The biggest football game of the year calls for a big smoke.
Super Bowl Sunday is only days away. To enjoy the big game in style, you’ll need some hearty food, cold drinks and perhaps good company. But we urge you to remember something else—it’s the ideal opportunity to break out an extra-long cigar.
The Super Bowl is a long affair, so we consider it the perfect day to light up a very big cigar that you can puff for a long, long time. Here are eight standout smokes that are built to smoke for hours. We can’t guarantee they will go all four quarters (like the Patriots and the Rams), but they’re likely to make it from coin flip all the way to halftime.
The “A” is the longest standard-production size in Cuba’s cigar portfolio. (It’s even too long to fully capture in the photograph above.) An impressive 9 1/4 inches with a relatively slim 47 ring gauge, “As” were once popular in Spain for bullfights, long, open-air events that take hours. We also like them for the Super Bowl.
The Montecristo “A” is the last of Cuba’s “As,” and they are harder and harder to find, even in Havana. These are works of art, made with extra-large wrapper leaves that don’t grow on every plant. Only the most skilled of torcedores can make these huge smokes, and when you get a good one they will give you more than two hours of smoking pleasure. Some showcase notes of coffee bean and nougat, often complemented by leather and some sweet spices.
Tatuaje RC 233
If you are looking for a lesson in complex cigar shapes, look no further than the Tatuaje RC 233. These Miami-made smokes are the product of one roller, who has to make complex cuts with a straight razor to ensure the wrapper leaf adheres properly to the many curves of the diadema, which measures 9 1/2-inches long.
“On her perfect day she can roll about 80. It’s a lot of work,” says Tatuaje owner Pete Johnson of the cigar roller. “It’s an art form.”
Thankfully these pieces of art are dynamite to smoke. Full bodied and robust in their youth, they mellow slightly with age, and their flavor only improves. An 11-year-old version rated in a 2016 Connoisseur’s Corner scored 93 points, showing spiced cappuccino, citrus and leather notes.
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Masterpiece
Fuente’s Hemingways come in a variety of lengths and girths, but the longest is the Hemingway Masterpiece. This cigar is 9 inches by 52 ring gauge at its fattest point, and it’s not made in large quantities for one very good reason: It’s hard to find Cameroon wrapper leaves that grow big enough for a cigar of this length.
The smokes are made in the Dominican Republic, and they tend to have notes of black tea, with a mineral quality. They are beautiful, ultra-large perfectos, and they come in boxes that look like books, an homage to the famous author for which they are named.
Hoyo de Monterrey Doble Corona
It’s hard to find a cigar more heralded than the legendary Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona. It’s far from the longest cigar on this list—it measures 7 5/8 inches—but it has long been the gold standard of Cuban double coronas. In an early issue of Cigar Aficionado, it rated 99 points, something no other current-production cigar has ever matched.
The cigars aren’t powerhouses, but they are far from mild. Modern day ones have notes of baking spices and nuts, along with a distinctive floral note. And even before you light, take note of the glorious construction: pristine colorado wrapper, subtle box-pressing, flat, mounted head and a triple-seam cap. These are beautiful smokes that are sure to impress.
La Flor Dominicana Ligero A
This new smoke was added to the considerable La Flor Dominicana portfolio in the summer of 2018. The 9 1/2-inch-long smoke has a 47 ring gauge, and while it has all-Dominican filler on the inside, the thing that sets it apart is a new wrapper leaf grown by ASP Enterprises Inc. in Ecuador.
Cigarmaker Litto Gomez is known for his strong cigars, and while this one has yet to be rated by the Cigar Aficionado panel, expect it to have that signature La Flor Ligero power.
It’s the biggest cigar in the core Padrón portfolio, at an impressive 9 inches by 50 ring. And because it’s a “regular” Padrón, it’s a relative bargain.
Padrón Magnums are sweet and rich, fortified by an all-Nicaraguan blend. And they are consistently good—in four out of its last five blind tastings by Cigar Aficionado or Cigar Insider, they have scored 90 points or higher.
Don’t dismiss Cuba’s Cuaba brand based on its original retinue of sizes. The original Cuabas were launched in 1996, and they were small perfectos made without cigar molds—and they had the rough look to prove it. They have long been forgettable smokes. But not the Salomon.
First rated by Cigar Aficionado in 2012, this is a much bigger cigar than a traditional Cuaba, 7 1/4 inches and a plump 57 ring at its fattest point. Light one up and you will taste flavors you will never find in the smaller varieties. It’s as if they share nothing in common but the band. We have rated it blind several times, with scores ranging from 88 to 93 points. They are rich and sweet, with a long finish, and their length and girth make them ideal for long smokes.