Perfection is rare, and here at Cigar Aficionado we seldom award 100-point scores to cigars. It has never happened for a current production smoke, and we’ve only given a relatively small number of such scores in this Connoisseur’s Corner section, where we light up well-aged cigars and taste them in a non-blind fashion, unlike our traditional tastings which are done blind. This tasting was extraordinary, giving us two 100-pointers. The younger of the two, a nearly 30-year-old Dunhill Estupendo, was perfect from start to finish. The tubed Churchill smoked virtually without effort. The second 100-point cigar also carries the Dunhill name, but it was decades older. Editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken named it one of his all-time best, no small compliment given the number of cigars he has enjoyed.

 

 

Dunhill Estupendo (1983)

100

DUNHILL ESTUPENDO (1983)

Perfection is hard to describe until you hold it in your hand. This cigar was perfect. Perfect oily wrapper. Perfect burn and draw. And, a depth of flavors that belied its 29 years of age. Those flavors ranged from a dark cocoa powder note to leather and an unbelievably long finish with just the hint of light cedar. From a previously unopened box.

—Gordon Mott

 

H. Upmann Dunhill Selección Suprema no. 222 (1958)

100

H. UPMANN DUNHILL SELECCIÓN SUPREMA NO. 222 (1958)

This pre-Castro cigar, known as the Flying Pig, proves that 50-year-old plus cigars can be incredibly great smokes. This cigar was pure, with a smooth easy draw, and a delicious texture that includes nutmeg notes on the palate. One of the greatest cigars I have ever smoked; even better than a previous one.

— Marvin R. Shanken

  • A “stogie” took its moniker from the Pennsylvania manufacturers who used Conestoga or covered wagons to advertise the pungent, powerful and lower-priced cigar.
  • Paper cigar rings were created to protect 19th-century white-gloved swells from the tobacco residue on less than perfect cigars. They later became a labeling device.
  • A thousand tobacco seeds can fit inside a thimble.
  • An experienced roller can produce at least 120 cigars a day.
  • Short-filled cigars have pieces of chopped tobacco inside. Long-filled cigars have whole leaves.
  • Hand-finished means the cigar was likely machine-bunched before a human hand finished the process
  • Most of a cigar’s taste is determined by the quality of its wrapper leaves.
  • Tobacco leaves can cost up to US$40 a pound (2.54 kg.)
  • A cured tobacco leaf is brown because its chlorophyll has been replaced by carotene.