2015 has now come and gone, and with it left its own unique mark on the world of cigars, providing new and enjoyable (for the most part) smoking experiences. And with the closing of each year, we like to reflect on the cigars that made the biggest impact. At Cigar Dojo, we believe in quite the “unconventional” notion of ranking only new cigars for our year-end list—that is, cigars that were released in 2015.


Now, one would think this would be common practice, but we digress. Along with rating only new cigars, we’ve also structured our list with a few other guidelines, providing a different perspective—one we feel is a Top 10 list for the everyman, the Joe Sixpack smoker, if you will.

Guidelines for Cigar Dojo’s Top 10 Cigar of the Year list are as follows:

  • $10 range (cigars must be under $11)
  • Regular production (no limited editions, shop exclusives, etc.)
  • Sold in the USA
  • Released in 2015

Because of these guidelines, we feel our list best represents what most cigar smokers are looking for—great cigars that can be smoked on a regular basis. Take our list into your B&M and you’ll be sure to find most, if not all of these cigars.

  1. The Rake

    MoyaRuiz The Rake #10 cigar of the year 2015

    After a year’s hiatus, spending time building their core-line brands, MoyaRuiz returned in 2015 with a fresh concept; moving outside their well-established La Jugada branding. The Rake takes on a speakeasy-style, backroom poker look/feel, with the cigar’s boxes even doubling as actual poker rake boxes (a nice touch). The cigars mark the first usage of a dark, Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper for MoyaRuiz, including a unique blend that boasts four ligero leaves—making for a refreshingly complex maduro, balanced with a healthy dose of strength.

  2. Special Reserve Sun Grown Maduro

    Rocky Patel Special Reserve Sun Grown Maduro #9 cigar of the year 2015

    Rocky Patel continued their push towards “boutique-ifying” their lineup in 2015, with an impressive collection of new blends that seemed to catch the attention of enthusiasts across the country. Most notable was the Special Reserve Sun Grown Maduro, which served as a nod to the Rocky of old, while embracing the future with an electrifying, full-flavored smoking experience. Our judging panel was surprised at just how much lively and progressive flavor the SG Maduro showed on every test drive.

  3. Matilde Oscura

    Matilde Oscura #8 cigar of the year 2015

    While Matilde is only rounding out their sophomore year in the cigar industry, it’s no surprise that they’ve quickly earned a name for themselves as one of the most talked about brands in the world of boutique cigars. This is due, in large part, to their creator, Mr. Jose Seijas—one of the most well-respected men in the industry, with over 40 years of experience. The brand’s second release, Matilde Oscura, showcases a complex, unique experience unlike most any you’ll find in the class of San Andrés maduro cigars—this is highlighted by a smooth transition of well-balanced flavors from start to finish.

  4. Neanderthal

    RoMa Craft Neanderthal #7 cigar of the year 2015

    RoMa Craft Tobac is well known for their big, bold smoking experiences, built from the ground up in their own Nica Sueño factory in Nicaragua. Neanderthal takes the cake though, perfectly combining their usual knack for eye-catching design with a smoking experience that seems to epitomize their reputation of intensely flavorful character. The cigar earns its claim to fame from a special double ligero leaf known as “Green River Valley Sucker One”, which grows in place of a removed Pennsylvania Broadleaf, making for close to three times the nicotine levels of an average ligero leaf. Neanderthal expertly balances this strength with enough flavor to make for a thrilling experience.

    • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
    • Vitola: HN | 5″ x 52/58 | figurado
    • Price: $10.80 – $12.00 (MSRP is $12, but can easily be found in $10 price range)
    • Neanderthal HN cigar review
  5. AVO Syncro Nicaragua

    AVO Syncro Nicaragua #6 cigar of the year 2015

    After parent-company Davidoff made the bold decision to finally explore the spicier, fuller characteristics of Nicaraguan tobacco, sub-brand AVO Cigars followed shortly thereafter. With Syncro Nicaragua, the concept follows the musical theme of timing, vying to show a perfect “synchronization” of Dominican and Nicaraguan attributes. We found the cigar delivers exactly as advertised, offering a refined palate that is punctuated by just enough Nicaraguan zest to really set the experience apart. With such a sophisticated and engaging profile, AVO Syncro Nicaragua is more than worth its surprisingly affordable price point.

  6. Sobremesa

    Sobremesa #5 cigar of the year 2015

    Newcomer Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust bursts onto the scene in 2015 in spectacular fashion with their first offering—Sobremesa. The cigar gets its name from a Spanish expression, describing the moments after a meal, where relaxing conversations take place with coffee and/or cigars. For their first release, Dunbarton focuses on classic Cuban techniques, with a premium blend that is highly catered towards each, carefully chosen vitola. Because of this, we found the Corona Grande vitola to be worthy of our year-end list. This size (along with the slightly larger lonsdale, if it weren’t for the added price) offers a fuller, stronger smoking experience, filled with complex notes of cinnamon, chocolate, malt, caramel, and molasses throughout.

  7. Undercrown Shade

    Undercrown Shade #4 cigar of the year 2015

    Cigar fans have enjoyed plenty of dark, maduro goodness from Drew Estate’s ever-popular Undercrown line for four years now—2015 saw the much-welcomed addition of its counterpart, Undercrown Shade. As with the original Undercrown, the Shade has been blended by the very same rolling team from the Drew Estate factory; this time with the guidance of Master Blender Willy Herrera. And while the cigar features a completely different blend, highlighted by a golden, Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper, the old dogma remains true—bringing forth an explosion of flavor in a manner similar to what the Undercrown did for Mexican wrappers years prior.

  8. El Güegüense

    El Güegüense #3 cigar of the year 2015

    El Güegüense (pronounced “way-when-say”) is the first project from Foundation Cigar Co., created by former Drew Estate blender Nicholas Melillo. Nick envisioned a distinctly Nicaraguan project for his fist venture, incorporating not only a 100% Nicaraguan puro blend, but Nicaragua’s heritage as well, through the cigar’s concept/presentation. And while the blend is fully Nicaraguan, it takes on a profile not unlike a classic Cuban habano—only showcasing a stronger, fuller body—we like to think of it as “A Habano on steroids.”

  9. American Barrel-Aged

    Camacho American Barrel-Aged #2 cigar of the year 2015

    What’s more American than sipping on Kentucky Straight Bourbon with a premium cigar? Damn-near nothing, that’s what! Camacho took it upon themselves to singlehandedly capture the essence that makes this pairing so great, forging the two into one amazing product. Starting off on the right foot, Camacho utilizes a blend of nearly 100% American tobacco, which is then topped off with the not-so-secret ingredient—Camacho’s exclusive, 6-year-aged Corojo tobacco—receiving an additional 5 months in used bourbon barrels. The final product is something that caught many cigar enthusiasts off guard, showcasing a brilliantly full and complex maduro profile—tasting nowhere near “infused”, yet having just a hint of that charred, oaky, sweet, bourbon kick!

  10. Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512

    Flor de D'Crossier Selection No. 512 #1 cigar of the year 2015

    Long known as the best kept secret in the world of premium cigars, D’Crossier is now on the precipice of widespread acclaim from cigar enthusiasts, cigar media, and cigar industry alike. They say hard work pays off, this could not be more true with D’Crossier and brand owner Isaias Santana Diaz. Santana heads up his operations out of Costa Rica, a relatively uncommon region compared to today’s most sought-after cigars. Here, at his Pure Aroma Cigars S.A. factory, Diaz blends cigars in the fashion of his Cuban heritage, using only the best ingredients and following strict practices that far too many have long since abandoned.

    Because of this, most D’Crossier cigars don’t meet our guidelines for the Cigar of the Year List, that is, until the release of Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512. Packaged in a unique manner, using cedar-lined, sealed tin cans, the cigars are further secured in pre-punched cellophane, allowing for protection without compromising certain unwanted side effects. The cigars (most notably the Coronas Gordas vitola) are not only among the best, we’ll go out on a limb and insist they are the best value in the industry. And with a flavor profile we most closely relate to a Cohiba Siglo II, it’s often difficult not to choose this cigar. This is a rare cigar, filled with such a pleasing palate, that we’d even endorse smoking multiples—back to back to back…

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  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
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