After the FDA determined they would regulate premium cigars in the same fashion as machine-made cigarettes and vape products (don’t get us started…), it became obvious that manufacturers would push as many products as possible to market before the August 8, 2016 cutoff date—new products introduced after this date are required to go through the FDA approval process.

And with massive numbers of new cigars introduced, comes massive numbers of new contenders for Cigar Wars. Week after week we’ve showcased new products—doing our best to space the releases and allow the cigars some time on retail shelves before battle. Unfortunately, many of these releases perform poorly initially, as even good cigars need familiarity to to win the hearts of cigar fans. But our Battle Rating system accounts for this, allowing cigars to eventually rise (or fall) to their deserved rank over time.

Protocol Probable Cause was our only cigar with a winning record (66%), scoring the 18th highest record after 1 week to date. All others didn’t fair so well—although the group performed only slightly below average as a whole—with most hovering around the 40% range.

Cigars of the Week

Each week, 5 – 10 cigars are added to the Cigar Wars battle field. And the week following, we will rank these new entrants and see how they performed in action!

Cigar of the Week Ranking Method

Ranking the best new cigar additions from October 25, 2016:

  1. The Oscar

    The Oscar cigar by Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.The Oscar by Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. is the premium follow-up release to the brand’s popular LEAF by Oscar cigars, using primarily Honduran tobaccos and a bright, Candela cover leaf to replace the conventional cellophane.

    More info…

    • Wins: 14
    • Losses: 22
    • Record: 38.9%
  2. La Barba Purple

    La Barba Purple cigarLa Barba Purple is the second release from La Barba Cigars, introduced in 2014 with an aim on Dominican tobaccos. The brand moved from Honduras to the DR, working with the esteemed Ventura family to make use of a unique blend of tobaccos.

    More info…

    • Wins: 15
    • Losses: 21
    • Record: 41.7%
  3. Hoyo La Amistad

    Hoyo La Amistad cigarHoyo de Monterrey entered the modern era of premium cigars in early 2016 with the rebranded HOYO. The brand now teams with industry veteran AJ Fernandez for a special, limited edition blend that showcases AJ’s knowledge of Nicaraguan tobacco.

    More info…

    • Wins: 15
    • Losses: 22
    • Record: 40.5%
  4. Toraño Exodus

    Toraño Exodus cigarToraño Exodus is among the design and blending changes introduced to the classic Toraño brand after being acquired by General Cigar Co. in 2014. A colorful and bold, new design highlights a re-blending of Exodus – showcasing a 4-country blend and proprietary wrapper.

    More info…

    • Wins: 17
    • Losses: 23
    • Record: 42.5%
  5. Protocol Probable Cause

    Cubariqueño Cigar Co. Protocol Probable Cause cigarProbable Cause is the followup to Cubariqueño’s first release, Protocol. The name draws from the brand owner’s backgrounds in law enforcement. Probable Cause utilizes a new blend, featuring Nicaraguan tobaccos wrapped in a San Andrés Mexican maduro wrapper.

    More info…

    • Wins: 27
    • Losses: 14
    • Record: 65.9%

Author Predictions

  1. Protocol Probable Cause
  2. Hoyo La Amistad
  3. The Oscar
  4. Toraño Exodus
  5. La Barba Purple

  1. Protocol Probable Cause
  2. Toraño Exodus
  3. Hoyo La Amistad
  4. La Barba Purple
  5. The Oscar
Okay so I only got 1 technically correct – but it’s the one that mattered most! What surprised me most was the Toraño Exodus at #2.