We’ve polled 13 of the industry’s leading cigar professionals, including brand runners, retail experts, blenders, bloggers, factory owners, and overall cigar personality extraordinaires—asking them to name their top 5 favorite maduro cigars. We then tallied the data, giving each cigar points based on its rank by each pollee (e.g. each person’s #1 pick received 5 points, #2 received 4 points, etc.). With the data, we’ve not only ranked these 65 picks, but provided a deeper look at trends—such as what country these professionals preferred, favorite cigar brands, wrapper type, and more.

As you can probably imagine, these are some very particular cigar enthusiasts. Many, such as Pete Johnson, gave multiple lists, including their favorite limited edition maduros, favorite regular production maduros, current favorite maduros, etc. Others, like Michael Herklots and Steve Saka, stressed the importance of the classification for “maduro”.

In the factory, we use the term maduro strictly as a shade classification, a dark color slightly lighter than oscuro, but darker than colorado. However, as an industry, we label cigars “maduro” when they use a wrapper that has been fermented to be maduro – requiring more heat and longer time spent in fermentation. This process further breaks down the starches and carbohydrates in the leaf and creates more sugars.Michael Herklots

This is an interesting point to consider, as a classic maduro utilizes tobacco varieties such as broadleaf, negro, meta fina, etc. (this was stressed by Steve Saka). Whereas, cigars are most often classified as “maduro” when the leaf color simply appears dark. When faced with the objection, we let the pros make the call—whatever they consider a “maduro” is fine with us! Therefore, you’ll notice a nice variety in the picks, with some cigars using the more traditional Connecticut Broadleaf, and others having varietals such as Nicaraguan Habano—simply using more fermentation to take on the “maduro” name.

Finally, each polled industry professional was asked to give a short description of their top pick—cluing us into their personal tastes and what they look for in a great maduro cigar.

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