Secreto Top 25

This is my top 25 for 2023

1. Papa Saka by Steve Saka | Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust

2. Cinco de Cinco by Juan Martínez | Joya de Nicaragua Cigars

3. Krakatoa by Dunbarton

4. Joya Classico by Joya de Nicaragua

5. KKP Special Reserve Keith K. Park | Prometheus | Arturo Fuente Cigars

6. Aladino Cigars PCA Exclusive Cameroon

7. Saga Yamasa by Nirka Reyes Estrella Jmlouis Saga De Los Reyes Cigars

8. Lampert Cigars Oscuro

9. Ferio Tego Summa by Michael Herklots

10. ADVentura Cigars La Llorona by Henderson Ventura

11. RoMa Craft Tobac Intemperance Volstead by Nica Sueno by Skip Martin Mike Rosales

12. Powstanie SBC ‘22 by Nica Sueño

13. Powstanie War Bear by Mike Szczepankiewicz

14. Roma Craft Quinquagenario by EPC/Skip Martin (Roma Craft)

15. Crowned Heads Mil Dias Belicoso Fino ‘23

16. Tatuaje Cigars Tuxtla 10th Anniversary by Pete Johnson Tatuaje

17. Crowned Heads La Careme Pastelitos LE ‘23

18. Crowned Heads Las Calaveras ‘23

19. Crowned Heads Four Kicks Muke Kick 2023 LE


21. Crowned Heads Mil Dias Marranitos E 648 LE 2023

22. Warped Black Honey ‘23

23. Espinosa Cigars Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut by Erik Espinosa

24. Powstanie Habano Corona Gorda

25. Powstanie Connecticut


I dont do ties but AVO Cigars Seasons Winter Edition ‘23 by Davidoff Cigars was going to round out at 25 I just felt Powstanie Connie did more separated Cell from the pack.


My criteria consistent with last year smoked it twice live so the consumer can see the construction and the draw. we have to carry it. It must be released from the last two years many Cigars from last year did not make it this year because I tried to stay true to 2023. Joya’s factory crushed on my list this year. Crowned Heads as a brand, crushed it with their LE’s this year. Lampert, Aladino, and Ferio Tego were new to the shop this year, and I’m looking forward to working with these brands next year. Powstanie had a breakout year in the shop. Roma Craft … I have always leaned on the more medium body stuff that they make. This year Dominican, Tobacco did the trick for me with them. The collaboration with the EPC, and Volstead did amazing in the shop. The best they have ever sold in the shop. Customers are still buying it. That’s what I love the most. KKP on the retro was one of the best cigars. Adventura La Llorona and Saga Yamasa both were unique and their flavor profile. They were two cigars that  I can say tasted like any other cigars. They were both truly unique. The Espinosa knuckle sandwich Connecticut is arguably my favorite Espinosa thus far. I’ve always been partial to the 601 blue. This one was just spectacular.  Black honey was Money. it’s tasted better every day. I love the flavor profile dry boxed for 2-3 days. It tasted much better dry to me.


My top four were extremely hard. Papa Saka ended up beating Cinco de Cinco. It was very very marginal. I absolutely love Cinco de Cinco. It’s exactly what I want to smoke every day. The difference wasn’t the nuances. Papa Saka screamed the perfect amount of nicotine, And the most nuanced in Coco and espresso. Krakatoa was arguably the cleanest retro after God  of Fire KKP. Krakatoa, Volstead, and KKP ALL TASTED EXPENSIVE ON THE RETRO. KRAKATOA COULD’VE BECOME MY NUMBER ONE HAD IT HAD A LITTLE BIT MORE SWEETNESS ON THE RETRO. IRONICALLY I’VE SMOKED IT ALMOST EVERY DAY SINCE MY LAST SHIPMENT. IT’S ONE OF THOSE CIGARS I CRAVE. JUST NOT MORE THAN PAPA SAKA, OR CINCO DE CINCO. I don’t know why all the letters just turned bold. I’m using voice dictation. I’m simply not retyping this.

THE CIGAR THAT BLEW MY MIND WAS JOYA CLASSICO! For the price it’s incredible. And if it was $20, it would still be incredible. The definition of clean Tobacco.


If somebody came out with a cigar that I carry and I missed you. I’m not gonna apologize. I can’t make your cigar taste better. Everyone’s going to say I’m partial to Senor Saka because I have a shop exclusive with him. At the end of the day, the consumers decide if you really think about it with their checkbook. Every brand that I’ve mentioned in the particular blends  were all successful in the shop to some degree. Some of them were not great sellers I just loved the tobacco. I really wanted to make Juan’s cigar number one. I really struggled with it. But Papa Saka just edged it out. It was the perfect size the perfect smoke. It was a smaller Vitola of my number one last year which was consensus number one. I still enjoy the flavor of SakaKhan a little little more. I simply don’t want to spend two hours smoking a cigar when I can obliterate Papa Saka in 40 minutes. Even as I write this stuff, (I’m actually talking into my phone) Krakatoa was still stellar, just not enough to beat Cinco de Cinco and Papa Saka. I also smoked way more of the two of them than Krakatoa. I couldn’t keep it in stock. Customers came first as always.


The Cigar that I refuse to discuss is Stillwell Holiday ‘23. The birthday cake. The most deliciously aromatic cigar I have ever smoked. The cigar that I refuse to discuss in this post. The Cigar that I just described in this post lol. I hate that. It was delicious. I’m gonna leave it at that. I felt like I lost my way every time I smoked it. It’s good. If Holiday ‘22 was Coco pebbles, Holiday 23 is fruity pebbles.


This was a great year in Cigars. I hope next year Steve Saka loses on my list. <Kit Kat> . I’m secretly cheering against him.


Notice my list does not have Dondurma Golden Child on my list. I don’t put shop exclusives on my list. But if I did, it would go Pee pee on more than half this list. We sold 600 boxes and 27 hours and 22 minutes. My customers loved it. There’s a real war between that and the original Dondurma. I can’t wait to do that all over again. Only this time we’re making more baby! It’s embarrassing when people come here and we don’t have it in the shop. I’m gonna not have to be greedy. I don’t even know if that’s possible.


Ps. A cigar that didn’t make my list because I have to both carry it and smoke. It live twice, would’ve made me top 25. It actually would’ve made my top five. I just won’t say what number lol. Caldwell Cigar Co. Long Live The Queen. My customers Omar and Brandon both brought them in for me to smoke. I bought them from a 💩 website . I got the wrong size.. had to buy it again. William Ventura crushed it.