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Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part VII)

8 May 2013



It’s been too long since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star Smokes

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

For years I’ve been singing the praises of the fantastic cigars at Tesa, a Chicago-based boutique with Chris Kelly at the helm. While Tesa creations can be a little pricey (justifiably so, in my opinion), the relatively new Picadura King Connecticut Robusto only costs $4-5. That makes it a bargain if you like complex, mild cigars to pair with morning coffee. Look for subtle, harmonious flavors of oak, sweet hay, cream, and roasted nuts. And the physical properties are perfect, which is what I’ve come to expect from all cigars from Tesa’s factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

Last week I was in Nicaragua visiting Drew Estate and the experience only heightened my appreciation of the Liga Privada No. 9 Robusto. Many people like this cigar when it’s hard to find (and usually it is), but I found myself with a virtually unlimited supply (at least for a few days). It didn’t make me like the cigar any less. If anything, the opposite. Smoking multiple Robustos each day, I thoroughly enjoyed the heavy, sometimes gritty texture it leaves on the palate, resulting in earth and dry chocolate flavors, with just the right amount of sweetness. Tasty, always well-constructed, and still unlike any other cigar available, it’s a Gold Star selection.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

This powerhouse from Miami Cigar & Co. hasn’t gotten a lot of attention since its introduction last year. My colleague extolled its virtues in a Quick Smoke around Christmas. Smoke one and, like me, you’ll wonder why the Añoranza Robusto isn’t on everyone’s lips. A Nicaraguan puro, it pumps out tons of smoke with sweetness, pepper, wood, and leather, all with a long finish. Retail is $6.50, though a box of 10 drops the per-stick price to about $5. A bargain for a terrific smoke, and one worthy of Gold Star designation.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate