Recently I reviewed the Ashton ESG 23 Year Salute. In that review I mentioned how the ESG would make a great celebratory cigar with wedding, graduation and summer baby season upon us. This prompted several e-mails asking for suggestions on what are some of the top celebratory or special occasion cigars that I would recommend for both the seasoned, occasional and new cigar smoker. Now this isn’t the end all, be all list of celebratory cigars. Some of these cigars will be easy to find and others almost impossible but really any cigar can be a special occasion cigar. And If you don’t have an upcoming special occasion thats okay too. The fact remains that in these threatened times for the cigar industry just being able to pick out a cigar and enjoy it at your local retailer is enough of a reason to celebrate.
There is an old saying “We don’t remember days; we remember moments” and for me, a cigar can turn any or every day into a moment to remember.
Padron Family Reserve 45 Years Maduro – Its hard to imagine a list like this that doesn’t include a Padron on it. And some would question the validity of any such special occasion list that omits a Padron. Typically I stick with the numbered series (2000 Maduro) for my every day Padron fix. You could possibly interchange a Padron 1964 or 1926 on this list and no one would complain. For me when I think of a memorable Padron, I think of the 45 Years Maduro. Like I said when I reviewed it in 2009, the 45 Years Maduro is one of those rare gems that transcends any accolades and can be enjoyed by any level.
Davidoff Colorado Claro – Its hard to recall a cigar so artfully constructed, so well balanced and not to mention its ingenious and engaging complexity. I actually think you get more than what you pay for and I truly believe that this is one of those “once in a lifetime” cigars that if you see, you should get it. The complexity maybe lost on the new cigar smoker but a perfect choice if you are looking to treat a seasoned cigar smoker.
Dunhill Signed Range Anniversary – A relatively new gem that I’ve discovered is the Dunhill Signed Range Anniversary. Shut the door when it comes to smoothness. A slight touch of strength combined with a little sweet decadent woodsiness but its the smoothness that grabs and holds your attention. Great choice if you are at a celebration where you are dressed to the nines with a top hat and coattails and need a cigar to match. Classic.
Ashton ESG 20 or 23 Year Salute – Many have said that the VSG is a better cigar. I think it is a bit unfair to compare the VSG to the ESG. The ESG doesn’t have the strength the VSG has which makes it a perfect cigar for your occasional smoker but possesses a clean, saturating flavor profile that can still challenge the seasoned cigar smoker. Perfect choice if you are celebrating with a mixed crowd.
Casa Magna Domus Magnus – If the Dunhill above wins you over with it’s smoothness, the Domus Magnus will win you over with its abundant and intense flavors. The Domus Magnus is artfully constructed, well balanced with a copious assortment of flavors. Special cigar that’s easy on the wallet so the Domus Magnus makes the perfect choice if you are celebrating on a budget but need a cigar that will please all.
Editorial Note – I limited the list to cigars that I’ve actually smoked and cigars that we have reviewed or have appeared in an episode of Week in Smoke. I also consulted Paul Spence of W.Curtis Draper (Bethesda) to help me balance the list or it could’ve quickly turned into an all Davidoff and AVO list. I’d also like to give a shout out to my friend Lord Eric Hill just because I said I would.