Top Smokes of 2023: Staff Edition

We smoke A LOT of cigars at Ralph's and out of everything we've smoked in 2023– these were our favorite smokes! To make our decision, we looked at flavor, construction, and overall quality. Each staff member chose a Ralph's Cigars Infused cigar as well as a regular Non-Infused cigar. Shop the cigars and read more about the blends below and why we chose them as our favorites for 2023.

Peter’s Picks: The Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta and Pineapple Margarita Tequila

As the pioneers of Nicaraguan tobacco, Joya de Nicaragua has influenced the entire industry, kickstarting a passion and drive for a unique leaf that is strong, spicy, and ever-so-mildly sweet. They redefined the game once more with the Cabinetta, a stick specifically blended with a milder strain, for a smooth and peppery cigar with Nicaraguan long-fillers, a Nicaraguan blend, and a Nicaraguan Criollo tip that burns from a creamy Ecuadorian Connecticut that will captivate the taste buds with the aforementioned spice, almonds, cedar, and a finish of savory South American cocoa. The Cabinetta is truly a flagship of the wonderful Nicaraguan leaf, and Joya’s commitment to their craft.

As a less frequent contributor to Ralph’s Infused Cigars, tequila provides its own kick and spice only to the flavors and cigars that can truly handle it. The Pineapple Margarita Tequila takes the kick of its base liquor, adds sweet tropical pineapple and a touch of sour lime, and combines them all for a medium smoke that is smooth, bright, and fizzy- perfect for a summer day, or simply for dreaming of one. Peter likes to smoke with a smoky-sweet Mezcal Margarita.

Devin’s Picks: The H. Upmann Anejo and Seasonal: Cinnamon Swirl Cognac

Upmann, with a history that stretches back nearly two centuries, is perhaps the oldest cigar brand that is still in production to this day. This, perhaps, lends an element of irony to one of their newest blends, the Anejo- or old in spanish. It gets its name not from the age of the brand itself, but from the five years of aging the stick receives. This includes the filler blend of Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan leaf, the dark and oily Pennsylvanian Broadleaf binder, and the expertly wrapped, double-fermented Ecuadorian Habano. Puffing on any of its three sizes is like sipping on a rich cappuccino, with notes of caramel, earth, and leather and a citrus zest finish that closes out the sweeter elements of the cigar. As the first aged line of H. Upmann, it expertly showcases why the brand has dominated the industry for two hundred years.
The Cinnamon Swirl Cognac is a seasonal favorite of staff and customers alike. An inspired blend of natural vanilla, flaky cinnamon sticks, and spiced nutmeg fall gently between the light cognac and Dominican tobacco to create a cigar that is sweet and spiced and everything nice without overwhelming the palate. Devin recommends drinking a peaty bourbon to complement the smoke.

Korey’s Picks: The Cohiba Riviera and Chocolate Mint Cognac

The Cohiba Riviera boasts a carefully curated blend of tobacco  from the regions known for producing the highest-quality leaves. Its name honors the San Andres region where the tobacco that makes up the wrapper is sourced. Along with a Honduran binder and a sweet Nicaraguan filler, the tobacco gives this cigar a smooth and creamy smoke with nuanced notes of dark chocolate, rich espresso, and a deep leather finish. The Riviera is expertly rolled, showcasing the skill of Cohiba's master blenders. The wrapper is seamless, with a rich and oily sheen that shows the meticulous curing and fermentation processes undergone by the tobacco. The presentation is luxurious, featuring the iconic Cohiba band to add a touch of elegance.


The Chocolate Mint Cognac is, like all of Ralph’s Cognac Cigars, a primarily Dominican-blend cigar. As the name suggests this fan-favorite is an indulging combination of fresh peppermint, a rich and creamy milk chocolate, and a velvety smooth cognac all wrapped together in a unique and devastatingly tasty stick. Korey recommends smoking it with a piping hot latte with just a touch of vanilla.

Joey’s Picks: The Eladio Diaz 70 Aniversario and Seasonal: Chocolate Cherry Cognac

The Eladio Diaz Anniversario is a celebration of artistry in cigar making. Crafted by master blender Eladio Diaz, this cigar boasts a unique blend that evolves gracefully as you smoke. The initial draw reveals a medley of earthy tones, transitioning into a symphony of chocolate, leather, and a touch of rich natural sweetness. The construction is top-notch, with a burn that stays even, an exhibition of Diaz's expertise and love for the craft. With Ecuadorian tobacco wrapped carefully about a spicy Mexican binder and smooth filler from the Dominican Republic, this cigar is a testament to the skill and dedication that goes into creating a memorable smoking experience.

Chocolate Cognac

Cherry Cognac


The Chocolate Cherry Cognac takes our excellent Chocolate Cognac, made with a rich and delicious milk chocolate, and pours it over an infusion of natural, fantastically sweet Bing cherries. The cognac here serves to bind these two flavors, already so compatible, into a seasonal smoke that immediately stands out against the pack. For a true elevation of the flavors, Joey pairs his cigar with a dark bourbon, specifically Koval single barrel if he can find it.

Caleb’s Picks: The LFD TCFKA M and Coconut Coffee Cognac

The LFD TCFKA M, with its enigmatic name, delivers a smoking experience that matches its mystique. The Cigar Formerly Known as Mysterio, the full name of this flavorful cigar, is a powerhouse, featuring a medium-bodied blend wrapped in Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf that immediately captures attention with its truly full flavor. The initial draw offers a burst of peppery notes that mellow into a fusion of coffee beans, cream, and a touch of raisin sweetness. The construction is solid, with Dominican binder and filler ensuring a satisfying burn and ample smoke production. The TCFKA M is a bold choice for enthusiasts who crave a bold and unique cigar.
The Coconut Coffee Cognac is a cigar that certainly catches our customers' eye- Caleb too, who chose the cigar for his flavored pick of the year. Its mild to medium mottled wrapper maintains a magnificently smooth blend of flavors that leaves everyone wanting more. Freshly roasted coffee combines with flaky, indulgent coconut and mellow cognac for just the right touch of sweetness. He recommends smoking with a cup of simple, black coffee.

Jackson’s Picks: The Arturo Fuente Magnum R Rosado Sun Grown and Vanilla Cognac

The Arturo Fuente Rosado is a well-crafted cigar that exemplifies the brand's commitment to quality and consistency. The Rosado wrapper, aged for nearly a decade, imparts a reddish hue that hints at the nuanced flavors within. Upon lighting, you're greeted with a delightful combination of cedar, nuts, and a subtle spiciness that is swathed in elegant cream. The construction is reliable, with an Ecuadorian sungrown wrapper providing a smooth draw and an even burn. This cigar, bound and filled with Dominican Republic Leaf, is a testament to Arturo Fuente's tradition of producing cigars that appeal to a broad range of palates without sacrificing passion or flavor.


The Vanilla Cognac is a classic cognac-infused cigar, that draws out a gentle sweetness without disrupting any of the natural flavors of the Dominican wrapper. The mild and creamy vanilla bean is paired with our velvet cognac for a taste that is as timeless as it is delicious. Jackson would pair the Vanilla Cognac with a can of cold root beer, unless he was already clocked off- in which case he has already poured a dark spiced rum to sip while he smokes.

Kelly’s Picks: The Liga Privada No. 9 and Lemon Blueberry Cognac

Liga Privada No. 9 from Drew Estate is a robust and full-bodied cigar that has gained a cult following among aficionados. The dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper hints at the extravagant experience held within. A medley of seven aged long-fillers from both Honduras and Nicaragua make up the body of this smoke, with an extra year of aging that transforms this cigar into an entirely new beast and gives it a rich, complex flavor. Lighting up reveals a blend of espresso, toast, dark chocolate, and a subtle spiciness lent to the cigar by the Brazilian binder. The construction is flawless, providing a smooth draw and an ash that holds impressively. This cigar is a wonderful choice for those who appreciate a powerful and deep smoking experience.


The Lemon Blueberry Cognac, a seasonal spin on our classic Blueberry Cognac adds an enticing citrus to sweet, ripe blueberries for a fresh and summery cigar that will not disappoint. Pairing it with a vodka cocktail, like a moscow mule, will bring out the best in both stick and drink, Kelly says.

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