Ok, so I am just a bit late with this review, since the controversy has died down somewhat, but as my father always told me, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

For the four people left in this world who do not know the story, Cigar Aficionado Magazine released it’s annual “Top 25 Cigars of the Year” choices, and an almost totally unknown cigar from Casa Magna got the top spot; beating out Padróns, Opus, Tatuajes, and, well, pretty much everyone else. One of the main reasons given for CA giving the Casa Magna the top spot was the price of the stick (about $5.25 each) and that did not sit well with a lot of people (including me) who wanted to know what the best tasting cigar is, not the best tasting cigar under $6.

The cigars are made by Manuel Quesada with help from Nestor Plasencia and are composed of Nicaraguan tobacco from the Estelí and Jalapa regions of the country.

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Casa Magna Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Segovia
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $5.25 (Boxes of 27, $xx)

The wrapper is a very nice looking reddish brown and has a nice faint tobacco smell and a little tooth to it. The cigar is obviously very well made; it just feels good in your hands and is quite firm to the touch. Honestly, it was a joy to hold. The band is very high quality as well.

Casa Magna Robusto 2.png

After cutting the cigar, I tasted some chocolate and pepper on the prelight draw. The cigar lit fairly easily and after the first few puffs I got a nice taste of the aforementioned flavors, only stronger.

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This is where we change things up a little bit: normally when I review a cigar, I go through it in thirds, because I have found that the tastes of a typical cigar will change in roughly that amount of time. However, this cigar was one of the most one dimensional smokes I have had, in that the flavors did not change at all.

Not for the entire stick.

So, I am just going to tell you that the dominant flavors were some pepper, cedar, strong leather, faint sweet chocolate and just a touch of citrus. It also got a little harsh at the end, but not so much that I could not nub it.

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Now, the above comment does not mean it was a bad smoke, quite the opposite actually. In my (very humble) opinion, there are a few cigars that have so many flavors it becomes overwhelming to actually smoke, since you are always trying to place them. To me, it is just fine to have a cigar where the flavors do not vary much, as long as it is a high quality smoke and the flavors meld together nicely. This was one of those cigars, and if you can find one, I recommend trying it.

Final Notes:

  • I have read reports that there is a huge difference in taste and burn on these sticks right out of the store. Some reports have said that because of the huge demand after the CA rating, the production started shipping the cigars “wet”, and that could be the reason. If you get one of these to smoke, I would make sure that you leave it in your humidor for at least a week to stabilize, if not two weeks.
  • As mentioned in the review, the smoke from this cigar is nice and billowy, when you can get some. This stick does not produce a large or even a medium amount of smoke, that is for sure.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 23 minutes.
87 Overall Score

I enjoyed this cigar. It is a high quality smoke, and I bought more than five, but it is nowhere near the best cigar of the year, not by a long shot! Having said that, I do believe it is one of the best cigars you can buy in its price range, as long as it is stored properly.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.