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Top 10 Blind Reviews of 2020

Top 10 Blind Reviews of 2020

Every couple of months, we send out 8-10 cigars to our Blind Review Panel.  They send their unfiltered and uncut thoughts on one cigar each week, and we combine them for a comprehensive review every Friday.  

  • You can review the 2018 Top 10 Blind Reviews here
  • You can review the 2019 Top 10 Blind Reviews here.
  • You can read our interview with the Blind Review Panel here
  • You can read about some behind-the-scenes info on the process here

Below is a compilation of the Top 10 Cigars that they reviewed blind in 2020. 

We hope you enjoy this process as much as we do!

#10 Rocky Patel A.L.R. 2nd Edition

California: Fiver

Wisconsin: Fiver

Oregon: Box

If you like that, you might like this: Cigars having bold flavors coupled with strength.

Quote from the Review: Midway here and smooth is the name of the game.  Zero harshness, zero bitterness, just solid charred wood notes surrounded by dark, wet earth, baking chocolate and dark toast. 

#9 HVC 500th Anniversary

California: Box

Wisconsin: Fiver

Oregon: Fiver

If you like that, you might like this: That scene in Beauty and the Beast where rain comes down like fireworks and The Beast becomes Fabio. 

Quote from the Review: Moving into the second third, this cigar continues to get it on with my palate.  Nougat and maple syrup. Fresh fig.  Man, I hope a box of these doesn't cost one stimulus check. The ash just fell in my lap and I said thank you and wanted to throw dolla dolla bills at it. 

#8 Warped Corto

California: Fiver

Wisconsin: Box

Oregon: 5 pack 

If you like that, you might like this: Ferrero Rocher.

Quote from the Review: There wasn't a single issue in construction - it drew and burned perfectly. A cigar with great construction and great flavors? Sign me up.

#7 Dapper Siempre Rosado

California: Fiver

Wisconsin: Fiver

Oregon: Box

If you like that, you might like this: Maxing out on the bench press.

Quote from the Review: Out of the gate with roasted coffee beans, a smooth wood note and just a touch of black pepper.  Pretty nice overall creaminess to the mix too. The retro hale experience is pretty spicy.  Wow. 

#6 Crowned Heads Mil Dias

California: Box

Wisconsin: Box

Oregon: 5 pack

If you like that, you might like this: Picking out the perfect Christmas gift for someone.

Quote from the Review: The final third plays the greatest hits from the first two thirds and I'm about it.  Dark chocolate at the nub.  Winner winner.

#5 Padron Damaso

California: Box

Wisconsin: Box

Oregon: 5 pack

If you like that, you might like this: Cigars you can recommend to new smokers.

Quote from the Review: This cigar brought a nice creaminess, bread, cinnamon, light cedar, caramel latte, pistachio, brown sugar, and pepper notes… Overall, the flavors were delicate, complex, and enjoyable.

#4 JRE Aladino Cameroon

California: Fiver

Wisconsin: Box

Oregon: Box 

If you like that, you might like this: Finding a $20 between two $5-dollar bills!

Quote from the Review: This is proving to be a cigar any aficionado would enjoy but also one you could hand to a novice for a great experience.

#3 Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Unstolen Valor

California: Box

Wisconsin: Box

Oregon: 5 pack

If you like that, you might like this: Long lasting cigars with rich nuances.

Quote from the Review: If you live in a box, you probably shouldn't buy a house of cigars or even one cigar, but you most likely live in a house so buy a box of these. 

#2 Patina Maduro

California: Box

Wisconsin: Box

Oregon: 5 pack 

If you like that, you might like this: Hot chocolate.

Quote from the Review: The first half had a significant amount of sweet chocolate, and the second half became more oak-forward. There was a nice mix of sweet and savory notes throughout.

#1 Crowned Heads Four Kicks Capa Especial

California: Box

Wisconsin: Box

Oregon: Box 

If you like that, you might like this: Chocolate bars.

Quote from the Review: This cigar brought notes of oak, earth, spice, toffee, chocolate, cream, and black pepper… I found this to be a well-made cigar with an interesting and delightful flavor profile.

A Few Observations and a Recap: 

We saw the MSRP of our Blind Review sample return to 2018 levels this year, with an average of around $11.75 per cigar for 2020. In 2018, our samples averaged $11.49 and contrasted with 2019 averaging about $14.87 per cigar. While that’s still too few data points to draw definitive conclusions, it does seem that 2018 and 2020 arrived at fewer box recommendations overall. 

This past year also saw Crowned Heads making waves again! Not only did they achieve two cigars on our 2020 Top 10 list, but they also received the second ever Triple Box recommendation with our Blind Review Panel. I can’t underscore how significant that achievement is – it’s only happened twice in 175 blind reviews as of this writing. 

And if you’ll remember a couple years back, Crowned Heads also scored two cigars in our Top 10 list back then as well. Unless I’m mistaken, that makes the Crowned Heads our most decorated brand to date as scored by a completely blind group of judges. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is!  

That’s it from us – please let us know if you notice any trends over the years as well :D 

  

Top 10 Blind Reviews of 2020

 

View our Top 10 Blind Reviews Sampler

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