Top 5 Barrel Aged Cigars

Cigar making, just like any other industry, experiences its trends. Recently big ring gauges became all the rage. American grown tobaccos and fire cured leaf have become sought after. Then there’s Barrel Aged cigars, which have actually been around for quite some time – but they’re recently becoming the “in” thing and making quite a stir.

So what exactly is a barrel aged cigar? Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Plain oak barrels or whiskey and beer barrels are used, as either tobacco leaf or completely finished rolled cigars are placed in the barrels and aged for a certain period of time which totally varies by the cigar.

I’ve got five Barrel Aged beauties that I personally love and I figured I’d tell you a little bit about them. They’re all very different from one another, and in my most humble opinion, they’re all worth a try.

Camacho American Barrel Aged

This cigar is making a hell of a name for itself since its introduction early in the summer. While Camacho makes outstanding premiums (with the Triple Maduro being a longtime fave), their new Barrel Aged cigars now take the crown as my favorite in the line. Handcrafted with US grown tobaccos and a corojo filler that’s been aged for six years gives it some real pop. Then the dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper turns it up a bunch of notches as the leaf is aged in charred Kentucky bourbon barrels for 5 months. While it’s full bodied and bold like Camachos are known to be, this one renders a smooth and oh-so-tasty natural sweetness from that gorgeous wrapper. If you love ‘em full flavored, then this is the one you have got to try.

Asylum Dragon’s Milk

Now here’s an incredibly unique stick from Asylum in conjunction with New Holland Brewery that took me by surprise. To set the record straight, Dragon’s Milk is not a flavored cigar; it is more in the line of an infused cigar, but in no way is it overpowering with added flavors – so let me do some explaining. The cigar is made with all choice aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. The finished rolled cigars are then lowered into barrels that once held Dragon’s Milk Stout, which before that housed aging bourbon. After much experimentation, the perfect amount of time in the barrels is two full days for the cigars to absorb just the right amount of flavor and aroma. And that’s the beauty of it all as the cigar possesses an intoxicating scent with a wonderful hint of that stout on the palate. As I said, it’s just the right amount of flavor to make this an amazing and unique cigar smoking experience. It’s made in very limited production but so much worth a try.

Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Sun Grown

While Nick Perdomo introduces one delicious cigar after another, the man in Miami knocked it clear over the center field wall with this one. So he starts with the highest grade Nicaraguan fillers and Sun Grown outer wrapper leaf… but then he goes a tad over the edge. The tobacco is aged in bales for ten years, that’s what I said, ten full years. But as they say in the infomercials, “but wait, there’s more”! The leaf is then place in charred oak barrels that were used for aging bourbon, for an additional two more years. The results are true long-term barrel aged cigars with smooth and extraordinary flavor, aroma and color. This one falls between medium and full bodied and as you might imagine, gives off an oakiness that is derived from the barrels they are aged in. Seriously cigar lovers… it’s time to go for it!

Arturo Fuente Añejo

This, my friends, is a premium hand rolled cigar that displays some serious “wow” factor. The filler and binder is the same exact blend shared by the immortal Opus X. You see, when a hurricane ripped thru the Chateau Fuente farms in 1998 where Opus X wrapper leaf was grown…well, there was no more Opus X wrapper leaf. So, turning tragedy into triumph, the Fuente’s chose a magnificent, five-year aged Connecticut Broadleaf maduro leaf aged in cognac barrels to surround the Opus blend, and guys, the rest is sweet history. While it is truly a full bodied beast, it’s also as smooth as silk with notes of dark chocolate and black cherry. This is a sublime smoking experience and you’ll want to try it at least once in your life… or maybe a thousand times!

Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro

The Partagas name has been synonymous with outstanding premium cigars for over a century and a half. And while many may have a certain opinion of this established icon of the industry, a new blend has arisen and people are talking because the complexity of flavors is simply off the charts. The filler tobaccos, hailing from Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic are aged in rum barrels, giving them a distinct yet subtle sweetness. And the wrapper, a wickedly dark and oily Connecticut Habano Oscuro leaf, gives this stick some serious full bodied flavor without being too strong. If you love a full flavored maduro, then this is your next tobacco candidate.

That’s it, people… five awesome sticks that’ll surely have your taste buds over a barrel. Let us know in the comments below which ones you’ve tried or maybe some other barrel aged cigars and tobaccos we didn’t mention.

Top 100 Wines List

About the List

We’ve just revealed the Top 100 of 2018! Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines reviewed over the previous 12 months and select our Top 100, based on quality, value, availability and excitement. This annual list honors successful wineries, regions and vintages around the world.

Here you’ll find every Top 100 list back to the debut year, 1988. Since then, new regions, grapes and styles have appeared on the list, but the classics are still going strong. Enjoy browsing more than 30 years of the world’s top wines!

For detailed profiles of the Top 100 List 2018 picks, check out this link.

These Wines are the Top 10

Click on bottle image to see more details.

#1. Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri-Sassicaia Sassicaia

Tenuta San Guido
Rich and concentrated, this red features black currant, blackberry, violet, mineral and spice flavors. Dense yet lively, structured yet impeccably balanced, with vibrant acidity driving the long, fruit-filled aftertaste. The oak is beautifully integrated. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2042. 17,200 cases made.

Year 2015.
Price $245
Score 97

 

#2. Château Canon-La Gaffelière St.-Emilion

Still youthfully tight and backward, with a well-roasted frame of alder and juniper holding sway for now, but the core of cassis, blackberry and plum fruit waits in reserve, showing prodigious depth. When the toast and fruit melds, the backdrop of tobacco, singed iron and chalky minerality will get a turn to show. There’s a lot here. Built for the cellar. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2025 through 2040. 6,250 cases made.

Year 2015
Price $84
Score 96

 

#3. Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva
Castello di Volpaia

 

Though saturated with black currant and blackberry fruit and backed by opaque tannins, this red is pure and balanced. Thyme, iron, leather and tar notes give this complexity, while the finish goes into overtime. Best from 2023 through 2040. 2,500 cases imported.
Year 2015
Price $35
Score 96

 

#4. La Rioja Alta Rioja 890 Gran Reserva Selección Especial
La Rioja Alta
Cedar and sandalwood aromas give way to flavors of tea, tobacco, dried cherry, forest floor and orange peel in this expressive red. Round on the palate, supported by muscular tannins and juicy acidity. Big but graceful, mature yet lively, in the traditional style. Drink now through 2030. 4,753 cases made.
Year 2005
Score 95
Price $175

 
 

#5. Moët & Chandon Brut Champagne Dom Pérignon Legacy Edition
Moët & Chandon
There’s power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish. Drink now through 2033.
Year 2008
Price $180
Score 96

 
 

#6. Aubert Chardonnay Carneros Larry Hyde & Sons
Aubert
Voluptuous and creamy, with densely packed flavors of apple pastry, pear tart and peach and hints of mango that are long and rich. The plush, complex finish is filled with notes of spice and dried herbs. Drink now through 2026. 960 cases made.
Year 2016
Price $85
Score 96

 
 
 

#7. Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains Dopp Creek
Colene Clemens
Impressive for the polished texture and elegant complexity, offering vibrant raspberry, orange peel and spice flavors that gain momentum toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2023. 3,023 cases made.
Year 2016
Price $70
Score 95

 
 
 
 

#8. Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Le Vieux Donjon
This offers a blitz of bay leaf and juniper notes out front, followed by a racy and tightly coiled core of red and black currant, damson plum and cherry fruit flavors. Lots of brisk iron and garrigue accents rifle through the finish. Clear, precise and streamlined, this should age wonderfully. Best from 2020 through 2040. 7,000 cases made.
Year 2016
Price $70
Score 95

 
 

#9. Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna San Lorenzo
Tenuta delle Terre Nere
Ripe black cherry and raspberry fruit meets tarry mineral and accents of licorice, spiced orange peel and herb in this chewy, medium-bodied red. The bold flavor and structure are deftly knit into a graceful and harmonious package, with the spice and mineral character lingering on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2030. 750 cases made.
Year 2016
Price $60
Score 95

 
 

#10. Bedrock The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley
Bedrock
A knockout red, focused and well-built but loaded with personality, with expressive blackberry and dark Asian spice notes leading to intense yet refined smoky plum, orange zest and cracked pepper flavors. Zinfandel, Carignane, Mataro, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2027. 600 cases made.
Year 2016
Price $46
Score 95