Barrel & Binder Top 10 cigars of 2023

As we bid farewell to another year in the world of cigars, it’s only fitting to reflect on the exceptional releases that have graced our humidors. From timeless classics to groundbreaking newcomers, 2023 has been a year filled with memorable smokes. Here at Barrel&Binder, we have curated a list of the Top 10 Cigars of the Year according to us, showcasing the epitome of craftsmanship and flavor. Although some of these sticks have not had their official Barrel&Binder review yet this list would not be the same without them

Number 10 – Ghurka Cellar Aged 15 year Maduro

there are two types of people in this world those who judge something based on their opinion and those who judge something based on the opinions of others unfortunately gurkah gets the ladder. This cigar surprised me the flavor was deep and complex and the burn was pretty consistent is it a perfect cigar? no. but it doesn’t need to be It is good and most people who try it say the same thing the notes on this are deep caramel, some allspice, and oak. if you haven’t tried one please do yourself a favor and pick one up and form your own opinion you will be surprised what you end up with.

Number 9 – San Cristobal Revelation

Although they have been in the game for less than a decade San Cristobal made sure they are known for quality. We deeply enjoy the revelation here. the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and the blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers make this a great smoke. The combination is medium to full-bodied, with a bold flavor profile with notes of earth, leather, cedar, nuts, and spice. I typically shy away from Sumatra but when in Rome I reach for a revelation

Number 8 – Montecristo Espada Oscuro

looking at the Espada Oscuro I wouldn’t blame you for wondering if there was even a cigar under the enormous Band. It always makes me wonder what they are hiding under all that paper and ink the good news is that the cigar beneath is fantastic. For the most part, the smoke is smooth, and well-balanced offering a chewy mix of sweetness, spice, earth, and dark woody flavors. The cigar burns evenly, offering a sweet aroma, this is a perfect representation of what an oscuro should be.

Number 7 – Trinidad Espiritu Series no. 2

Were you guys aware this cigar has its own music playlist? well, it’s true you can listen to it here take a listen while enjoying one of the best cigars I’ve tried this year. it’s a surprise whenever I come across a new cigar(new relative to me) and I fall in love with the flavor this one in particular delivers Earth, wood, pepper, and cream. it’s wrapped with a beautiful Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper that produces an exceptionally balanced medium to full-bodied smoke.

Number 6 – Caldwell Blind Man Bluff Maduro

Caldwell knows how to make interesting cigars a lot of them are hits and a few of them are misses im happy to report this is one of their home runs. Unlike the original, this blend’s fillers are comprised of long-fillers from the Dominican mixed with a Sumatran binder(im starting to sense a strong love for Sumatra here), wrapped up in a dark and oily Pennsylvanian Maduro wrapper. I picked up heavy pepper in ther front with some fruity elements towards the end, this gem’s got a flavor for days with subtle notes of natural sweetness.

Number 5 – Perdomo Estate Selection Maduro

This breaks my heart. I debated taking this one off the list but I know they are still out there and therefore it’s only right to give him his flowers. the Perdomo Estates Maduro was discontinued and was ripped from my arms just as quickly as I fell in love with it. The flavor reminds me of dark chocolate, toffee, and whipped cream it carries these notes right through to the finish. The Nicaraguan long-fillers bring some spice but all together this cigar is a perfect marriage of sweetness, and earthiness that you’ll only find in the best maduros. this is was the best Maduro on the market.

Number 4 – Cohiba Weller by Cohiba

Talk about the best duo out today, Buffalo Trace Bourbon seemingly dominating the whiskey world, and Cohiba a name that even your grandmother knows teaming up for the third time to create magic. A Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper filled with carefully selected tobaccos from Esteli and Jalapa regions in Nicaragua as well as Brazilian Mata Fina for the filler. Knowing Cohiba you know they have to add their secret ingredient a Connecticut broadleaf binder expertly aged in Weller bourbon barrels. we’re tasting earth, wood, and black pepper. but this stick wasn’t meant to be smoked alone, when paired with Weller bourbon or other aged brown spirit this cigar shines. All other bourbon cigars take note this is how it’s done.

Number 3 – Perdomo Edicion de Silvio

When I first picked up the Edicion de Silvio I let it sit in the humidor for a few months it was a pretty pricey stick and I wanted a good moment to smoke it. reading up on it I fell in love with the story it paying homage to Nick Perdomo’s late grandfather and mentor, Silvio Perdomo. how it’s rolled with a secret blend of rare Cuban-seed tobaccos then aged in oak casks for an extended period. how only the top roller at Perdomo can roll these cigars. I was hooked so I lit it up and man oh man Smooth notes of coffee and cedar marry into a medium to full-bodied profile. Caramel-hued Nicaraguan Sun Grown tobacco wrap an indulgent blend of long-filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. this stick is a

Number 2 – Arturo Fuente The Man

when I say I love this cigar I need you to understand that I love this cigar. I can’t speak much about the construction as Arturo Fuente doesn’t discose the filler binder or the wrapper on this cigar so the construction is a mystery. there’s not much I can say about this cigar it is a 10/10 the flavor notes are fruit forward sort of a sweet plum, raisin bread, and cedar if you were to hand me this I would assume it came cedar-wrapped. each 3rd blends perfectly into the next and the smoking experience is to die for. this is one of the few cigars I had this year that blew my mind.

Number 1 – H.Upman Heritage

Well here we are the top cigar of 2023 for me has been the H.Upman Heritage. now you have to understand why. This cigar is a collaboration between H.Upman(the oldest cigar manufacturer in the world) and AJ Fernadez(Blending Cuban legacy cigars for most major new world brands) and features tobaccos straight from AJ’s farms. The binder and fillers are Nicaraguan tobacco that are from AJ. The only component not from Nicaragua is the Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper which is a triple fermented leaf. With the combination of these leaves, the profile of this cigar sits around a medium-full body and it smokes like heaven on earth. flavor that includes earth, oak, leather, and coffee, all backed by a huge spicy kick to remind you that you are smoking something serious so pay attention. this cigar is front-loaded with spice but it rewards you with mellow Flavor notes on the back end. it is also worth noting that it is a strong cigar yet not so strong it makes you sick so that’s a win in our book

Well, that’s our list I hope we checked a few of your boxes i can’t wait for this next year to taste even more new cigars with you guys let me know in the comments what did you think of the list. did I miss your favorite? what should I try next year?

5 thoughts on “Barrel & Binder Top 10 cigars of 2023

  1. Jesse3r says:

    I’m surprised the anejo 8-8-8 didn’t make this list!

  2. Stanleyj says:

    That cellar aged is under rated I’m glad it’s getting some respect finally

    1. Chris says:

      a lot of good sticks don’t get the light of day because of internet memes lets change that in 2024

  3. StatusQuo says:

    this List is spot on i love how you picked some sticks people might not have guessed only one would of taken out is the Caldwell for some reason they taste like dirt to me


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