Editorial: Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival 2022 Blind Tasting Results

At the end of August, just over two weeks ago, Smoker Friendly Hosted the 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival and the third Blind Man’s Puff Blind Cigar Tasting Event. In 2019 we did the first ever Blind Cigar Tasting Event for every attendee of the festival and we have done it every year since, except 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we went bigger and better and the event did not disappoint. We would also like to thank our sponsor Drew Estate for making this possible.

The idea of this event is to give the everyday smoker the experience of what it’s like to review a cigar when you don’t know what you’re smoking, just like we do everyday on our site. We partnered with 14 different cigar manufacturers and by hand, un-banded 1,400 cigars one at a time and replaced them with our own bands with just our logo and a number on it. Every attendee of the festival was given a coupon book in their swag bags to come redeem for their blind cigar, along with instructions on how to review it and find out what it was. Everyone that filled out the form during the festival got to spin our prize wheel where we gave away hundreds of awesome prizes including humidors, backpacks, luggage, ashtrays, lighters, and much more! We also gave attendees a week after the festival to submit their review to be entered to win a box of cigars. The winner of the box of cigars this year was Bertina, and has been contacted through email.

At the first event (2019), we had 117 reviews submitted total for the event including the weeks afterword. Last year, we had 207 people submit their reviews during the festival, and another 68 after for a total of 276. This year we had 325 people submit their reviews during the festival, and another 98 after for a total of 423. As you can see, each year the number of people submitting the reviews both during and after the festival is steadily increasing, and the event is becoming a staple of the festival itself that people looks for each year.

Below you will find the results summary for each cigar entry did, sorted by average score. In the raw data we are able to sort by 100ths of a decimal place, we have also rounded to the nearest whole number to give a final score comparable to what we do on the site. There were no ties. If you would like to see the raw and more detailed data of how each cigar did, you can go here. At the bottom of this page, you can find more details about each cigar that was entered in the tasting. The cigar that ended up with the highest score this year was the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Gran Robusto. Congrats to Terence Reilly and the whole Aganorsa team, if you didn’t get a chance to try these at the show, go and find some!

Final PlacementCigar NumberCompanyCigar NameScore (Average)Final Score
111Aganorsa LeafAniversario Maduro Gran Robusto91.3691
212J.C. NewmanBrick House Maduro Toro91.0391
313La Flor DominicanaAir Bender Matatan90.3390
47MiamiDon Lino Africa Duma90.1990
53MiamiNestor Miranda Special Selection Coffee Break89.8890
61Drew Estate20 Acre Farm Toro89.4789
74Alec BradleyPresado Robusto89.2789
82ArtistaHarvest Toro89.2289
915Joya de NicaraguaAntaño Robusto Grande89.1789
108FoundationCharter Oak Habano Torpedo88.9389
1114Espinosa601 Habano88.6889
129Hiram & SolomonChabal88.2488
136GurkhaSan Miguel Toro88.0988
145Ferio TegoTimeless Panamericana Epicure87.688
1510GurkhaTreinta87.4187

Cigar #1 Information Drew Estate 20 Acre Farm Toro

Drew Estate 20 Acre Farm Toro - Blind Cigar Review

Last November, during one of their their Freestyle Live broadcasts on Facebook, Drew Estate announced a new cigar: 20 Acre Farm. The fun part of this new release is that it was the mystery cigar sold as a part of their second Freestyle Live pack that allowed people to smoke it before finding out what it was live on the show. The previous cigar revealed this way was the Undercrown 10.

The blend for 20 Acre Farm starts with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade Grown wrapper, then a Sun Grown Habano binder, and finishes with fillers from Estelí and Jalapa, Nicaragua as well as a Florida Sun Grown leaf, grown by Jeff Borysiewicz on a 20-acre plot of land near the Central Florida town of Clermont, hence the name of the cigar.

Borysiewicz started Corona Cigar Co. in 1996 and started the process of growing tobacco on his small farm in 2013 with the hopes of bringing back The Sunshine State’s history of cigar tobacco growing, which previously ended in 1977.

Florida Sun Grown tobacco has been used by Drew Estate before in their FSG line released in 2017. 20 Acre Farm comes in boxes of 20 and in three sizes: Toro (6 x 52) $13.40/cigar $268/box, Robusto (5 ¼ x 54) $12.40/cigar $248/box, and Gordito (6 x 60) $15.40/cigar $308/box.

Cigar #2 Information Artista Harvest Toro

Artista Cigars, formerly El Artista Cigars, announced a full rebranding of the company and new lines for PCA 2022. One of the first cigars in the newly created Artista line is Harvest which debuted at the PCA trade show. The ARTISTA Series represents the factory’s premium and future super-premium blends. 

Artista Harvest (Yellow-Gold) is a medium bodied blend featuring a Sumatra wrapper, Habano Seco binder, and a proprietary Dominican filler blend The company says it is unlike anything they have ever offered, and has notes of spice, rich honey, bright elderberry, and earthy cashew and almond.

Artista Harvest comes in boxes of 20 and and two sizes: Box Pressed Robusto 5×54 $10.20, and Box Pressed Toro 6×50 $10.40.

Cigar #3 Information Miami Nestor Miranda Special Selection Coffee Break

Editorial: Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival 2022 Blind Tasting Results

Miami Cigar & Company brought back the Nestor Miranda Special Selection in 2019 in celebration of their 30th anniversary. The original cigar was sold in the mid-2000’s and with this new version, it is again made at the My Father Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The blend uses a Nicaraguan Habano Rosado wrapper, Nicaraguan criollo 98 binder, and fillers from the Condega, Estelí and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua. It is offered in three sizes: Coffee Break (4 1/2 x 50) — $6.95, Toro (5 1/2 x 54) — $7.50, and Gran Toro (6 x 60) — $7.95.

Cigar #4 Information Alec Bradley Presado Robusto

The Alec Bradley Prensado line has been around since 2009. In 2011, it won the Cigar Aficionado cigar of the year. The name “Prensado” translated from Spanish to “pressing” and refers to the cigar’s box-press.

Alec Bradley Prensado is rolled at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras and uses a high percentage of Honduran tobacco from the Trojes region, located in the Southern part of the Honduras. The wrapper comes from Trojes, Honduras, the binder is Nicaraguan, and the fillers com from Trojes, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

The cigar is available in six sizes: Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46, Robusto: 5 x 50, Churchill: 7 x 48, Gran Toro: 6 x 54, Torpedo: 6 1/8 x52, and Double T: 6 x 62.

Cigar #5 Information Ferio Tego Timeless Panamericana Epicure

Since taking over the Nat Sherman Brands in 2021, Ferio Tego is gradually rolling out the lines. One of the most recent to make it back on the market is the Timeless Panamericana. These releases follow the release of the Timeless Sterling and Prestige in September 2021, and the brand new Generoso and Elegancia lines last year.

Timeless Panamericana first came out in 2014 as an exclusive for the, now-closed, Nat Sherman International Townhouse. In 2015, the blend was made available exclusively to retail members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA), and in 2018 was offered to all premium tobacconists. The Panamericana uses fillers from Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuador-grown Sumatra wrapper. It comes in 10-count boxes and 4 sizes: Julieta (7” x 48, $14.50), Gordo (6” x 60, $14.00), Epicure (5” x 50, $13.00) and Belicoso Fino (5.5” x 52 Belicoso, $12.95).

Cigar #6 Information Gurkha San Miguel Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Gurkha | San Miguel Toro

Last year, Gurkha announced another new line being produced at Aganorsa Leaf, following the previous year’s collaboration Trienta, or Thirtieth year celebration cigar. This new line is called San Miguel. The brand is grandfathered meaning it was originally released before 2007 and is exempt from some cigar regulations.

San Miguel is a Nicaraguan puro and the blend uses a Nicaraguan shade grown corojo, double Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Each vitola has a price tag under $10. San Miguel comes in boxes of 20 and in three vitolas: Petite Corona (4 ¼ x 42), Robusto (5 x 52), Toro (6 x 54).

Cigar #7 Information Miami Don Lino Africa Duma

Blind Cigar Review: Don Lino Africa | Duma

Miami Cigar & Company announced in May of 2019 that the Don Lino Africa line would return to shelves. It was shown off at IPCPR. The re-release of this cigar was part of the companies 30th anniversary celebration. It started shipping on November 18th, 2019. This time around, the cigar is blended by AJ Fernandez and rolled at his factory Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Don Lino Africa uses an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper, African Cameroon binder, and Piloto Dominicano, Ometepe, Jalapa, and Esteli fillers. It comes five sizes, all box-pressed, Robusto “Duma” 5×50 ($9.00 MSRP), Belicoso “Kifaru” 6.25×52 ($10.50 MSRP), Toro “Punda Milia” 5.5×54 ($10.00 MSRP), Gran Toro “Tembo” 6×60 ($11.00 MSRP), and Petite Corona “Kudu” 4×44 ($5.98 MSRP).

Cigar #8 Information Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo

Foundation Cigar Company added a new Habano version of it’s Charter Oak line last September. Previously, the Charter Oak was available in two blends, Connecticut Shade and Connecticut Broadleaf, now we have Charter Oak Habano. The line is relatively inexpensive, but has always been regarded as a great budget cigar.

The bands and packing look really close to the original using the same historic 600-year-old oak related to Connecticut’s legacy of independence and industry. The box color is different for the Habano blend having a warm, honey colored box and black corner label. The Habano is available in the same five sizes and 20 count boxes as the original lines, but will also a Torpedo vitola. The original sizes are: Petite Corona – 5 ¼ x 42, Rothschild – 4 ½ x 50, Lonsdale – 6 ¼ x 46, Toro – 6 x 52, and Grande – 6 x 60. The new Torpedo measures 6 x 52. The new torpedo size will come in boxes of 50, not 20. The blend is described as medium-bodied.

Cigar #9 Information Hiram & Solomon Chabal

Hiram & Solomon To Show off Three New Lines at TPE - Cigar News

Hiram & Solomon Cigars a new line at the beginning of this year, Châbal. It was shown off at the TPE Trade Show. It is rolled at the PDR factory, in Dominican Republic and for now comes in only one size, a 6 x 52 Toro. Châbal is presented is 20-count boxes. In keeping with the company’s tradition of giving back, a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to several Charities.

Blended exclusively for the MW Donald C. Combs Grand Master of Free and accepted Freemasons for the state of Georgia. CHÂBAL literally translated from Hebrew means to Bind, join together, or Wind Tight and fits theme by joining the Past, Present and future together.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Criollo Maron
Binder: Indonesian Sumatra
Filler: Ligero corojo Leo Reyes,Seco corojo Leo Reyes

Cigar #10 Information Gurkha Treinta

The Gurkha Trienta celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Kaizad Hansotia purchasing the Gurkha brand. “Treinta” tranlates to Thirty in Spanish. Like all Gurkha cigars, it is made by another company; this one comes from Arganosa Leaf in Nicaragua and is a first.

The first 1,000 boxes in each size were made in limited edition commemorative boxes. There will also tins of 5 in the Toro size that sell for $67.50. The rest of the boxes contain 21 sticks in the following sizes: Robusto (5×52) – $13/cigar MSRP, Toro (6×54) – $13.50/cigar MSRP, Magnum (6×60) – $13.90/cigar MSRP. Gurkha also released a limited edition anniversary humidor containing 50 special Limitada versions of the blend in a belicoso and Figurado. The humidor sells for $800 and includes 25 Treinta Limitada Belicoso cigars that measure 6 ¼ x 52 and 25 Treinta Limitada Figurado cigars. This blend uses an Ecuador Habano Rosado wrapper, corojo 99 Aganorsa binder, and corojo 99 and Criollo 98 from Esteli and Jalapa fillers.

Cigar #11 Information Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Gran Robusto

Aganorsa Leaf Makes Aniversario Maduro Regular Production, Adds New Sizes - Cigar News

Aganorsa Leaf announced earlier this year that their Aniversario Maduro would make return to the PCA trade show this year, but now as a regular production line and in new sizes. The blend remains the same 100% Aganorsa Leaf tobaccos wrapped in their proprietary Shade Grown corojo Maduro leaf.

The new sizes are a 5 x 54 box-pressed Gran Robusto, a 6 ¼ x 52 boxed pressed Toro, and a 6 x 58 box pressed Gran Toro. Artwork for the boxes and bands has also been updated to emphasize the Aganorsa Leaf logo as well as differentiate it from the Aniversario corojo line. The Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro comes in boxes of 10.

MSRP is $13.50 (for the Gran Robusto), $14.50 for the Toro, and $15.50 for the Gran Toro. Updated sizes and boxes stared shipping in August.

Cigar #12 Information J.C. Newman Brick House Maduro Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Brick House | Maduro Toro

The history of the Brick House brand goes back to the original clear Havana blend launched by patriarch J.C. Newman made with Cuban tobacco before the Cuban embargo. The name comes from Newman’s childhood home which was the only house made out of bricks in their small, Hungarian village. Residents from all around with gather at that house to eat, drink, smoke and enjoy company, but the Great Depression ended that tradition.

80 years later, J.C. Newman’s grandsons Eric and Bobby Newman brought the brand back to life using Nicaraguan tobacco. The regular blend uses a Havana Subido wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The Brick House Maduro uses the same binder and filler but uses a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper. The maduro versionis described as spicier than the original and full-bodied with sweetness.

Mighty Mighty 6 1/4″ x 60, Toro 6″ x 52, Robusto 5″ x 54

WRAPPER: Brazilian Arapiraca BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan
FACTORY: J.C. Newman PENSA

Cigar #13 Information La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Matatan

The Air Bender was originally an event only cigar, then in 2010 Litto Gomez made it a regular production cigar in four sizes. A A notable change in the wrapper from Brazilian to an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper occured during the switch to the regular production. The fillers are still Dominican tobaccos from the company’s La Canela farms, as is the binder.

Air Bender comes in four vitolas that retail between $7-8.25: Matatan (5 x 50), Guerrero (6.25 x 54), Maestro (5.25 x 52), and Valiente (6.25 x 60). Each one is named after a kung fu warrior as Litto is enamored with Chinese culture.

Cigar #14 Information Espinosa 601 Habano Robusto

Editorial: Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival 2022 Blind Tasting Results

The 601 ‘Red’ is blended for the experienced cigar smoker and is described as a mosaic of well-balanced flavors, while maintaining its complex flavor profile from start to finish with an enticing aroma. 

Blend:

601 Red Label Habano cigars are full-bodied premium cigars blended with an exquisite blend of perfectly-aged Nicaraguan longfillers topped with an attractively oily Nicaraguan Natural Habano wrapper.

Vitolas:

Robusto (5×50)
Toro (6×50)
Churchill (7×48)
Torpedo (6-1/8×52)
Trabuco (6-1/8×58)

Presented in boxes of 20

Cigar #15 Information Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Robusto Grande

The very first Antaño was released in 2001 and helped put Nicaraguan cigars on the map. It was at one time considered the strongest cigar in the world.

Since 2001, the Antaño line has grown to hold many other line extensions and over 24 vitolas. Other lines in the series include Antaño Dark corojo, Antaño CT, and Antaño Gran Reserva. Antaño in Spanish means ‘Yesteryear’, a word that perfectly expresses the soul of the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño. It was released over 15 years ago as a tribute to the power and the essence of the “The True Nicaraguan Puro” that made Joya de Nicaragua the most sought after cigar in the United States in the 1970’s during the post Cuban embargo

WRAPPER: NICARAGUAN H. CRIOLLO

BINDER: NICARAGUAN

FILLER: NICARAGUAN