studying blending and production techniques to collaborating with various boutique companies to produce highly rated cigars. Rojas Cigars, however, is Noel's solo venture, having released their first cigars in late 2019. Hand-rolled at Rojas' factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, the Street Tacos Carnitas cigar continues the series inspired by traditional Hispanic cuisine. The second release in the series introduced by the Barbacoa version, the Street Tacos Carnitas features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers.

  • Score: 8.45
  • Price: $8.50
  • Length: 5"
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Connecticut
  • Wrapper Country: Ecuador
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

10. Caldwell Cigar Company: Anastasia Yellow Label 2022 Igor

Caldwell Cigar Company Anastasia Yellow Label 2022 Igor Cigar

Caldwell's renowned Anastasia cigar debuted in 2016 as a limited-edition release before returning in 2018 with a slightly tweaked, regular-production blend — though still kept secret. It's since become among Caldwell's most sought-after cigars, and this year welcomed the limited-edition Yellow Label 2022 version. Though its components remain a closely guarded secret, the Anastasia Yellow Label 2022 cigar features a Habano wrapper and is hand-rolled at an undisclosed Dominican factory, and only 750 total boxes were made in each size.

  • Score: 8.45
  • Price: $30.00
  • Length: 7.5"
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Country: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper Type: Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Undisclosed
  • Filler Country: Undisclosed
  • Binder Country: Undisclosed

9. Crowned Heads: Las Calaveras EL 2022 LC46

Crowned Heads Las Calaveras EL 2022 LC46 Cigar

Named for the Spanish word for "the skulls" and inspired by the Day of the Dead festival, Crowned Heads' limited-edition Las Calaveras cigar is one of the company's most anticipated yearly releases, now in its ninth iteration since debuting in 2014. Like the holiday, the line honors people close to Crowned Heads who have passed away, with each annual edition marked by a different blend and color palette. This year's version, as with previous ones, is made in Estelí, Nicaragua, by the Garcia family at My Father Cigars, and it's a Nicaraguan puro with a Corojo '99 wrapper — the first Las Calaveras release to showcase such a wrapper.

  • Score: 8.6
  • Price: $11.96
  • Length: 5.75"
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Corojo
  • Wrapper Country: Nicaragua
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

8. Foundation Cigar Company: Olmec Maduro Toro

Foundation Cigar Company Olmec Maduro Toro Cigars

The Olmecs were an ancient Mesoamerican people, dating as far back as sometime between 1600 and 1500 BCE. Among the earliest known civilizations in the Americas, the Olmec people inhabited the modern-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco, including Veracruz's San Andrés Valley — known today for its distinctive tobacco. Fittingly, Foundation's Olmec cigar showcases this specific Mexican varietal in two versions: Claro and Maduro. Both versions feature Nicaraguan binder and fillers hand-rolled by AJ Fernandez in Nicaragua, and the cigar bands depict the Olmecs' iconic colossal head sculptures.

  • Score: 8.6
  • Price: $14.50
  • Length: 6"
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: San Andrés Maduro
  • Wrapper Country: Mexico
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

7. Emilio: Suave Robusto

Emilio Suave Robusto Cigars

Supported by the recognizable branding and cigar-making prowess of James Brown and his Oveja Negra factory, Emilio Cigars adds yet another feather in Brown's already illustrious cap, joining the likes of Black Label Trading Company, BLK WKS Studio, and Dissident. Smoothness and laid-back ease define Emilio's Suave cigar, exemplified by the box and band's easy-rider logo. It's the brand's core Connecticut cigar, delighting with a U.S. Connecticut wrapper complemented by a Nicaraguan Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers.

  • Score: 8.65
  • Price: $8.10
  • Length: 5"
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Connecticut
  • Wrapper Country: United States
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

6. Warped: Nicotina Belicoso

Warped Nicotina Belicoso Cigars

Like the Flor del Valle and La Hacienda lines, Warped's Nicotina cigar is named for a vintage Cuban brand dating to 1880. It's among the brand's most full-bodied blends, but founder and master blender Kyle Gellis prioritized Warped's signature style of balance and complexity, making the Nicotina not your average powerhouse cigar, its strength belied by the nuanced flavor profile. Kyle turned to Aganorsa Leaf for this Nicaraguan puro, and it's entirely composed of Aganorsa tobacco and hand-rolled at the company's TABSA factory in Estelí. The Nicotina features a Corojo '99 wrapper, Criollo '98 binder, and a filler blend of both such varietals. Hearkening to its Cuban namesake, it contains only Cuban-seed tobaccos and features a slightly pointed cap evocative of the iconic Cuban 109, exhibiting complex notes of cream, pepper, oats, and citrus.

  • Score: 8.8
  • Price: $11.00
  • Length: 5.5"
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Corojo
  • Wrapper Country: Nicaragua
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

5. Cavalier: White Series Elegante

Cavalier White Series Elegante Cigars

When Swiss-born Sébastien Decoppet moved to Danlí, Honduras, in his early 20s, he built relationships with notable cigar makers, including Adin Perez of the San Judas Tadeo factory and the Plasencia family, and learned the minutia and intricacies of cigar blending and rolling. Through that experience, Decoppet launched Cavalier Gèneve cigars, and his wife Eylin contributed the idea for the brand's defining logo: a diamond composed of 24K edible gold leaf integrated into every Cavalier cigar's wrapper. The White Series is Cavalier's debut, flagship blend, handmade at Perez's San Judas Tadeo factory in Honduras. It comprises fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Paraguay within a Connecticut binder and Habano wrapper of undisclosed origin, offering a smooth, balanced flavor profile and a mild-bodied smoking experience.

  • Score: 9
  • Price: $9.25
  • Length: 4.5"
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country: Honduras
  • Wrapper Type: Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Undisclosed
  • Filler Country: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Paraguay
  • Binder Country: United States

4. Joya de Nicaragua: Antaño CT Lonsdale

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño CT Lonsdale Cigars

In Spanish, antaño means "yesteryear," and as a cigar, the Antaño honors Joya de Nicaragua's illustrious history, becoming among the most iconic and popular cigar brands since founder Simón Camacho and Juan Francisco Bermejo fled their native Cuba in 1968 for the fertile tobacco fields of Nicaragua. The Antaño CT version, released in 2019, features the same Nicaraguan binder and fillers as the original Antaño 1970 cigar, but trades the Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper for one of smooth and creamy Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf. This 6.625" x 44 Lonsdale vitola expanded the series earlier this year.

  • Score: 9
  • Price: $10.35
  • Length: 6.625"
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Connecticut
  • Wrapper Country: Ecuador
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

3. La Palina: Goldie Laguito No. 2

La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 2 Cigar

La Palina's history dates to Chicago 1896 when Ukrainian émigré Samuel Paley established Congress Cigar Company and released his debut blend: La Palina, named after his wife. Though the Great Depression saw Congress Cigar Co. fold, Samuel's grandson Bill Paley resurrected the La Palina name in 2010, and the Goldie cigar is the brand's magnum opus. It's the most prestigious and exclusive cigar from La Palina, named after Samuel's wife, Goldie Drell Paley. As a cigar, the Goldie features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Ecuadorian binder, and a filler blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos that includes medio tiempo leaves — the uppermost ligero leaves found on only a fraction of tobacco plants. Hand-rolled exclusively by one master torcedor at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, Florida, the La Palina Goldie is a masterclass in construction, flavor, complexity, and satisfaction.

  • Score: 9.1
  • Price: $23.00
  • Length: 6"
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Country: United States
  • Wrapper Type: Habano
  • Wrapper Country: Ecuador
  • Filler Country: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Ecuador

2. La Palina: KB Part Two

La Palina KB Part Two Cigars

Yet another La Palina cigar on this top-20 list, the KB cigar is hand-rolled in Honduras at the Raíces Cubanas factory. It jokingly stands for "Kill Bill" in reference to founder Bill Paley being unable to finish prototypes due to their strength, and as such, it's a bold, full-bodied blend, featuring a Honduran Corojo wrapper, double Honduran Criollo binders, and Corojo and Criollo fillers from Nicaragua — perfect as a midday pick-me-up.

  • Score: 9.15
  • Price: $9.00
  • Length: 6"
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Country: Honduras
  • Wrapper Type: Corojo
  • Wrapper Country: Honduras
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua
  • Binder Country: Honduras

1. Serino: Elenor Rose Lady

Serino Elenor Rose Cigars

The Studio Serino project is a special line of Serino cigars that leans into the more artistic side of cigar making. It's a space for father-and-son duo Anthony and Carson Serino to experiment with and flex their cigar-making creativity. As part of that project, the Elenor Rose cigar showcases an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 Rosado wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder from Jalapa, and fillers from Pennsylvania and from Estelí, Nicaragua. All of the tobaccos have been aged for seven years, and the name and artwork honor the Rosado wrapper and the Serinos' love for cigars, along with musical symbolism of personal significance to the Serino family.

  • Score: 9.25
  • Price: $8.79
  • Length: 5.75"
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper Type: Habano Rosado
  • Wrapper Country: Ecuador
  • Filler Country: Nicaragua, United States
  • Binder Country: Nicaragua

Category Finalists:

This list represents our personal favorites from this year, and ranking them proved ridiculously difficult (if the decimal point differences between the cigars weren't already an indication). Hopefully, our compilation encourages the exploration of some cigars you have yet to try. Be sure to share some of your favorites from 2022 in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Depending on availability, some of the cigars in our top-20 list may not be in stock. We attempted to avoid any limited-edition releases in this compendium, but unfortunately, there may be some out-of-stock entries.

Comments

    • Lori Gregor on January 1, 2023
    • "Elenor Rose Lady" so worthy of first place Truett. I love all of these cigars and congratulate Serino with ease. Happy New Year everyone!

    • Dan on January 2, 2023
    • A far better list than CA’s top 25 this year. No recycling of four fifths of the cigars from several previous years. Nothing unobtainable by us mere mortals. Well done. Happy 2023. May blessings in multitude fall on everyone this year.

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